Jason Capel chooses blood over blue

March, 29, 2009
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Seeing Jason Capel wearing a crimson Oklahoma shirt behind the Sooners' bench has to be a strange sight for North Carolina fans inside FedExForum.

But that's where Capel, the former UNC starter, is sitting for today's South Regional final between No. 1 seed UNC and No. 2 seed Oklahoma. Capel will be cheering for his older brother, Sooners coach Jeff Capel.

Jeff Capel played at Duke from 1993 to '97. Jason played at UNC from 1998 to 2002, when he was one of only 10 players to start all four years for the Tar Heels. He was UNC's leading scorer as a senior.

But Jeff Capel said he expected nothing less from his younger brother.

"As far as my brother, he's going to have on a red shirt tomorrow," Jeff Capel said Saturday. "It will be a red OU shirt, and he'll be cheering for us, which he should. I know a lot of Carolina people may not like that, but he was my brother before he was a Tar Heel. And he'll always be my little brother. He'll be cheering hard for us tomorrow."

Jason Capel appears to be sitting next to his mother, Jerry. His father, Jeff Capel II, is an assistant coach on Larry Brown's coaching staff with the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats and isn't believed to be in attendance here.

Jason Capel has nervously been chewing gum for about 20 minutes. He didn't stand clap when the OU band played the school's fight song, but he did cheer for the Sooners as they left the court for their locker room after warm-ups.

The Sooners need all the fans they can get. A quick glance of the stands shows UNC fans outnumber their OU counterparts by at least 50 to 1. It really looks like a UNC home game back at the Dean Dome.


You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?