Live Blog of UNC vs. Duke: Enough Said.

(Note: This is the Feb. 7, 2007 matchup between Duke and UNC. If you are looking for the March 4, 2007 matchup, click here.)

I don’t even need to tell you how big UNC vs. Duke is. It’s public vs. private, neighbor vs. neighbor, light vs. dark, good vs. evil, the entire state of North Carolina vs. The entire state of New Jersey plus a small enclave in Durham. This is gonna be huge. There’s only one problem: I live in Chapel Hill. Which isn’t a problem, because it’s blue heaven on earth. It’s just that the game will be on the local CBS affiliate, so I won’t be able to see it on ESPN, which means no Dick Vitale (who is the only person who can love UNC and Duke at the same time and get away with it, by the way). It will still be awesome, though.

Both teams will need to take care of the basket ball, play good defense, and crash the boards, but this will come down to two individual matchups:

  • Ty Lawson vs. Greg Paulus. The importance of the point guard will be magnified in this game. Lawson will try to speed the pace of the game, directly attack Paulus and get him into foul trouble. It will be Paulus’s job to prevent turnovers and slow the pace of the game to a screeching halt.
  • Brandan Wright vs. Brian Zoubek and Lance Thomas. McRoberts will be assigned to Hansbrough, and the rest of the Duke team is pretty small, so someone will need to step up and play against the likes of Wright, Thompson and Stepheson. Those people will be Brian Zoubek and Lance Thomas, neither of which average more than 16 minutes a game.

Let’s get it on!

9:05 pm: The game starts ominously. Dook wins the tip, UNC starts with an offensive foul, and Paulus draws first blood with a three. Brandan Wright scores on the other end off n offensive rebound. 3-2, Dook.

9:08 pm: Gerald Henderson scores for the Dookies, and Paulus follows to take a 7-2 lead.

9:09 pm: Danny Green gets an easy basket, but Jon Scheyer gets a three of his own to make it 10-4, Dook.

9:10 pm: Green gets another basket off a rebound, but Henderson hits another three to make it 13-6, Dook. Henderson is supposed to be Wayne’s Ellington’s friend and peer. So why has he only hit 4 trifectas coming into this game?

9:11 pm: Dook steals the ball and Scheyer finishes. 15-6, Dook. UNC need to attack more. The Dookies are acting, the Heels are reacting. This can’t continue.

9:14 pm: Thompson, Frasor, Stepheson and Ellington are in. They score two quick baskets, the last by Ellington. 15-10, Dook.

9:16 pm: Demarcus Nelson gets an easy basket on the other end to make it 17-10, Duke.

9:17 pm: Lawson tips in a basket to cut the lead to 5, but the Heels defense remains in a malaise and allows two straight baskets to make it 21-12, Dook. The Dookies have converted 75% of their FGs so far.

9:21 pm: This game is really starting to get intense. First Hansbrough fights among 4 Dookies for the ball and gets a cut on his forehead. Then Terry and Zoubek fight for a rebound and almost start a fight.

9:24 pm: I thought that Dook would try to slow the game down. instead they are playing UNC’s uptempo game and winning. It’s like, reverse psychology or something. Ginyard shoots free throws to make it 21-14, Dook.

9:26 pm: TAR! HEELS! TAR! HEELS! TAR! HEELS!…

9:27 pm: UNC’s defense finally wakes up, and Wright gets a huge dunk in transition. 21-16, Dook.

Henderson then gets a three point play against his friend Ellington.Terry hits a three to bring it down to 24-19 at the half’s halfway mark.

9:28 pm: UNC is finally running its transition well, and it shows. Psycho T gets a huge dunk against the mismatched David McClure. Seriously, what is McClure doing guarding Hansbrough?

9:29 pm: 26-21, Dook. Paulus is on fire. Lawson needs to stop him.

9:30 pm: Deon Thompson plays great defense. He just stopped two surefire baskets by the Dookies.

9:32 pm: Just as I praise him, he gets a technical. Ugh. 28-21, Dook.

