Just as Adidas has unveiled its “Made in March” uniforms for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, dedicated blood donor and CBC supporter Fran Duell has unveiled her own “Made in March” UD Afghan to celebrate her beloved University of Dayton Flyers and their journey into March Madness.

The Flyer-designed blanket is one of many afghans Fran traditionally creates for CBC to use as a prize for donor raffles. Anyone who registers to donate at the downtown Dayton CBC Donor Center during the NCAA tournament can enter the drawing.

UD Arena hosted the “First Four” round of the tournament March 15-16, the first full round of games begins today, and the Flyers will tip-off play in what they hope to be a long tournament run when they play Syracuse on Friday.

The UD Afghan Fran has created for the 2016 tournament features “something old,” and “something new.” The “old” is her traditional use of the original UD colors, and the “new” is her recent and popular addition of a sparkling, silver-threaded yard. It began when CBC “commissioned” Fran to make an “Anniversary Afghan” for CBC’s “50 Years or Saving Lives” celebration in 2014. She added metallic gold thread to give the golden anniversary blanket a special glitter. She later added silver thread to her traditional red, white and blue “Patriot Day Afghan” for a donor drawing in September, and a star was born.

“I did one and ever since everybody wants it,” she said. “They call it ‘sparkle.’ I think it’s eye catching. It gets people’s attention.” Fran is a class of ’66 UD graduate, and she remains loyal to the original red and light blue team colors instead of the darker blue used now. “I stick with the original colors,” she said. “I only make the traditional one. I didn’t like Ted Kissell’s colors. When he became vice president and athletic director, he changed the cobalt blue to royal blue.”

Fran is happy to support CBC by helping thank donors with her afghan raffles. She fills the fall schedule with her September Patriot Day blanket, her pink October Breast Cancer Awareness Month blanket, and her November scarlet and grey OSU Buckeyes blanket. But the UD Afghan is the crown jewel of March Madness. She proudly delivered it to CBC when she made her milestone 60th lifetime blood donation. “Maybe a UD fan will win!” she said.

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