Writer's Log: Stardate, Dec. 3, 2008. Location: Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. Event: North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Michigan State Spartans.
The Detroit Lions were heading to immortality (in a bad way). The Pistons were on the verge of snagging arguably one of the best players in the NBA (though his attitude won't show that). The Red Wings were being their usual selves (which makes every other NHL team irk from the inside). And the Tigers were trying to figure out what went wrong in the off-season.
Yes, Detroit was a dismal place at times, but somehow, it wasn't as dismal as when they looked at the scoreboard as they exited Ford Field following a Clash of two college basketball Titans.
Final Score: North Carolina 98, Michigan State 63
The Tar Heels marched into Detroit and decimated Big Ten powerhouse Michigan State in their own backyard.
But times have changed now...and we fast forward to five months after the drubbing.
Here we are in a familiar place (Ford Field) with some familiar teams (UNC & Michigan State) and some familiar faces (Raymar Morgan and Tyler Hansbrough) to settle an old score...with an M. Night Shyamalan style twist.
This time, it's not just about pride. This time, it's not just about bragging rights. This time, it's not just about respect or redemption.
This time, it's about the National Championship.
On Monday, April 6, two days after the Final Four, and one day after the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania, the two final teams standing in the Pool of '65 will battle one more time for college basketball supremacy.
There has not been a game of this magnitude since the infamous NC Game between Eric Montross and the Tar Heels and the Michigan Wolverines and the infamous Fab Five.
But in that game, it was a mental error that led to Dean Smith cutting down the nets and winning a National Championship. Tom Izzo hasn't been in this position since 2000, when his infamous Spartans won the National Championship thanks to the physical play of Morris Peterson and Mateen Cleaves.
But again, we fast forward to present day.