There is nothing quite like the love and pride North Carolina has for basketball. After the recent NCAA tournament, the excitement for basketball has erupted. This weekend’s Big Four Tournament was just one example of this excitement and love for basketball.
Every year, intramural teams from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke, Wake Forest and NC State come together for the Big Four Tournament in which both male and female teams compete to win the Big Four Championship. This year, NC State hosted the competition in Carmichael Gym.
Unfortunately, both intramural teams from Wake Forest and the women’s team from Chapel Hill were unable to attend the competition. Despite the loss of teams, the competition was still heated and fun for participants.
Brian Neale, a graduate student at Duke, explained that he joined a group of other grad students in intramural basketball just as “a way to make some friends,” but now he coaches the Duke intramural team. “The guys listen, they make my job easy, and it’s a lot of fun for everyone,” Neale explained. This is the first time their intramural team has competed in the Big Four tournament, Neale and other members of his team were excited to come to NC State’s campus for their first time for the event. “This is a beautiful campus, and this was a wonderful way to spend my Sunday,” Neale added.
Geoff Parrish, another member of Duke’s intramural team, has only played for a year but described how fun it has been to play on the same team with other members of the Duke business grad school. Duke beat NC State with a 6 point lead and won the Big Four Championship.
Since both women’s teams from Wake Forest and Chapel Hill were unable to attend, the women’s competition was immediately down to NC State and Duke. Bernice McGriff has played for NC State’s intramural basketball team for two years and even works as a referee for NC State. This year, she played in the Big Four tournament and explained that in the previous years the intramural team won the championship, however, this Sunday, Duke took the win. Despite the loss, McGriff did say she had a lot of fun and how intramural basketball has always been a good “time filler” for her and her teammates.
The Big Four tournament has been a great opportunity for students from Duke, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest and NC State to come together and share a common interest for basketball. Even though fewer teams were able to attend, the tournament was still heated with intense competition.