ACC Roundtable: Conference Paranoia Edition

It’s that time of the week again, time for an ACC fan to be picked at random, ask questions, and have even more random ACC fans answer them. This week’s ACC Roundtable is from BC Interruption.

Now that most ACC teams’ non-conference schedules are winding down and we are starting league play, it’s time to take the vitals of the ACC’s play in non-conference action. Here is how the ACC fared against the rest of college football through 4 weeks (based on my back-of-the-envelope math):

BCS Conference Record Win Pct.
vs. Big East 2-2 .500
vs. Pac 10 1-1 .500
vs. Big XII 1-2 .333
vs. SEC 0-2 .000
The Rest Record Win Pct.
vs. MAC 1-0 1.000
vs. I-A Indep. aka Army 1-0 1.000
vs. Conference USA 2-1 .666
vs. Sun Belt 1-1 .500
vs. Mountain West 1-2 .333
vs. FCS I-AA 9-2 .818
Overall 19-13 .593

Comment on your team’s (if applicable, sorry Miami) and the conference’s non-conference performance through 4 weeks. As a conference, what head-to-head record against another conference stands out to you most?

Carolina is going to go 4-0 for the out of conference slate. That’s pretty good, but considering the four opponents (Citadel, UConn, ECU, Ga. Southern) any loss other than the UConn game would have been disastrous. As for the conference, it doesn’t look good. Even if you take Bird GT’s point and take off Duke, Virginia and Maryland’s 2-8 record, you also have to eliminate the 7 other FCS wins from the other 9 teams in the conference. The top 9 ACC teams have a record of 10-5 against FBS competition. It’s okay, but aside from Florida State’s win in Provo, no one has beaten a particularly good OOC team. In essence, we’ve learned nothing.

(Because we like to fan the ACC vs. Big East flames …) The only BCS conferences the ACC has a .500 record against so far this year is the Big East (4 games) and the Pac-10 (2 games). Yikes. In a weekend where 2 of 3 Big East teams knocked off ACC teams, we have to ask. The ACC is still > Big East, right? Right??

You’re not having any second thoughts about moving to the ACC, are ya? ‘Cause that’s mutiny.

Let me put it this way. Imagine this raw chicken is Tony Pike, star quarterback of Cincinnati, potential Heisman candidate and best offensive player in the Big East. Imagine that the 80s metal band Dokken is any ACC defense he would face in the Orange Bowl.

That is to say: I’m not worried about where we stand against the Big East. (thrusts hips, incinerates Greg Paulus)

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is losing to a CAA team and 10 is getting the ACC some much needed street cred by winning the BCS MNC, how satisfied are you with your AD’s non-conference scheduling this year? With the non-conference opponents your program has lined up over the next few years, will you be more or less satisfied?

I’m not very satisfied with UNC’s scheduling in 2009, if only because having two FCS teams on the schedule benefits absolutely no one. The good news is that UNC is playing SEC teams each of the next four seasons, including LSU next year. So that’s nice.

Last one, ESPN’s College GameDay is heading to Chestnut Hill this week for Florida State (2-2) at Boston College (3-1). Both teams are unranked. Parts of the blogosphere are going completely ape s**t over the WWL’s selection. Justify the selection (if you can). If not, tell us why you dislike the selection.

Honestly, I don’t know how to properly answer that question. Allow me to ignore it and post a picture of funny-looking Italian man instead.

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ACC PREDICTIONS PREDICTIONS PREDICTIONS!

VT blog Gobbler Country and Furrier4Heisman held a preseason conference poll among ACC bloggers and was kind enough to invite my opinion, despite my recent sporadic-ness-ness-ness. (I will save the explanation for another time, but for now I’ll say life got in the way.) Anyway, here were may predictions:

Atlantic Division

1. Florida State

2. NC State

3. Clemson

4. Wake Forest

5. Maryland

6. Boston College

Florida State has the talent, eventually they have to pull it together, right? State is a team on the rise despite the (temporary?) loss of Nate Irving. I sincerely hope he comes back to haunt running backs’ dreams again…just not our backs. Clemson is still talented, but we don’t know how consistent they are. Wake Forest will take a step back on defense, the key to their success the last three years. Boston College is squarely in rebuilding mode after all they’ve lost.

Coastal Division

1. Virginia Tech

2. Georgia Tech

3. North Carolina

4. Miami

5. Virginia

6. Duke

Last year was the time to pounce on the Coastal Division and step up in Virginia Tech’s rebuilding year. That window is now closed, and now anyone who wants to win this division must go through the Hokies. Georgia Tech’s Success will depend on whether their triple option stand the test of a team getting a second look. I actually predicted that North Carolina can finish as well as 10-2, but they have to beat one or both of the Techs on the road in order to win the division; honestly, I don;t think this team is ready. Miami still needs to show consistency to be placed higher than fourth. Virginia lose too many important players from 2008 and Duke is, well, Duke.

Offensive Player of the Year: Darren Evans, Virginia Tech

Partly because he’s very good and partly to be contrarian. How Gobbler Country let me get away with calling him “Darrell Evans” in the email I sent him, I’ll never know.

