UNC Men vs. Maryland Live Blog: Who is Mike Jones?

This game is about to start just as the UNC-Duke Women’s game is getting interesting. Doing them both simultaneously, even if for half an hour, will be hard. It looks like Maryland’s tourney hopes are safe, as they will most likely finish .500 or better in the ACC. But They still need a signature win, and UNC would certainly fit the bill if they can pull it off.

5:35 pm: Turtles are cold-blooded animals, and thus will not survive in the snow of Maryland tonight.

5:40 pm: 2-0, UNC. Hansbrough opens the scoring for UNC. There is no stopping him when he’s in position.

5:41 pm: Rayshawn Terry always gets himself injured in a game. This time, he hits his fingers against the backboard. Nothing you can do about it, but it’s still like, his 10th mini-injury of the season.

5:46 pm: 10-3, UNC. Wow. A lot can happen in five minutes. This could get ugly.

5:47 pm: The Comcast Center’s most interesting feature is the “the wall”. The seats behind the opponent’s basket are all on one plane in a 35 degree incline, creating the illusion of a wall of fans looking down upon the opposing players. I understand that it can be pretty intimidating. It will be interesting to see what kind of role it plays in the second half.

6:01 pm: 24-11, UNC. UNC is absolutely dominating this game. Frasor just hit a three. Don’t ask me how, I’ve been watching the other game.

6:11 pm: 30-21, UNC. Now thatthe women’s game is over, I can finally focus my attention to the dudes.

6:13 pm: 34-29, UNC. This game is happening at such a fast pace, I can barely keep up. UNC is playing really bad defense right now, and Maryland keeps getting easy shots inside.

6:15 pm: 34-32, UNC. Maryland brings it to within two thanks to three the hard way by D.J. Strawberry off an unbelievable pass by Mike Jones! Who? Mike Jones! Who? Mike Jones! Who? Mike Jones!

6:17 pm: 37-34, UNC. Just as the Terps have all the momentum, Wes Miller comes in and sinks the three.

6:18 pm: 39-36, UNC. Lawson hits an off-balance jumper, but Ibekwe gets an easy basket inside on the next possession.

6:22 pm: 41-36, UNC. Danny Green makes an easy layup off a Brandan Wright rejection on the other end.

6:24 pm: 44-38, UNC. How does Maryland not know that Wes Miller is going to shoot that every time?

The announcer was very observant about the crowd. They have been enigmatic, in and out of it today. FSN may have the best commentators. Not a lot of fluff, just good commentators. The kind of coverage that I crave, but also makes me sleepy.

6:28 pm: The first half ends, with UNC holding on to a 44-41 lead. Honestly, I didn’t see enough to give a full critique of the first half (watching the end of the UNC-Dook women’s game), but it looked like UNC was struggling because they seemed to shift in and out of focus. They need to play better defense and clean the glass to keep their lead in the second half. Maryland is one of the few teams whom I see can run with the Heels.

6:38 pm: Video evidence of perhaps the only situation where Hooters and Dick do not go well together.

6:45 pm: The ball is stolen by Mike Jones! Who? Mike Jones! Who? Mike Jones! and UNC is very lucky that he missed the layup.

6:46 pm: 48-42, UNC. Hansbrough gets two consecutive easy baskets inside. The Maryland crowd is shockingly quiet at the beginning of the half.

6:47 pm: 48-46, UNC. D.J. Strawberry is an insane athlete. He just made the drive to the basket between Terry and Hansbrough look easy. What was Wright doing on that play?

6:49 pm: 52-48, UNC. Just as Maryland makes a great play to tie the game, Wright and Hansbrough get two easy shots on two straight possessions.

6:50 pm: 52-52. Wow. This game is going at an extremely fast pace. Maryland gets two quick baskets to tie the game in 35 seconds, the second one off of a big block by Ibekwe.

6:53 pm: Oh no! BRANDAN WRIGHT IS SHOOTING FREE THROWS! AAHHHHHHHH!!!! MY EYYYYYEEESSSSSS!!! Fortunately, he can dunk it. 54-52, UNC.

6:55 pm: 56-52, UNC. Green gets an easy layup off a rebound and pass by Marcus Ginyard.

I simply can’t get over how well Bambale Osby is playing today. Or his hair.

6:56 pm: 60-53, UNC. Hansbrough shows his range with a 15 foot jumpshot. Frasor follows it with a nice midrange shot of his own. The Tar Heels seem to have the momentum right now.