9:33 pm: How does Scheyer keep getting open? Every time I see him, he’s taking a wide open shot. It’s a good thing his shots aren’t falling.

9:37 pm: Hansbrough gets a nice steal, but can’t convert on the offensive end. Since is Ginyard allowed to shoot the three?

Zoubek has played more in this game has his season average, and it’s not yet halftime.

9:39 pm: Psycho T gets a nice basket inside, and Lawson finally drives inside. 30-25, Dook. NUC is keeping it close, but keeping it close isn’t enough.

9:40 pm: Scheyer is open AGAIN! and he finally hits one. Ellington promptly follows with an airball. Neither big man for the Heels has touched the ball in a while.

9:42 pm: Scheyer gets a layup off a putback as the Heels forget that they’re playing basketball for a split second. 35-25, Dook. WTF?

9:45 pm: Wright finally gets the ball, and knows what to do with it. 35-27, Dook. Still unacceptable. The forwards need to get the ball more. The key to winning this game lies in Hansbrough and Wright. How can we win if they don’t get the ball? It’s not like we’re at home against Florida Atlantic.

9:47 pm: Again Wright gets the ball, and again it pays off. 37-29, Dook.

9:48 pm: Quentin Thomas is in the game for the Heels. Let’s see how he plays Paulus.

9:49 pm: Q immediately attacks the Dookies, and dishes it to Terry who hits a three. 37-32, Dook.

9:50 pm: Wayne Ellington is trying to do WAY too much by himself.

What, you’re pulling Q already? UNC looked really good when he was on the court! Why mess with that?

9:51 pm: Ginyard hits a floater in the paint at the end of the half. At the end of the first half, UNC trails the Dookies, 39-34. UNC was really beginning to play well at the end of the first half. There is still room for improvement, we need to see more of that. It seems that the initial shock of the game has worn off. However, it’s no excuse what has happened so far. They still aren’t crashing the boards well enough, and Scheyer is still getting way too many open looks. UNC needs to shut him down.

10:00 pm: SOCCER UPDATE (if you’re into that stuff): USA0, Mexico 0 (international friendly).

10:08 pm: The second half begins the same way the first half did: with Paulus hitting a two point shot. Wright follows with a dunk on the other end. 41-36, Dook.

10:09 pm: Scheyer is left open AGAIN and hits a three, and Henderson follows with a steal and dunk. Wright stops the bleeding, but it’s 46-38 for the Dookies. What is UNC doing?

10:12 pm: 48-38, Dook. UNC is not getting to the boards. At all. Hansbrough has yet ro record his first rebound.

10:13 pm: 50-40, Dook. Lawson finally takes advantage of a turnover, but Nelson is allowed to the basket again. Wright is playing absolutely no defense. Frasor and Ginyard are in the game, Wright is out after hitting 1 of 2 free throws.

10:15 pm: 50-41, Dook. How is Dook getting every rebound? How? How? HOW?!?!?!?!?!?

10:17 pm: No bizarre ads so far. That in itself is bizarre. So I’ll provide one for you.

10:19 pm: This is getting so bad, Terry just missed a dunk. Strange things, very strange things are afoot at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

10:21 pm: 50-43, Dook. Hansbrough draws McRoberts’ third foul. If the inside players are in foul trouble for Dook, UNC can come back very quickly.

10:23 pm: We need to really step up on defense. If Scheyer and Paulus keep getting open looks, we can’t win.

10:24 pm: Goaltending is called on Henderson, and the score is now 50-43, UNC.

Isn’t is surreal that this is the best college game of the year, and 7 of the 10 guys on the court playing the game are white guys? Count them: Paulus, McRoberts, Zoubek, Scheyer, Frasor, Wes Miller and Hansbrough.

10:29 pm: Uh-oh. Now Hansbrough picks up his third foul. Not good.

10:30 pm: McRoberts just picked up his fourth foul with 12 minutes still to play. If Duke holds on, Zoubek will be worshipped on campus for about a week.

10:32 pm: 50-47, Dook. Hansbrough takes immediate advantage of McRoberts’ absence.

