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Let The (March) Madness Begin!

Source: NCAA, WRAL

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and no, we are not talking about anything December related. It is March Madness time, which means this article is strictly about basketball.

If you are new to North Carolina just know we take our college basketball seriously and violence may occur. As a new resident, you have to pick a side to root for. This is not optional by any means so don’t give us your “I’m from another state and I have a home team.”

We don’t care about what your home team is or what school you went to if it’s not in North Carolina. Pick a team and ride with that team through the good, bad, and in some cases, ugly seasons. I think our state legislature should make a requirement that new residents have to pick a side for a tax break. There are hundreds of great universities to choose from so pick one and feel more at home. 

Now that we have established ground rules let’s get to basketball. The state of North Carolina will be well represented in this year’s NCAA basketball tournament on both the men’s and women’s sides. There are too many teams that qualify (see list below) to do a deep dive because basketball in this state is life and our religion. You can check out the men’s and women’s brackets and start to make your picks because I’m sure you have an office pool and if not, you’re running out of time to start one. Just know the winners of these office pool tournaments are usually those that have no experience or never watch college basketball. 

The best piece of advice we can give you is to pick your winning team from knowledge outside of the actual game of basketball. It’s called March Madness for a reason. For example, in the matchup between eighth-seed Illinois and ninth-seed Arkansas, you might want to pick the state you enjoyed the most on your vacation or which mascot looks the coolest. These are real strategies from previous office pool winners.

If you find yourself watching the games at work online there is a boss button you can click for those unexpected office visits. Trust me on this it will save you from scrambling to look busy during that unexpected visit. If you don’t have an office pool you can join any national pool. Just do a Google search of March Madness bracket challenges and nearly everyone has one for prizes. WRAL in Raleigh has a bracket challenge to win a $500 Visa gift card and VIP tickets and club seating to a Durham Bulls game. 

Congratulations to all North Carolina colleges and universities playing on having a great season. We are proud of you and represent us well!

NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball  

  • Duke University
  • N.C. State University
  • UNC-Asheville 

NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball 

  • Duke University
  • N.C. State University
  • UNC-Chapel Hill
  • East Carolina University
  • Gardner-Webb University

NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball

  • Winston-Salem State University
  • Catawba College
  • UNC Pembroke

NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball

  • Elizabeth City State University
  • Catawba College
  • UNC Pembroke
  • Wingate University 
  • Lenoir-Rhyne University

NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball

  • North Carolina Wesleyan University

NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball

  • Greensboro College


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