If you’re wondering about the title, the part after the colon has nothing to do with tonight’s game. I just though you should know that before you make any travel plans. I have my sources.
Anyway, when these two teams last met at the RBC Center on Feb. 3, NC State managed to pull off the upset 83-79. Now, we could talk about how UNC may have overlooked their opponent, how soft the Tar Heel defense was, how well prepared the Wolfpack were for their opponent, how they managed to squeeze their starters for all they were worth, what a boost the return of point guard Engin Atsur was, how well they passed the ball, how they dictated the pace of the game by bringing to a screeching halt, and how the Wolfpack shot 76% in the second half. We could dissect every angle of the game, but you and I both know there was only one reason they won that game:
That’s it. It was that friggin’ red blazer that our good pimpalicious friend Sidney Lowe wore on the sidelines. They won because of coach Lowe’s gaudy outfit! Good lord, I wish I knew how to use Photoshop so I can give him a red fedora and “cheerleader” by his side. That would complete the image. If he does that, the Wolfpack will be unstoppable. However, I don’t think he’ll go that far today, which is why I think that the Tar Heels will be prepared enough not to allow lightning strike twice. It will still be a nail-biter; the Pack will be able to hold on until the bitter end. But at some point, the Heels are going to dictate the pace of the game; if an when that’s happens, UNC will win. I just hope the game does not rest on Brandan Wright free throws. Then all bets are off.
(By the way: if you found this blog in the WordPress dashboard, the preceding photograph is the reason you found me. I posted this photo after the first game. Yesterday a forum on InsideCarolina.com was looking for a picture of Lowe in his pimpadelic garb. Some dude in Virginia linked to my article.)
9:05 pm: 2-0, UNC. The Heels are trying to dictate the pace early. Brandan Wright starts off with an easy layup in transition. Hansbrough then gets the steal on the other end, but he turns the ball over himself.
9:07 pm: 2-2. Gavin Grant gets behind the defense for an easy dunk.
I see Coach Lowe is pimped out once again tonight.
9:08 pm: 5-2, UNC. Danny Green hits the first 3-pointer of the game. Ironically, NCSU has had three open attempts from beyond the arc and missed them all.
9:09 pm: 5-5. Just as I type that, Brandon Costner gets three the hard way.
9:10 pm: 7-5, UNC. Hansbrough gets his first basket of the game. That’s only the second time he’s touched the ball in this game.
9:13 pm: TAR! HEELS! TAR! HEELS!
9:14 pm: NC State is doing a good job of collapsing on the ball defensively. That has prevented several potential baskets for UNC so far.
9:15 pm: 9-6, UNC. WAYNE’S WORLD! WAYNE’S WORLD! PARTY TIME! EXCELLENT! WHOOOOOO!!! (guitar riff)
I just saw Ty Lawson slow down on his way to the halfcourt. Maybe it means nothing. Maybe it means everything.
9:18 pm: 9-8, UNC. Bobby Frasor is in at point for the Heels. Thompson, Miller and Ginyard are also in the game.
9:19 pm: 12-8, UNC. Brandan Wright makes a relly nice shot inside and drwas the foul. Perhaps even more impressive is that his free throw was nothing but net.
9:20 pm: 16-11, UNC. Engin Atsur hits the first three for the Wolfpack. Ginyard then gets 4 points in one possession. First he goes to the free throw line, makes the first, and misses the second. UNC rebounds, and Ginyard hits a quick three.
9:23 pm: 16-14, UNC. I would say that luck is on UNC’s side, but then State hits another open three pointer, and then Ginyard commits an offensive foul. That was a bizarre series of events. This calls for a really bizarre commercial. You gotta love Japan.
9:25 pm: 18-16, UNC. Costner ties the game for NC State, but the Hansbrough makes a hook shot from the baseline.
9:26 pm: 21-18, NCSU. The Wolfpack are really starting to hit their shots, and have taken the lead. Hmmm. The basketball gods must not like Japanese TV.
9:28 pm: 25-20, NCSU. At the beginning of the game, NC State couldn’t make a shot. Now, they can’t miss. The red blazer is working its voodoo. Roy should have known better than to not wear some gaudy Carolina Blue blazer.
9:30 pm: 28-24, NCSU. Lawson makes a nice layup inside, but he picks up his second foul. This means that Quentin Thomas enters the game. Believe it or not, he may be the team’s best passer.
9:35 pm: 28-26, NCSU. Thomas enters the game and the pace immediately picks up. The transition goes form Hansbrough rebound to Thomas pass to Ellington layup in 5 seconds.
9:38 pm: 29-28, NCSU. Q! QIUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!! I think that’s the seventh shot he’s hit this season.
9:39 pm: 30-29, UNC. Hansbrough gives the Heels the lead on free throws. UNC is on a 8-1 run.
9:42 pm: 32-31, UNC. Psycho T is getting his touches, and it shows. But Atsur hits another three to make it 34-32, NCSU.
9:43 pm: 36-34, UNC. OOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! That did not just happen! NC State was rejected, UNC won a scrum for the ball, and Q threw an alley-oop to Wright. Q made it look too easy.
9:44 pm: Wait a minute…Q plays absolutely phenomenal at point for 4 minutes, and then Roy puts in Bobby Frasor? That makes no sense. But I love when Engin Atsur is shouting “BULL—-!” on the court. You may not have heard it, but I could read his lips.
