ACC Title Game: Win or Lose

By Jeff Lippman - March 04, 2007

If N.C. State wins--if N.C. State loses today--doesn't matter. They're winners.

The front page of the Wolfpack media guide has this quote, "It's amazing how much can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit." -- Blanton Collier, successor to Bear Bryant at Kentucky and Paul Brown for the Cleveland Browns.

Just read that quote. Think about it. Chew on it for a while. A truer thing has never been said.

The New England Patriots, the New York Yankees, of the days before A-Rod, when Jeter was a kid and Bernie Williams, Tino Martinez and Paul O'Neill were some of the better players on the team, these are examples of some of the greatest teams that never cared about who scored, as long the team won in the end.

And as two N.C. State players enter the court for a little shootaround, the fans who've made it to the stadium this early all stood up and cheered. They've earned that cheer.

I don't know if this is any indication of the respect that North Carolina is giving State, but they were out, the whole team, shooting about 20 minutes before anyone from N.C. State took the floor.

The truth is, N.C. State and coach Kay Yow are winners, no matter what happens today. They play as a team. They live for each other, they love each other. I'm not saying North Carolina, or any other team for that matter, doesn't do the same, but right now in Raleigh there is a special feeling and that isn't going to go away until well after the final buzzer sounds, regardless of final score.

As the fans start to fill the arena, it's apparent, although Greensboro is equi-distant from both Raleigh and Chapel Hill, this will be a predominantly Wolfpack friendly crowd, they've earned that.

Right behind me sits two fans, dressed in bright red, wearing pink ribbons, a single button that reads, "Duke."

They are supporters of the Blue Devils, but they are here today for coach Yow and her team.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 11:48 AM on March 04, 2007

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