For a North Carolina fan, this week has been unbearable – just thinking about the game on Saturday makes my stomach turn.
My resting heart rate when we played Baylor? 160. I’ll admit it was better when we played St. Peter’s, but Tar Heel Basketball is quite literally detrimental to people’s health (just surpassing UNC football).
I’m not even going to talk about my blood pressure at the last Duke game. While all my friends rushed Franklin Street in glee, climbed street signs and lit fires on the road, I toured graduate schools.
I watched UNC squeeze the joy out of Duke’s Senior Day from a bar in Pittsburgh with Will — one of my best friends. I tried to contain my excitement when Armando Bacot, assisted by Caleb Love, slammed in a statement dunk during the game's final minutes, knowing the chaos that was about to ensue in Chapel Hill.
Will then paid extra to play “Sweet Caroline” at the jukebox while Krzyzewski gave his dreary postgame speech.
As any student would, I don’t want to leave UNC without getting a chance to rush Franklin.
Listen: in what world, as a senior transfer student, do I arrive at UNC the year after a tournament win, miss the tournament altogether (hey, it doesn’t count if there wasn’t a tournament, right?) and then get to see a Final Four. To make matters worse, a Final Four against Duke?
Someone on Twitter compared it to living in "The Matrix". I think it’s worse.
Why, you may ask?
Sure, we beat Krzyzewski in his final game in Cameron. But this isn’t the same as trading wins during the season.
UNC has never faced Duke in the NCAA tournament — much less the Final Four. The NCAA is kicking itself as we speak for not putting us on opposite sides of the bracket. Whoever wins this game gets bragging rights forever. Or, at least until we meet in the NCAA tournament again, but who knows when that’ll be.
It’s a chance to send Coach Krzyzewski into retirement. A chance to halt all the Duke propaganda being plastered on ESPN. A chance for Hubert Davis to carve his name in UNC history for taking a bubble team to the biggest stage in college basketball in his very first year.
And as much as I hate to say it, if we lose (knock on wood), Duke is going to take it all this year. As Sports Editor PJ Morales once said, “Duke just plays beautiful basketball.”
And (cough, cough), how could the NCAA not let that happen on Coach Krzyzewski's notorious “farewell tour”?
And so, to celebrate (and very honestly, take our minds off the impending doom), members of The Daily Tar Heel have compiled a playlist of the most hype, Tar Heel-esque songs that I’ll be bopping my head along to on the way to He’s Not Here this Saturday.
Cheers to what will hopefully be some dadgum good basketball this weekend.
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