THE GAME: UNC vs Duke
Since the last time these two teams met - less than a month ago - Duke has lost twice.
North Carolina has only lost once... but they scored 43 points in that loss. In the whole game. That was their lowest point total since 1979.
So the talk about these two teams making it to the Final Four has subsided somewhat.
But that means nothing to me. It's still a UNC-Duke game, so I was going to watch.
NOTES ON THE FOOD:
- I drank an ice-cold Cheerwine, that fantastic cherry soda from North Carolina.
- I decided this would be better as a thin-crust pizza, reminiscent of the Domino's pepperoni-and-bacon-bit pizzas I would order when I was 21 (and drunk). I spread barbecue sauce all over the dough.
- I used a four-cheese mix. Nothing fancy. It had been suggested that I add blue cheese as well. I don't mind blue cheese but it's such a strong flavor, I did not want it to overpower everything else going on here.
- I had a one-third pound patty of ground beef leftover from something, so I heated that in a pan and broke it apart with a spoon.
- I love onion rings on a bacon cheeseburger, but didn't think they'd be that great on a pizza. So I grilled some onion slices in a pan until they were soft and sweet.
- And bacon. Beautiful, thick, crispy bacon.
NOTES ON THE GAME:
- It looks like no matter what happens tonight, these two teams will most likely meet in the ACC tournament. I love seeing them play for a third time in a season. (It's only happened once in the last 14 years.)
- I once had a girlfriend whose middle name was Carolina and last name was Duke. Not the girlfriend I mentioned yesterday. A different woman. I've had a lot of ex-girlfriends. Probably because all I do is watch sports and eat unhealthy food. Whatever.
- Justin Jackson's floater is my favorite shot in all of college basketball this year.
- Commercial Note: I've eaten at lots of chain restaurants. But I've never been to a Red Robin. Is it any good?
- Halfway through the first half and UNC is up by 3, but there have been 7 lead changes in the last two minutes.
- Grayson Allen with the 4-point play. Of course. There is no end to how annoying he is.
- As soon as I write that, he elbows a UNC player. I'm sure he'll whine that it was accidental... just like the three times he has "accidentally" tripped an opposing player.
- At halftime, UNC's starters have 15 points; their bench has 33.
- Halfway through the 3rd quarter and I've lost track of how many lead changes there have been.
- The announcer just called Kareem's sky hook "the most unstoppable weapon in the history of basketball." What do you think was the most stoppable? Kwame Brown's hands? Shawn Kemp's work ethic? Oliver Miller on the fast break?
- UNC grabbed a six-point lead with a few minutes to play, and Duke didn't get any closer than three. In no small part because they missed a bunch of free throws.
- UNC wins by 7. It was a very good game, although the last few minutes didn't have nearly as much drama as the final score indicates.
LAGNIAPPE: THE PICKLE CONUNDRUM
I love pickles on burgers. Though I don't usually eat them on bacon cheeseburgers. So what to do in this case? I was leaning towards using them. The butcher - whom I told my idea for this pizza when I was buying the ingredients - said that pickles didn't sound particularly good here.
I was still debating the question in the afternoon when my buddy Phil sent me a text message containing some barbecue recipes. I decided to get his opinion and told him that it would be my final decision.
His response: "Negative... pickles on the side as an optional garnish of sorts."
I liked the concept of pickles on the side, but I had a slightly different idea:
- I mixed together cream cheese spread, sour cream, pickle juice, chopped pickles, and dried dill.
- And used it as a dip for my crust. It wasn't bad... but it wasn't anything special. Oh well. In great attempts, it is glorious even to fail.