We're nothing if not up for some righteously impotent indignation. But a funny thing happened on the way to the soapbox. The tag team combo of perspective and reality are a persuasive pair. Wheelhouse Jerry would be proud of me.
The perspective theme has been explored here at some length as it relates to W&M's season in the sun. That doesn't change this simple truth: if we were told in November that the Tribe would be playing the defending champion Tar Heels in the first round of a postseason tournament in March, every single W&M fan would've been ecstatic. We wouldn't have believed it, but we would have been ecstatic. It was telling that my first, second, and third reactions after seeing the W&M/UNC matchup were all some form of glee - that the Tribe got shafted honestly didn't occur to me until I started looking around the interwebs to gauge public reaction.
And as for reality, well, we can rant, rave, and gnash our teeth until they're ground to dust, but that won't change the fact that the big programs and their money rule the NCAA. Thus has it always been, thus shall it always be. It's why we'll see a 96-team tournament sooner rather than later. It's why we don't have a football playoff. And it's why William & Mary will play its second-ever postseason tournament game in Chapel Hill.
Acceptance isn't nearly as fun as unhinged lunacy, but it has a way of focusing one's attention on the matter at hand. Even without the injured Ed Davis, Carolina has talent, tradition, and the home court on its side. But this game means immensely more to William & Mary than it does to a UNC team that's gone through the motions for weeks and will be playing in a gym usually reserved for the women's team. Roy Williams will be certain to remind his charges that W&M's already knocked off a pair of ACC teams this season, so the Wrens won't be sneaking up on the Heels. And Tony Shaver will tell his team that UNC has a tendency to be lazy on defense, soft on the boards, and erratic from the outside.
All things being equal, the Tribe is still climbing a steep slope. But if those things remain equal, I'll take the little guy's heart and attitude over a team playing out the string in a game about which they couldn't care less.
Give 'em hell, Tribe.