My Friday Five: On March Madness, Kevin Keatts & Elton John

1. Heels Begin Quest

UNC began its quest for a seventh National Championship today. Yes, seventh. For those who think Carolina has six, the Heels won a championship back in 1924 when the Helms Foundation oversaw the sport. There is a banner hanging in the rafters to commemorate it, thus I include it. If you want to be technical, the Heels are in a quest for its sixth NCAA Title. There. Anywho, UNC is the No. 1 seed in the South – despite several Duke sympathizers believing the Blue Devils should have gotten a one-seed – and played 16-seed Texas Southern in Greenville, S.C, defeating the SWAC Champions 103-64. Up next will be Arkansas on Sunday.

Greenville was not the original location for these particular First and Second Round games but, thanks to HB2 and North Carolina lawmakers’ – on both sides, quite frankly – unwillingness to work for some kind of a repeal, the NCAA moved them from Greensboro to Greenville. This prompted even rival coaches, Roy Williams and Mike Krzyzewski, to speak out against HB2 at pressers before their respective First Round games. To think, I could’ve gone to see my team play in the NCAA Tourney in person like I did last year but, alas, I can’t thanks to an idiotic law and even more idiotic lawmakers. Below is a gallery of my photos from the 2016 NCAA Tourney when Carolina played First and Second Round games at PNC Arena in Raleigh.

2. N.C. State Women Dancing

The Wolfpack Women’s Basketball team is dancing as well this season. The team is the sixth seed in the Lexington, K.Y. Regional and took down the Auburn Tigers 62-48 today to move on to the Second Round. Up next will be the Texas Longhorns on Sunday. Go Pack!

3. Kevin Keatts to Raleigh

That was fast! N.C. State has reached a deal with UNC-Wilmington coach, Kevin Keatts, to become the new head men’s basketball coach. Keatts’ career record at UNC-W is 72-28 after three successful seasons in which his program saw an increase in wins each season, according to ESPN. Before Wilmington, Keatts was head coach at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia from 2003-2011 and an assistant under Rick Pitino at Louisville from 2011-2014. Honestly, this day couldn’t have been better! First, my Heels get the victory and now my alma mater, N.C. State, has its new head coach. Keatts has been the top guy for me since the start of the search. I’m an up-tempo kind of person when it comes to basketball and Keatts’ style is much like that. He seems to be a very good, young coach and I can’t wait to see what he’ll bring to Raleigh!

4. Carved

I’d like to tell you all about this cool company called Carved. Based in Indiana, Carved makes real wood cases for iPhone, iPad, Android devices and more. When I got my iPhone 6s last year, I wanted a Made in the USA phone case. I came across Carved and immediately fell in love with one called Corporal Inlay. Some great aspects about the cases – other than the Made in the USA part – are they’re handcrafted from the finest material and the designs you can choose from are endless. You can even create your own with a custom order. The personal touch the folks at Carved put on each case adds a unique aspect to each product, from names of the craftspeople permanently etched inside the case, to a cool sticker, to even a personal thank you. I recently purchased an iPad as we’re switching from paper to digital in orchestra and got another case called Padauk. No, my words of support are not apart of a promotional deal. However, if you’re ever in need of a new case, make sure to give the awesome peeps at Carved a try!

5. Five Years Ago

I was looking at the “On This Day” section on Facebook and I couldn’t believe that one of the items was a post I wrote about the Elton John concert in Raleigh. Can you believe that was five years ago? I can’t either! Let me tell ya, it’s still one of the best concerts I’ve been to. Probably in a tie for second with Justin Timberlake, right behind Stevie Wonder. It was a night I won’t soon forget and an item I can cross off my bucket list.

P.S. About a year after the concert, I was fortunate enough to have a one-question interview with Sir Elton John himself regarding his album The Diving Board during its release. Check it out here!

Thanks for Reading

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