Defensive Player of the Year: QUANTAVIUS THE MAGNIFICENT, UNC.

I have never been more confident of a prediction in my entire life. Ever.

Rookie of the Year: Josh Adams, UNC.

Not knowing much (read: anything about other rookies in the ACC, I decided to stick to what I know. Judging by the pairty in voting in this category, everyone else voted the same way. I think Jamal Womble will have a bigger impact, but I have a hunch Adams will have better stats.

Thanks again to Gobbler Country for holding this poll.

(Belated) Final Regular Season Blogpoll

In the interest of full disclosure, I have a family member who used to work for the University of Texas in some capacity. Having said that, Oklahoma is playing as well as, if not better than, anyone in the nation right now, and they have a better out of conference schedule than Texas or Florida. But if a poller believes that a playoff system, fundamentally based on head-to-head matchups, is viable, then that poller must respect Texas’ victory over Oklahoma and hold it against the Sooners when ranking them. That is not to say that the Sooners are not worthy; they are. But 45-35 is still the reason why I placed Texas ahead of Oklahoma in my ballot.

In the ACC, the three teams with nine wins are in the top 25, including both of the ACC Championship participants. Barely.

Rank Team Delta
1 Texas 1
2 Oklahoma 1
3 Florida 1
4 Alabama 3
5 Texas Tech
6 Southern Cal 2
7 Penn State
8 Utah 2
9 Boise State
10 Ohio State 1
11 Cincinnati 1
12 Oklahoma State 2
13 Georgia Tech
14 TCU 2
15 Virginia Tech 9
16 Michigan State 2
17 Brigham Young 3
18 Oregon 3
19 Pittsburgh 7
20 Mississippi 2
21 Northwestern
22 Iowa 1
23 Oregon State 3
24 Boston College 5
25 Buffalo 1

Dropped Out: Missouri (#14), Ball State (#17), Rice (#25).

ACC Roundtable Roundup #2

Would you like to take a survey?

Welcome to the roundup of this week’s ACC Roundtable. Our esteemed panelists for this week are Myself, BC Interruption, Block C, College Game Balls, From Old Virginia, Gobbler Country, and The Legacy x4.

Okay, first things first: could someone please explain what the hell just happened this past Saturday?

The general consensus here is that the events of Saturday are less unexpected than at first glance. Sure, Wake, UNC, and Virginia Tech may have all been ahead in the standings. But, as From Old Virginia points out, those were all conference road games, which are never, ever easy.

BC Interruption sees the reason for the ACC’s “fluctuation” has less to do with the teams themselves and more to do with that the media “is easily distracted by shiny things” and constantly re-assesses the state of the conference from week to week.

College Game Balls, however, may have the best answer of anyone:

Heather Dinich used her Greek Goddess abilities to flip the league on top of its head, again.

Dinich bathes in the schadenfreude emanating from the ACC. Of course, CGB’s statement requires the suspension of disbelief that Ms. Dinich has abilities, is Greek, or is anything close to Godliness.

I happen to be of the belief that what happened last Saturday was less a product of superstition and more a product of the three offenses scoring nineteen combined points in regulation. An extra fourteen, of course, came courtesy of Chris Crane throwing to Hokies.

Block C takes his answer in another direction, answering what happened to Clemson against Georgia Tech. The saga of their beloved Tigers’ season is enough to fill a book. Hopefully, it has a happy ending with a new, smashingly successful coach. Wait, did I just use the word smashing?

Good Maryland, Bad Maryland, we’ve seen a fair share of both in 2008. Good Maryland may be the best team in the ACC, while Bad Maryland could probably lose by 20 to anyone left on their schedule. Which Maryland do we see for the rest of the season and where do you expect the Terps to finish?

No one on the panel is particularly optimistic about the Terps for the rest of the season. Currently at 5-2, No one except me expects them to do any better than 8-4, and everyone expects the Bad Terps to show up at least once. Most panelists, like From Old Virginia and The Legacy x4, point out their now-backloaded schedule will keep them from winning more than 3 games. Both Virginia Tech panelists mentioned that the Bad Terps usually show up on the road, while the Good Terps come out of the shell at home. (Hooray for more bad puns!) Most interestingly, Gobbler country discusses Maryland big weakness:

The key for the Terps this year has been their rush defense. If you can run on Maryland, you can beat them handily. But if they stop you from running the ball, things aren’t going to go well for you.

Whatever the case may be, the Roundtable is unanimously bursting Maryland’s Atlantic bubble.

Injuries are a part of college football, but they seem to have ravaged ACC offenses this year. Wake Forest has been without Sam Swank, Clemson is without C.J. Spiller, UNC is without T.J. Yates and Brandon Tate, Virginia Tech is without Kenny Lewis Jr., and NC State is without just about everybody. Which team misses their fallen star(s) most and why?

There seem to be two distinct camps here. Both BC Interruption and College Game Balls say that the conference’s most costly offensive injury is the one to Wake’s Sam Swank, the closest thing to an automatic kicker in college football and a big difference in close games. Which makes sense, until you consider that is reasonable to expect the Wake Forest offense, with all its talent, to score more than one TD in three conference game. Then there’s the factor that Wake’s defense usually keeps them in every game and–

You get the idea.

