Monday, March 19, 2012

The Other, Other North Carolina Basketball School

As I'm reveling in all the "experts" being wrong about Cuse (for now), Jane-Marie is filling in for the day. A fellow runner (don't let her tell you different) and Carolinan (?) of the Northern variety, she has a very unique perspective on college basketball.  Since Cuse will be a new rival next year, I figured it would be better to have her post now while we're still friends.

College basketball is a pretty big deal in North Carolina.  This year alone, there are 5 North Carolina teams playing in the NCAA tournament.  When my husband moved from Maine to  North Carolina circa 2001, he said he was frequently asked 2 questions.
1-Who is your favorite Nascar Driver?
2-Do you cheer for Duke or Carolina?
I know nothing about Nascar so I can't help you there, but I would like to offer up a 3rd alternative to the Duke/UNC questions?  About 87% ***of the people in my state are either  HUGE UNC fans or HUGE DUKE fans.  I would like to throw out a third option.  The NC STATE WOLFPACK.  I mean I did go there and all.
Disclaimer-I am not the biggest sports fan in the world.  But every year I get pretty excited by the ACC tournament, especially when I get to go.  (It's in my hometown, Greensboro, a lot.  This year it was in Atlanta though.).  I even know the name of the new NC State coach and several of the players on the team (at least 2 of them are named CJ).  And this year I watched and attended a few games before the ACC tournament even started.
So here's my take on why it's better to be an NC State fan and to just stay away from that crazy intense Duke/UNC rivalry.
1-COLORS and FASHION-Red is a better color than any shade of blue.  Sidney Lowe's bright red blazer was way better than that weird plaid thing that Roy Williams wore this past week (ok maybe not but I still stand by red being better than blue).
2-MASCOTS-In the words of my friend, Shannon (a slightly more knowledgeable fan than me and fellow NC State alumna)....."Our mascot is a wolf…. Other mascots around here include a ram (come on, get real) and a blue devil- a BLUE devil? That’s just silly. Wolves are way better".  And there's Tuffy.
3-UNDERDOGS/HISTORY-It's way more awesome when an 11 seed team beats a 6 seed team than when a 1 or 2 seed teams wins.  Plus NC State has one of the best Cinderella Stories ever.  I mean yes, I was 2 when this happened but I've definitely heard about it and seen videos.
4-TOURNAMENTS-It's easier to get ACC tournament tickets for Wolfpack games.  I used to work for a company that would have a lottery every year for ACC tournaments tickets.  Guess who always won the NC State tix?  I did, because everyone else put their name in for Duke or Carolina games.  As far as the NCAA tournament goes, it's always exciting when NC State makes it (no matter what seed they are).
5-BARS AND SOCIALIZING-There was a 3 hour wait at a local sports bar on the night of the most recent UNC/Duke match up (and a lot of yelling).  On the other hand, we had prime seating, no waiting, at our trivia bar on the night of the UNC/NC State game. 
6-THE WOLF FINGER FREE THROW THING-We can make a cool tiny finger version of a wolf with our fingers when NC State is throwing free throws.  I'm pretty sure you cannot make a ram or a devil or really anything else out of your fingers.
Earlier this year my friend's parents gave my husband and me tickets to the UNC/NC State game at UNC.  It was a little tough being one of 20ish people in the Dean Dome wearing an NC State t-shirt (vintage 1999, purchased at the NC State bookstore).   And even though we lost by like 20 points and I was repeatedly taunted by the usher, I had a good time.  Plus we made that really cool full court shot right before half time (that silenced the usher for at least 3 minutes).
In conclusion, I will be watching NC State take on Kansas this week.  Go Pack.  And if the other North Carolina teams (including a couple that are playing right down the road from me) happen to win their games, then good for them too.
Do you like Duke or UNC or NC State or even Wake Forest or UNCG or Elon or Davidson or UNC-Asheville or UNC Charlotte?  
But more importantly, who is your favorite Nascar driver?
***Scientific data based on my facebook feed, my dad blatantly cheering for UNC over NC State right in front of me during the recent UNC/NCSU ACC game, and Work Place/Bar Observations.


  1. I actually had Duke going further in my bracket...but I was pretty happy when they lost. I don't necessarily have anything against Duke...but I do like to see the underdog win...especially against such a giant like Duke. I have also been rooting for NC State...although I will admit that for the sake of my bracket...which is pretty broken at this point...I hope they lose to Kansas.

  2. GO PACK!! I am so unbelievably excited and nervous for Thursday! But thanks for pointing out just a few of the reasons why NC State is > UNC and Duke! And as far as Nascar goes, I couldn't care less.

  3. UNCG Spartans all the way. Well, maybe next year. But until then, Go Pack! NC State fans also never wear long sleeve button down shirts tucked into sailboay shorts with a braided belt. And 70% of all NCSU fans have beards, which is always a plus.

  4. UNC Heel fan all the way! Love the blue, love the team. I am OK with State... I at least like them better than Duke, which isn't saying too much since I'm not a fan of Duke in the least. Bottom line I'm happy to see the State's BBall program doing well.

  5. Completely agree about Roy's blue plaid jacket...what was that?

    - Duke fan that always pulls for State 2nd

  6. Please don't abuse me, but I had never actually heard of NC State until they were kicking ass and taking names in the tourney this year. And then I just had to watch could you not? So finally there's a NC team that I can get behind. As a UK fan, er...freak of nature...I pretty much detest both UNC and Duke and feared for my life should we ever get stationed in NC. Who could I possibly root for?? But NC Wolves all the way!!!

    Also, I have a tiny finger thing for the Duke fans, too... ;-D