My Friday Five: On Woody Durham, Hoops News & 10 Million For Wassabi Productions

1. Woody Durham

The sports world lost a truly unique and incredible person this week: Woody Durham. He spent 40 years as The Voice of the Tar Heels, lending himself to so many memorable calls in UNC history. Woody will be missed. Be sure to read my tribute to Woody here.

2. ACC Tourney Thoughts

The 2018 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament is underway. I will always be salty about the tourney being in Brooklyn, N.Y. and, maybe it’s just me, but the crowds haven’t looked near the size they would be if the tournament was in Greensboro. Not to mention, the city of Greensboro goes into full tourney mode when the ACC Tournament comes to town. I mean, they don’t call it “Tournament Town” for nothing. Luckily, Greensboro will host in 2020 but I personally believe it should stay there.

Onto the tourney itself, Carolina will face Duke in the Semifinal Round for the second straight season. The Blue Devils bested the Tar Heels in this game last season - with Carolina going on to win the championship that really mattered later - but we’ll see what happens this go ‘round.

3. Selection Sunday...Change?

Speaking of the NCAA Tourney, reports have surfaced that Turner Sports and CBS Sports - which own exclusive broadcast rights to the tournament - will make significant changes to the annual Selection Show this Sunday. The first huge change? All 68 participating teams will be announced first, and then the brackets and matchups thereafter. Usually the teams, brackets and regions are announced simultaneously throughout the course of the the show. Another change will be the show being broadcast in front of a live studio audience which will just be...weird.

I think what Turner/CBS are going for, here, is a way for teams that are on edge about getting into the tournament or not will receive that information first. What I believe will transpire is a lackluster two hours of what used to be a thrilling Selection Show. The changes have already been met with fierce opposition on social media and rightfully so. This may very well be the first year that I don’t watch the Selection Show. I’ll catch the Cliffs Notes version on ESPN at 8 p.m.

4. Wassabi Productions Hits 10 Million

This week, Wassabi Productions hit 10 million subscribers! The YouTube channel, run by a high school classmate of mine Alex Burriss (a.k.a. Alex Wassabi), joined pretty elite company after recently celebrating its 12th year on the social platform. I’m so stoked for Alex. He’s not just your run of the mill YouTube artist but an outstanding human as well. He always looks to brighten someone’s day, whether it be his fans and the people who watch his videos, his friends or family. The movement and following Alex and Roi began and, now, Alex continues to grow is remarkable to witness. I’m glad to be a part of it.

5. My First IKEA Experience

I know I’m way (times a million) late to the party, here, but I recently made my first trips to IKEA. The only IKEA store in North Carolina at the moment is in Charlotte and I just never found myself in the area to check it out. That changed a couple weeks ago after I attended an event at Wingate University. I had the time, so I decided to take a trip to the IKEA store. Holy moly! If you haven’t visited IKEA, let me describe it as a housewares store on steroids. It has just about every thing you can possibly imagine to include in your home. Go in, walk around a bit, and the next thing you know, a couple hours have passed by. And, if that doesn’t do anything for you, let the on site restaurant and bistro do the talking. Plus, their cinnamon rolls. I mean, come on.

I’ve been in search the past several months for a new nightstand for my room. My old nightstand consisted of one slender, cube organizer made completely out of particle board that I used during my time living in a dorm at N.C. State. Given it’ll be four years since I graduated college by the end of 2018, it was time for an upgrade. But much of what I saw didn’t look nice or, if it did, cost a way greater amount of money that I just wasn’t willing to dish out. Enter, IKEA. As I looked around in the store, I came across the Hemnes Two-Drawer Chest. It looked like the perfect fit for my room and style. Plus, it was made of solid wood and, at $80, it was a steal compared to prices well into the $100 range for nothing that was solid wood. I should’ve bought it right then and there but I’ve never been an impulse buyer. I went home empty handed and thought I could, perhaps, buy it online. NOPE! The particular finish I wanted was only available in store (of course). So, I journeyed to Charlotte once more and bought that and a new shoe rack that was (also) much sturdier than what I had previously.

All in all, my experience with IKEA has been okay. Assembling the nightstand was a lot more complicated than I had envisioned. Now, don’t get me wrong, I knew about the rap IKEA gets about assembling its products with directions that look like something you’d see in Furniture Assembly Hell. But, after carefully following the instructions - and, ahem, several moments of frustration - I got it all set up. It looks great, too, and is a world of difference from that large piece of particle board I had previously. There was also a sense of accomplishment that came over me when I completed assembly. My grandpa on my dad’s side always loved projects like this. It may sound a bit corny, but I know he was smiling.

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