Wake Forest University, my alma mater, will win the NCAA Men's basketball championship this year.
They'll win four straight games this weekend to capture the ACC tournament, clinching an automatic bid.
As a sixteen seed, they will be the first team to beat a number one seed in the 75 year history of the tournament.
That one seed will be Duke, which is projected to make the Final Four, a team the experts say has the talent to win everything. Beating Duke will make Wake the national darlings because every college basketball fan, except the Dukies, will be rooting for Wake to oust them and get them out of our lives, rid them from our March Madness excursion. At breakfast the next morning people in Kansas, Nevada, Maine and Alabama will be talking about some school called Wake Forest upsetting Duke. The collective nation will be so grateful to us.
Wake will be the first sixteen seed to make it to the Final Four. During that weekend in Atlanta, I will gather with 500 or Wake alumni from my era and we will rally like it's the year 2099. To get fired up, my closest friends will meet at some downtown Hotlanta bar on Friday night. Though not a drinker, my friends are. I'll watch them hammer down vodka Red Bulls and Guinness dark lagers. One of my friends will bring along 30-40 Cuban cigars. We'll all smoke one at the same time and talk about our Demon Deacons and how they pulled off the most improbable and miraculous March Madness run in history.
I'll say something like: "Hey fellas, can you believe when I wrote that blog a few weeks ago about Wake making it to the Final Four that it actually came true? Was that the greatest and most impressive sports prediction ever, even more colossal than Joe Willie Namath guaranteeing his Jets would upset the favored Jets in Super Bowl III?
Puffing on their stogies, they would ponder my question in silence for a good ten seconds.
Then one, probably Mac, would say: "Chuck, I have to give it to you. You made the greatest prediction in the history of sports. When NC State made its magical run in 1983, none of the prognosticators said that would happen. When Butler made it to the final game against Duke a few years ago, no one saw that coming. But you-you said Wake would make it to this Final Four when you had no grounds nor data that would even remotely support such a preposterous notion. You put yourself out on a frail tree limb and opened yourself up to massive criticism as a blogging basketball buffoon. For risking so much with so little chance of being right, and for picking such a down and out team, a team that loses so often, that almost never wins in the clutch, you are to be heralded as the ultimate basketball guru."
Puffing on my cigar, I would ponder Jim's assessment of me and then say: "You know what's really important, fellas? Not so much that we're smoking cigars together, nor this deep Deacs run, but that this place makes pulled pork sandwiches that swim in barbecue sauce. We need to order six or seven platters full of those tonight so we can grub like we never have together before."
"Good call, Chuck," Jim would say.
The meal would be ordered, and the food would be eaten, and the alcohol would be ingested, and we would talk about the chances of Wake actually winning the Final Four game and then snaring everything on Monday night in the title game before the entire American citizenry. The next morning, we would all wake up in the same grimy hotel, some with more intense headaches than others.
"McDonalds Drive-Thru, fellas," I would say as I ripped off the blankets of all the guys crashed in that one hotel. "Hi C Orange drink is the ultimate panacea for cotton-mouth and cigar breath."
Having grubbed at McDonalds, we would then realize we had seven hours before the Deacs game began at 6:00 pm against Gonzaga, another number one seed. To kill time, we would go to Pete's hotel room and crank up on his iPhone gaggles of tunes we used to listen to back in our undergraduate Wake days in the 1980s.
In no particular order, we would listen to "Tenderness" by General Public; "It's Over" by Boz Scaggs; "Backstreets" and "Thunder Road" by Bruce; "Is She Really Going Out with Him?" by Joe Jackson; "Superfreak" by Rick James. No question we would partake of a few gems by the Cars off the monster Candy O album.
"I think the Deacs are going to win tonight," I would say.
"No chance, the run is over," Will would say. He's always been a little cynical about the Deacs basketball program.
For lunch we would go to Wendy's. Each of us would order double Baconators and baked potatoes with sour cream and chives.
Full of food, we would take three hour naps at the hotel, checking our emails in bed. Then we would wake up and go to the game. The Deacs would beat the Zags by 12. After the game we would hit a nearby bar where a Wake band called the Fez would rock the house until 3 am. The Fez are a group of fellas from my era: Mike, Dave, John and MQ. More than 500 Wake alums would attend including tons of beautiful Wake coed ladies from our yesteryears. We would all break out in sweats while dancing, but none of us would be hung up about it.
It would be the greatest night of our lives. Deacs in the NCAA Finals, the Fez cranking great tunes, an alumni party for the ages, the time of our collective lives wrapped in a Deacons' gold and black bow.
On Monday night as Coach K watched on his living room TV, the Deacs would run into cross-state rivals, University of North Carolina. CJ Harris would connect on 11 three pointers en route to a 37 point blowout.
The Deacs will have shocked the world. My friends and I will have rocked the world.
We will have proved it all night.