From old Virginia goes a different direction and points to the gradual loss of staff in Virginia Tech’s offense that has led, in part, to their 110th ranked offense. (And UNC gave up a 14 point lead to it? Yeesh.)  On defense, FoV references the injury to BC linebacker Brian Toal.

With four votes, however, the player whom the panel thinks is missed the most is UNC quarterback T.J. Yates. This completely florred me, not because it isn’t a good answer but because I never expected my conference brethren to have any sympathy toward the injuries of my beloved Tar Heels. Then again, I probably probably shouldn’t confuse sympathy with acknowledgement.

The primary reason seems to be, despite the admirable job that Cam Sexton has done in his stead, that the Heels just plain don’t lose that game of Virginia Tech if Yates had remained healthy. And that’s probably true. But that throws into question all of the other games that followed. Of course, if we have the same 5-2 record but with losses to Miami and Notre Dame instead of those teams from the Commonwealth, we’re probably in much better shape in the conference race.

Last one: the pretty much unanimous division champs were Virginia Tech and Wake Forest last week. Given all the craziness that just happened, give us your updated ACC Championship scenario.

But enough about my team. With two losses to teams ahead of them in the division, it would take a miracle for UNC to win the Costal at this point.

Many panelists (CGB, Gobbler Country, BC Interruption, and The Legacy x4) are opting for homerism and picking their own teams to go to Tampa. Fortunately for them Virginia Tech, Boston College and Georgia Tech are three of the teams in better position to win. Both BC and GT have daunting schedules, though, and the Jackets would lose any tiebreakers with the Hokies. Despite the Terps’ lights-out performance this past Saturday, no one has the guts to put Maryland in the Championship game as of yet (see Question 2). Of all the CG predictions, my own FSU-Miami pick was probably the most ambitious, and while I had reason to defense the pick, it ultimately boiled down to “this conference is crazy”.

In the final tallies, though, it’s 2.5 votes for Georgia Tech, 3.5 vote for Virginia Tech, 1 vote for Miami, 3 votes for Boston College, 2 votes for Florida State, and 2 votes for Wake Forest.

No team won a majority, but the plurality points to a rematch of last year’s championship game between Virginia Tech and Boston College.

You can almost feel the cynicism oozing out of your screen right now.

If you are an enterprising ACC blogger and are interested in joining the roundtable, just send an email with a link to your site. The more panelists, the merrier.

UNC vs. Boston College Live Blog

The next person to mention UNC’s struggles on Saturdays at 3:30 pm on ABC is getting their pet goldfish castrated.

turning_goldfish.jpg

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

13-2, BC. I am slightly concerned with UNC’s early turnovers, their poor defense, and Tyrese Rice.

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UNCLEAN!!!

3:55 pm: 18-5, BC. Senor Tyler finally gets on the board with Carolina’s first field goal. So far: Tyrese Rice, 14; UNC, 5.

3:58 pm: 18-7, BC. Hansbrough loses a contact lens. Again.

