Well, really it was only regulation and two overtime periods, but one of the FSN announcers referred to it as a "fortnight of basketball." I figure this either means that he doesn't know what the word "fortnight" means, or someone's been living in a time warp.
I always hate the UNC-Clemson game in Chapel Hill because of that gosh-darn (now) 53-game winning streak. It's more stressful than the Duke games. And for the first 37 minutes or so of last night's game, it looked like that streak was going to end. Let me tell you what saved the Heels. It wasn't the shooting, or the rebounding, or any semblance of defense. Nope, it was my friends' 3-year-old son.
Disclaimer: I know that at some point on this blog I've mentioned that I'm quite superstitious. If you don't go for superstitions, you might want to stop reading now.
So we spend 37 minutes of the game losing, for various reasons that I'm sure you find on other blogs. And then, the magic happens. With 3:13 or so left in the game, my friends' 3-year-old soon walks upstairs from the basement, where he had been playing, into the living room.
And Carolina starts making a comeback. Those of us sitting in the living room, including his mother, understood that this child absolutely could not go back downstairs. Doing so would surely ruin the comeback bid.
But of course, the kid didn't want to stay upstairs, and he's not old enough to grasp the (probably foolish) notion of sports superstitions, "mojo," and the like. Trying to hold onto him while he squirmed to go back downstairs to play with Thomas the Train was not going to work. But he had to stay upstairs, and the adults all understood this.
So his mother bribed him with candy at 8:00 at night. And upstairs he stayed. And Carolina went to overtime.
Soon we had a ridiculously hyper three-year-old boy running around in circles on the oversized ottoman in the middle of the room, lips blue from bubble gum and gumdrops. And Carolina went to the second overtime.
Then it got tricky again, because he done eating the candy and the trains were still downstairs. So his mom tried to bribe him with paints. It didn't seem like the paint bribe was going to work at first, but when she took out the oversized watercolor book, his eyes lit up and he decided to stay. He even tried to paint within the lines.
And Carolina won the game.
So no, it had nothing, nothing, to do with Tyler Hansbrough's 39 points, or QT's better-than-usual performance, or Wayne Ellington's hot hand.
Nope, it was all the kid.