As I said in my preview of Annihilation Part I, the Deacons have a very young team, and they must use their srop of young talent to keep their most important players (Kyle Visser, Ishmael Smith, and Michael Drum) fresh for 40 minutes if they want to leave the Dean Dome with their dignity intact. UNC beat Wake by 28 at Winston-Salem, and unless the Deacons are able to hit all of their shots, keep key players out of foul trouble, and impose their pace of the game, I don’t see this game being much different.
Make no mistake, UNC (21-3, 72 ACC) has big reasons to play well in this game, no the least of which is ACC position. Wake may be in an inferior opponent, but the Tar Heels need to win this game to keep pace with Boston College and Virginia (both 8-2 ACC). More importantly, the 1957 and 1982 National Championship teams are in the building. This team cannot let them down.
1:36 pm: Psycho T begins the scoring with 2 free throws. 2-0, UNC.
1:37 pm: Michael Jordan is in attendance in this game. The TV showed him, and Holy Crap! Whose idea was it to bring back the 70s plaid blazer?
1:39 pm: Both teams begin very sloppy before Lawson hits a deep three for the first FG of the game. 5-2, UNC. Before that both teams missed open layups.
1:40 pm: Visser hits a jumper for his first basket of the game, but Terry responds with an offensive rebound and a shot the just rolls in. 7-4, UNC.
1:41 pm: Wake is already in foul trouble, as Harvey Hale gets two quick fouls. Michael Drum (Wake) and UNC’s second team come in the game.
1:43 pm: The sloppiness continues as UNC is constantly committing turnovers, one of which leads to an easy Wake dunk. 7-6, UNC at the first TV timeout.
1:45 pm; Sylvia Hatchell is on ABC talking about the loss to Duke. The Duke women played an extremely good game on Thursday, especially on defense. I will give by belated full review later.
1:48 pm: OOOOHHHHHHH!!! Kyle Visser just got rejected from a wide open shot by Marcus Ginyard! YYEEEAAAAAHHHHH!!! That was awesome, seeing a 7-foot guy get stuffed by a 6-5 guy.
1:49 pm: Hansbrough makes a statement of his own, dunking with authority on the other end off a great pass by Lawson to make it 11-6, UNC.
1:50 pm: Neither team is playing especially well, giving away good opportunities.
Terry makes a great revers layup to make it 13-6, UNC.
1:52 pm: 15-8, UNC. Didn’t see those last two baskets. I was too distracted by MJ’s horrible suit. Sam Perkins, on the other hand, knows how to dress, with a pinstriped black blazer, a loose-collared withe shirt and dreadlocks. He’s looking sharp.
1:56 pm: 16-8, UNC. AAAAHHHHHHHH!!! MY EEEYYYYYYYYYYEESSSSS!!! BRANDAN WRIGHT IS SHOOTING FREE THROWS! THE PAIN! THE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE PAAIIIIIIINNN!!!
1:58 pm: 20-13, UNC. Wake finally hits a three, but Wright follows with a huge dunk. Good thing the Deacs didn;t foul him.
So far, this game is one giant turnover. Ironically, this favors the Heels.
2:00 pm: 20-16, UNC. Wes Miller and Quentin Thomas are in the game. Wake gets three points the hard way, but not before the refs changed their minds about five times.
2:02 pm: 21-20, Wake. UNC continues to turn the ball over, and a three and huge fast break dunk later, the Deacs have the lead on the road against the Heels.
WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! How the hell did this happen? I think I’m going to need a moment to comprehend this.
2:06 pm: 25-23, UNC. WAYNE’S WORLD! WAYNE’S WORLD! PARTY TIME! EXCELLENT! WHOOOOOOOO! The Heels are playing really well out of the TV timeout, passing the ball well, getting the ball inside (as Hansbrough gets another basket to amke it 27-23, UNC, and forcing Wake to take low-pecentage shots.
2:08 pm: 29-23, UNC. The Heels force another turnover, and Lawson is all alone on the other end.
2:10 pm: 32-25, UNC. Wake stops the bleeding, but Ellington gets three the hard way with the tough layup, as Michael Drum gets his third foul. Wake is now in deep foul trouble at that position.
2:11 pm: Hansbrough hits a nice baseline jumper to extend UNC’s lead to 9. He has been extending his shooting range this season quite nicely. I still want to see him drain a three though, like he did in in last year’s Duke game. That was one of my favorite moments of last season.
2:17 pm: 38-27, UNC. UNC has been to line alot more than Wake has in this game, which could end up being the difference in this game if Wake keeps it close enough. Lawson gets another nice layup in transition to make it 40-27.
2:19 pm: Terry hits a three to make it 43-29, UNC, and Ginyard hits another shot to extend the lead further. Since relenquishing their lead, UNC has outscored Wake 25-8 in the last six and a half minutes. Where was this against NC State?
2:23 pm: UNC absolutely storms into the locker room, outscoring Wake 31-11 to end the half with a 51-32 lead. If I were Skip Prosser, I would send one of the assistant coaches to get barbecue sandwiches at the concession stands, because they need a pick-me up right now.
