If you’re all about brackets, you might want to skip this post.
I grew up in Raleigh, NC, home of North Carolina State University (aka State, aka NC State) which makes up one point of the Research Triangle Park with the University of North Carolina located in Chapel Hill (aka Carolina, aka North Carolina) and Duke University in Durham (no akas, it’s just Duke) making up the other two. In addition to the insane number of engineers, doctors, scientists and attorneys (not to mention teachers, veterinarians, politicians, artists and whatever else) who are in the area that come from these schools, these schools also produce some of the best college basketball players in the NCAA. And rivalries.
We moved to Raleigh in 1983, when I was four-years-old. Back then we used to get out of school for the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) tournament and NCAA…if a local team was playing. And living there, you HAD to pick a team. There was no such thing as being neutral. I settled on Duke, eventually. It took a few years of trying on the other teams. Now when people ask, I’m hard-core ABC (Anyone but Carolina). And I’m still partial to Duke, mostly because of Grant Hill and Coach K. Oh yeah, and my mom works for Duke (full disclosure here people). But my years away from the Triangle area, (seventeen of those now compared to the fourteen I lived there), have left me with a severe case of what I call March Drabness.
The last bracket I filled out for the NCAA tournament was in 2009 when I was heavily pregnant with William. For whatever reason, Jeff asked me to fill out a bracket for him and I did pretty darn well as I remember. I know a lot about college basketball after the years of living in the land of it, but the joy was gone. I happen to know that Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State and Wisconsin are in the Final Four. I also know that unlike some years, these are four teams that are not Cinderellas and, based on their stats, “deserve” to be there. And I could not care less. Seriously, it is not possible for me to care less. I won’t watch the games on Saturday. And on Easter Monday, I’ll most likely be working during the game, which is fine by me. Jeff threatens that if Duke is in the final (despite being a State fan) he will go to Durham and paint himself blue (and being bald, he would be inducted into the Blue Man Group. Duke Blue isn’t that exact color but it’s pretty darn close.). And me…meh.
I just can’t get excited about college basketball. College football I’m all about, but basketball has fallen off, way off. Jeff says it’s because I’m not an NBA fan like I am an NFL fan. But if that holds, why am I not super into the Frozen Four of college hockey because I’m insanely NHL addicted. I think, for me, it’s not absence making the heart grow fonder, it’s out of sight, out of mind. And March is almost over…bring on the Yankees!