UNC vs. Duke Live Blog II: UNC Wins, 86-72

Today, UNC plays their final game of the season in the Dean Dome against the University of New Jersey at Durham. This is an extremely important game not only because of our opponent, or because it’s the last home game for Rayshawn Terry, Wes Miller, and Dewey Burke. The Heels are still vying for ACC and NCAA tournament position.

That was a sentence I would not have believed I would be typing at the beginning of the year. The ACC is a tough conference, but considering how well the Heels played last year and how good the incoming freshman are, everyone was fully expecting the Heels to run away with the conference title and a #1 seed in the Big Dance by this point. One of the problems is unrealistic expectations (last year was a freak of nature that we may never see again), but the main problem has been our gameplan, or specifically our deviation from it. Our bench players have seen significantly less time. We haven’t been aggressive on defense. Our inexperienced guards are not shooting well, but more importantly they’re shooting too much. Our strength is in the low post. But Hansbrough and Wright have not been reliable defenders either. The bench is their biggest asset, and they need to take more advantage of that. For example, Quentin Thomas is their best passer. He should play at least 10 minutes in this game, probably 15. That will leave 20-25 for Lawson, and 5 for Frasor. Perhaps the most important matchup will be Jon Scheyer versus Wayne Ellington and Marcus Ginyard. If the main objective is improving our defense, Ginyard should start and shut down Scheyer in the game. Ellington shoots too much, anyway.

But I am confident that UNC will win this game and clinch a share of the ACC championship. Don’t take it from me, take it from a corrupt, boring senator:

4:05 pm: Wow. The start of the game almost got pre-empted by the Missouri Vally Conference Championship. That’s how far the Mid-Majors have come.

4:07 pm: Burke and Miller start in the backcourt. WHOOOO!!!

Virginia Tech did its job by losing, now we need to do our job.

4:08 pm: 2-2. McRoberts and Wright each get an easy shot inside to begin the game.

4:09 pm: Duke has already attempted 6 shots. UNC is doing a bad job of defensive rebounding so far.

4:10 pm: 4-2, UNC. Wright goes inside and again scores easily. Dewey Burke comes out of the game.

4:11 pm: 8-2, UNC. Lawson makes a great dish to Terry for the basket, and then Hansbrough tips in a miss to give them 8 straight points. UNC is doing exactly what they should do, attacking the inside on every possession.

4:13 pm: 10-2, UNC. McRoberts tries to cheat by pushing a basket out from inside the net. UNC has all the momentum right now.

Ellington is in for Miller.

4:14 pm: 12-2, UNC. Green and Thompson are already in the game, and Green gives the Heels another easy basket.

4:15 pm: 14-8, UNC. What the Hell? Gerald Henderson was a non-factor all season, and suddenly he hits three straight shots? I of all people should know that UNC-Dook exists in separate bizarro universe, but even I cannot comprehend this. Thankfully, Hansbrough gets another basket and brings back a semblance of sanity. Speaking of insanity…

4:18 pm: Presenting the most bizarre advertisement ever made. For crying out loud, you’re a chemical company!

4:20 pm: 16-10, UNC. Wright scores again, but what the hell is up with Gerald Henderson? Since when did he stop stinking and do stuff like this?

4:21 pm: 18-10, UNC. Wright scores again, this time off a steal and pass by Ellington. There isn’t anyone on this Duke team with the skill set to defend him. Unless Lance Thomas can leap like a combination of a kangaroo and Tyrone Biggums.

4:26 pm: 23-14, UNC. Terry hits a huge three to put the Heels up nine. He’s playing unusually well; normally I would not have heard from him at all at this stage in the game.

4:28 pm: 25-17, UNC. Ginyard makes one off a drive in the lane, but Paulus hits Duke’s first three of the game.

Bobby Frasor is in the game. I’m still awaiting the arrival of Quentin Thomas.