10:34 pm: 52-50, Dook: Hansbrough is triple teamed, but he passes it to a wide open Wes Miller. McClure is hurt for Dook. UNC is now in position to take this game.

10:36 pm: Hansbrough ties the game with a nice jumper. 52-52. With nine minutes left, McRoberts is coming back in.

10:37 pm: 54-52, Dook. Scheyer gets another open shot.

10:38 pm: McDouche make three unbelievable defensive plays without fouling out. Insane.

10:39 pm: Wright ties the game, but Scheyer is left open yet again to make it 57-54, Dook. He has 22 now. It’s like the same white three point shooter at Duke is kept in spirit, it simply occupies the bodies of Mike Dunleavy, Christian Laettner and J.J. Redick, and must occupy a white shooting guard.

10:40 pm: SOCCER UPDATE: GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLL! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLL! De Jimmy Conraaaaaaaaad! Un gran cabezazo de Jimmy Conrad despues del tiro de esquina, el arquero no pudo hacer nada, y los Estados Unidos estan ganando contra Mexico, uno a cerooohhh. Un golazo, Si! (Soccer is so much more exciting in Spanish, I think you agree.)
10:43 pm: Scheyer misses two free throws, and Terry gets an easy bucket on the other end. 58-56, Dook.
10:45 pm: Wright gets another good look, and this time his hookshot ties the game at 58-58.

10:46 pm: 60-60. UNC and Dook exchange blows by Lawson and Henderson.

10:47 pm: Henderson is called for goaltending again, and UNC now leads, 62-60 with five minutes left! WHOOOOOOOO!!

10:48 pm: Brendan Wright gets another basket to give UNC a 64-60 lead. If the Heels manage to extend the lead, Dook may not have the gas to catch up at this point.

10:50 pm: Henderson makes an unbelievable play in the paint to reduce the lead to 64-63, UNC. Nelson is now on the line with the chance to take the lead. I just had to open my trap, didn’t I?

10:54 pm: 64-63, UNC. Nelson misses his free throws.

Dude! There’s a UNC fan in the front row! How did that happen? Hansbrough hits a shot in the paint to make it 66-63, UNC. Terry travels on his next possession Where’s his head at?

10:56 pm: Dook turns the ball over, and Scheyer picks up his fourth foul. Wes Miller hits 1 of 2 free throws to make it 67-63, UNC.

10:57 pm: This is a really, really, really bad time for Tyler Hansbrough to lose his contact lens.

10:58 pm: OOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHH!!! OOOOOOOOOOHHHHHH!!! Lawson drives to the basket, gets the hoop AND the foul! 70-63, UNC! WHOOOOOO!!!!

11:00 pm: 70-66, UNC. AAAHHHH!!! What is Ty Lawson doing? Scheyer gets a basket again!

11:01 pm: 72-68, UNC. Lawson and McRoberts exchange baskets. McRoberts’ shot was after three attempts. There are 37 seconds left. Duke may need to foul. They do foul and Scheyer fouls out. This is huge, because now the Dookies don’t have their biggest perimeter threat. He made a valiant effort scoring 26 points and single-handedly keeping Duke in this game. Hansbrough hits hits free throws, and UNC now leads 74-68.

11:05 pm: How is McRoberts still in this game? How? How did he not foul out by now? Nelson gets the basket to make it 74-70, UNC.

11:07 pm: The dream pretty much ends as Hansbrough rejects Paulus’ shot and gets the ball back. He is fouled and hits his free throws to give UNC a 77-70 lead with 12.8 seconds left.

11:09 pm: 77-73, UNC. Nelson hits a three, but is it too little, too late? You have to give the Dookies credit; they haven’t quit yet.

11:12 pm: The game goes final: UNC WINS, 79-73! WHOOOOOOOOOO!!!! This is an awesome game, another instant classic from this rivalry. Duke gave us all we could ask and more in this game, and who knows? a couple of free throws here and there and this game goes the other way. UNC really had to dig themselves out of a hole, and I believe this is the first time this season that we have successfully recovered from a double-digit deficit to win a game (except maybe the Ohio State game). I think that if Duke was a deeper team, we would have lost this game. We made a great effort to win, but I think at some point Duke just ran out of gas. But that doesn’t make this victory any less awesome. WHOOOOOOOOO!!!! Bring on the party on Franklin Street!

