Road Trip: North Carolina
Posted: Wednesday November 8, 2006 11:37AM; Updated: Wednesday November 8, 2006 1:04PM
Welcome to Chapel Thrill -- the place where basketball reigns supreme and anything that isn't Tar Heel blue is condemned. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a place where people of all extremes feel welcome. With the dynastic women's soccer team, the College World Series runner-up, and Roy's Boys, UNC has some of the nation's top sports programs -- and some of the worst (we won't point anyone out.) -- but UNC students get it done in the classroom, too.
We don't farm and our daddies don't buy us BMW's like some of the other schools around here. (Again, we won't name names.) And with nationally-renowned restaurants, great bars and a picturesque campus, Chapel Hill's got the goods.
Best way to start a sports season: The opening of the basketball season starts in style at UNC. Now that Roy Williams is a part of the family, we celebrate Late Night With Roy. Students pack the Dean Smith Center as Stuart Scott hosts the first practice. Some basketball is involved, but the night is mainly about fun and acting stupid, Roy included. Former player David Noel is probably viewed as the favorite when it comes to Late Night. During his senior year, Noel donned a pink wig and introduced the school to "Divine." Wes Miller gave his impersonation of Roy, and Quentin Thomas came out with a cardboard cutout of Marvin Williams as the song "Lonely" played in the background. Good times.
Best place to watch a dynasty at work: Ever been to Fetzer Field to watch the UNC women's soccer team? Well, maybe you should go. How many teams do you know that have won 17 conference tournament and 18 national titles? Right. Like I said, maybe you should go see them.
Best rivalry: Duke-UNC basketball. Enough said.
Best bar: He's Not Here. It looks like a frat house, only a lot nicer. With outdoor seating, good bands and the best Friday Happy Hour, even those who leave UNC always make their way back to He's Not Here. One guy noted for his frequent appearances at the bar is Rashad McCants, a smooth-talker with questionable success.
Best Halloween party: More than 70,000 people from universities and towns throughout the state flock to Franklin Street for a night of fright. Halloween is probably the biggest holiday in Chapel Hill and the annual bash usually turns into an all-night festivity. From Oompa-Loompas and Noah and his Ark to hookers and pimps, Franklin Street brings out the best in everyone. That is, until the majority of the party-goers reach a point of drunken stupor that is nearly double the N.C. legal level of .08.
Best place to procrastinate: The Frank Porter Graham Student Union. Watch the game on the big-screen TV while chowing down on a bagel and coffee. Go bowling downstairs. Shoot, you can even sleep on the nice leather lounges in the main hall. There's no reason why a paper has to be turned in on time when you're in the Union.
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