4:29 pm: 27-19, UNC. Hansbrough gets another tip-in, but he gets into early foul trouble. He’s probably the one guy the Heels can ill afford to have on the bench for a long time.

4:31 pm: 27-22, UNC. How does UNC leave Paulus that open? How does Deon Thompson miss a layup? Most importantly, how has CBS managed to resist a Coach K closeup? They haven’t become, like, sane, have they? Nah, probably just an oversight.

4:34 pm: UNC has to do better at rebounding. Their shooting percentage is nearly double that of Duke, but they keep getting second chances.

4:35 pm: 29-22, UNC. Now that’s what I call defense! Thomas gets position inside, but Terry rejects him, and the Heels are able to get a basket in transition by Thompson.

4:36 pm: 32-22, UNC. WAYNE’S WORLD! WAYNE’S WORLD! PARTY TIME! EXCELLENT! WHOOOOOOOOO!!! (riff) Ellington gets three the hard way to bring the lead back to double digits.

Hansbrough’s back in the game. Odd as it may sound, I’m not sure I like this decision. UNC was doing fine in his absence, why risk a third foul? We need him in the second half.

4:39 pm: Finally, A Coach K closeup after he takes a timeout. I knew CBS would return from their senses eventually.

4:41 pm: TAR! HEELS! TAR! HEELS! TAR! HEELS! TAR! HEELS! TAR!…

4:42 pm: 32-24, UNC. Paulus breaks the drought with an easy layup off a backdoor cut.

Still awaiting the arrival of Quentin Thomas.

4:43 pm: Hansbrough, a great steal, but what the hell kind of a shot was that?

4:47 pm: 34-24, UNC. OOOOHHHHHHH!!!! OOHHHHHH!!! What a pass by Lawson, and Hansbrough is in the paint, all alone. I don’t think I need to tell you what happened next.

4:48 pm: 34-25, UNC. I love you Wes, but what are you doing?!?!?

4:49 pm: How is that a foul on Brandan Wright? It was McClure who was reaching for his nutsack!

4:50 pm: 38-25, UNC. Great defense by the Tar Heels, and it leads to easy transition baskets, the latest by Lawson.

4:51 pm: 38-28, UNC. Just as I type that, Scheyer hits a three to reduce the lead to 10.

4:53 pm: The first half ends, with UNC leading 38-29. UNC played well in the first half, playing good defense and attacking the inside. Three things still concern me about the game so far.

  1. Duke won the rebounding battle in the first half; UNC cannot let Duke keep getting second chances.
  2. Dewey Burke has played more in the game than Quentin Thomas. This is inexcusable; Q passes better than anyone on our team, even if he can’t shoot a lick.
  3. UNC has only attempted 3 free throws so far. Hansbrough and Wright need to be more physical when they get the ball. More importantly, the guards need to get the ball to them when they are in better position to attack. Which brings us back to number two; that’s still one of Lawson’s weaknesses.

Back in the second half.

5:09 pm: 42-29, UNC. Hansbrough gets two straight baskets to start the second half, the first one of which was too easy.

5:10 pm: Correction: when I said Scheyer hit a three, he didn’t/ I turns out he’s has been held scoreless so far.

4:11 pm: 44-35, UNC. Who are you, and what have you done with the real Gerald Henderson?

Wright hits a basket again. He hasn’t missed yet.

Scheyer finally hits a three to bring the lead back to single digits.

5:16 pm: 46-37, UNC. It takes a minute and a half for Duke to score. It takes 6 seconds for Ty Lawson to drive in for a layup.

5:17 pm: 46-40, UNC. What the hell is happening? Suddenly UNC decided to make really bad decisions, and they’re letting the Dookies back in the game. That’s their problem; when they’re mentally focused, they can blow any team out of the sky. But if they’re not mentally focused, well…they lose to 5 players and Sidney Lowe’s red suit.

5:22 pm: 46-42, UNC. Hansbrough finally gets fouled, but he should have made that first shot.

5:23 pm: 50-44, UNC. Hansbrough makes a tough fadeaway jumper to extend the lead.

