- President Obama hosted the Duke men’s basketball team in the national champions’ Rose Garden Ceremony last week, simultaneously lauding the team and taking some heat for picking them to bow out in the Elite Eight. Some great quotes from the Commander in Chief:
“He went out with all these guys and won, so he could come to the White House and crow about it,” Obama quipped. “Payback is sweet, isn’t it, Coach?”
“I know that all of you remember last year when I filled out my bracket I picked North Carolina to win it all,” a smiling Obama said. “It wasn’t anything personal. Just trying to win some money. I was right. Coach K wasn’t too happy. He basically told me to stick it. Or stick to my day job, is what he said.”
“I suspect that you’re going to try to bust my bracket once again [next year],” Obama said. “But I may not make the same mistake twice.”
Players also gave the president a framed Duke No. 1 jersey with his name on the back, a gift Obama said his assistant, former Duke player Reggie Love, will cherish. ”You know Reggie’s going to make me hang this in the Oval office,” Obama said. “We’ll take down Lincoln or something.”
- Meanwhile, the Blue Devils tacked on another National Championship as the men’s lacrosse team beat Notre Dame 6-5 in OT to win their elusive first title. They’ve been to the title game twice before and lost by a single goal both times, so congrats to them for finally getting over the hump. Too bad they had to beat a UNC team that had started their season 10-0 in the Elite Eight to get there… seriously, can the suffering end already?
- In the “minor victories” category, UNC managed to make the NCAA postseason baseball field despite not earning an invite to the ACC tournament. The Heels’ hot late play and high RPI managed to push them into the NCAAs, one of eight ACC teams to earn a bid. They’ll start off in the Norman, OK subregion as Carolina looks to go to their fifth straight College World Series.
- And finally, a serious piece of message board fodder comes in the form of the SCACC Hoops All-Time Team tournament, where the good boys over at SCACC hoops used their game simulator to pit a group of legendary ACC teams against one another, with the 2009 Tar Heels beating the 1999 Blue Devils 3-2 in a best-of-five series to claim the crown. Hard to pick against the teams that made the final, although like Tar Heel Fan I’m a little surprised to see the 09 team make the finals over UNC’s 82 title team. The whole bracket is full of fun arguments to make, mostly if you’re a UNC or Duke fan since those schools almost exclusively made up the final eight teams, the lone exception being NC State’s 83 team taking down Carolina’s 05 title team (and let me say, having watched that State team on ESPN Classic - really?? but I digress…). Also, sweet Moses how did that 99 Duke team not win a title? I’m honestly not saying that out of spite since I rooted for them back then - I still think that’s one of the most mind-boggling national championship game results ever, given the talent level on that team.