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4:00 pm: 24-10, BC. Finally…the moment we’ve all been waiting for…the return of Ty Lawson!
lawsons-back.jpeg
Tryese Rice then proceeds to welcome him warmly.
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4:02 pm: 27-12 BC. Tyrese Rice has 23 points in the first seven minutes. At this point, we need to either quadruple team him or just crown his ass right now.
rice.jpgtyrese-rice.gif
Commercial break. Time for some aquatic population control.
4:11 pm: 31-20, BC. Hansbrough’s effectiveness in the paint and said quadruple teaming of Rice is allowing Carolina to stay within striking distance.
4:18 pm: 34-20, BC. Uh-oh. Quentin Thomas picks up his second foul.
4:20 pm: 37-20, BC. We cannot afford to have Ellington go cold again today. Also, WordPress isn’t allowing double space right now.
4:22 pm: 37-24, BC. I’m pretty sure Rakim Sanders got away with goaltending. Regardless, Tyler gets two from the line.
40-24, BC. Rice is left open for three. You pretty much guess what happens next. Ironically, Rice gets his first three pointer in nine minutes from a defensive mistake by…gasp…Ty Lawson.
42-27, BC. Will Graves hits a three, but what on earth is happening to the Tar Heels in this game?
4:31 pm: 46-36, BC. 29 points for Rice. This is getting ridiculous. Equally ridiculous is the kind of shots that Tyler is making on the other end.
4;34 pm: 50-36, BC. No. This is simply not possible. After Danny Green turns it over, Rice is left open again, and…swish. He now has 32 points in the first half.
4:36 pm: 52-36, BC. Rice has officially passed his career high in points…in the first half.
4:38 pm: And we’re at halftime. Shockingly, Boston College leads, 54-40 after the first half. Whatever gameplan Roy had for this game, he needs to throw it away and focus on stopping Rice at all costs. I think everyone knew that if BC had any chance in this game, Tyrese Rice had to have a good game. No one could have expected him to go absolutely ballistic against the team that people expected to be the #1 team in the nation on Monday.
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If for no other reason, you need to watch the second half for Tyrese Rice.
4:55 pm: The second half starts with a UNC turnover and two BC baskets. Guess who.
4:56 pm: For the love of God, Tyler, pass it!
4:57 pm: 58-44, BC. Ellington finally puts UNC on the board in the second half. Hansbrough gets a basket on the next possession. He now has 19.
4:59 pm: 61-47, BC. Carolina has a completely new set of five players on the court.
Regardless of Rice’s performance today, there is absolutely no reason for Carolina to be on pace for giving up 100 points on defense.
5:06 pm: 61-52, BC. huge news: Green hits his second three this half to bring the game to single digits for the first time in, like, ever.
5:08 pm: 61-55, BC. Ellington hits another three, and HOLY F–KING S–T WE’RE BACK IN THIS GAME!!!
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61-60, BC. Green and Ellington are taking over this game, and they’ve scored the game’s last 16 points to bring it within one.
Rice hit his knee on the last play. Rice + injury = doom for BC.
62-61, UNC. MAAAARRRRRRRRRCUUUUUUUUSSSSSSSS!!!
And we have our first lead!
65-64, BC. Rice gets his 40th point to bring the lead back to the Eagles.
66-65, UNC. WAYNE’S WORLD WAYNE’S WORLD PARTY TIME EXCELLENT WHOOOOOOOOOO!!!
5:20 pm: Tyler Hansbrough commits the most un-Hansbrough play ever. He misses both free throws, gets his own rebound, and misses the point-blank basket.
68-67, UNC. I’m so used to the Eagles with the lead that I keep typing BC instead of UNC. Meanwhile, Ellington continues to set the arena on fire in the second half. 71-67, UNC.
73-69, UNC. And we have our first Deon Thompson sighting.
76-69, UNC. Green and Ellington simply cannot be stopped right now.
An amazing stat: In the second half, Carolina has made as many field goals as Boston College has attempted. That’s why they’re on a 32-8 run. It bears reading again: a 32-8 run since BC was up 61-44 with about 17 minutes left.
78-70, UNC. Hansbrough gets an easy basket inside. UNC’s run is now 34-9.
80-70, UNC. I don’t care how faithful you are in this team. If you say you believed this game would go from a 17 point deficit to a double-digit lead in 12 minutes of playing time, you’re lying.
82-72, UNC. Ellington dunks it on the other end. I don’t think that I’ve seen such a dominant 13 minutes of basketball on the road out of this team…ever. Certainly not this season.
82-74, UNC. Tyrese Rice just broke the school record for points in a game; he now has 44.
86-78, UNC. Rice and Shamari Spears are keeping the game near single digits, but time is running out.
88-78, UNC. We’re going to survive…
The game is over, and Carolina wins 90-80. What an unbelievable game. Tyrese Rice had the game of his life with 46 points, and it looked like his team was going to dominate. But the Heels outscored the Eagles 46-19 in the final sixteen and a half minutes, and they may well have cemented their place at #1 in the nation with their second half performance.

 

 

 

UNC vs. Boston College Live Blog, ACC Tournament 2007

Today, UNC plays Boston College in the first semifinal of the ACC Tournament and game #9 of my attempt to live blog the entire event (with help from the Extrapolater). For a quick preview of each team, see my ACC Tournament Preview. To see how UNC and BC got here, see Friday’s UNC-FSU Live Blog and BC-Miami Live Blog.

Simply looking at the score, I would have said that BC played a very subpar game against the Hurricanes. However, Miami and coach Frank Haith executed an excellent gameplan for this tournament that has taken Maryland and BC, two good team,s very much out of their comfort zone. But Tyrese Rice was able to save the Eagles with a career high 32 points, and Jared Dudley finally woke up to help late in the game. If Rice plays like he did yesterday, Ty Lawson is going to have his hands full, and if Sean Marshall and Dudley, ACC Player of the Year, can play to the level they’re capable of playing, they can definitely win this game.

North Carolina didn’t have their best showing on Friday, and Tyler Hansbrough was really ineffective with that mask on (which I thought was going to make him even more aggressive), which means Wright will have to do a better job of carrying the load in the frontcourt. I was pleasantly surprised, however, at how well the backcourt, especially Wayne Ellington, played against Florida State. He scored 18 points and made sound decisions when shooting, but I was most impressed at how well he played defense. If he can be a complete player like that consistently, our weakness (the backcourt) will become a strength for UNC if players like Hansbrough are neutralized in the paint.

One more quick note: at the beginning of yesterday’s action I prayed for God to deliver us from Billy Packer. At the end of the game, he said he was heading to the Midwest to cover the Big Ten. Prayer works, people. Harness its power.

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1:38 pm: No change in the UNC starting lineup. BC has Tyler Roche in at power forward.

1:40 pm: 2-0, UNC. Brandan Wright hits the midrange jumper. He’s really starting to develop his range.

1:41 pm: 4-0, UNC. Hansbrough rebounds a uick BC shot, and Terry finishes on the other end.