I am still awaiting the arrival of Quentin Thomas. Does he have an injury I don’t know about?

5:25 pm: 50-48, UNC. Once again, UNC is in danger of losing their lead, and it will be because they didn’t play as hard as the opponent. I am really starting to get sick of this.

5:26 pm: 53-48, UNC. Hansbrough gets the basket AND the foul on McRoberts. He now has 19 points and 12 rebounds.

5:27 pm: 53-50, UNC. Robot Henderson scores again. I’m mad at UNC’s sudden bad decision making, but I guess it wouldn’t be UNC-Duke if it wasn’t a nail biter, would it?

5:31 pm: 56-50, UNC. Ginyard hots a huge three at the top of the key, and Lawson almost steals the inbound pass.

McRoberts flops like an Italian soccer player.

5:32 pm: 58-50, UNC. Hansbrough scores again! This time it’s a hook shot. He now has 21 points.

5:34 pm: 58-50, UNC. If Dook loses, McRoberts should be held single-handedly responsible for their demise.

5:36 pm: 60-50, UNC. Ginyard makes some great moves for a layup to bring the lead back to double digits. It looks like the Dookies may be running out of gas.

5:39 pm: 62-50, UNC. Paulus is on the bench with 4 fouls.

5:41 pm: If Lawson is going to be our point guard, now is a good time to rest him for two to three minutes. Guess who gets my vote?

5:42 pm: 66-52, UNC. Scratch that. Lawson is responsible for two straight buckets, one an assist to Hansbrough. Robot Henderson’s basket is canceled out by a Wright rejection of McClure.

5:45 pm: 68-54, UNC. This Tar Heel team has to realize that they have to play with this kind of intensity for six games in a row if they want to win the national championship. They have yet to show me that they can maintain that mindset long enough to pull it off.

5:48 pm: 68-57, UNC. Carolina, don’t you dare let up now! Don’t leave their guards that open, no matter what the situation is.

5:50 pm: 70-59, UNC, 3:40 left. If all the Heels do is play defense and hit their free throws from this point on, they should hold on to win this game.

5:53 pm: 73-59, UNC, 3:10 left. Wright rebounds a Paulus miss, and Terry hits a jumper off the glass on the other end.

5:54 pm: 75-59, UNC, 2:31 left. It looks like UNC has pretty much sealed this game.

Seriously, could the Rams Club pay for Tyler Hansbrough’s laser eye surgery or something? This whole contact lens thing is getting really old, really fast.

5:56 pm: 75-64, UNC, 1:57, left. Oh no, don’t tell me Scheyer is suddenly going to get hot and mount a Dook comeback.

5:59 pm: Dook is running the full court trap against the Heels. This is how they erased a 10 point deficit in less than 60 seconds against Maryland in 2001. This is textbook Coach K. It almost got Hansbrough to turn the ball over in front of his own basket.

6:01 pm: 79-64, UNC, 1:21 left. Fittingly, Senior Rayshawn Terry puts this game away at the free throw line.

6:06 pm: 83-68, UNC, :46 left. Miller and Ginyard put the exclamation point on this game. WHOOOOO!!!

Terry and Miller are given their curtain call. I’m going to miss them, but Terry should have stepped up to be the team leader this year.

6:10 pm: 84-72, UNC, :17 left. Bye bye, Paulus! Bye bye, McRoberts!

6:12 pm: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! That was just a cheap shot by Robot Henderson! He simply took his frustrations out on Tyler Hansbrough’s face! He should be ejected. Tar Heel fans everywhere have a new favorite player to hate.

6:16 pm: YYYEEEEEEAAAAHHHH!!! Henderson is ejected. I looked at the replay, and now I realize that while too aggressive, and probably meant to make solid contact Hansbrough, he probably wasn’t going for the face. Still, the Dean Dome crowd lets him hear it.