So ends round 1 of the doubleheader. I’ll be at Carmichael Auditorium tomorrow night for round 2.

Oh, and one more thing…

11:30 pm: DON’T TELL US HOW TO CELEBRATE, WRAL CHANNEL 5 RALEIGH!!!

UNC Signing Day Live Blog

As if this week wasn’t big enough in North Carolina (the two UNC-Dook games), today is football signing day, Butch Davis’s first. Believe it or not Bunting was able to bring good recruiting classes. If only he could coach himself out of paper bag. You can go to Tar Heel Blue to watch Signing Day Live, but you have to pay five bucks. My blog is free.

8:26 am: Current List of Major signings: QB Mike Paulus, RB/OLB Da’Norris Searcy, MLB Quan Sturdivant, RB Ryan Houston, and Zack Pianalto (who, ironically, is from Mitch Mustain’s hometown of Springdale, Arkansas). Take that, SEC!

8:30 am: Carolina Signing Day Live just interviewed Offensive Line Coach Sam Pittman. One of the most awkward interviews ever. They asked if he could play guitar. He said he could play Skynyrd. First of all, no you cn’t. Second, we don’t want to hear about your guitar skills (unless they are truly awesome). We want to know how your blocking schemes are going to get the Heels their first 1,000 yard rusher since Mack Brown bolted for Texas.

8:35 am: UNC just signed Devon Ramsey, from Lawrenceville, N.J. Apparently he played three positions in high school: RB, DT and CB. That’s what we need, a running back who isn’t afraid of contact.

8:40 am: We are going to have three QBs vying for position in 2007 (Joe Dailey, Cam Sexton and Mike Paulus). And they are all going to suck.

8:55 am: Coach Davis is being interviewed right now. So far, he just been making the usual talking points, as well as intermittently giving backhanded complements to John Bunting, which is known in my house as “smilef—ing”.

8:59 am: Carolina just signed Tydreke Powell, a DT from Ahoskie, NC, and on of the top 10 DTs in the country. He was a teammate of Aleric Mullins, another highly touted DT who signed with UNC last year.

9:02 am: UNC just signed Cam Holland, an OL from Pittsburgh. Butch Davis just talked about his aggressive style of blocking. He’s said that about 300 other lineman, knowing his line of work.

9:07 am: Whenever I load a new page, the connection with Tar Heel Blue keeps breaking up. I think I’m missing a lot of the juicy bits. And to think I paid five bucks for this. I think I’ve been smilef—ed by Tar Heel Blue.
9:10 am: Good lord. The two commentators for UNC assigned to Signing Day have perhaps the Dorkiest outfits ever. I know the basketball shorts have argyle accents, but that doesn’t mean your sweater!

UNC’s last recruit of the morning was Matt Merletti, from Cleveland, OH. The biggest recruit we’re pursuing, and the #1 ranked DT in the nation, is still on the board-Marvin Austin from DC. If he signs, you’ll see it here second, but you’ll see it here for free first!

9:36 pm: Perhaps the key to landing Marvin Austin will be in landing LB Romale Tucker. He’s a teammate of Austin in DC, and is considering three of the same schools (Illinois, Maryland, and UNC). If Tucker signs with coach Davis, then the big fella might follow suit. I know that is an insane piece of logic, but this is an insane blog. Therefore the argument holds water.

9:55 am: Recruiting all of the players is an accomplishment, but getting them to get their asses off the bench and play well as a team is a challenge in itself, as shown by this team building exercise.

