This is a story about a shirt. I'm sure all of us in Cavalier Nation have similar stories as we've accompanied Bennett and the Boys on the road to the national championship.
This is mine.
For the past several years, at least during what StLou Hoo calls the Peak Tony Era, my friends and fellow alumni have been reuniting for the ACC Tournament. The fact that this is the time we get together may be one reason why I so value the ACC tournament, because I am watching with my best friends. This year we were blessed by the presence of Mark V, who most of us hadn't seen in over 20 years. He found this shirt in a thrift store and bought it for $4. I don't know if he ever wore it; it looks like a bowling shirt. During the loss to Florida State, he told me and Mike G that he had this shirt, and we both expressed interest in it, but Mark gave the shirt to Mike. Mike didn't put it on during the FSU game, but he did wear it during the Duke v UNC game, cleansing it, as it were, and giving it the hard reboot.
Most of us promptly forgot about the shirt, except that each evening during our NCAA run, Mike would text a picture of the shirt as he was preparing for each game. Six games. Six pictures. Six wins.
This was cute. But the shirt gained power, and this superstition traction, when Mike made it "a thing" when he texted for the Oklahoma game:
After Purdue, Mike admitted that his wife had washed the shirt, probably because he wore the shirt to work. Several of us promptly jumped all over him, from the safety of a text thread, and presumably he was smart enough not to wash the shirt again.
About this time, Tracey G inexplicably mused about getting her own good-luck talisman:
Thankfully, she did not, and our march to the title continued.
And finally, the night we had all been dreaming of since Joe and Malcolm graced the team: The Final!
The class of 2016, and let's include Mamadi Diakite, has fulfilled the promise. A tip of the hat and a flash of The Shirt to DeAndre Hunter, Ty Jerome, Kyle Guy, Jay Huff and Mamadi Diakite! College basketball's deserving champions!