6:18 pm: The gems officially ends: UNC wins, 86-72. Normally I would be very ecstatic about winning our final home game, beating Duke by double digits, and winning the ACC regular season crown, but that Henderson elbow (intentional or not) really put a damper on things. I don’t think I’ve seen Hansbrough so pissed off. Seriously, he was about to cry; a blow to the nose hurts like hell. (I should mention that Hansbrough had 26 points and 17 rebounds, one of his best games ever.) Still, congratulations to UNC for finally winning the ACC championship, and to Rayshawn Terry, Dewey Burke and Wes Miller in their final home game. And congratulations to Tar Heel fans across the world We now officially have a new excuse to despise our neighbors.

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UNC vs. NC State Live Blog II: God Is Withholding The Destruction Of China Until He Gets A Bootleg Copy of “Snakes On a Plane: Air Force One”

If you’re wondering about the title, the part after the colon has nothing to do with tonight’s game. I just though you should know that before you make any travel plans. I have my sources.

Anyway, when these two teams last met at the RBC Center on Feb. 3, NC State managed to pull off the upset 83-79. Now, we could talk about how UNC may have overlooked their opponent, how soft the Tar Heel defense was, how well prepared the Wolfpack were for their opponent, how they managed to squeeze their starters for all they were worth, what a boost the return of point guard Engin Atsur was, how well they passed the ball, how they dictated the pace of the game by bringing to a screeching halt, and how the Wolfpack shot 76% in the second half. We could dissect every angle of the game, but you and I both know there was only one reason they won that game:

sidney_lowe.jpg

lowe-and-roy.jpg

That’s it. It was that friggin’ red blazer that our good pimpalicious friend Sidney Lowe wore on the sidelines. They won because of coach Lowe’s gaudy outfit! Good lord, I wish I knew how to use Photoshop so I can give him a red fedora and “cheerleader” by his side. That would complete the image. If he does that, the Wolfpack will be unstoppable. However, I don’t think he’ll go that far today, which is why I think that the Tar Heels will be prepared enough not to allow lightning strike twice. It will still be a nail-biter; the Pack will be able to hold on until the bitter end. But at some point, the Heels are going to dictate the pace of the game; if an when that’s happens, UNC will win. I just hope the game does not rest on Brandan Wright free throws. Then all bets are off.

(By the way: if you found this blog in the WordPress dashboard, the preceding photograph is the reason you found me. I posted this photo after the first game. Yesterday a forum on InsideCarolina.com was looking for a picture of Lowe in his pimpadelic garb. Some dude in Virginia linked to my article.)

9:05 pm: 2-0, UNC. The Heels are trying to dictate the pace early. Brandan Wright starts off with an easy layup in transition. Hansbrough then gets the steal on the other end, but he turns the ball over himself.

9:07 pm: 2-2. Gavin Grant gets behind the defense for an easy dunk.

I see Coach Lowe is pimped out once again tonight.

9:08 pm: 5-2, UNC. Danny Green hits the first 3-pointer of the game. Ironically, NCSU has had three open attempts from beyond the arc and missed them all.

9:09 pm: 5-5. Just as I type that, Brandon Costner gets three the hard way.

9:10 pm: 7-5, UNC. Hansbrough gets his first basket of the game. That’s only the second time he’s touched the ball in this game.

9:13 pm: TAR! HEELS! TAR! HEELS!

9:14 pm: NC State is doing a good job of collapsing on the ball defensively. That has prevented several potential baskets for UNC so far.

9:15 pm: 9-6, UNC. WAYNE’S WORLD! WAYNE’S WORLD! PARTY TIME! EXCELLENT! WHOOOOOO!!! (guitar riff)

I just saw Ty Lawson slow down on his way to the halfcourt. Maybe it means nothing. Maybe it means everything.

9:18 pm: 9-8, UNC. Bobby Frasor is in at point for the Heels. Thompson, Miller and Ginyard are also in the game.

9:19 pm: 12-8, UNC. Brandan Wright makes a relly nice shot inside and drwas the foul. Perhaps even more impressive is that his free throw was nothing but net.

