Our View: A different kind of March Madness

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Rocky Mount Telegram

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A cer­tain South­ern irony played out be­fore a na­tional tele­vi­sion au­di­ence Sun­day night as the Univer­sity of South Carolina up­set leg­endary Duke Univer­sity in the NCAA men’s bas­ket­ball tour­na­ment.

Bas­ket­ball? South of Fayet­teville? Who knew?

That’s sup­posed to be foot­ball coun­try, isn't it?

Ah, but that’s not the irony.

Two years ago, it would have been al­most im­pos­si­ble to play a game like that in Greenville, S.C.

That’s be­cause the NCAA had put the ka­bosh on play­ing most of its Divi­sion I play­offs in al­most any sport in South Carolina be­cause of the Con­fed­er­ate flag fly­ing over the grounds of the state Capi­tol.

Then-Gov. Nikki Ha­ley and the S.C. Leg­is­la­ture later brought down the flag – and the ha­tred it sym­bol­izes for many, many peo­ple – af­ter the hor­rific shoot­ing in a Charleston church by a young id­iot who once draped him­self in the flag for a YouTube video.

The NCAA noted South Carolina’s change of heart and acted ac­cord­ingly.

Hence the regional games this past weekend in Greenville.

Of course, North Carolina today has its own set of is­sues with the NCAA over our state’s trans­gen­der bath­room law.

The NCAA al­ready has banned sev­eral play­off events here and likely will con­tinue to do so for as long as North Carolina leaves this misguided law in place.

That might be fine with some folks here. Others of us have a real prob­lem with it.

But ei­ther way, it’s probably wel­come news to South Carolina – and other states that stand to gain from the ath­letic con­tests, en­ter­tain­ment events and busi­ness re­lo­ca­tions that North Carolina will con­tinue to lose.

How’s that for March Mad­ness?

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