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The Daily Tar Heel

When Invisible Sports Gnomes Attack

Why do the TV screens in the Dean Dome not show players when they attempt foul shots? It shows all the other action, but it goes to a blue NC screen right before the free throws. Then it'll come back on in time for the rebound action. -- S.B.

Unfortunately, I was unable to get an answer to your question from the invisible gnomes who live in the rafters of the Dean Dome, guard those gigantic jerseys and run the TV screens. They did, however, throw curses and leftover hot dog buns from Friday's game at me. Aren't they adorable?

Seriously though, since I couldn't get a straight answer from anyone, I have to venture my own guess. Let's say the score is tied 83-83. There are 1.2 seconds left on the clock, and you are stepping up to the charity stripe for the game-deciding free throws. And you know the outcome of the game rests on your shoulders.

You focus on the basket, try to remember all your mechanics, and prepare for your first shot -- but suddenly something catches your eye. Up on the big screen, in glorious Technicolor, is a huge shot of your face. Drops of sweat the size of basketballs are dripping off your face, all magnified for everyone to see.

You lose your concentration. You try to sink the first basket but miss. The second one hits the rim and is rebounded by a raisin-headed fool from down the road who makes a long pass to a gangly white boy for the game's winning lay-up. What would have been a bragging right for years to come becomes just another loss. All because those damn gnomes had to leave the screen on during the free throws.

Now, granted, this didn't happen, and we still hold those bragging rights no matter who won the championship last year. But it might not be too far from the truth. I, for one, wouldn't want a magnified picture of my face on any TV screen, much less one in the Dean Dome.

Besides, who wants to see Carlos Boozer's face close up? Gross.

I'm doing a project on NCAA sports teams, and I was wondering which school has the most NCAA Division I championships, combining all sports. -- E.C.

What am I, Sports Trivia Boy or something? Oh well. According to espn.com (every sports fan's Web Mecca), UCLA and USC (that's Southern California, not South Carolina) are tied at 85. Stanford is close with 75. But it's Harvard, with 111 NCAA Division I championships, that takes the cake. It kind of helps that it has a few years on its closest competitors. Harvard has been around since 1636, giving it 244 years over USC (1880) and 39 more over UCLA (1919).

UNC holds 29 NCAA championships, highest in the ACC. Granted, 16 of those are from women's soccer, but that's what dynasties are all about. Closest behind us is Maryland with 15, riding on nine years of women's lacrosse dominance. Duke holds a whopping five. It's nice to be on top.

Adam doesn't think it's fair that Harvard gets to count its co-ed sailing (4), men's and women's ice hockey (2) and men's and women's squash (42) championships. E-mail Sports Trivia Boy at shupe@email.unc.edu.

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