2:43 pm: The second half begins. Let’s see how Wake changes their gameplan.
Immediately, Terry hits an open three to make it 54-32, UNC.
I saw the halftime ceremony of the 1957 and 1982 Championship teams. It was an awesome moment, but the radio and TV coverage botched most of it (by either not showing it or talking over it), and MJ could have used a different suit. Still, it was insanely awesome to see those teams together again, which for me was the first time, as I was not born when they won those championships.
2:46 pm: 57-35, UNC. Ellington gets three the hard way after Wake’s L.D. Williams makes another huge dunk. He can really showboat. Which reminds me, whatever happened to Ismail Muhammad? He was a huge dunker at Georgia Tech, and a great athlete who helped the Jackets get to the 2004 National Championship game. Yet after the 2005 season I never heard from him again. I must know what happened to him.
2:50 pm: 61-35, UNC. OOOHHHHHHHHH!!! UNC is really dominating this game now. Ellington gives an alley-oop to Wright. The Heels are scoring at will.
2:54 pm: 66-41, UNC. Upset watch: West Virginia leads #2 UCLA 60-55 late in the second half.
2:57 pm: 71-43, UNC. After another easy basket on the inside, Terry hits another tough shot in the paint, this time converting a three-point play.
3:00 pm: For me, it’s never too early to find out how our football recruits will fare in the coming year. I couldn’t wait for the spring game (as Bobby Frasor hits a three to make it 77-47 and Terry follows with one of his own), so I used EA Sports NCAA Football. I artificially created Marvin Austin, Tydreke Powell, Greg Little, Dwight Jones, Rashad Mason, Mike Paulus, Kevin Bryant, Ryan Houston, Da’Norris Searcy, and Quan Sturdivant (Wright dunks off a Frasor pass, 82-47), estimated their attributes based on their vitals (height, weight, 40 time), their ratings by Scout.com and ESPN, and put them to the test in an exhibition game (five minute quarters) versus a mid-major. (The opponent is from the WAC, they had a winning record in 2007, went to a bowl game and was NOT Boise State.) I will divulge the results later in the game.
3:06 pm: Wes Miller hits a wide open three, and UNC extends their lead to 38.
UPSET ALERT: West Virginia defeats UCLA, 70-65.
3:10 pm: 87-50, UNC. Seriously, Brandan Wright should just watch Tyler Hansbrough shoot free throws. He hasn’t missed in the last game and a half.
3:13 pm: Hansbrough makes another tough shot in the paint to make it 89-52, UNC. What else is new? Kyle Visser fouls out early.
3:15 pm: 93-57, UNC. Deon Thompson, Alex Stepheson, and Q are now in the game.
We Want Bis-Cuits! (clap-clap-clapclapclap) We Want Bis-Cuits! (clap-clap-clapclapclap)
3:19 pm: At halftime of Tar Heel Mania’s official Recriut Exhibition Game 2007, UNC leads 17-0. Mike Paulus has 13 rushing yars and is 8 of 18 passing for 131 yards and a touchdown pass to Greg Little, who has 2 reception for 43 yards. Dwight Jones leads all receivers with 53 yards. Ryan Houston has rushed the ball four times for 30 yards, including a 23 yard run near the end of the half, and 22 yards receiving. The defense has dominates the line of scrimmage, allowing only 4 yards of offense on 10 offensive plays, including a sack on the opening drive by Marvin Austin.
3:28 pm: 100-63, UNC. WE GOT BIS-CUITS! WHOOOOOOO!!!! Wes Miller delivers the artery-clogging three that clinches it. Dewey Burke and Surry Wood are now in the game, and I saw Roy smile for the first time in a while. The only thing that can make this better is Q hitting a halfcourt shot.
3:35 pm: Mercifully, the game ends for Wake Forest, as UNC wins 104-67. Complete and utter domination is the only way I can possibly describe this game.
3:45 pm: In the first (virtual) exhibition game for UNC’s 2007 recruits, the Tar Heels won 31-10 over their WAC opponent. Ryan Houston was the player of the game, carrying the ball 9 times for 95 yards and both of UNC’s third quarter touchdowns, to go with his 22 yards receiving. Mike Paulus completed 10 of his 22 passes for 157 yards and a touchdown, and also ran for a touchdown. Paulus was never sacked in the game thanks in part to Kevin Bryant’s four pancake blocks. The three freshman receivers (Little, Jones, and Mason) finished with 6 receptions 116 yards, and 1 TD. The defense allowed a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, but by then the game had been decided. The defense allowed 187 yards and recorded 2 interceptions and three sacks, two of which were by Marvin Austin. Overall, the new freshman class played excellent in this game, and played a major role is leading the team to a decisive victory. This was a mid-major, however, and it is unlikely that they would fare as well versus a conference opponent such as Virginia Tech. Still, if this is any indication of how these players will perform in real life (and with my experience in EA Sports NCAA Football, I vastly overestimate my team’s ability) the 2007 season should be a welcome relief from last year’s nightmare.