8 Miles separates two universities. 8 miles separates a rivalry that is known throughout the United States, but in North Carolina, that rivalry of 8 miles, can dived families and friends. But tonight, two universities meet, #5 UNC vs #20 dook.

Growing up in North Carolina, this was the game that we all waited for. The UNC vs dook game was in fact, the bucket list game for all sports fans. And this past weekend, my family and I went down to Chapel Hill for a game and the excitement was already started to brew among the fans. When the game this past Sunday was out of reach, the topic turned to tonight’s game. Even at the restaurant and walking through campus, fans were talking about the game and how much it means to them. And as fans, we all have memorable games. Danny Green’s drunk. Tyler Hansbourgh. Michael Jordan. James Worthy. Antwan Jameson. Watching Dean Smith walk the sideline. And the list goes on and on and on.

But this game, isn’t just a game. It isn’t just a rivalry between two schools that are only 8 miles apart, it is bigger than that. It is college basketball in the state of North Carolina. It is a game(s) that allow for bragging rights for the year. It is what dreams are made of and highlights on ESPN. For me, it isn’t just another game, it is THE game to watch and as my sons get older and they understand my love for UNC Basketball, they too will love this game as much as I do. They will get to stay up on school nights, as I did, for this game. They will learn the players, the moves, the logic of plays and the history of the rivalry.

Tonight, is more than just a game. It is, college basketball at it’s finest in the great state of North Carolina. And it just so happens, that an 8 mile stretch of 15-501 separate the two campuses.


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If you don’t know who Adreian Payne is, then you are missing an AMAZING story. Here is a college kid, with a lot of potential and an even bigger heart.

Just take a moment and you’ll realize that in life, Adreian Payne isn’t just a talented basketball player, he is a good person that that is changing the life of this little girl.

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The first of many posts on this topic, but I love March Madness. I’ve been known to blow off events for March Madness. This is the time where games matter more than every before.

Upsets have already happened and non better than the Mercer vs. Dook game. That to me was the most important upset, all other upsets are just gravy, but that one was huge.

This weekend is going to consist of Basketball, wings and beer. More to come, but I love basketball.

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BasketballMarch Madness has come and gone. We have moved on from college basketball and the thrills of March Madness to Major League Baseball. But in a recent conversation with my brother, we came to one conclusion, the game as we once knew it, is gone. March Madness will rarely have the same impact as it once did. The game of college basketball has changed and not in a good way.

The players today are being recruited with the intention of only stays 1, maybe 2 years, whereas players would stay all 4 years. UNC lost 3 of their starters to the NBA this year: Harrison Barnes, Kendall Marshall and John Henson. All deserve to go and make the money. All deserve to fulfill their dreams and taking their careers to the next level. But as a college basketball fan, I hate it. College coaches are rebuilding each year, not to get better, but to replace the starters that are leaving as sophomores.

Gone are the rivalries. Gone are the players that play because they love the game, not because of their career changes in the NBA. Gone is the game.

So, as I reflect on March Madness, the best team won this year. Kentucky. Granted I would have loved to have seen a rematch between Kentucky and UNC but it was not meant to be. But this offseason, UNC will replace 3 players and Kentucky, well Kentucky will have to replace their entire starting 5 players.

The game has changed and March Madness will never be the same again.  But for those of us that have loved the game and followed the game of college basketball for years, I will get to share stories with my sons about the game use to be.

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That is what I kept telling myself last night after the UNC vs Dook game where Dook hit a 3 pointer with 1 second to go to win the game. It is just a game.
I was trying to think of ways to justify the loss this morning, not defending the 3, poor fouls, fatigue, etc, but it is just a game. And then I got thinking, how can I
use this for when the boys are older and UNC loses a game? I’m still working on that one, but it really is just a game. Today, the adults are sitting around their offices,
sending text messages, emailing, making calls etc talking about the game, what they would have done differently and what should have happened.

But at the end of the day, it is just a game. The players were probably in class today. Study hall later. Practice, film review, hitting the weight room and trying to prepare
for the game this weekend. And though, like the rest of the fans, I’ve been texting my brother and Godfather about the game, how we feel, what we would have done
differently if we were coaching and it comes back to one ringing fact, it is just a game. I just hope that when my boys are older and we watch UNC Basketball games,
that I can remember that it is just a game and not get too caught up in it.

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It is almost tip off for the UNC vs Dook game and I’ve already started pacing around the room. Being from NC, I grew up watching this game as a child and the importance of how 8 miles separate two schools, but there is a division within the state between the fans of these two teams.  I hate that I’m not at the game, because I’m missing the game, but also because I am missing out on spending time with my Godfather.

Tonight is like Christmas Eve for me, waiting for the game. Sitting on the edge of my seat, usually muting the tv, because the announcers just can not use some of the choice phrases that I like using during the game. The difference this year, I will not be able to jump up and down throughout the game or the loud out bursts. But hopefully, UNC will pull out the win and it will be a quiet night.


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There are a few days that I really look forward to, today being one of them, because it is Game Day! Not just any game, but the UNC vs Dook game.  And yes, as most good UNC fans, I started off with my game day traditions. Same breakfast that I ate for the last victory; drove the same route to work; packed the same lunch; when I get home, I’ll put on the same UNC shirt that I always wear (and no, it hasn’t been washed since the last lost), why do this, because it is Game Day! For those that live outside of NC, 8 miles separate these schools. A stretch of highway that separates Good vs Evil. So today, I work, thinking about the game, ready for the 9:00pm tip off. Watching a few clips to get me going and pumped for tonight, but you see, on Game Day, all of these things are just a routine, a way of life, because since I was 5 and understood the rivary between these two schools, my life was forever changed.

So, if time permits, I’ll update this today, but these are two videos that I watched already:

  • Here is an ESPN clip previewing the game tonight and couldn’t agree more with the analysis. Dook’s defense is usually at best, ok. They allow a lot of points and have struggled against teams that wanted to run against them, which UNC will do.
  • And then who can forget this clip on Youtube


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