|UT Martin's band was this session's unknown quantity,
but they did not disappoint.
I don't think I realized how badly I needed my annual pep band fix until I ran the risk of not having it. For each of the past two years, I had taken to the road for a multi-pep-band (and basketball, sure) trip. Last year, it was points north for my Basketbinge; two years ago, I headed west for the SoCon basketball tournament. Add to those a mix of ACC men's and women's tournament action at home in Greensboro, and it had become an annual tradition, and I would have gone without this year if it were not for NCAA women's basketball tournament action in Chapel Hill.
I usually say - mostly truthfully - that basketball-pep band is a 50/50 proposition for me; that is, I'm there as much for the hoops as for the horns. That's pretty close to accurate when it comes to men's basketball, but on the women's side, I skew more heavily in favor of the pep band. That's out of no slight to the women, I simply don't follow women's basketball as a sport quite as much as I do the men's game, or pep bands. So while I was ultimately treated to some great hoops action, let's call a spade a spade. This one was for the bands.
I arrived in Chapel Hill right around the start of the day's first matchup, 12 seed Hampton vs. 5 Michigan State. I was already excited for the MEAC-Big Ten matchup, and it didn't disappoint.
I've run the twitrospective for previous live events; here it is again, this time via Storify:
Some time after I shifted focus to the event at hand, UNC snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, ultimately advancing to the round of 32, back on their home court on Tuesday.
If I may go off topic for a second: I saw some folks feel some type of way that those of us in Carmichael for the game were not alerted to the lockdown. I was there, and I'm perfectly fine with that fact. I look at it like Men in Black:
Edwards: Why the big secret? People are smart. They can handle it.
Kay: A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow.There were certainly any number of "persons" who knew what was going on. Presumably, students an those officially affiliated with campus had received some form of alert. Others, like myself, saw via social media. The situation was under control; the building was locked down, and any individual person who headed for the exit would have learned. There was no need to tell the "people" as a whole. And not to make light of the situation, but I have since learned that the armed individual was brandishing a knife, which makes is a far difference situation than, say, an active shooter.
Back to the bands: I'm damn glad I made the trip - the possibility of missing out was getting to be too much for me. I won't make the mistake of putting myself in that position again. In fact, I may look to overload next year. In addition to any possible trips, Greensboro hosts the ACC men's and women's tournaments AND a NCAA women's tournament regional. And if I choose to step outside my own city, the women's tournament format makes a good case for action in Durham and Chapel Hill again, and there's early round men's tournament action not far away in Charlotte. Next year, I will get my fix.