As a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I always knew I was #blessed to attend such a prestigious university. Through all the ups and downs, I have loved my four years at Carolina, and I wouldn’t trade my college experience for anything. While I have felt very fulfilled with my Carolina education, there was always something missing…a national championship in men’s basketball.
As a UNC student, it’s almost impossible not to have a strong passion for our basketball team. My love for Carolina basketball has grown so much during my time as a student, and my intensity as a fan has also definitely grown (just ask any of my friends that have watched a game with me).
Last year, during the unmentionable event that happened during the championship game, I was studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Many of the UNC students on my program crowded around a small TV during the early hours of the morning to watch the game. We definitely violated some of the strict Florentine noise ordinances, but we risked having the police called on us to cheer on our team. My heart dropped during the final second of that unforgettable game– no matter how hard I try to forget that game, it will always be there in the back of my mind.
I’ll admit that I was a little bit skeptical about this year’s team during some moments throughout the season. Nevertheless, I always believed in the power of Carolina basketball. After a tough loss against Duke in February, I vowed to my roommate that we would win the national championship. I am no basketball expert, but something inside of me just knew that this would be our year. I joked to my friends that the team was just waiting for me to get back from Italy before winning the championship. While the victories were celebrated, the losses of the season made many people wonder if Carolina would be capable of #redemption during this year’s tournament.
I’m pretty sure my blood pressure went to unhealthy levels during March Madness. Any Carolina fan will tell you that the team likes to keep you on your toes. As March went on, the team continued to make it further and further into the center of the bracket. With each victory, the excitement in Chapel Hill multiplied, but there was also a sense of cautiousness. Nobody wanted a repeat of last year, but all we could do was continue to have faith in the players and the coaching staff.
Before I knew it, we had made it back to the championship game. The days leading up to the big game are a blur. I was beyond anxious, but I spent the day wearing my lucky t-shirt (the one I had been wearing during every game of the tournament) and just hoped for a good game.
I’m sure you all know how the game ended. The Tar Heels won the national championship and earned the redemption that the team had been craving since last year. I watched the game at Topo, so I had an amazing bird’s-eye view of the UNC community rushing Franklin Street after the game. I joined the 55,000 others that rushed Franklin and experienced the chaos and pure joy that filled the streets of Chapel Hill. It was a truly unforgettable experience.
There are no words that can accurately describe how amazing it feels to attend the University of National Champions. I’m so lucky to have been able to experience this victory, and I will cherish the memories of the tournament for the rest of my life.
Since my blog is all about YouTube, here are some great videos that I’ve been watching on repeat since the win.
Every day is a GDTBATH!