1:42 pm: Hansbrough has played great defense in the first two minutes.

The crowd is decidedly louder today. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised; the stakes are higher.

1:43 pm: 4-3, UNC. Marshall hits a three for BC, but Hansbrough takes the charge on the next possession. regardless of how much he scores, he’s playing much better in this game.

1:45 pm: Now this is the Psycho T, the aggressive post player we’ve come to expect! Regardless of how much he scores, he’s playing much better in this game. He’s in every scrum today.

1:46 pm: Marshall commits his second foul trying to block a Lawson layup. Credit Ellington for that play. He outhustled everyone for the rebound and made the long pass to Lawson.

UNC is clearly controlling the tempo of this game. But BC is playing a good enough defense that they didn’t get in an early hole.

1:50 pm: 6-3, UNC. I can’t believe it. UNC has played for five minutes and we haven’t seen a single substitution.

Wright puts back a miss by Terry. 8-3, UNC.

Where has the aggressive Wayne Ellington been all season?

1:52 pm: 10-5, UNC. Ginyard and Thompson are the first substitutes for the Heels. Ginyard makes the tough reverse layup to bring the lead back to five.

Neither team has shot the ball very well in this game so far.

1:53 pm: Now UNC pretty much has their second team in. Hansbrough in the only starter in now.

1:54 pm: 12-5, UNC. Hansbrough makes a nice pass to Green, who finishes inside.

We are still anxiously awaiting the arrival of Jared Dudley to the ACC Tournament.

1:56 pm: 15-5, UNC. We’re 8 minutes in and already have a double digit lead, thanks to a great block by Green and Frasor hitting an open three.

1:57 pm: 17-7, UNC. Dudley finally scores to bring the lead back to 10.

The Tar Heels have done an excellent job of preventing easy opportunities for BC.

1:58 pm: 19-9, UNC. Ginyard almost steals a pass to Marshall, but he misses and Marshall hits a wide open jumpshot.

On the next BC possession, Ginyard times it right and gets the easy layup.

This game is definitely going at UNC’s pace. BC will need to slow it down soon if they want to keep it within reach.

2:03 pm: 23-11, UNC. It takes nearly 12 minutes for BC to score 10 points. You really have to credit the defense, but BC’s shots really aren’t falling.

Brandan Wright finishes another fast break. He’s playing really well today.

2:06 pm: Aside from Sean Marshall, BC is 1 for 14 on field goals. Shamari Spears misses both of his free throws.

2:07 pm: 25-11, UNC. Terry hits a nice jumpshot, and Lawson follows suit on the next possession to bring the lead to 16. If the Tar Heels can play this well, no one can beat them.

2:09 pm: Crap. Now I’m thinking about my stock portfolio. Thanks, Charles Schwab.

2:10 pm: TAR! HEELS! TAR! HEELS! TAR!…

2:11 pm: 27-14, UNC. Marshall is now 4 for 4 from the field, but this is starting to get ridiculous. I’ve seen at least three shots go halfway in for the Eagles and rattle out. The BC basket must have some sort of magnetic repellent that only Marshall is immune to.

2:12 pm: 30-14, UNC. Hansbrough gets his first basket AND the foul. I’m now convinced that he’ll be fine by the time the NCAA Tournament comes around.

A very important stat: 21 of out 30 points are in the paint. That equals success.

2;14 pm: The Tar Heel faithful travel surprisingly well.

Defensive specialist Tyrelle Blair hits his first shot. 30-18, UNC.

2;15 pm: Wright gets into foul trouble.

I watch Carlos Mencia’s TV show, but that ad stopped being funny about the 15th time.

2:18 pm: It simply wouldn’t be a live sports broadcast with at least a few awkward jokes. Come on, Mike Gminski.

2:19 pm: 30-19, UNC. I just get really pumped when I see Hansbrough outfight some guy for a rebound. It’s even more awesome when that some guy is the ACC Player of the Year.

2:21 pm: 34-19, UNC. UNC getting rebounds is sparking their fast break, which in turn leads to easy shots, the last a midrange jumpshot by Lawson.

2:23 pm: I hope you’re wearing eye protection. Brandan Wright is shooting free throws.

2:23 pm: 36-20, UNC. Fortunately for Wright, dunking is a substantially higher percentage shot.

2:25 pm: 38-23, UNC. The Tar Heels suffer their first defensive lapse, as Tyrese Rice is left alone for the three. Before that they had shot 23% from the field.

2:28 pm: The games hit halftime. UNC leads BC, 38-23. In spite of Hansbrough’s continued offensive struggles, he has been a defensive menace in the first half, and the rest of the team has shot the ball well, in particular Brandan Wright. The Eagles, with the exception of Marshall, have been shooting horrendously, and even he’s in foul trouble. Give credit to the UNC defense, as they haven’t given BC any good looks. The Eagles will need to find a way to break down the defense in the second half to give themselves a chance in the second half. Either that, or UNC needs to have a meltdown. I don’t even want to think about it.

2:36 pm: An ad of a guy getting hit in the face with his own blocked shot, however, never gets old.

