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.

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