No pressure, dude. No pressure at all…
No speedos. For the love of God, no speedos.
9:01 pm: A very touching moment of silence for Eve Carson.
9:02 pm: No speedos. For the love of God, no speedos.
9:03 pm: Quentin Thomas will start tonight ahead of Ty Lawson.
9:06 pm: 3-0, Duke. 20 seconds in and already Duke hits an open three. Did Carolina learn nothing from their last matchup?
9:07 pm: 4-3, UNC. Ellington and Hansbrough each hit tough baskets, and Carolina takes the early lead.
9:08 pm: Q!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! gets a block on Lance Thomas.
6-3, UNC. That may have been goaltending on Thompson, but we’ll take it.
9:10 pm: Lawson comes in and immediately makes a great assist to Green.
Carolina is also honoring Eve Carson with black “EVE” patches on their right shoulder. Everyone in the stadium is wearing a light blue ribbon in her honor as well.
9:11 pm: 10-5, UNC. Scheyer with the basket, but he doesn’t get back on defense. Ginyard makes him pay with a huge dunk.
First TV timeout. A nice pace, if a bit inconsistent, and the speed favors Carolina right now.
9:15 pm: 10-7, UNC. Zoubek is in the game for Duke. We’ll see what kind of effect it has on Hansbrough.
9:17 pm: 10-9, UNC. Duke’s bench players seem to be playing better offense than the starters. The same might not be said of the defense, as Zoubek picks up two quick fouls.
9:18 pm: That was a cheap foul. Danny should know better.
This game is starting to get a little sloppy on both sides.
9:19 pm: Scheyerface is playing point. Cue the obligatory photoshop:
13-9, UNC. Green hits the three off the Ginyard assist.
9:24 pm: Taylor King is left WIDE OPEN for three. Fortunately for us, he misses. Duke’s been pretty cold from the perimeter so far this game.
9:25 pm: The line so far: The two teams are a combined 10-35 shooting. Ugh.
9:27 pm: The exact opposite of Ugh: Only 2 turnovers for Carolina. Green hits another shot to make it 17-9, UNC.
9:28 pm: 20-9, UNC. Q saves a bad pass, and Green is open for three again! Carolina brings the lead to double digits.
9:30 pm: 22-11, UNC. Hansbrough scores inside. Kyle Singler had no chance.
24-11, UNC. There’s the Ty Lawson we know and love.
9:31 pm: 24-13, UNC. I think Scheyer makes a face even when he shoots free throws.
9:35 pm: 24-15, UNC. Henderson may be only Dukie playing well thus far in the game.
9:36 pm: Uh-oh…Speedo guy. I liked the old Speedo guy better.
9:38 pm: 27-15, UNC. Hansbrough gets another offensive rebound, and he scores on the putback.
9:41 pm: 29-18, UNC. Paulus hits the three with a hand in his face. I wonder why he hasn’t been getting the ball in the perimeter.
9:42 pm: 29-21, UNC. NO!!! You can’t leave Paulus open like that!
9:44 pm: 31-23, UNC. Danny Green stops the bleeding, but the Cameron Crazies are back in this game.
9:45 38-26, UNC. The Carolina fastbreak. Or for Duke fans: the buzzkill to end all buzzkills.
9:50 pm: 40-31, UNC. It’s a bad sign for your defense when you know your opponent’s shot is going in before he even catches the pass.
9:52 pm: 42-31, UNC. Ty Lawson gets an easy layup inside off a nice pass.
9:53 pm: That’s the end of the first half, and Carolina leads 42-31. The Tar Heels have had a good game on defense, forcing Duke’s lowest-scoring first half this season. Carolina can win the way they have been playing thus far, provided three extra factors: 1) they don’t go cold from the line, 2) Duke doesn’t storm out of the locker room (a very strong possibly), and 3) the defense doesn’t let Greg Paulus continue to light it up from beyond the arc.
10:11 pm: As the second half begins, it appears that Duke is outhustling Carolina in the opening possession. Duke had more offensive rebounds in one possession than in the entire first half.