7:01 pm: 62-57, UNC. Maryland gets to within 5 thanks to another basket by Mike Jones! Who? Mike Jones! Who? Mike Jones! Hansbrough has continued to play like the beast that he is on the offensive end in the second half.

7:05 pm: 64-57, UNC. If there were a Bojangles in the DC area, I would start chanting for biscuits about now.

7:06 pm: 69-59, UNC. Osby makes another shot to keep it close, but Lawson’s three extends the Tar heel lead to double digits.

I like Osby. He and his afro can become the next Ben Wallace.

7:07 pm: 73-61, UNC. Psycho T robs Osby blind and dunks it on the other end. He now has 19 points in the game, and UNC could be on pace to hit the century mark.

7:10 pm: 75-65, UNC. Vasquez brings the Terps deficit to within 10, but Ibekwe has four fouls.

The Heels seem to have no problem scaling “the wall” tonight.

7:14 pm: The Terps student section has broken out the hypnotic spirals for free throw shooting, and they seem to have fazed Alex Stepheson.

7:16 pm: 77-67, UNC. Frasor, Gunyard, and Wes Miller are in the game. Frasor misses an easy layup, and Mike Jones! Who? Mike Jones! Who? Mike Jones! hits a three to bring the lead down to 77-70.

7:17 pm: 77-73, UNC. Strawberry is very sour for me right now. He just hit a three to cut the deficit to four after an Ellington miss. No Stairway? Denied!

7:18 pm: 79-75, UNC. Tyler Hansbrough is an unstoppable force. There is simply no other way to say it.

Mike Jones will make sure you know who he is by the time this game is over. Back then, they didn’t want me; now I’m hot, they all own me.

7:22 pm: 80-77, UNC. Nothing scares the crap out of me more than a sweaty, pissed off Gary Williams. The Terps are now within one possession in this game with less than four minutes left.

7:26 pm: 81-80, UMD, 2:45 left. Mike Jones! Who? Mike Jones! Who? Mike Jones! I am really scared now.

7:28 pm: 82-81, UNC, 1:55 left. UNC gets a very lucky bounce, as their shot clangs in.

7:29 pm: 85-84, UMD, 1:26 left. Maryland simply cannot be stopped right now.

7:32 pm: 89-84, UMD, :55 left. UNC is taking bad shots, and Maryland is suddenly outhustling Hansbrough for the ball inside.

7:33 pm: 89-87, UMD, :48 left. WAYNE’S WORLD! WAYNE’S WORLD! PARTY TIME! EXCELLENT! WHOOOOOOO! (riff)

7:34 pm: 89-87, UMD, :18 left. UNC manages to force a turnover, jarring the ball out of a driving guard without fouling. UNC will now have the ball with a chance to tie.

7:36 pm: 89-87, UMD, :04 left. UNC’s hopes lie in the free throw shooting of Brandan Wright. And naturally he misses his first shot. If karma is any indication, Wright will make his next free throw while trying to miss. AHHHHHHHHH!!! MY EYYYYYYYEEESSSSSS!!!

7:38 pm: Wright misses like he should but Hansbrough is unable to control the rebound, and Maryland wins 89-87. I am just completely speechless. How is UNC outscored 24-10 in the final minutes of the game? How do the Tar heels allow that to happen. I give huge credit to Maryland, who played a great game, but I was very surprised to see that in the closing minutes, Maryland played more physical in the paint that Wright and Hansbrough did, which I thought was impossible. UNC also only made four free throws in the second half of the game, something that simply cannot happen if they want to keep a lead down the stretch. Maybe “the wall” and the hypnotic spiral did make a difference. But Maryland is going to be one of the most dangerous teams in the NCAA tournament. You have to be very good to recover from a double digit second half deficit to beat a team like North Carolina. This UNC team is much better than they’re playing. We cannot underachieve like this in March if we want to go to Atlanta.

Update: You know I couldn’t leave you without a Mike Jones video.

UNC vs. Duke Women Live Blog: Goestenkorsopolis Is a City of Lies

Today is a double dip for the Tar Heels. First the Women play their regular season finale against the Dookies in Cameron Indoor at 4:00. Then the UNC men play the Maryland Terrapins in College Park at 5:30. I have to somehow find a way to cover them both. Meanwhile, the Extrapolater is covering Wisconsin-Ohio State at Digital Headbutt. In the first matchup, Alison Bales and Elrana Larkins canceled each other out, and the game was decided in the backcourt. Harding and Waner had great games for Duke, while Ivory Latta may have had the worst game of her career, shooting 3-20, including 0-11 from three. She and Larkins will need to be effective if the Heels want to win this game. It’s a big day in college basketball, so enjoy.