2:38 pm: Wow. Christian Laettner looks so much different now that I didn’t recognize him in time to boo my lungs out.

2:48 pm: Boston College has the ball to start the second half. Predictably, they miss the shot in takes them 30 seconds to shoo,t UNC rebounds, and Brandan Wright dunks on the other end five seconds later. 40-23, UNC.

2:49 pm: 40-25, UNC. Welcome to the ACC Tournament, Jared Dudley.

2:50 pm: 42-25, UNC. Tyler Hansbrough is finally getting some offense.

Jared Dudley hits Tyler square in the nose. That, LWS, is why he kept the mask on.

2:51 pm: 46-27, UNC. Even when BC scores, they don’t get back on defense, and Carolina continues to get easy baskets inside. 35 of their 46 points are in the paint.

2:53 pm: 48-32, UNC. Dudley is really starting to play well on the offensive end, but can the Eagles make some defensive stops? Deon Thompson thinks not. 50-32, UNC.

2:58 pm: 50-38, UNC. Boston College is starting to make a run, as they’re finally hitting their shots, and playing good defense. Mike Gminski points out the at the basket at which BC was shooting in the first half and UNC is now shooting, there are two cameras with a lot of black tape that can distract shooters. Thanks, Mike. If we lose, I can blame you.

3:00 pm: Marshall hits a three, and the 20 point lead is now down to 9. With more than 12 minutes left, this game is far from over.

3:01 pm: 55-41, UNC. The Tar Heels finally break the drought. First Terry hits a three, and then Brandan Wright gets another breakaway dunk from a rebound and fast break.

That’s what the Tar Heels still need, the ability to put an opponent away when they’re in control of the game.

3:04 pm: Did you know that in the ACC markets, the tourney games are presented by Racom/Lincoln Financial Sports? Did you also know that they’ve shown every ad at laest 30 times during the tournament? And you wonder why live-blogging this event is hard.

3:06 pm: 59-44, UNC. Wright continues to dominate the offensive post, and Hansbrough is still getting his defensive rebounds. Every time it looks like BC is coming back, UNC gets a fast break basket.

3:08 pm: WAYNE’S WORLD! WAYNE’S WORLD! PARTY TIME! EXCELLENT! WHOOOOO!!! (guitar riff) You can’t leave that guy open in the perimeter. 62-44, UNC.

3:09 pm: When Roy Williams screams on TV he sounds just like Jeff Foxworthy. You gotta love the ACC.

3:13 pm: For my complaints about the tournament coverage, I have to say Cliff Ellis does a good job of analyzing these teams. I’d hire him as a color commentator.

3:14 pm: 64-46, UNC. That was just classic Hansbrough. He outfights three guys for the ball, makes some space, and hits a tough shot inside for the Tar Heels. It’s good to have you back, Tyler.

3:16 pm: 64-48, UNC. This is what UNC can’t do late in a game. This is what will get them ousted from the tournament. They simply cannot let up until the game is definitively over. If you give a quality opponent an inch, they’ll take a mile.

3:21 pm: 67-48, UNC. Ellington hits a three off a great pass from Lawson, which reminds me of two things:

  1. Bobby Frasor is a liability for our style of play right now.
  2. Exactly what does Coach Roy have against Quentin Thomas? He’s clearly better than Frasor, yet Bobby gets all of the minutes when Lawson is on the bench.

3:23 pm: 67-54, UNC. Marshall and Dudley hit two straight threes. Again, UNC can’t let up in these situations.

3:26 pm: 69-54, UNC. The Tar Heels seemingly deliver the mortal blow, courtesy of a Wes Miller steal and another fast break layup by Ty Lawson.

3:28 pm: 69-56, UNC. Why is A-Ha’s “Take On Me” in every college band’s repertoire? It’s driving me crazy.

3:29 pm: 71-56, UNC. Brandan Wright definitely finishes off the Eagles with another fast break dunk. He has 20 in this game, seemingly all dunks.

Bring in the substitutes!

3:32 pm: UNC wins, 71-56. WHOOOOOOOOO!!! Cue the band! 

North Carolina played very well today. They played great defense to grab the big lead, and they ran their fast-paced transition game well enough to keep it. They’ll play the winner of NC State and Virginia Tech, which I’ll be covering at Digital Headbutt. I may end up rooting for the Hokies, because I’m really starting to get scared of Sidney Lowe’s voodoo red jacket.

UNC vs. Boston College: The Ultimate Battle for ACC Supremacy…Sort Of

Both of these teams have been well documented both on this blog and on my non-Tar Heel blog, Digital Headbutt. The key matchup may not be Terry vs. Dudley or Rice vs. Lawson/Frasor/Miller/Thomas, but it could Sean Marshall vs. UNC’s shooting guards. Marshall has a height advantage on Wanye Ellington, and Wayne is not famous for his defense, so Ginyard and Danny Green will get a alot of time in his grill. Brandan Wright is coming off of injury, so he could be tested early and often by Tyrelle Blair.

The reason UNC will win is because, as this clip shows, Roy is Dr. Honeydew to Hansbrough’s Beaker.

