I sent a child to Duke and I sent a child to UNC- Chapel Hill. Just like a love both children, I love both schools. Being in debt to both places creates loyalty.
Basketball season is tough at my house. I like Coach K and I like Roy Williams – two different coaches with different styles, both successful.
I thought Duke did pretty well this season, considering the injuries and lack of depth. Carolina clearly got better deeper into the season.
I was pulling hard for the Tar Heels last night. Villanova was in the zone, which is tough to maintain after a game like they played against Oklahoma.
Truth be told, I was hoping my daughter Hannah would get the thrill of her team winning the National Championship, just like Abram had the thrill when Duke won. Carolina won their last championship the year before Hannah started school at Chapel Hill. I wanted it for her. This is the girl who went from not knowing anything about basketball to being able to discuss the advantages of zone vs. man to man. She learned a lot at Chapel Hill. I wanted it for her.
I knew Carolina could battle back. They did. All night their defense was intense. Villanova was definitely a tough defensive team, yet the Tar Heels kept battling to get inside, and shot the lights out on three’s (64.7%).
Then came the moment I had waited for – Marcus Paige, who has not had the season many expected, launched an off balance shot that will forever live in memory. Like the hunter who wildly shoots at the bird and hits it, his shot swished through the hoop to tie the game.
Four point seven seconds left. Watching the game, my mind went to Christian Laettner, Duke v. Kentucky in 1992. I lived in Kentucky at the time. I remember that heartbreaking shot. Please, not a repeat. Don’t let my girl have her heart broken.
In 4.7 seconds, the unbelievable happened again. Villanova ran a play they simply call, “Nova.” The ball is brought up court, then flipped off to the trailing player, Kris Jenkins. He shoots the three with under a second left. Swish.
I wanted Carolina to win one for my girl.
My heart hurts for her. This is something Daddy can’t fix.
Maybe next year. Please Carolina, win one next year for my girl.