"Oh man, Duke won?""Yep, one of their players hit a last-second shot to win. Kind of like when Indiana beat Kentucky earlier this year.""Oh . . . If Duke played Indiana, who do you think would win?"
And that was that. Understandably, Tobin wasn't interested in watching any highlights from the game, but he otherwise took UNC's loss in stride. As excited as he gets about certain games, he rarely cries about them. Two exceptions that come to mind are UNC's Elite 8 loss to Kentucky in the 2011 NCAA tournament and Kentucky's only loss this season on the aforementioned last-second shot by Indiana. Both times, he just got a little tearful and with the latter, he seemed to be genuinely confused by what happened. We relish his passion for sports, but we are grateful he seems not to be distressed by it.
Fortunately, last night's UNC-Duke game ended up totally different from the first. Since the game started at 7pm and it was a Saturday night, we promised Tobin he could stay up for the entire game if he wanted. We paused the game on the DVR long enough to put Evan to bed, and then the boys went ahead and started the game while I put Lauren to sleep. She took a while to wind down, so when I emerged it was well into the first half and UNC was up by about 15 points. Father and son were pleased.
Matt told me later that Tobin was so pumped up during the first few minutes of the game when UNC played so well. Our fairly reserved, understated firstborn is prone to uncontrollable giggling when he gets excited about a game. And he would enthusiastically note things like, "Man, I never expected UNC to be up 22-5!" UNC was pretty much in control the whole way, but Duke did make it a tad interesting at the beginning of the second half. By that time, Tobin was getting sleepy. He had his head in my lap and would drowsily and adorably keep track of UNC's shrinking lead: "Oh no, they're only up by 11." And then when they increased the margin: "Whew, I'm glad they're up 18 again. I hope they can hold on." He went to bed a happy boy as the Tar Heels finished off the Blue Devils 88-70. As Matt tucked him in, he whispered, "And Dad, you know what? Tomorrow, we can watch it again on SportsCenter." And of course, we did.
Today while we watched Kentucky finish a perfect SEC regular season (30-1 overall!), Tobin created and played with his own Duplo basketball court.
Indeed we will be watching, playing and discussing college basketball virtually nonstop for the remainder of the month. Just one week until Selection Sunday! Go Cats! And, when appropriate, Go Heels!