I was fortunate enough to be in the student section for this game, where i succeeded to scream so loud that nearly 24 hours later, my throat is still very sore. Before I delve into game analysis, some non-basketball observations while at the Dean Dome:
- New seats have been installed in the entire lower level for this season. They’re cushioned in the bottom and allow for leaning back comfortably. The downside: when we sing “hark the Sound” at the end of the game, it’s harder to bang the seats in front of us.
- My sister (who’s a junior at UNC) and I both noticed that quite a few freshmen were attending their first UNC sporting event, and did not know the cheers yet. You think the students would have been more synchronized for such a big game, to increase the “fear of God” effect for the opposing Buckeyes.
- I was quite possibly the most vocal fan in my section, screaming every chance I got and 100 decibels plus. I’m pretty sure my sister was at least mildly embarrassed.
- Only one person in my section was as enthusiastic as me: a red-haired girl sitting right behind me. I applaud her enthusiasm, but I was kind of hoping she would not be enthusiastic in such a high-pitched voice. There were several occasions where I was sure my ears were going to bleed.
- If UNC fans want to dispel the belief that they are a wine-and cheese-crowd, they have got to stop leaving before the game ends. I’ve seen this too many times. The red-haired girl and I spent the last minute and a half of the game (after the Ellington 3-point play) yelling at departers, “Don’t leave! Come back here! ALL OF YOU GET BACK IN YOUR SEATS!”
- This leaving early thing really angers me. UNC needs to have Carolina Fever fans acting as “security” to prevent fans from early departures (unless there’s a very good reason). If I ever become Athletic Director this will be the first act on my agenda.
- If you were watching the game on ESPN near the end of the first half and wondering who was yelling “SHOTCLOCK!” at the top of their lungs for two minutes, that was me.
- Around the mid second half, two guys dressed as the Blues Brothers normally do a dance routine while the band plays that song from the movie, and routine ends with a dunk. In this game the Blues Brothers missed the dunk, which I consider a bad omen. That miss is going to bite us in the a—- someday. Not today, not tomorrow, but someday.
- Bizarre cartoon alert: Weebl and Bob are bringing Pastry Back. Nonstop hilarity. I must warn you that they are extreme enthusiasts of pie. Mmmmmmm, pie.
- I’m very excited about the Butch Davis era, who held his first UNC press conference on Monday. My mm is convinced he’ll be successful if for no other reason than the fact that he is a ginger. (I should point out that my mom is also a redhead, who cannot get a tan to save her soul.)
Whew, glad I got that out of my system. Now, on to the game analysis.
- The first half happened exactly as I feared: sloppy play, turnovers, Ohio State draining their 3-pointers off screens and missed assignments, Tyler Hansbrough getting triple teamed, and the Buckeyes getting away with a lot of fouls. Ant yet we were only down 4 at halftime. Words escape me.
- When Ty Lawson is at the free throw line, he can’t hit the broadside of a barn. Sorry, it’s just a fact.
- WAYNE’S WORLD! WAYNE’S WORLD! PARTY TIME! EXCELLENT! WHOOOOOOO! (guitar riff) Wayne Ellington had a huge game, particularly in the second half. He’s our best 3-point shooter; he hit threes from everywhere tonight.
- Speaking of 3-pointers, Ohio State proved that they are legit, even without Greg Oden. The Buckeyes were able to hit threes to no end, and until the final 10 minutes the guards efficiently penetrated the paint very well, especially Ron Lewis, who scored 30 points all over the court. In the end, our depth and home court advantage was too much for them, and the Buckeyes ran out of gas.
- Even though we may the most talented team in the country, the Heels seem to still be heavily reliant on Hansbrough. Whenever he was was on the court we played differently, and Ohio State collapsed on him whenever he touched the ball. And he still led the Heels with 21 points. I am simply amazed.
- Brendan Wright used a baby hook shot a few times in this game, and he made at least three of them. That shot is cool, but I can’t help but wonder if he’s afraid of contact.
This may have been the loudest Dean Dome game I’ve ever attended, and I’ve gone to games since 1996. The Chapel Hill faithful has not been this excited about a team since I moved to this town from Boston eleven years ago. I can’t wait for the conference schedule! Tune in Saturday for UNC vs. Kentucky and the triumphant return of my live diary.