4:04 pm: 3-0, Dook. Harding draws first blood with a three from the top of the key. UNC needs to box out better, that opportunity happened because of Dook’s lowpost presence.

4:05 pm: 5-0, Dook. Alison Bales shows her range with a nice midrange jumper.

4:06 pm: 5-2, Dook. UNC finally gets on the board as Larkins hits a basket off an offensive rebound. We need her to dominate the offensive glass for us to win.

4:07 pm: 5-4, Dook. Latta hits a nice jumpshot to reduce the lead to two.

This Cameron Indoor crowd is almost as intimidating as during a men’s game. I have to give them a lot of credit for that.

4:08 pm: 7-4, Dook. Dook scores easily again to bring the lead back up to three. What’s worse is that Larkins makes a nice move and misses an easy layup on the following possession. We simply cannot afford to miss those kinds of opportunities against such a defensively sound opponent.

4:13 pm: 9-7, Dook. Harding steals the ball and drives for an easy layup, but Camille Little hits a three to reduce the deficit to two. She’s usually in the post, so she was left wide open.

4:14 pm: 12-7, Dook. Alison Bales hits a three. Her versatility is unbelievable. I can;t believe i’m complementing a Dookie.

Big trouble for the Tar Heels: Larkins seems to have injured her ankle. UNC cannot afford to have her out long.

4:16 pm: 14-7, Dook. UNC commits their fourth turnover already, and it leads to a nice floater by Harding. How is allowed to be that open?

4:17 pm: 14-9, Dook. The good news: UNC hits another ourside shot. The bad news: She forced a turnover on the next possession, drove into the lane, and missed her layup.

4:19 pm: 16-9, Dook. Wow. Alison Bales can block our shots without even jumping.

Jessica Breland steals the ball and gets an easy basket inside to make it 16-11, Dook.

4:20 pm: Interesting story: my siser and I were at Carmichael Auditorium to pay our last respects to Latta and Camille Little at their home finale against Wake. We blew them out, but what was fun for me was that we ended up sitting next to Jessica Breland’s entire family. Wake is at the bottom of the ACC barrel, so Breland, a bench player, got significant playing time and ended up scoring a season high 14 points. They were completely ecstatic. I had a lot of fun watching their reaction. Every time she had the ball her mom said “Shoot it!”, and eventually I got into it and started rooting for Jessica specifically.

4:24 pm: 16-15, Dook. UNC definitely has the momentum now. Larkins is back in the game after the TV timeout, UNC score two straight baskets (the latest by Larkins), and the Heels are really starting to force turnovers defensively.

4:26 pm: 18-16, UNC. WHOOOOOO!!! Latta hits a three to give the Heels their first lead of the game. But she got hit hard by a Bales screen and may miss time.

4:27 pm: 20-18, Dook. The Devils take the lead thanks to UNC not bothering to box out. If Duke gets three straight chances, they’re going to score.

4:28 pm: 20-20. Good news: Latta didn’t miss any minutes. Better news: Larkins just tied the game.

4:34 pm: 22-21, UNC. UNc gains the lead, but can;t extend it despite 4 opportunities in the paint. Dook makes them pay and takes the lead.

4:35 pm: 23-22, Dook. What?!? A travel? THAT WAS A FOUL!

4:36 pm: 26-22, Dook. I have to say, UNC is playing a lot better in this game than the first matchup at Carmichael. But it looks like the same things are starting to happen. Latta is starting to take ridiculous shots, and Abby Waner is starting to make it rain like Pacman Jones.

4:38 pm: 26-24, Dook. UNC reduces the deficit to two, as Rashad…er, Rashanda McCants finally gets on the board.

4:40 pm: 28-24, Dook. The reason Dook is winning is because they have 13 second chance points to 4 for UNC. If not for them, the Heels have a 5 point lead.

4:41 pm: 28-28, Dook. Wait a minute…since when does Rashanda play out of her mind? Surely this must be Rashad changing places with her in drag. Which is understandable, because the Timberwolves only play him 3 minutes a game anyway.

4:47 pm: 35-28, Dook. What the hell just happened? Dook seemed to have just opened the floodgates. UNC is simply not getting their rebounds.

4:48 pm: 35-30, Dook. UNC stops the the momentum with a great assist from Latta to Larkins.