11:00 am: There has been a lull in coverage over the last hour or so, but here is a list of the major recruits who have committed so far:

  • QB Mike Paulus, Syracuse, NY (****)
  • RB Ryan Houston, Matthews, NC (****)
  • RB Zack Pianalto, Springdale, AR (****): SEC got nuthin’ on us!
  • WR Dwight Jones (****)
  • WR Rashad Mason (****)
  • DT Tydreke Powell (****)
  • LB Da’Norris Searcy (****)
  • LB Quan Sturdivant (****)
  • FB Devon Ramsey (***)
  • OG Mike Dykes (***)
  • DE Linwan Euwell (***)
  • LB Albert Craddock (***)

DT Marvin Austin is still on the board, as are major prospects DE Kourtnei Brown, QB Billy Bob Orsagh, and OT Kevin Bryant.

11:24 am: Just looked at the film of RB Ryan Houston. He had over 2,000 rushing yards and 32 touchdowns in his Senior year. He is both very fast and very strong. My big concern is whether or not he will be able to hit points of attack decisively, at least early in his career.

11:42 am: The Heels signed Offensive Tackle Carl Gaskins from Melbourne, Fl. Another recruit we stole from SEC territory.

12:18 pm: The Tar Heels sign WR prospect Greg Little (****) from Hillside in Durham, NC.

greg_little.jpg

12:23 pm: Signing Day Live is showing film of Wide Receiver Dwight Jones. With his size (6-5, 210) and speed, he looks a little like Terrel Owens on the field. Hope he doesn’t remind us of T.O. off the field. Rashad Mason is just as big, and he can really jump. This is a huge asset for a an inaccurate QB (see Dailey, Sexton).

12:40 pm: UPDATE: Charlotte prospect DE Kourtnei Brown has committed to Clemson, and Fort Lauderdale DE Antoine Carter committed to Auburn. BOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

12:43 pm: We haven’t had consistent success since Mack Brown’s last year. Coach Torbush’s teams had good defense but terrible offense. During the early Bunting years (2002-2004) we had a very good offense (led by UNC best QB ever, Darian Durant) and a porous defense. only during 2001 did we put both together enough to play well, and in 2006 we were among the worst on both sides of the ball. Butch Davis is going to have his hands full.

12:47 pm: YES! YES YEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH! WE GOT MARVIN AUSTIN! WE GOT MARVIN AUSTIN! The best defensive lineman in the country is coming to Chapel Hill! WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Cue the band!

12:56 pm: I still can’t believe that we landed the #1 defensive lineman in the country. What’s more amazing is that he turned down the likes of Florida State, LSU, USC, and Tennessee. Sorry, Loser With Socks, but he’s ours. More on Marvin Austin a little later.

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1:05 pm: Adam Lucas is one of Tar Heel Blue columnists, and he is one of the guys covering signing day. He looks extremely uncomfortable in fromt of the camera. He seriously has the body language of someone who wishes that he didn’t have a neck.

1:12 pm: UNC signed 375 pound offensive lineman Kevin Bryant. Adam Lucas said that UNC justified recruiting him because of his dancing ability. What has this world come to when we determine which offensive lineman we recruit based on which one gets served?

The Butch Davis Press conference is at 4:00. The live blog of Signing Day will resume then.

3:55 pm: According to Scout.com, UNC’s recruiting class is ranked #15, 3rd in the ACC and ahead of the likes of Ohio State, Georgia, West Virginia and Oklahoma. How is it possible for our recruiting class to be ahead of Ohio State?!? It must be that Butch Davis will also wear a sweater vest on the sidelines. That has to be it.

Here is the “final” list of recruits committed to UNC.

4:20 pm: Unfortunately, the local networks aren’t showing the press conference anywhere on TV. Don’t worry, you’re not missing much. Most coaches act like politicians in these press conferences.

Needless to say I am very excited about football season. I want to see what our defensinve line will be like, anchored by Marvin Austin, Tydreke Powell and Aleric Mullins. I want to see how good the passing game is going to be with Greg Little, Dwight Jones and Hakeem Nicks, no matter who is throwing the ball. I am REALLY looking forward to football season. Maybe now the Heels football team will stop sucking.

But now there are more important matters, namely the UNC-Dook Men’s and Women’s basketball doubleheader. Look forward to the live blog tonight; on Thursday I will be attending the game, and I don’t have a press pass (yet), so I will provide a review after the game. But man, football season can’t come soon enough.