There are no North Carolina — or even East Coast — teams to root for in this year's men's NCAA basketball tournament. But Winston-Salem has public artwork that has made a national finals.
It's a southeast showdown between Athens, Georgia and Winston-Salem, the last survivors in a field that once stood at 85 contestants vying to claim the country's favorite municipal water facility. Online votes from the public are being accepted through Sunday.
The local artwork is a colorful mural featuring an indigenous river otter that graces the side of a water tank on the city's southside. Otters are native to the Yadkin River, the main source of water for the region.
The mural was created in 2018 and is visible from Peters Creek Parkway. The opponent in the finals is a water reclamation facility for Athens and Clarke County, Georgia.
The bracket-style competition is sponsored by a professional organization called Engaging Local Government Leaders. The final award is named for Leslie Knope, the fictional comedic character from the TV sitcom Parks and Recreation.