Monday, March 24, 2008

Carolina is all that's left......

It's the Monday after the first round of the NCAA tournament and the ACC is almost completely out of 'meaningful' post-season play. If it wasn't for the fact that UNC has won it's first two games in the tournament by an average of 35 it might have appeared as though ACC teams were not participating this year. In fact, what happened is that the lack of size (Duke), free throw shooting (Clemson), and talent (Miami) prevented each of these teams from getting to the Sweet 16. The true bench mark of College Basketball. Reaching the Sweet 16 allows every coach and player to take a sigh of relief. If you play in a BCS conference (ACC, Big Ten, Big East, SEC, Big 12, Pac-10) and you reach the Sweet 16 you can exhale. For the most part, your fans are just appreciative and will cheer their mouths off for you come Thursday or Friday. All you have to do is relax and play. The coaches for these teams are also at ease. They no longer have to consider their future with the program, or they're support from the staff (if this were in question0. In some cases, they might even receive a contract extension. It's a win win. Yes, these teams are expected to do whatever it takes to reach the final four but unless they go in to the tournament as a 1 seed they are excused if they fall short. Reaching this level is also a huge deal for non-BCS conference teams (everyone else), but for different reasons. These coaches will undoubtedly get interviews for open positions at BCS conference schools, and he might take one of those opportunities, so whatever success that school will have needs to happen now. Who knows if the next coach will be as successful. Also, these schools usually have a ton of upperclassman. This almost ensures that for many their Sweet 16 appearance will be their last opportunity to play big time college basketball, or any type of basketball viewed by more than (10,000 + people). Under the given circumstances usually the more talented BCS conference teams prevail. A lot of this has to do with their superior talent but the extraneous factors will more than likely play a roll in decided the victor. Who would you take your chances on? The confident big conference team with future NBA'ers and program stability or the poised small conference team with experienced players and a coach at the cusp of taking their career to a new level?....It's question posed every march and this year is no different.

ACC's road to the Final Four

Next up for the Tar Heels.....

#4 Washington State on Thursday.

followed by (with a Win) the winner between

#3 Louisville and #2 Tennessee

ACC Ballers Dunk of the Week....

North Carolina's Sophomore forward Deon Thompson throwin' down off the feed from Danny Green.

Monday, March 10, 2008

UNC handles Duke.....ACC TOURNAMENT WEEK (finally its here!!!!)

The Big Game between then #5 Duke and #1 UNC lived up to the hype. A total of 12 former McDonalds All Americans participated in the game (13 if Bobby Frasor wasn't hurt). .Duke beat UNC on the road a month ago. UNC in turn beat Duke on the road on Saturday.. blah blah. It was actually a very good game as both teams battled to the end. Although the Heels were up by 11 at halftime everybody could sense a Duke run coming. Of course, at about the 5 and a half minute mark Scheyer put the Devils up 2 for the first time all game. This was then negated by a huge 10-0 Carolina run. The Devils would then miss several shots down the stretch and as Carolina would come away with the W. Sophomore two guard Wayne Ellington and Junior guard/forward Danny Green combined for 34 points while Junior forward Tyler Hansbrough chipped in 15 rebounds.

Duke 68 - Carolina 76
Fan Pick: Carolina

Final ACC Regular Season Standings (in conference, overall):

1. North Carolina (#1): 14-2, 29-2
2. Duke (#7): 13-3, 26-4
3. Clemson: 10-6, 22-8
4. Virginia Tech: 9-7, 18-12
5. Miami: 8-8, 21-9
6. Maryland: 8-8, 18-13
7. Wake Forest: 7-9, 17-12
8. Florida State: 7-9, 18-13
9. Georgia Tech: 7-9, 14-16
10. Virginia: 5-11, 15-14
11. North Carolina State: 4-12, 15-15
12. Boston College: 4-12, 13-16

The ACC tournament starts this Thursday and not a moment too soon. The brackets are up and it looks like 4 straight days of great ACC ball.

Thursday (First Round)

#5 Miami vs. #12 North Carolina State - 63-50 Miami
#8 Wake Forest vs. #9 Florida State - 70-60 Florida State
#6 Maryland vs. #11 Boston College - 71-68 Boston College
#7 Georgia Tech vs. #10 Virginia - 94-76 Georgia Tech

Friday (Quarterfinals)

#1 North Carolina vs. #9 Florida State - 82-70 North Carolina
#4 Virginia Tech vs. #5 Miami - 63-49 Virginia Tech
#2 Duke vs. #7 Georgia Tech - 82-70 Duke
#3 Clemson vs. #11 Boston College - 82-48 Clemson


#4 Virginia Tech vs. #1 North Carolina - 66-68 North Carolina
#3 Clemson vs. #2 Duke - 78-74 Clemson


#3 Clemson vs. #1 North Carolina - 86-81 North Carolina

ACC Ballers Dunk of the Week.......(ACC Tournament)

Can Deron Washington fly? This was pretty ridiculous.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Regular Season winding down.....ACC Championship on the line.

With one more week left in the ACC regular season its becoming clear that the champion will be decided this Saturday, March 8th in Chapel Hill as #5 Duke takes on #1 North Carolina. Both teams are currently 12-2 in conference and each need to get through one more game (Duke plays at Virginia and UNC hosts Florida State) to ensure that the winner on Saturday wins the regular season crown outright. With this said, both teams are likely to go into Saturday night's game 13-2 and ready to bring it from the tip off. There's always been a bit of bad blood between these teams....

March 4, 2007

In addition there has been a war of words between Duke Coach Krzyzewski and UNC's Roy Williams. Coach K, discussing how Nolan Smith had been playing with a bad knee, mentioned that "unlike other schools we (Duke) don't release our injuries." The very next day coach Williams, in response to the Coach K's comments that he feels were directed at him chimed "Coach their own damn team, and I'll coach mine." Coach K definitely got under Roy's skin in this situation. Wouldn't be surprised if everyone of the injured UNC players who can return are playing on Saturday.

....Meanwhile ACC Sunday night hoops again lived up to expectations last night. On what was supposed to be a pleasant fair well to James Gist and Bambale Osby turned out to be a horror story for the packed house at Comcast Center (almost called it Cole Field House, I'm getting old). Everything was going the Terrapins way for the entire first and a good portion of the second half. Vasquez hit shots, Gist had a few monster blocks, The Terps were up something like 20 points with just over 11 minutes left. What happened after that I'm not so sure I can really explain....and I watched the game. What I did notice was that Clemson Senior forward James Mays, who had been suffering with an injury to his hand all year, began to dominate at the head of the press. Down 68-55, Clemson went on a 9-0 run in which Mays, who scored 7 of the 9, threw down a huge dunk to bring the Tigers within 4 with a bout 3 minutes left. Mays' athleticism sets him apart from most big men as Maryland clearly had no answer. He, along with Trevor Booker came alive in the second half and really beat up the Terrapins down low. A steal here, missed free throws there and Clemson had the game tied up at 70-70, and the ball, with about 14 seconds left....Clemson Freshman Terrence Oglesby does the rest.

Clemson 73
- Maryland 70
Fan Pick: Maryland other news Tyrese Rice of BC went for 46 in Saturday's loss at home to North Carolina. Rice had 23 in the first 7 minutes. Yea that's right, 23 in the first 7 minutes. Crazy, somehow BC still lost this game by 10.

ACC Ballers Dunk of the Week....

NC State Freshman J.J. Hickson gettin' up without lookin'