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UNC Basketball: Cancelled Plans

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Cancellations are a part of life, but that doesn’t make them any less disappointing.

NCAA Basketball: Harvard at North Carolina Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

It can be a good feeling when plans get cancelled. There’s an irrational feeling of relief that washes over me when plans fall through; a reprieve from something I wasn’t dreading at all until the minute it got canceled. It’s an odd feeling, to be relieved to not have to go do something that I was legitimately looking forward to. Sitting on the couch writing or watching TV feels that much more relaxing when you know you were supposed to be doing something that isn’t sitting on the couch in your sweatpants, binge-watching that show that you’ve just gotten into.

This year, though, I think I’ve about had my fill of cancellations. Even for me, someone whose social battery drains quicker than a four-year-old iPhone, I’m about done with watching my calendar clear out. Maybe it’s because a Heels basketball game is one of the things I look forward to being able to enjoy when my own plans are cancelled, or maybe it’s because there’s always that knowledge that these games where we get to watch a particular Carolina squad play ball are precious and fleeting, thanks to the ever-changing nature of college athletics. Whatever the reason, there was no wave of relief to drown out my disappointment at the postponement of yesterday’s game against Clemson. In a time in which I am still casting about for things to focus on that aren’t the pandemic, the news, or the state of the world at large, the loss of a two-hour period of guaranteed distraction stung more than usual.

I won’t pretend to know the mind of Leaky Black, Andrew Platek, or Garrison Brooks. I don’t know Day’Ron Sharpe personally, nor have I had the fortune to chat with Caleb Love to ask how the team feels about the postponement. I can only speak from my own (well-documented and very limited) experience with competitive sports; the games were the raison d’être, the whole point to the blood, sweat, and tears shed in practice all week. To lose one from the schedule is likely a disappointing development for a squad that has been fortunate enough to not have had to deal with many prior postponements so far this season.

That’s not to say there isn’t relief. A few extra days to prepare for a surprise tilt against Syracuse on Tuesday (assuming, as always this season, that things go right), and a few extra practices to try to build on two straight ACC wins. If you’re the type to go looking for silver linings, there are certainly plenty to be found. If you’re the type to relish an unexpected two-hour period of free time, the way I used to, you weren’t upset at getting part of your Saturday back. For those of us who are sick of cancellations, though, it was just one more addition to a laundry list of lost plans. I look forward to a day in which I can be relieved by cancelled plans again.

For now though, fingers crossed and eyes on Syracuse. Go Heels!