9:20 pm: 16-11, UNC. Engin Atsur hits the first three for the Wolfpack. Ginyard then gets 4 points in one possession. First he goes to the free throw line, makes the first, and misses the second. UNC rebounds, and Ginyard hits a quick three.

9:23 pm: 16-14, UNC. I would say that luck is on UNC’s side, but then State hits another open three pointer, and then Ginyard commits an offensive foul. That was a bizarre series of events. This calls for a really bizarre commercial. You gotta love Japan.

9:25 pm: 18-16, UNC. Costner ties the game for NC State, but the Hansbrough makes a hook shot from the baseline.

9:26 pm: 21-18, NCSU. The Wolfpack are really starting to hit their shots, and have taken the lead. Hmmm. The basketball gods must not like Japanese TV.

9:28 pm: 25-20, NCSU. At the beginning of the game, NC State couldn’t make a shot. Now, they can’t miss. The red blazer is working its voodoo. Roy should have known better than to not wear some gaudy Carolina Blue blazer.

9:30 pm: 28-24, NCSU. Lawson makes a nice layup inside, but he picks up his second foul. This means that Quentin Thomas enters the game. Believe it or not, he may be the team’s best passer.

9:35 pm: 28-26, NCSU. Thomas enters the game and the pace immediately picks up. The transition goes form Hansbrough rebound to Thomas pass to Ellington layup in 5 seconds.

9:38 pm: 29-28, NCSU. Q! QIUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!! I think that’s the seventh shot he’s hit this season.

9:39 pm: 30-29, UNC. Hansbrough gives the Heels the lead on free throws. UNC is on a 8-1 run.

9:42 pm: 32-31, UNC. Psycho T is getting his touches, and it shows. But Atsur hits another three to make it 34-32, NCSU.

9:43 pm: 36-34, UNC. OOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! That did not just happen! NC State was rejected, UNC won a scrum for the ball, and Q threw an alley-oop to Wright. Q made it look too easy.

9:44 pm: Wait a minute…Q plays absolutely phenomenal at point for 4 minutes, and then Roy puts in Bobby Frasor? That makes no sense. But I love when Engin Atsur is shouting “BULL—-!” on the court. You may not have heard it, but I could read his lips.

9:48 pm: 37-36, UNC. McCauley finally gets on the board for the Wolfpack, but Horner picks up his third foul. the frontcourt is in real foul trouble.

9:49 pm: Oh no. BRANDAN WRIGHT IS SHOOTING FREE THROWS!!! MY EYYYEEEESSSSS!!! IT BUUUUUUURRRNNNSSS!!!

9:50 pm: 39-36, UNC. Wright hits 2 of 4 free throws. Still, it was pretty ugly.

9:52 pm: 40-39, NCSU. The Wolfpack draw two quick fouls, and suddenly they take the lead at the line.

9:53 pm: 41-40, UNC. Brandan Wright gets a nice inside basket at the end of the half. NC State cant get a shot off, which means that UNC leads 41-40 at halftime. Believe it or not. the Heels did not play too badly so far in this game. NC State seemed to control the pace for the first 12 minutes, and UNC seemed to regain some semblance of control in the final 8 minutes, especially when Quentin Thomas was at point. I definitely think that he is a better matchup against point than the slower, more conservative Bobby Frasor. That’s what UNC needs to do to win this game in the second half. They must absolutely be the aggressors in the second half, and tire out the thin Wolfpack.

10:12 pm: Apparently Sidney Lowe fell ill at some point during halftime. What this means is that his red blazer can no longer do its voodoo, which means it’s only a matter of time before the Heels pull away.

10:14 pm: 43-40, UNC. Actually, all bets are off again. They coach filling in for Lowe, Monty Towe, was the point guard of the 1974 Championship team.

10:15 pm: 43-42, UNC. Costner hits the first FG of the second half, but McCauley picks up his 3rd foul.

