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Final Four Puts Even More Focus On The Carolinas

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The NCAA men's basketball Final Four takes Saturday in Arizona.  There will be a Carolina feel in the desert air, as both North and South Carolina will be playing.  It's the first time the Gamecocks have made the Final Four, while for the Tar Heels it's their 20th, the most of any school in the nation.   Basketball isn't the only thing making national headlines from the Carolinas.  Politics and personalities from both states are too.  Western Carolina University political science professor Chris Cooper co-authored the book “The Resilience of Southern Identity”.  He spoke with BPR's Matt Bush about the state's identities, histories, what makes them different, and how recent events are changing both state's national perceptions.

Matt Bush joined Blue Ridge Public Radio as news director in August 2016. Excited at the opportunity the build up the news service for both stations as well as help launch BPR News, Matt made the jump to Western North Carolina from Washington D.C. For the 8 years prior to coming to Asheville, he worked at the NPR member station in the nation's capital as a reporter and anchor. Matt primarily covered the state of Maryland, including 6 years of covering the statehouse in Annapolis. Prior to that, he worked at WMAL in Washington and Metro Networks in Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in.