The NCAA Tournament opens up business today, without our beloved Tar Heels which means in a little over three weeks, UNC's reign as national champion will end with a whimper instead of a bang. Among the frustrations of frustrations this season, this might be chief among them. Instead of UNC being in the tournament and fighting gallantly to defend their title they have been relegated to play out their season in the NIT which has been fun but not the same. It is a little like the king who instead of rallying with his loyalists to fight off a coup is instead lying in bed slowly dying while some whiny, arrogant usurper(read: Duke) runs around trying to assume the throne and is given aid by a bunch of pansy members of the royal court(read: NCAA Selection Committee.) Hopefully someone, anyone will make sure that does not happen. The problem is the choices among the #1 seeds outside of Duke are not great. Having Kansas, Syracuse or Kentucky assume the throne is only better than Duke because those aren't rivals nor close by. Still, none of those options really make the good Tar Heel fan happy.
The silver lining? It is the NCAA Tournament and despite the copious amounts of chalk being tossed about out there, the parity(and weakness) of this bracket has never been more stark. There has been far too much in the way of inexplicable results this season to think we are going to see a repeat of 2008 when four very good #1 seeds showed up in San Antonio. I would be shocked if we did not see massive upsets across the board making everyone's office pool look like Gettysburg circa July 4th, 1863. In other words it could get messy out there. Speaking of which, if you have not filled out a bracket yet, you still have time to hit the THF Tournament Pick 'Em.
So as a final goodbye to the reign of the 2009 Tar Heels I offer this parade of You Tube videos after the jump.