9:04 pm: 2-0, UNC. Hansbrough scores an easy basket over 6-6 Jamare Spears.

9:05 pm: 4-2, UNC. Oates gets a putback in the net, but Hansbrough responds by hitting the near exact same shot on the other side of the court.

9:06 pm: 7-4, BC. John Oates hits a big three pointer to put the Eagles up. That will be his secret weapon, the fact that Hansbrough or Wirght will have to come up to the perimeter.

9:08 pm: 10-6, BC. Deon Thompson comes in and hits a basket around the free throw line, but Oates gets a dunk off a rebound.

9:10 pm: 10-10. Danny Green comes in and his short rattles in, and then Psycho T steals the ball, runs half the court and delivers a rim-shattering dunk to tie the game. For The Tar Heels to control the tempo of the game, they will need to get defensive stops and turnovers like this.

9:13 pm: 13-10, UNC. WAYNE’S WORLD! WAYNE’S WORLD! PARTY TIME! EXCELLENT! WHOOOOO!!! (riff) off a great screen he hits a three. Lawson follows with an easy layup in transition to make it 15-10, UNC.

9:15 pm: Bobby Frasor is in the game. Laet’s see how he plays against Rice.

9:17 pm: Boston College is really playing sloppy. They’ve turned the ball over 5 times in 6 possessions.

9:19 pm: 17-14, UNC. Dudley and Rice each get their first points of the night.

9:20 pm: 19-14, UNC. Hansbrough gets the basket and the foul. He’s going to shott the free throw after the stupid TV timeouts.

Did you know that When SMU played Memphis earlier this year, the game managed to bypass an entire TV timeout, so then ESPN put 2 TV timeout 27 seconds from each other. That should be illegal. But at the same time, weshould be thankful; in Spain, commercial breaks last 15 minutes.
9:23 pm: 20-16, UNC. Blair is in the game, and he gets an easy dunk wothout being challenged. Rice drwas Wright away from the paint.

9:24 pm: 22-16, UNC. Wright gets his first basket of the game, a 10-foot hook shot.

9:25 pm: 24-16, UNC. The Heels get more help from Thompson, whose shot rattles in. UNC has shot 67% from the field so far.

9:29 pm: 25-21, UNC. Tyrelle Blair rejects a Hansbrough shot, and Rice hits a three in the fast break. That was just too easy.

9:33 pm: 25-23, UNC. Dick Vitale and product placement: they just go together.

9:34 pm: 26-25, BC. Dudley hits a big three of the backboard to give the Eagles the lead.

9:35 pm: 29-28, BC. Lawson gets a three off a nice pass, but the Eagles respond. Trouble arisesw as Dudley picks up his third foul. They simply cannot afford to have him on the bench.

9:37 pm: 31-30, BC. Tyrese Rice makes an unbelivable shot, a layup off the top of the backboard.

9:38 pm: 32-31, BC. Q enters the game and immediately delivers an assist to Hansbrough, who hits an outside jump shot.

9:39 pm: 33-31, BC. Al Skinner picks up a Technical foul. Wait…wow. Al is usually a very, very calm person. That’s about as unusual as this:

9:41 pm: 33-33. Rice hits free throws to tie the game.

North Carolina has already made 22 substitutions in 16 minutes That’s approximately once every 42 seconds, which means on almost every offensive possesion Boston College sees someone different.

9:45 pm: 37-33, UNC. The Heels take the lead off of Hansbrough free throws, and then Wright gets a nice basket. UNC is dominating the paint so far.

9:46 pm: 40-33, UNC. WAYNE’S WORLD! WAYNE’S WORLD! PARTY TIME! EXCELLENT! WHOOOOOOO!!! (riff)

9:47 pm: 42-36, UNC. Marshall hits a three to stop the run, but Wright gets another nice basket inside.

9:48 pm: 42-38, UNC. An unbelievable play by Blair: He gets the rebound, the basket. and the foul on Wright and Hansbrough.

9:49 pm: 44-38, UNC. WAYNE’S WORLD! WAYNE’S WORLD! PARTY TIME! EXCELLENT! WHOOOOO!!! (guitar riff) Wait…they counted it as a two! Booooooooooooo!!!

9:51 pm: The game hits halftime, as North Carolina leads Boston College 44-38. Both teams played fairly well in the first half, but Boston College was hurt by turnovers, Jared Dudley’s foul trouble,a nd being outrebounded by the Tar Heels. UNC needs to shut down Tyrese Rice, who is picking apart Ty Lawson, and keep getting the ball to Hansbrough and Wright. Boston College needs to get Marshall more involved, and Dudley cannot foul out, period.

10:00 pm: Bizarre ad: The Superfans are back! DAAAAAAAAAAA BEARS!

10:07 pm: UNC has to play better defense. They have allowed 59% shooting by the Eagles.

10:08 pm: YES! UNC gets the rebound, ad 3 seconds later Wright gets the three point play on the other end. 47-38, UNC.

10:09 pm: 47-40, UNC. Marshall drives down the baseline and gets an emphatic dunk.

