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March Madness? Congresswoman gives us North Carolina Madness

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(The Center Square) – In a tense election year and Beltway battles left and right, North Carolina Congresswoman Deborah Ross has dropped in a touch of levity.

March Madness, Tobacco Road style.

The two-term Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives, challenged in November by Republican Alan Swain and the Green Party’s Michael Dublin, posted a tournament bracket coinciding with the ballyhooed NCAA basketball tournaments for men and women. She reduced the entries to 16, and every one of them is a favorite from Murphy to Manteo.

Her social media post says, “Of course – #NC02 for the win” in reference to her district in the Triangle.

There’s certainly no telling how these brackets would play out in some kind of digital vote. The opponents in the round of 16, however, could be considered distinct rivals – or at least close by industry or table offering.

Left side of the bracket: Eastern barbecue and western barbecue; Cheerwine and sweet tea; Cook Out and Krispy Kreme; and Christmas trees and sweet potatoes.

Right side of the bracket: Outer Banks and the Blue Ridge Mountains; N.C. State and Carolina; dogwoods and cardinals; and Raleigh and Charlotte.

The pork and college choices can even split a household – for a bit anyway. Cheerwine (1917, Salisbury), Krispy Kreme (1937, Winston-Salem) and Cook Out (1989, Greensboro) have native beginnings. Sweet potatoes are one of three agriculture industries for which the state is No. 1 nationally in production, and it is No. 2 in Christmas trees.

The dogwood, of which there are three species in the state, is the official state flower, and the cardinal is the official state bird.

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