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15 Mar 1997: Coach Dean Smith of the North Carolina Tarheels gives instructions to his players during a playoff game against the Colorado Buffaloes at the Lawrence Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The Tarheels won the game 73 - 56 giving
Bo Gordy-Stith (PBoBS) / Flickr/Creative Commons

Former UNC-Chapel Hill men's basketball coach Dean Smith's 83rd birthday was last week, and several major news organizations have marked his life and legacy with extraordinary articles. Smith has dementia now, and that makes both of the articles we'll highlight here so moving.

The Tar Heel bench
J.D. Lyon, Jr.

In case you've been living under a rock, there's an exciting basketball game happening this weekend. Duke and UNC will play again. The last game, on February 20 was really a nail-biter.

basketball
mvongrue via Flickr/Creative Commons

Daniel Vermeer grew up in Iowa with a passion for basketball. When his academic studies took him to Nepal, he discovered an interesting influence of American cable television: local love for the Atlanta Hawks.

"So you can imagine," says Vermeer, "[I'm] in this little hut in Kathmandu, watching TV and an Atlanta Hawks game came on.  With these enormous guys, jumping through the roof, slamming the ball..." 

Atlantic Coast Conference

It's tournament time for Atlantic Coast Conference women's basketball. 

Wake Forest starts things off tonight in Greensboro against Pittsburgh.  Meanwhile, North Carolina, Duke and NC State have either one or two rounds off, thanks to good conference records. 

The Wolfpack is ranked number 14 in the country, and has an automatic bid to the tournament quarterfinals.  That's despite a flurry of injuries in the middle of the conference schedule. 

Head Coach Wes Moore said he wants to take advantage of the time off.

Duke Blue Planet

There's a group of students at Duke  called The Crazies. They are the kids who get all decked out and painted up and sit in the most coveted spot during basketball games at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Crazies are the uber fans. They camp out for 6-8 weeks in order to be in the front row when Duke plays UNC at home.

Charleston Forge table featured on Sochi Olympic set
Charleston Forge

Do the Olympics seem far away? N0t many North Carolinians are competing. (Before the games, we told you about speed skater Heather Richardson, but her games were a bust.) And with no hometown heroes to cheer on, well, humph.

But then, with the swell of the Olympic theme...seemingly from nowhere....we find these three local connections to the world-wide games.

1. Handmade in Boone, NC-Made Table Dresses Up Set

Duke Photography

Last week's winter storm canceled the men's basketball game between fierce rivals North Carolina and Duke. 

Meetings between coaches, athletic directors and the Atlantic Coast Conference resulted in the contest being rescheduled for this Thursday night in Chapel Hill.  That means both teams will be playing four games in eight days. 

The Tar Heels beat Pittsburgh over the weekend while the Blue Devils got past Maryland.  Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told Sirius-XM it's a challenging week.

Duke men's basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski
D. Myles Cullen / defense.gov

The UNC/Duke men's basketball game has been postponed, and rescheduled for February 20th.

Originally, Steve Kirschner, the communications director for UNC Athletics said everyone who needed to be at the game, would be:

"The ACC policy is if the team and officials can safely arrive at the site, then we should try and play the game. And the ACC has three officials that are local that will be able to get here. Duke has said that it will be able to get here. Our kids are on campus and will be able to go as well."

Empty speed skating rink at the Sochi Olympics
Heather Richardson / Twitter

Heather Richardson was born to skate. She found success on rollerblades first, and then moved onto the ice. Before the Sochi Olympic games, she was favored to win three medals in speed skating. But she's come up empty.

Sports Illustrated writes:

The report aims at bringing a better balance between academics and sports at UNC at Chapel Hill.
Tnbailey09 voa Creative Commons

Over the past week, a new iteration of the UNC-Chapel Hill sports/academic scandal has been making headlines.

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