Battle of the Blues, Round 2; It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint


After leaving Atlanta with a humiliating loss of 20 points, I was sure that the road was being paved for back to back appearances in the NIT.

However, slowly but surely, this incredibly young team started to show the world just what they were made of and how much heart and true talent have the ability to outweigh experience. 12 games have happened since then with a victorious outcome. Those victories were not always pretty and they were not always how you expected them, but a win is a win no matter how you get there.

With that said, going into tonight's game against Duke, I finally {possibly the first time this season} had faith in the 5 guys taking the court in the prettier shade of blue.

This game always causes inexplicable emotions. And the fact that three years ago, almost to the day, one of Carolina's own was taken away in a vicious and violent way right before the Blue Devils Senior Night of 2008, causes high emotions to soar. Tonight may have featured a different Carolina squad than in 2008, but the emotions and memories of that day still resonate throughout the campus in Chapel Hill. The guys playing tonight may or may not have known Eve Carson or ever even heard of her. But for those that did, this win is so much more than a regular season title. It's about everything that Eve loved, because she loved Carolina.
"I love UNC. I love the quad in spring and the arboretum in the fall. ... I love Roy all the time."- Eve Carson
Tonight is not just about cutting down the nets in the Dean Dome to signify winning a regular season title. No, tonight is about so much more. Tonight is about recognizing where you came from, where you are in this moment, and where you're going. What are you standing for? Are you fighting for what you want and believe in? Are you supporting those around you or just standing by and watching life fast break past you? Be in the moment. Breath it in. Hear every sound. Open your eyes and realize what you are having the chance to witness. It may not be there tomorrow because this life we live is fleeting. But this moment, right now, it's here. Enjoy it.

81-67 was what the scoreboard read as the final tenth of second ticked off the clock. It was never an "in the bag" game. The lead hovered anywhere from 7 to 10 points throughout the 2nd half. And when you're facing a team that shoots 27 3-pointers, it is impossible not to tense up when one of those is heaved toward the basket. But the Blue Devils finished only making 6 of those.  Carolina shot 52% for the game, with Duke finishing at 36% for the night.  However, the number that stands out above all that is this one; Kendall Marshall finished with more assists {11} than Duke had all together {9}. I'm honestly not sure how that's possible or how a head coach goes about correcting something as elementary as passing the ball.

One thing I hope to never forget about tonight is hearing the crowd inside the Dean Dome {through our television speakers} when the three senior walk-on's took the floor to start the game. The tradition of senior's starting no matter their hierarchy on the team on senior night is a special thing to witness. This night is something none of these guys will ever forget. When you commit to going to the University of North Carolina, you commit to the rivalry that is Carolina-Duke.

And that commitment goes past four years. It doesn't end when that Tar Heel jersey is thrown into a locker for the last time or when you walk across the graduating or draft stage. It is something bigger then yourself.

It is a way of life.

"...and it was a wonderful day to be a Tar Heel." Coach Roy Williams

1 i love your comments!:

a boy a girl and a pug said...

we are HUGE kansas jayhawk fans i grew up sitting in allen field house.

that roy looks familiar?!? ha

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