9:48 pm: 37-36, UNC. McCauley finally gets on the board for the Wolfpack, but Horner picks up his third foul. the frontcourt is in real foul trouble.
9:49 pm: Oh no. BRANDAN WRIGHT IS SHOOTING FREE THROWS!!! MY EYYYEEEESSSSS!!! IT BUUUUUUURRRNNNSSS!!!
9:50 pm: 39-36, UNC. Wright hits 2 of 4 free throws. Still, it was pretty ugly.
9:52 pm: 40-39, NCSU. The Wolfpack draw two quick fouls, and suddenly they take the lead at the line.
9:53 pm: 41-40, UNC. Brandan Wright gets a nice inside basket at the end of the half. NC State cant get a shot off, which means that UNC leads 41-40 at halftime. Believe it or not. the Heels did not play too badly so far in this game. NC State seemed to control the pace for the first 12 minutes, and UNC seemed to regain some semblance of control in the final 8 minutes, especially when Quentin Thomas was at point. I definitely think that he is a better matchup against point than the slower, more conservative Bobby Frasor. That’s what UNC needs to do to win this game in the second half. They must absolutely be the aggressors in the second half, and tire out the thin Wolfpack.
10:12 pm: Apparently Sidney Lowe fell ill at some point during halftime. What this means is that his red blazer can no longer do its voodoo, which means it’s only a matter of time before the Heels pull away.
10:14 pm: 43-40, UNC. Actually, all bets are off again. They coach filling in for Lowe, Monty Towe, was the point guard of the 1974 Championship team.
10:15 pm: 43-42, UNC. Costner hits the first FG of the second half, but McCauley picks up his 3rd foul.
10:16 pm: 45-45. Hansbrough is fed the ball again, but Costner hits an NBA three. He is an unbelievable athlete.
10:18 pm: 49-45, UNC. Well, the momentum from the three pointer lasted about 10 seconds. First Ellington drives in for a layup the gives UNC the lead, then the Heels force a steal leading to a two handed dunk by Terry. Which is good, because I haven’t heard from him all night.
10:22 pm: 51-45, UNC. NC State turns the ball over again, and Bobby Frasor gets an easy layup.
10:23 pm: 55-47, UNC. Gavin Grant stops the bleeding with a dunk, but Deon Thompson proceeds to get two straight baskets inside. UNC has outscored NC State 14-7 in the second half. More importantly, the Heels are dictating the pace of the game.
10:26 pm: A travel?!? BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
10:27 pm: 57-50, UNC. How does Courtney Fells get that open?!? Fortunately, Wright and the UNC frontcourt are dominating the offensive paint.
10:28 pm: 57-52, UNC. RUN TO THE HILLS!!! BRENDAN WRIGHT IS SHOOTING FREE THROWS!!!
10:29 pm: 60-52, UNC. Sidney Lowe is in the hospital, but he’s okay. Now to the important stuff: Hansbrough just dunked! WHOOOOOOOOO!!!
10:32 pm: 62-54, UNC. What was UNC doing not boxing out? They gave up a basket because of that! Fortunately, Wright makes another basket off a Hansbrough miss.
10:34 pm: 65-54, UNC. Yes! Lawson hits a three, and UNC has its first double digit lead of the game.
Dear Hansbrough: wear prescription goggles. This contact lens stuff is getting ridiculous.
10:36 pm: 68-54, UNC. Danny Green hits another three for the Heels. More importantly, it looks like the Wolfpack are out of gas.
10:37 pm: 68-56, UNC. Gavin Grant gets a breakaway dunk. I just had to open my trap, didn’t I?
10:39 pm: Bizarre ad: Young man, you may wanna wean off that Photoshop.
10:42 pm: 70-56, UNC. Wait…did that just happen? Did Brandan Wright hit both of his free throws? ITS A MIRACLE!!! The answer to my prayers!
10:44 pm: 72-58, UNC. WAYNE’S W– ooh…YEAH! WRIGHT’S WORLD! WRIGHT’S WORLD! PARTY TIME! EXCELLENT! WHOOOO!!! (guitar riff)
10:46 pm: 74-61, UNC. Brandan Wright is truly having a career day. Not only does he have a caree high 24 points, he has dominated the paint on both sides of the ball unlike I’ve ever seen him before.
10:50 pm: 78-61, UNC. Hansbrough gets a nice basket inside. He has 18 tonight. The frontcourt has dominated this game. But why hasn’t Q seen more time on the court? He played very well when he was on the court (better than Lawson, to be honest), but he only played 4 minutes. What gives?
10:53 pm: 80-61, UNC. The Heels pretty much have this one in the books. This is a game closer to what I expected in our original matchup: That the Wolfpack was good enough to hang around in the first half, but UNC’s depth would allow them to pull away in the second half as NC State ran out of gas. To be honest, the game was over the moment their pimpadelic coach left the building. It’s hard to overcome that.
10:56 pm: 83-62, UNC. WHOOOO!!! WES! WES! WES! Miller hits a three.
10:57 pm: And that’s how the games ends: UNC wins 83-64! WHOOOOOO!!! Cue the Band! With this win UNC remains solidly in first place in the ACC at 10-3. Regardless of what I said about coach Lowe, I really hope he’s OK.
11:00 pm: Oh. Good Lord. The NC Powerball drawing just killed that atmosphere. Way to go WRAL.