10:10 pm: 51-42, UNC. WAYNE’S WORLD! WAYNE’S WORLD! PARTY TIME! EXCELLENT! WHOOOOOOO!!! (riff) He gets two baskets on two straight possessions, and the Heels take a 9 point lead.

10:11 pm: 51-45, UNC. Dudley gets the basket and draws the foul from Terry. Spears follows with a basket of his own off an offensive rebound to reduce UNC’s lead to 4.

10:13 pm: 55-47, UNC. Lawson makes a reverse layup inside, a la Jordan, and then Tyler Hansbrough just makes it look easy.

10:14 pm: 55-49, UNC. UNC does not have a lot of defensive stops today. When the Eagles have botten shots they usually have been able to make them; this has to stop.

Oh no…The Heels get a 4-on-1 opportunity and turn the ball over. In a game this important, we cannot afford to let those chances slip.

10:18 pm: 55-51, UNC. At halftime I said that for BC to win, Marshall needed to get more involved. He certainly has. This time he hits a floater in the paint. He now has 6 in the second half.

10:20 pm: 57-51, UNC. Hansbrough hits two free throws. He has 17 in the game.

10:22 pm: 59-53, UNC. Jared Dudley gets another basket inside, but Terry finally reminds me that he exists.

10:23 pm: 59-57, BC. Rice is single handedly keeping BC in this game. He gets a nice layup inside, robs Ty Lawson blind, and makes a nice dish to Marshall, who gets an easy layup and his 8th point of the second half.

10:27 pm: 61-59, UNC. Marshall is simply on fire in the second half; he now has 11 points in 9 minute. Our two best defenders play his position; what the f— is happening? Why isn’t Ginyard in the game?

10:29 pm: 64-61, UNC. Dudley ties the game, but Terry finally hits a three. Where the hell has he been?

10:30 pm: 68-63, UNC. A great series of events, first Rice attacks and gets an easy layup (NOOOOOOO!!!), then Lawson gets a layup of his own (YESSS!!!), then Wright hits a floater off another offensive rebound. This game is getting so exciting and fast, my fingers and eyes can’t keep up.

10:35 pm: How does Doug Flutie, BC legend/god, end up with an upper level seat?!? I was born in Boston, and that is an insult!

10:36 pm: 68-65, UNC. Marshall hits yet another basket. He has 12 points in 14 second half minutes He must be stopped! Where is Ginyard?!?

10:38 pm: How does Hansbrough foul Marshall and not get fopuled by Oates or Bliar?!? HOW?!?!?!?

10:39 pm: OOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHH!!!! What a play by Rayshawn Terry! He runs over a guy and gets the basket! 70-65, UNC.

10:40 pm: Dudley shoudl’ve been called for an offensive foul. It was clear that Hansbrough had his feet set when Dudley made contact.

10:42 pm: Dudley steals an inbound pass, but Rice can’t capitalize. Terry makes his presence felt by hitting another three to give UNC a 73-66 lead with less than four minutes left. The difference between 73-66 and 70-69 is about half an inch.

10:46 pm: Oh, now I know why Ginyard’s been on the bench. He just fouled a guy whiloe shooting, saving precious clock for BC and allowing the Eagles to get points.

10:50 pm: 73-70, UNC. The Heels play 35 seconds of great defense, but Rice still hit a jumpshot as the shot clock expired.

10:51 pm: Get it to Tyler! GET IT TO TYLER! WHY ARENT THEY GIVING IT TO TYLER?!?!

10:52 pm: Jared Dudley draws the 3-point foul on UNC’s resident moron, Rayshawn Terry. But he misses all three! OH MY GOD!!!

10:54 pm: This is why we lost to Virginina Tech: in crunch time, the team collectiveely decided to deny Tyler Hansbrough’s existence.

10:55 pm: UNC plays great defense and Rice STILL gets the basket with 30 seconds left. UNC will have the ball, but ifr Hansbrough doesn;t touch the ball I will disown Ty Lawson.

10:57 pm: With 22 seconds left Ginyard is sent to the line. He hits both of his free throws and gives UNC a 75-72 lead.

11:00 pm: Holy crap, is the BC band playing “Smack That”?

11:01 pm: Rice’s shot is blocked by Brandan Wright, and then Dudley misses a three and the Heels rebound. Ty Lawson is sent to the free throw line and hits his free throws.

11:04 pm: Carolina Wins 77-72! WHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! CUE THE BAND!!!

The Heels did a good job of responding to adversity in this game; every time the Eagles tied, took the lead or got too close for comfort, UNC gave themselves some breathing room. However, there were a lot of things I didn’t like about how we dealt with a close game. We still should have done a better job of getting it to Hansbrough in the final minutes, they allowed the Eagles to shoot 51% from the field, and they were very lucky that Jared Dudley missed his free throws. If he makes those free throws, Rice’s layup gives BC the lead, and the Heels might lose. I am still very apprehensive about being in a close game in the tournament, because good teams like Wisconsin, Kansas, Marquette, Vanderbilt and Southern Illinois will not be as forgiving.