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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Down Home

Anyone want to get an old dawg a new flag?
It's the end of a spring college sports season, so naturally I'm focused on... baseball?

While my spring sports attention is usually focused on lacrosse, I have a few dogs in the baseball postseason this year, not the least of which are my own Dawgs. From the moment UMBC won the America East Conference and with it an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament, I became a pretty fast study on the college baseball postseason. Of the regional sites, I hoped - and knew I had a fighting chance - for one of two sites within an hour's drive: The Wake Forest-hosted Winston-Salem regional, and the UNC-hosted Chapel Hill regional. They made the most geographic sense for traveling fans and, selfishly, me. Turns out we're headed to Wake Forest, a half hour from my home and a campus I know well.

Living in North Carolina has certainly been good to me in terms of postseason play for both alma maters. Since moving here in 2005, I've gotten to see USF play twice in the Meineke Car Care (now Belk) bowl; UMBC men's basketball in our only NCAA basketball tournament appearance in Raleigh; UMBC men's lacrosse in the NCAA tournament in Chapel Hill; and both men's soccer programs at Wake Forest, the most recent of which was a victory that would ultimately bring UMBC back to the state for the Final Four in Cary. A combination of generally strong schools for the merit-based hosting sites, and attractive venues and location for the bidded sites (provided we don't continue to screw that up) means there's a good chance North Carolina will host, and proximity to the mid-Atlantic and southeast stands to bring either alma mater here.

I'm no stranger to Wake Forest either. In addition to the previous tournament trips, they've been a frequent football destination - for and against, and of course they now host DCI's NightBEAT. I'll just be adding one more of their athletics facilities to my visits.

So I'll be there, with my outdated logo flag and likely a Maryland flag courtesy of Amazon Prime. It just so happens College Park will be at this regional - can't let the flagship claim sole ownership over the flag. And if we go two and a 'cue, at least I know the barbecue's good here.
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