Car Care Bowl Live Blog

North Carolina. West Virginia. In the battle for who will win the game named after a company who once had George Foreman as a spokesperson. Winner will be 9-4 and feel awesome. Loser will be 8-5 and feel…not so awesome.

Most importantly, this is our first bowl game in 4 years and the end to our best season since 2001. And what better way to celebrate our exit from the doldrums than to face a team coached by the modern-day Carl Torbush. FEEL THE ELECTRICITY!

So get pumped, click on the blue stuff below at about 12:45, and let’s get this thing started.

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UNC vs. Michigan State Live Blog

I’ll be over at Storming The Floor to cover tonight’s game, which may of may not be Tyler-free (much to Michigan State’s apparent disappointment). See you there at 9pm.

UNC vs. Maryland Live Blog

The Tar Heels today face the biggest road block between them and Tampa in the Maryland Terrapins. The Terps are notoriously Jekkyl-and-Hydeish this season, but their scary team tends to show up at home. This game is going to be exciting.

This game has 99% of my attention today, and it would have 100% of it if not for the BEST COLLEGE BASKETBALL TEAM IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD EVER playing their opener at the same time. So you will get periodic updates of that game as well.

Live blog link is below.

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North Carolina vs. Washington State Live Blog on Storming The Floor

Tonight the Tar Heels play their first tournament opponent who legitimately scares me, the Washington State Cougars. It will be a treat to watch the two most contrasting styles of the tournament, UNC’s breakneck offensive pace versus Wazzu’s stifling defense.

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I’ll be at Storming The Floor to live-blog this game, as well as all of tonight’s action. So join us, won’t you?

#1 UNC vs. #5 Duke Live Blog

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.

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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:

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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:

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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?

Q…control thyself.

10:44 pm: 68-66, Duke. No…Scheyer for the lead!

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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.

 

 

 

 

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.

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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!
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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.
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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. NC State Live Blog: Second Half

Carolina finished on a 9-0 run to end the First. Will they continue their momentum in the second half, rather than play the way they played for the first 15 minutes? The end of the lunar eclipse could point to yes. Yes, that’s irrational, but since when is college basketball fandom supposed to be rational?

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8:02 pm: 36-31, UNC. Hansbrough opens the second half with the turnaround baseline jumper.

8:03 pm: 38-33, UNC. Hansbrough gets an easy one inside, but Thompson does a not-so-great job on the defensive end.

8:04 pm: 40-33, UNC. Qiuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu…

8:04 pm: 40-36, UNC. Another three-pointer for the Pack. This time it’s Costner.

8:07 pm: 42-36, UNC. Ellington draws a foul and hits two free throws.

At this point, the Pack seem to be letting Hansbrough catch the ball in the lane at will.

8:08 pm: 46-38, UNC. Hickson finally gets a nice shot inside, but Hansbrough hits another easy basket in the lane.

8:09 pm: 48-38, UNC. Q hits an outside shot. Believe me, that’s a big deal. Carolina has the game’s first double-digit lead.

8:15 pm: 52-38, UNC. Ellington gets a layup in transition. The Pack are starting to let this game get away from them. In part, that’s because our defense is finally clamping down.

8:17 pm: 56-38, UNC. Uh-oh. This could get ugly. Ginyard gets a dunk inside, and Hansbourgh gets the steal and dunk on the ensuing possession.

8:17 pm: 56-40, UNC. The Pack finally stop the bleeding.

8:19 pm: Ellington is called for the offensive foul.

8:23 pm: 56-41, UNC. Just for the hell of it:

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8:26 pm: 59-42, UNC. Ellington hits another three. He has 16 for the game.

8:27 pm: 59-44, UNC. You know you’re in the country when the big sign below the scorers table reads: “Enjoy North Carolina Peanuts”.

8:28 pm: 63-46, UNC. Carolina’s transition is revving up in the second half. meanwhile, Deon Thompson’s defense is still iffy (perhaps his knee is still not 100%).

8:30 pm: 66-49, UNC. Ellington’s on fire tonight!

8:31 pm: 68-52, UNC. The Wolfpack finally hit a three. If they have anything left in the tank, Sidney Lowe’s team needs to use it now.

8:34 pm: 70-52, UNC. Hansbrough (28 points) finally takes a breather.

8:36 pm: 72-53, UNC. QIUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!

8:38 pm: 72-58, UNC. Looking for something nice to say…well, Sidney Lowe really knows how to whistle.

8:39 pm: 75-58, UNC. J.J. Hickson has not been a factor in this game.

8:40 pm: 78-58, UNC. It’s one thing to be up against a better team, but it looks like the Wolfpack have just given up. They just let Ginyard drive and dunk from the top of the key. It was awesome, but it shows that Carolina is putting a lot more effort into this game than their opponent.

8:44 pm: 80-60, UNC. Green with the reverse layup.

8:45 pm: 80-62, UNC. Oh, sure. NOW Hickson makes his presence felt in the paint.

8:47 pm: 82-64, UNC. After that nice little shot that hung on the back iron before falling in, it just occured to me: Carolina has completely shut down Gavin Grant in the second half, after he was the leading scorer for the Pack in the first half.

8:50 pm: 82-67, UNC. Oh God, no. Plese tell me Mike Patrick did not just do that, Tell me he did not just compare Hansbrough to Wojo. I know what you’re trying to say, Mike, but that’s the last comparison we need.

8:52 pm: The game goes final: UNC wins, 84-70. An impressive victory for the Heels, who dominated the second half. Hansbrough delivers another spectacular performance, with 32 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 steals. Ellington has 21 points, and Thomas has 10. Carolina is now 25-2, and will next face Dino Gaudio’s red-hot Wake Forest team in Chapel Hill.