4:49 pm: the half ends, Dook leading 35-30. The scoreboard is eerily similar to the last matchup, and Latta’s performance is similar (7 points, 2-9 shooting). But this game seems to be going at a much faster pace. UNC needs to hit the shots that the Dookies are allowing them. Right now that’s the 10-15 foot jumpers. If they can hit those and outrebound the Devils in the second half, they have a very good chance of winning.

5:06 pm: 35-32, Dook. Larkins scores the first points of the second half for the Tar Heels.

It’s nice to see at least a decent UNC constituency in the stands.

5:07 pm: 35-34, Dook. Larkins gets another shot (she now has 12), but butmore importantly the second half has begun very sloppy. In fact, this game ahs been pretty sloppy since midway in the first half.

5:09 pm: 37-34, Dook. Bales is left all alone in the middle and gets an easy layup.

5:10 pm: 40-36, Dook. Wainisha Smith hits a three to extend the lead to 4. She led the Dookies with 17 in the last matchup.

5:11 pm: 42-38, Dook. Smith hits another outside shot, and Latte gets her first points in the half from the one place her shots are uncontested: the free throw line. The Devils’ defense has been more tenacious than a trial lawyer.

5:15 pm: 42-42. One of the UNC forwards (I think it’s Pringle) makes a great left-handed layup, and then Larkins drives right past Bales to tie the game.

5:17 pm: 45-42, Dook. Just when the Tar Heels get the momentum, Lindsey Harding gets three the hard way to swing the pendulum right back.

5:19 pm: 46-44, Dook. Jessica Breland’s mom: “Oh my God! Yeah! Whoooo! That’s my baby! That’s my baby!”

5:21 pm: 51-46, Dook. There is no excuse for Abby Waner to be that open on the perimeter.

5:22 pm: 51-49, Dook. UNC steals the ball, and Latta gets an easy layup.

The UNC men play the Terps in ten minutes. I still don’t know how I’m going to pull this off.

5:26 pm: 51-51. Latta drives the lane and ties the game with a tough layup over the trees. She’s really heating up in the second half. More importantly, she’s making better decisions.

5:29 pm: 52-51, Dook. Wow. Lindsey Harding is missing her free throws. She must be getting really tired.

5:30 pm: 53-52, UNC. Yes! Larkins makes a nice shot in the paint, and takes the lead for the first time in a while.

5:32 pm: 53-53. This game has been really intense. Both teams must be spent at this point. Their effort certainly has not wavered.

5:33 pm: 55-53, Dook. The other Waner sister robs Ivory blind, and gets an easy layup on the under end. NOOOOOOOO!!!

5:37 pm: 56-55, UNC. Camille Little hits a huge three to give the lead back to the Tar Heels. She was able to make that shot because of great perimeter passing.

5:38 pm: 56-55, UNC. How does Larkins miss those shots? They were point-blank! She’s been on fire today! Why did they not go in?!?

5:43 pm: 57-56, Dook. The Devils get the lead back. Don’t ask me how, I was watching the start of the men’s game. My suggestion is, watch the women’s game until it’s over. I’ll still try to double dip. Boy, that sounds weird, doesn’t it?

5:45 pm: 59-56, Dook. Abby Waner hits a nice shot to extend the lead to 3. More importantly, UNC can’t buy a decent shot attempt right now.

5:50 pm: 61-56, Dook, 2:50 left. Dook has done an unbelievable job on defense today. UNC hasn’t gotten any chances in the last five minutes. They must solve this problem quickly, as time is now a factor and the Dook band, in all their arrogance, is now playing salsa.

5:54 pm: If the Dookies were able to make their free throws, this game would be over. It’s not looking good for UNC. They have not hit a shot since there were eight minutes left in the game.

5:56 pm: 62-56, Dook, 1:03 left. It looks like the Heels have simply run out of gas.

5:59 pm: 64-58, Dook, :53 left. Latta hits two free throws, but this is their first points in 6:52. You simply cannot go clod like that late in the second half in a close game and expect to win.

6:03 pm: 66-60, Dook, :14 left. UNC gets its first basket in over seven minutes, but Dook is salting it away at the free throw line.

6:06 pm: The game goes final: The Dookies win, 68-62. Duke is the first team in ACC history to go undefeated in women’s basketball. Combine howw good this team is with the very real pssobility of playing all of their regional games in Raleigh and Grrensboro, they can pretty much punch their ticket to the final four at this point, barring something really bad happening. Congratulations, I hope Goestenkorsopolis is very, very cold tonight.