If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen a few tweets about the State-Carolina basketball game in Raleigh at the PNC arena last Wednesday.
It’s no secret that I am a huge NC State fan. I grew up wearing red & white and cheering loud for the Wolfpack. Living in Georgia has taught me to appreciate the ACC basketball country that I grew up in. Have you lived in North Carolina? Then you might know what I am talking about…
In North Carolina, everyone has a favorite team.
Duke?! UNC Chapel Hill (Carolina)?! NC State?! ….and even sometimes Wake Forest!
In elementary, middle, and high schools the Big Four schools are represented by students in class. There may be a few Wake fans but it is mostly Duke/NCSU/UNC. Everyone cheers for a team either because their parents went there, because their parents cheer for that team, or because it is the team that is winning at the time (fair-weather fans).
You may hear people (UNC fans) say “Not our rival” about NCSU-UNC (and Duke-UNC gets national attention)…but I honestly believe that in North Carolina the “State-Carolina” is the real rivalry. Why else do you think there are schoolyard rhymes such as “Duke is puke, Wake is fake, the team I hate is NC State” or “Can’t go to heaven in a red canoe cause God’s favorite color is Carolina blue”?
In North Carolina…
- March is a special month for students because teachers play the ACC Basketball tournament in class.
- Children/families/adults/college students joke about the opposing team on a constant basis.
- The games are often exciting, close down to the wire, and heartbreaking for one side of the rivalry. (And yes, I know NCSU has been struggling to get back to their level of basketball success since before I was born…)
It is fun to chat with friends and fans of opposing teams about the games (all in good fun). Sometimes people take rivalries too far, but I would not give up my experience growing up on Tobacco Rd for anything. North Carolina is a wonderful place to be! (I hope to move back there after graduation). If you move to NC be ready to be immersed in one of the most exciting, most intense college basketball rivalries in the country.
“…there must always be one true believer. And I told the kids that something good would happen for us someday. Of course, I thought it meant beating Carolina or something.” Jim Valvano