Is everybody OK?
I know, I know.
1. It was exciting, though. During that last minute, when UNC was down by 3 to Villanova, until Marcus Paige … well, let’s let “Sports Illustrated” take this one:
What Paige then did is beyond quick description. He pulled up for a three and pumped once and then again in the air, splaying his legs as he launched a shot that somehow fell true to the game. During the ensuing Villanova timeout, the NRG Stadium stands rained orange seat cushions thrown in celebration. At the courtside broadcast desk, TBS analysts Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley shot up out of their seats and paced in disbelief.
And then, after a timeout, with 4.7 seconds left:
Just under five seconds remained to create the unforgettable. The stadium rose in anticipation. Arcidiacono drove up the court and dumped a pass to a nearby Jenkins, who launched a three that if you have not seen now you will be seeing soon and again for as long as they are showing this sport’s highlights. The horn sounded. It fell through the net. The stadium shook first with the crowd’s roar, then with the circle of fireworks shot from underneath its massive and overhanging scoreboard. In their first act as national champions, the Wildcats piled onto Jenkins, while the Tar Heels walked solemnly off the court. Each went into history, now bound together forever by a canonical classic.
A classic, sure, but a devastating blow for Chapel Hill, as The News & Observer recounts:
UNC alumna Jennifer Trahey walked out of Four Corners Grille with tears in her eyes.
She said she was at the school for the 2005 championship and said no one deserved to win more than Johnson and Paige because of all they’ve been through.
“I’m devastated for the seniors,” she said. “They represent everything I love about North Carolina.”
Besides shock and tears, there was anger — at the refs.
From USA Today:
College basketball officials have placed an extra emphasis on calling hand-check fouls this season, and North Carolina likely didn’t love that new rule during Monday’s national title game. The internet hated it — that’s for sure.
The Tar Heels were called for eight straight personal fouls in the first half. On two separate occasions, UNC fouls were separated by just 12 seconds.
Now, back to that other thing people are furious about.
2. Authors and illustrators of kids’ books say no to HB 2. Two hundred sixty nine of them, in fact, who signed a petition calling for its repeal:
From The Charlotte Observer:
The authors join more than 100 major companies in opposing the law, which replaces local ordinances with a statewide nondiscrimination law that doesn’t include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories
The well-known names on the letter include “The Fault in Our Stars” author John Green, “Divergent” author Veronica Roth, “Percy Jackson” author Rick Riordan, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” author Jeff Kinney, and Daniel Handler, who writes under the pen name Lemony Snicket. Rainbow Rowell, Sarah Dessen and Scott Westerfeld also signed.
While the authors say they might not attend conferences and festivals, the letter promises that they won’t avoid North Carolina entirely.
As for the N.C. GOP that created this mess, they’re busy proving there’s more than enough hate among party members to spare — for each other:
3. But the chairman says he wants everybody to get along. That’s right, N.C. Republican Party chair Hasan Harnett, the first African American to hold that job, is now calling for party unity after he was censured for “overstepping his authority.”
Good look, there, N.C. GOP.
Harnett, the party’s first black chairman, who used tea party support last year to win the position over more experienced establishment candidates, has accused party officials of racism and conspiracy against him.He didn’t walk back those allegations during an interview with WRAL News, but he tried to move past them.
“The relationships are very dynamic, and everyone has their perspective as to what is right and what is wrong. But the key for the NCGOP at this point in time is to focus in on doing the right things,” he said. “These things may still exist, but what I can assure you is that my main focus at this time is to ensure the Republican Party is focusing on its mission.”
And that mission, of course, is to ensure that down-ticket GOP candidates get elected with the name Trump at the top of the ballot.
4. Trump says she’s old. And weaaaak. Yep, that’s how Donald J. Drumpf plans to denigrate Hillary Clinton, if the presidential square-off is between the two of them.
As the Washington Post reports, the Clinton camp is ready:
As he did with other candidates, “lyin’ ” Ted Cruz, “low energy” Jeb Bush and “little” Marco Rubio, Trump has slapped labels on Clinton that he hopes will stick: weak and incompetent.
Clinton’s allies believe that Trump is intentionally zeroing in on a character trait that they see as her key strength — her work ethic. They think the Republican front-runner is trying to neutralize that strength and turn it into a weakness, with insinuations about Clinton’s health, fatigue level and even her appearance. To stop Trump, the campaign and Clinton’s network of supporters have begun planning a swift and aggressive response, they say.
If this line of attack seems unwise for a candidate whose ratings among women are already in the shitter, don’t worry. The Donald has a secret weapon to reach out to that demographic, and her name is Meliania.
From The New York Times:
Wearing a short baby-blue dress, Mrs. Trump joined her husband on stage at the Milwaukee Theater on Monday night for his final rally in Wisconsin — a subdued event with a crowd that was less than capacity — before the state’s primary on Tuesday.
“No matter who you are, a man or a woman, he treats everyone equal,” said Mrs. Trump, who spoke for just over a minute and read from notes, praising her husband as “a great communicator,” “a great negotiator” and “a great leader.”
The “Saturday Night Live” sketches pretty much write themselves, don’t they?