The past month for the us down here at the undergraduate chapter was one for the books, that is to say the least. At this point last year, I was a senior in high school finally convinced on my college decision, and I never imagined I would find myself rushing Franklin Street twice in a single month. From spring breaking together, to throwing the ultimate courtyard parties, to watching the boys bring home the natty over in Phoenix, being a part of this environment so early almost makes me mournful because now I have to question have I reached my collegiate peak.
Overall we had two separate groups go on spring break together over the break. A group of guys went to Cancun, Mexico and another road tripped down to Miami, Florida. As one of the guys that traveled down to Miami, I can speak first hand for our group by saying we had the time of our lives. After arriving at chapter the following Monday and hearing stories from the Cancun trip, they also lived up to the hype many waves away.
Little Frat Court also experienced much usage over the past month. For the Duke game on March 4, all three fraternities in Little Frat Court got together for a day party and a watch party later in the courtyard. Benches were moved to be angled at a large projection Zeta Psi had in front of their house. All of the hard work to set up went on to pay off as we beat Duke 90-83 evoking the first rush on Franklin of the year. I was a freshman and it was finally happening. After a heartbreaking lost to Duke earlier in the season, our redemption had begun by defeating Duke at home on senior night. I was nowhere near a senior, but I knew it meant a lot to the older guys, and honestly was just looking for any reason to scratch rushing Franklin off my UNC bucket list. (Yes, this is actually a thing.)
On March 31, DJ Vanic, a popular Canadian DJ, came to Little Frat Court to perform a EDM concert for everyone. Our in house DJ, Michael Jabar (ΑΠ), went on to open for DJ Vanic. Michael called it “The best experience I have ever had in my life as a DJ.” Not only was Michael extremely excited, but he received a tremendous amount of support from the brotherhood as a whole. My pledge class especially just sat back and watched with pride as our pledge brother lived his dream before our very eyes. It was truly one of those moments that you can only wish to relive. Vanic performed third and went on to set the stage for a legendary weekend that no one in attendance would ever forget.
The weekend that would follow DJ Vanic would by far be the most stressed filled, high blood pressure inducing, euphoric weekend of my entire life. Saturday night we took on Oregon and won by one point. We set up the viewing for this game identical to the Duke viewing, which created a memorable environment. This game literally went down to the final second as Kennedy Meeks grabbed an offensive rebound off of the fourth consecutive missed game clinching free throw with less than 3 seconds remaining. His rebound ended the stress when he passed it out to Theo and time expired. The Tar Heels’ season would live to see another day. "One more game 😤" I remember tweeting, one more game and we would be crowned national champions for the fourth consecutive decade.
Then came Monday…….
Monday our fierce Tar Heels took on Gonzaga. Gonzaga was the program finally ready to prove itself to the basketball world as one of the top programs in the nation. Gonzaga had the alums, with hall of famers like John Stockton in the stands watching. Gonzaga had the record, with a intimidating 37-1 record. Gonzaga even had the geographic location advantage only traveling 1,342 miles compared to our 2,147. But what Gonzaga didn’t realize was that to be one of the best schools in the nation, they had to beat us, the best school in the nation. Nothing Gonzaga had to offer could stop us on our road to redemption. All the pain and suffering from the dreaded, infamous Kris Jenkins shot would finally be avenged, and there was nothing Nigel Williams-Gross, Zach Collins, or Przemek Karnowski could do about it.
Our fairytale victory over Gonzaga was so beautiful even Duke students found themselves complementing it. Below lies an excerpt from Shaker Samman, a writer for the Duke Chronicle, whenever Duke compliments us, we have to take it, it doesn’t come very often.
“As I sprinted alongside thousands of Tar Heels, I was conflicted. I hate North Carolina. I do. With all my heart. But seeing them feel what I felt—watching them run and scream and burn and climb, I was happy. Because there's something beautifully human about redemption. In falling just short, and watching the world crumble around you before coming back even stronger.
Twelve months after having their hearts ripped out by Villanova, they experienced the purest form of ecstasy. Their demons exorcised. Their dreams reached.
And as the mob continued to grow, and the chants crescendoed, for the first time in 12 months, Chapel Hill had no more demons to fight.