For 12 months 10, I’ve to do one thing totally different. One thing new. One thing particular. One thing, nicely, a bit silly. 

There are few issues I really like greater than a very good highway journey, the extra random and/or grandiose the higher. Sophomore 12 months of faculty, my pals and I spent Labor Day weekend visiting a city that began with each letter of the alphabet, in alphabetical order. We known as it The Alphabet Tour. Began with Aldrich, Mo., (we met the mayor!) and resulted in Zinc, Ark. We made T-shirts and had somebody from every city give us an autograph. We even made the native newspaper. The subsequent 12 months, we did The Ascension Tour. We began with a city three letters lengthy (Ava, Mo.) and resulted in a spot 19 letters lengthy (Singleton Settlement, Miss.), greater than 520 miles from campus. 

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Senior 12 months, we visited each single White Fort restaurant within the state of Missouri — I consider there have been 27 on the time — and our one rule was that we needed to eat not less than one slider at every cease. On the remaining one, in Farmington, we had a contest to see who may eat probably the most. I gained, with 9 sliders. After which I shortly misplaced, too. However I digress.

Anyway, every of the previous 9 years I’ve embarked upon not less than one faculty hoops highway journey for Sporting Information. That is 12 months 10, and that is my most formidable schedule ever.

I’m going to hit up 5 video games in someday. 

Yep. 5 video games, in 5 totally different arenas. I gained’t be capable to see 5 total video games, after all. In actual fact, I gained’t be capable to see any full video games. However the purpose this 12 months is amount: 10 totally different groups for the 10th 12 months of the annual Fagan’s Faculty Hoops Street Journey. Plus, I begin with Zion Williamson doing his gravity-defying factor in pregame warmups.

Right here’s the schedule …

Midday: Georgia Tech at Duke (first half)
2 p.m.: Clemson at N.C. State (first half)
four p.m.: North Carolina A&T at North Carolina Central (first half)
5 p.m.: Mercer at UNCG (second half)
7 p.m.: UNC Asheville at Excessive Level (second half)

North Carolina may be the one state within the nation the place one thing like that is even doable. Should reap the benefits of it, proper? As a result of I do know you’re curious, listed here are the Google Maps drive instances between gyms:

— 32 minutes from Cameron Indoor to PNC Area
— 22 minutes from PNC to McDougald-McLendon Area
— 58 minutes from McDougald-McLendon to Greensboro Coliseum
— 21 minutes from the Coliseum to the Millis Middle

Yep, going to be shut all day. Fortunately, there’s no rain within the forecast. Right here’s hoping the site visitors isn’t an enormous challenge. 

And since it’s 12 months 10 of my faculty hoops highway journey and also you’ve learn this far, perhaps you’ll indulge me a bit. Right here’s a rundown of the primary 9 years …

2010: Began at Cameron Indoor Stadium for Maryland-Duke. Nice instances, together with coming again after halftime to discover a Cameron Loopy had “unintentionally” destroyed my chair. Fortunately the particular person subsequent to me didn’t come out, so I had a seat. Then, the N.C. State-UNC rivalry on the Dean Dome — that’s at all times a enjoyable expertise — and Georgia Tech-Wake Forest for the nightcap. Again when each Tech and Wake had been NCAA Match good, thoughts you. 

2011: For 12 months 2, I switched Carolinas, to the southern state. This journey began at Clemson, the place the Tigers hosted UNC. As a substitute of a spot on press row, I used to be given a ticket within the stands. That was really extra enjoyable than a media seat, being in the midst of the group. I needed to go away at halftime to make the drive to Columbia — got here again to the car parking zone to seek out I’d left the door of my rental automobile huge rattling open — the place South Carolina was internet hosting Georgia (my first style of Baseline Jesus). The finisher was my first smaller-school addition, Coastal Carolina at Winthrop. 

MORE: Notre Dame’s historic upset of UCLA nonetheless resonates after 45 years

2012: The highway journey portion of the story appears to have disappeared from the interwebs, however it was a two-game day. The primary one was Saint Louis at Charlotte — becoming, as a result of I had moved from St. Louis to Charlotte just a few years earlier — and the second was Florida at South Carolina. Right here’s the story from the primary recreation; right here’s the one from the second.

2013: Friday night time ice storm threatened my journey, however I’ve finished dumber issues than driving as much as the Triangle in unhealthy climate. The primary one was Maryland at Duke once more. This time, the Crazies chanted “ACC! ACC! ACC!” your complete recreation (Maryland would go on to hitch the Large Ten in 2014). Then, a primary look at Durham’s North Carolina Central, and the topper was the UNC-N.C. State rivalry, this time at State.

2014: This was my first four-game day, and it was additionally the primary time a former president (George H.W. Bush) was wheeled previous me in an area. From Boston Faculty at North Carolina, to N.C. State at Duke, to Davidson at UNC Greensboro and the capper, UMass at Elon, in Elon’s fantastic outdated Alumni Health club. This 12 months, I added breakfast, too. The important thing to any highway journey is an efficient breakfast, and Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe on Franklin Avenue in Chapel Hill is, nicely, superior.

2015: Added one other twist this 12 months: firm! Troy Machir, SN’s social media whiz and faculty hoops lover, and images guru Paul Nisely joined me for the day. We hit up 4 extra video games: Georgia Tech at UNC (after Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe once more), Clemson at Duke, Virginia Tech at N.C. State after which we rushed east to catch the final 10 minutes of the second half of Presbyterian’s recreation at Excessive Level. 

2016: The highway journey was so good, I did it twice. Half I featured a Waffle Home begin and three video games in North Carolina: Wake Forest at N.C. State, Virginia at Duke and Charleston at Elon. Half II, the subsequent weekend, occurred in South Carolina: Florida at South Carolina (it went to additional time!), then a cease within the Lake Murray tailwaters to attempt to catch a trout (I did!) after which Furman at Wofford (an exciting Senior Evening win for the Terriers!). Good instances. 

2017: This 12 months included solely two video games, however 5 occasions. The day began with Clemson soccer’s nationwide championship parade at 9 a.m., after which the ceremony within the soccer stadium at 10:30. After Virginia and Clemson basketball’s midday recreation completed, it was again to the Saluda River to do some trout fishing — I may need a gentle fishing obsession — after which I completed with Ole Miss at South Carolina hoops. 

2018: Extra new additions this 12 months, too! For the primary time, I dipped under the Division I ranks and added a recreation at Wake Tech Neighborhood Faculty, simply exterior Raleigh. Liked the expertise, and can do it once more. Additionally determined to get into city early to look at the Krispy Kreme Problem, a race the place contestants run 2.5 miles, eat a dozen donuts after which run one other 2.5 miles. Yep. I watched as an alternative of partaking. And I did not eat the “brains” on the menu at Pam’s Farmhouse, both. An individual’s bought to have limits. The three “common” video games had been Notre Dame at N.C. State, Delaware State at N.C. Central and Pitt at UNC. 

Yeah. I’ve loved the hell out of each one in all these excursions, and Saturday goes to be a good time, too. If you wish to observe alongside, I’ll be posting footage and observations on my Twitter feed, and I’ll write a stay weblog, too, when (if?) I discover free moments. 

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