10:16 pm: 45-45. Hansbrough is fed the ball again, but Costner hits an NBA three. He is an unbelievable athlete.

10:18 pm: 49-45, UNC. Well, the momentum from the three pointer lasted about 10 seconds. First Ellington drives in for a layup the gives UNC the lead, then the Heels force a steal leading to a two handed dunk by Terry. Which is good, because I haven’t heard from him all night.

10:22 pm: 51-45, UNC. NC State turns the ball over again, and Bobby Frasor gets an easy layup.

10:23 pm: 55-47, UNC. Gavin Grant stops the bleeding with a dunk, but Deon Thompson proceeds to get two straight baskets inside. UNC has outscored NC State 14-7 in the second half. More importantly, the Heels are dictating the pace of the game.

10:26 pm: A travel?!? BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

10:27 pm: 57-50, UNC. How does Courtney Fells get that open?!? Fortunately, Wright and the UNC frontcourt are dominating the offensive paint.

10:28 pm: 57-52, UNC. RUN TO THE HILLS!!! BRENDAN WRIGHT IS SHOOTING FREE THROWS!!!

10:29 pm: 60-52, UNC. Sidney Lowe is in the hospital, but he’s okay. Now to the important stuff: Hansbrough just dunked! WHOOOOOOOOO!!!

10:32 pm: 62-54, UNC. What was UNC doing not boxing out? They gave up a basket because of that! Fortunately, Wright makes another basket off a Hansbrough miss.

10:34 pm: 65-54, UNC. Yes! Lawson hits a three, and UNC has its first double digit lead of the game.

Dear Hansbrough: wear prescription goggles. This contact lens stuff is getting ridiculous.

10:36 pm: 68-54, UNC. Danny Green hits another three for the Heels. More importantly, it looks like the Wolfpack are out of gas.

10:37 pm: 68-56, UNC. Gavin Grant gets a breakaway dunk. I just had to open my trap, didn’t I?

10:39 pm: Bizarre ad: Young man, you may wanna wean off that Photoshop.

10:42 pm: 70-56, UNC. Wait…did that just happen? Did Brandan Wright hit both of his free throws? ITS A MIRACLE!!! The answer to my prayers!

10:44 pm: 72-58, UNC. WAYNE’S W– ooh…YEAH! WRIGHT’S WORLD! WRIGHT’S WORLD! PARTY TIME! EXCELLENT! WHOOOO!!! (guitar riff)

10:46 pm: 74-61, UNC. Brandan Wright is truly having a career day. Not only does he have a caree high 24 points, he has dominated the paint on both sides of the ball unlike I’ve ever seen him before.

10:50 pm: 78-61, UNC. Hansbrough gets a nice basket inside. He has 18 tonight. The frontcourt has dominated this game. But why hasn’t Q seen more time on the court? He played very well when he was on the court (better than Lawson, to be honest), but he only played 4 minutes. What gives?

10:53 pm: 80-61, UNC. The Heels pretty much have this one in the books. This is a game closer to what I expected in our original matchup: That the Wolfpack was good enough to hang around in the first half, but UNC’s depth would allow them to pull away in the second half as NC State ran out of gas. To be honest, the game was over the moment their pimpadelic coach left the building. It’s hard to overcome that.

10:56 pm: 83-62, UNC. WHOOOO!!! WES! WES! WES! Miller hits a three.

10:57 pm: And that’s how the games ends: UNC wins 83-64! WHOOOOOO!!! Cue the Band! With this win UNC remains solidly in first place in the ACC at 10-3. Regardless of what I said about coach Lowe, I really hope he’s OK.

11:00 pm: Oh. Good Lord. The NC Powerball drawing just killed that atmosphere. Way to go WRAL.

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.

#5 UNC vs. Wake: Annihilation Would Be an Understatement Part II, and A Peek Into Butch Davis’ Crystal Ball

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.

Wait………………..

……………………….

……………………….

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.