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3-6-Shine

2016 National Championship: Villanova defeated UNC 77-74.

2017 National Championship: UNC defeated Gonzaga 71-65.

What a difference a year makes. Literally.

The North Carolina Tar Heels battled the Gonzaga Bulldogs in a great close NCAA title game last night. The shooting for both teams did not inspire of a lot of NBA Jam-worthy moments and the officiating became the third squad on the court instead of the invisible hand that ensures the game remains under control. Still, the final couple minutes provided terrific drama and millions of viewers saw the Tar Heels play with a determination motivated by a feeling that they felt they had to win the championship this year.

That was the deciding factor concerning UNC’s late fuel of adrenaline and basketball prowess with the national championship on the line.

And UNC’s winning finish not only gave Roy Williams his third national championship with the Tar Heels and UNC its sixth national championship, but also one more shiny thing…

The ceiling is the roof for this UNC basketball program, as Michael Jordan might say (well, he actually did say those words about a month ago).

Either way, the ceiling (or the roof) in the Dean Dome will be adding another national championship banner.

Congrats to the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.

Happy Monday

The 2017 Men’s Final Four left college basketball fans wanting more.

Especially fans cheering for Gonzaga and North Carolina.

The 2016/2017 National Championship will be a great battle between the one-seed Gonzaga Bulldogs and the one-seed North Carolina Tar Heels. Admittedly, readers of this blog post should know I am a big UNC fan. My oldest sister attended and graduated from Chapel Hill back in the days of Bill Guthridge and Matt Doherty. So, it’s been nearly 20 years of cheering for the Tar Heels.

With that being said (or written), tonight’s game will be a fantastic sporting event. Yes, an event. Gonzaga wants to win its school’s first ever national championship, whereas North Carolina feels like it has to win this year’s national championship. And that may be what separates these two top-shelf teams in the end:

The difference between want to and have to with the title on the line.

It’s my belief that Joel Berry II was (purposely) on cruise control against Oregon, nursing his injured ankles/recovering from his ankle injuries. The shots that went in or didn’t weren’t of issue to Roy Williams. Clearly. The point is that Berry’s mere presence on the court for UNC is game-changing for the men sporting sky blue.

However, against a very talented Gonzaga squad, Mr. Berry’s mere presence won’t likely be enough to cut the nets down in jubilation.

He’ll need help from his very talented teammates (and coaching staff).

This season’s national championship will be one heel hell of a game.

I just hope two of those heels on the court tonight in Phoenix will have enough spring for that one shining moment.

Have a Better Week Than Last Week.

Happy Monday!

Light Blue v. Dark Blue.

Public v. Private.

UNC v. Villanova.

The 2016 NCAA National Championship game is set to take off in Houston, Texas at NRG Stadium, which will inspire either Chapel Hill or Philadelphia to erupt in celebration late tonight as this season’s king of college basketball.

Even though there is no Cinderella in the title game, the two major programs (sporting varying shades of blue) will have a David v. Goliath aura. The Tar Heels currently have 5 championships to their name, while the Wildcats have one title.

Roy Williams will have the opportunity to hoist his 3rd national championship as the head coach of UNC in 11 years. When you consider the relentless competition from teams around the country and the recruitment cycle and enrolling players and graduating players, winning 3 national championships in 11 years would be an incredible achievement.

In order for Roy Williams and his team to cap off (and earn another cap/hat) another golden season, the Tar Heels will have to beat a talented Villanova squad that embarrassed the Oklahoma Sooners in the Final Four with the final score of 95-51. The challenge is there and, before UNC can cut down the nets for the 6th time, they will need to burn the nets with three’s and two’s NBA Jam-style and rattle the rim with dunks.

What’s at stake?

Go Tar Heels!!

Happy Duck Hunting!

Dear 12-Gauge,

There will be a superfluous amount of quacking, football playing ducks at AT&T Stadium in Texas tonight. In the purely metaphorical sense, please take care of that. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Buckeye Nation

The Ohio State Buckeyes are playing for the National Championship against the formidable Ducks from Oregon this evening at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN. These two teams are similarly fast, creative and talented. However, these two teams’ identities are different in that one program is built on strength and the other on flash. Urban Meyer will be competing for his 3rd national title, while Oregon’s head coach Mark Helfrich is hoping to hoist up his first national championship trophy.

Style wise, it’s tradition v. new school.

Offensively, it’s expected that both teams will have a great amount of success, especially after their respective Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl performances. Starting quarterback (and yes, 3rd stringer) Cardale Jones will lead the Buckeyes behind a strong offensive line with the dynamic and explosive Ezekiel Elliott, along with a tremendous wide receivers corps. The Ducks will rely on the deserving Heisman trophy winner Marcus Mariota and his electrically-charged high-tempo offense.

Predicting a bit of an offensive shootout, the key to this game will likely be in each squad’s defense. Which team can force that game-changing turnover(s), limit 3rd down conversions and sack the quarterback? For the Buckeyes, they will need to make sure that their defensive line is relevant throughout the entire game. Their front line is the strength of their defense and they will need to stop the run game and consistently pressure Mariota into sacks and/or poor throwing decisions if they want to win.

Plus, long OSU drives will help. Mariota can’t hurt you if he doesn’t have the ball.

And, for all those Buckeye fans, here’s a cool video to get ready for tonight…

Go Buckeyes and OH-IO!!!