10:12 pm: 44-35, UNC. I don’t care who’s driving inside, and if they’re about to dunk. NO ONE can be left open on the perimeter.
10:14 pm: 44-37, UNC. Carolina has seven blocks in this game, but I have yet to see them box out effectively in the second half. Duke is outhustling us to every rebound.
10:15 pm: 46-37, UNC. Another game, another double-double for Hansbrough.
46-40, UNC. Paulus can’t miss right now!
10:16 pm: 46-42, UNC. For God’s sake, Carolina, FIGHT FOR A REBOUND!
10:18 pm: 51-44, UNC. Ellington hits a three to help quiet the crowd.
51-46, UNC. It;s a tale of two halves so far. Duke is playing like their lives depend on it this hald, while Carolina has looked mostly flat. Zoubek is consistently outhustling Hansbrough on the boards.
10:22 pm: 53-48, UNC. Ty Lawson is the only Carolina player who seems to be playing with any sense of urgency right now.
10:23 pm: 55-48, UNC. Ellington with a nice jumper.
10:25 pm: WARNING: Side effects of Cameron Indoor Stadium include gayness. Exhibit A: Dick Vitale.
10:26 pm: 57-54, UNC. Lawson has been key in the second half, but I have yet to see Hansbrough make a difference since he came out of the locker room. Meanwhile, Scheyer hits his first three of the game. Cue the Scheyerface:
10:31 pm: Hansbrough needs to get to the line in the second half.
DANNY GREEN, WHAT KIND OF A PASS WAS THAT!
10:32 pm: Carolina is committing the two worst acts of fundamental offensive basketball right now. First, they are taking rushed, low-percentage shots. Second, they are not getting in the paint fighting for rebounds. Most importantly however, I have yet to see Hansbrough get a meaningful touch in the second half, and we’re more than halfway through.
10:34 pm: 57-57. For the last time, STOP FALLING FOR THE KICKOUT!!!
10:35 pm: 60-60. Do my eyes deceive me? did Quentin Thomas just hit a three pointer? WHOOOOO!
10:36 pm: 62-62. Hansborugh finally gets a basket, but Lance Thomas answers on the other end.
10:37 pm: Hansbrough now stands at 1,999 points for his career. One more and he will be the first player in school history to score 2,000 points before his senior year.
10:39 pm: 66-64, UNC. Alex Stepheson get the tip-in.
This is the back-and-forth game we expected to see.
10:40 pm: 66-66. How did Ellington’s shot not go in?
10:44 pm: 68-66, Duke. No…Scheyer for the lead!
10:46 pm: 68-66, Duke, 3:36 left. Less than four minutes left to decide the ACC regular season championship, and the difference is two points. Carolina will have the ball. It doesn’t more nerve-racking than this.
68-68, 3:00 left. Ellington ties the game.
70-68, 1:58 left. Carolina takes back the lead thanks on an offensive rebound and putback by–guess who?–Tyler Hansbrough. With that shot he eclipses the 2,000 point mark for his career.
1:48 left. Paulus finally misses, and it’s Carolina basketball.
72-68, 1:25 left. Lawson hits his free throws.
1:07 left. Duke gets the ball after a UNC turnover.
44.2 left. Lawson steals the ball, Green scores off the tip, and Carolina leads 74-68. The Heels have stepped up big in final minutes, and time is running out for the Dukies.
22.7 left, 76-68, UNC. Carolina gets the ball, Duke doesn’t foul and Green gets the HUGE dunk! My rational side says it may be impossible for Duke to comeback now. My irrational side says ITS OVER! ITS OVER!!! ITS OOOOOOOOOOOOVEEERRRRRRRRRR!!!
FINAL: 76-68, UNC. CAROLINA IS THE ACC CHAMPION!!!
It’s actually an extraordinary win considering the Hansbrough shot zero free throws tonight. Give tremendous credit to the Carolina backcourt who came up big after a lackluster performance in the first Duke game. Ellington, Lawson, Thomas, Ginyard and Green made the big plays when they absolutely needed to make them, and Duke missed their last eleven shots when they mattered most. But it’s worth repeating…congratulations to UNC on the ACC regular season championship.