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UNC Basketball: Working for the Weekend

You want a piece of my heart?

NCAA Basketball: Duke at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone’s watching, to see what you will do...

The weekend always flies by, especially after a win over Duke. It was a beautiful Sunday in North Carolina, and I’m not sure my feet touched the ground until after the sun went down last night. We’re lucky to get to savor the win for an extra day; I know the Tar Heels were back in the gym yesterday, hard at work prepping for tomorrow’s visit from a Clemson team badly in need of a win. It’s that work that paid off in spades on Saturday night in that wonderful, beautiful, thorough disassembly of the team from Durham.

Everyone’s looking at you.

There were questions, after the embarrassing loss to Georgia Tech as a top-three team. In private text messages from my friends in Chapel Hill and shouted into the yawning void on social media, people wondered if this was the start of the slide. Angst that this was the other shoe dropping, the letdown after the sustained high that was a 10-game win streak. Nerves about whether the team would be able to get up for the Duke game, after suddenly looking so gettable in the loss to a bad Georgia Tech team.

Everyone’s wonderin’, will you come out tonight?

Given the all-too-recent memory of Carolina seasons that fell apart down the stretch due to teams that were never quite able to put it together, you’d be forgiven for entertaining those thoughts. Given that you also lived through the train wreck that was the back end of this football season, it’s only natural that you would worry for the worst when the war machine faltered. So, as the lead crept up and stayed there, regardless of any push that Duke made in Saturday night’s game, there may have been some relief that laced the joy that washed through you when the clocks hit zeroes. You wouldn’t be alone in celebrating the fact that the team was able to show up for such a big-time win.

Everyone’s trying to get it right, get it right.

It’s a long season, and the Tar Heels just played their best game thus far, a triumph of game-planning and team basketball. The hours of work put it in across hundreds of practices paid off last weekend, and the team from Chapel Hill has the chance to start up another win streak against Clemson, as the Tigers take a business trip north with vengeance on their minds.

Everybody’s working for the weekend.

There’s a lot of work to be done this season. Carolina still sits at first place in the ACC with just over a month left in the regular season. If this team is going to be truly special, the Tar Heels will have to handle business each and every week from here on out to be one of the last teams standing on the final weekend of them all; that all-important first weekend in April. You want a piece of my heart? This year, it’ll be in Phoenix, Arizona.