And it begins… it’s March, it’s college basketball, it’s MADNESS… March Madness, that is! Here in the hub of ACC country, the North Carolina Tarheels are off to a FANTASTIC start. The regular season came to an end this past Saturday, with a Heel-stomping finish over the very highly ranked Duke team.
For the Tarheels it was also their Senior Night, and as it goes the seniors make up the starting lineup. So, with only four seniors this year, freshman point guard, Kendall Marshall was joined by Justin Knox (forward), Van Hatchell, D.J. Johnston and Daniel Bolick; all three ~ walk-ons. One very excited and nervous Tarheel fan was heard asking, “I wonder how long Roy will keep them in, with this being Duke and all?” Not only was it Duke (in this area that’s a four-letter word of the worst kind), it was also the deciding game of the season ACC Champions.
No doubt that Coach Williams was extremely proud of his starting seniors, as they exhibited a tremendous amount of finesse, enthusiasm and athletic ability as though they had been starting for the Heels all year. How fitting for their last game in the Dean Smith Center to be a WIN; one in which they were instrumental in showing a Duke starting lineup, just how to play the game!
When their starting time was up and Coach Williams replaced them with his usual starting lineup, their job had been done; they had made their team, their coach, fans and families all extremely proud. The deafening ovation made that perfectly clear. Not only did these young men begin this game like true starters, they were part of finishing it, as well; meaning they have been a true part of this team all along, as they practice with and challenge the starters to make them better and deserving of their place on the top. My father has always said, “you are only as good as your competition”, and after watching that fabulous game from beginning to end ~ there is a clearer picture of ALL that those walk-ons contribute to Carolina basketball.
So, as the season comes to an end, the March Madness begins, and in “One Shining Moment“… the ball is tipped.