Saturday, March 31, 2007

NEW WVU SLOGAN: “WE’D LIKE TO BUY A VOWEL”

Yo, so is "NIT" short for NITWIT, or what? That's the only plausible explanation after seeing the rather glaring typo on West Virginia's championship T-shirts.

Good thing the Mountaineers won, or those shirts might have ended up in some impoverished nation whose children would end up not knowing how to spell West Virginia, and then America would probably get blamed for imposing our illiteracy on foreign lands or some such. Fortunately, our illiteracy will be staying right here in America, where it belongs (although we're always happy to lease it to the Canadians). Unless, of course, there was also a typo on the Clemson shirts.

So in conclusion, kids, remember: There's no "I" in team -- but there are three of them in West Virginia. -- Paul Lukas – ESPN-Page 2



West Virgina Unversty officals clam that they had nothng to do wth the error, but 'n all likelhood t'was caused by blurred vison as the result of smoke gettng in ther eyes from couch burnng rehearsals conducted pror to the fnal game.

BLOG HALL OF FAME - COACH K'S MY SPACE PAGE

Hey, it feels like weeks since we poked fun at Coach Kradcvbgfs5ski and the Dookies, so...We like the blog JoeSportsFan. They checked out our site and said nice things, so they are cool by us. They are also, more importantly, very good at what they do and damn funny. Check out the faux Mike Krxzydfhbv6ski My Space web site. Good stuff.

http://www.joesportsfan.com/mediaspace/?id=7

PICTURE OF THE DAY

HAPPY 5th Birthday Toly!

Friday, March 30, 2007

KLIMPSON JOBBED BY REFS

To no one’s surprise the New York-based, Big East lovin’ men in stripes were ultimately the undoing of the just-one-Duke-cheating-clock gate-loss-away-from-a-high-NCAA-bid Clemson Tigers in the NIT final last night played in Madison Square Garden, which coincidentally is where the Big East Tournament is played.

The clearly biased officials constantly called fouls on the West Virginia Mountaineers, forcing the Tigers to the free throw line where even non-sports, non-ACC, non-breathing people know Oliver Purnell’s boys are just plain horrible. “Brilliant strategy,” said an impressed Purnell.

As a result of the plethora of imaginary fouls called on the couch burners, Clemson was sent to the line to shoot an incredible eight free throws – that’s right, EIGHT. “Can you believe that?” said K.C. “Take Me To The” Rivers who managed 18 points, but who played most of the game like he was K.C. “In A Van Down By The” Rivers.

Frank Young-PittsNoggle led Must Incinerate Furniture U. with 23 points, while Da’Jean PittsDoggle-Butler racked-up 20 more. Jamie “Honey I Shrunk Myself, And Now I’m” Smalligan-PittsFoggle added 8 points and a bad haircut, while Darris PittsGoggle-Nichols, who sank the game winner in the semis, added 13 while complaining that his eyes kept pittsfogging up from the emissions from New York taxi-cabs.

All North Carolina based furniture companies are seeking temporary help so they can increase production and keep up with the demand for new couches to replace the ones stolen and burned all over West Virginia late last night and early this morning.

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED: West Virginia played a smothering defense and shot well. The Mountaineers were 12-20 (60%) from behind the arc, while Clemson was 6-23 (26%). WVU controlled the entire game and final score is misleading. It wasn’t that close.

ACC TO DISBAND

ACC Commissioner John Swofford (pictured at right) announced at a press conference earlier today that the league famous for more NCAA national championships in the past 20 years than any other will, in fact, disband following Clemson’s loss to West Virginia and North Carolina’s horrible gasping puke against Georgetown. “We’re just overrated, and no good,” said Swofford.

“Look, we can’t run with the Big East, they are far superior, so why bother?” said Swofford. “Yeah, we had Michael Jordan, James Worthy, Sam Perkins, and Vince Carter, but the Big East had Derrick Coleman, Pearl Washington and Ronny Seikaly. You tell me who’s better?”

“For starters, there is an East Coast media bias,” stated Swofford, “The big media outlets that dominate the sporting public’s opinion and who tirelessly work to brainwash sports fans look at all the statistics and the games and then say the ACC is the best conference year-in and year-out. They examine all the facts and base the ACC's superiority on them. That's ridiculous. That is extra mind-boggling when you consider that those outlets – New York, Philadelphia, Connecticut and Washington D.C. – all have amazing, incredible, unbelievable, phenomenal Big East games going on right under their clearly biased noses. Weird, you’d think they’d be biased toward the Big East, but they aren’t. I guess the South Carolina media has more clout than I thought.”

“Top to bottom, the big East is awesome. We just don’t have anybody that has a record like the University of South Florida. Yeah, I know, we’ve won a bunch of championships, been in damn near every Final Four with the exception of the last two years, but we’re slipping. Right now, what says NCAA Championship, Final Four or McDonald’s All-American recruits like Rutgers, Seton Hall or St. John’s?” asked Swofford.

Regarding overall depth of the conferences, Swofford said, “It’s no contest. They have Marquette for crying out loud. I mean, they won the NIT in 1970, went to the Final Four in 1974 and won it all in 1977? How many ACC teams have won a National Championship since 1977? I tell you how many – 8 and that’s not enough.” “And DePaul,” Swofford continued, “ever since 'Everybody Loves' Raymond Meyer, the huggable old teddy bear of a coach left, they’ve never been to a Final Four or won a title. How are we supposed to compete with that? Not to mention that West Virginia has now won the prestigious NIT twice in 65 years. TWICE! Now that’s impressive.”

“And Providence and Villanova? Don’t get me started. The Friars have been great since Ernie DiGregorio played. He was the rookie of the year in 1973 in the NBA, he set a record for most assists that only a kid from North Carolina State managed to tie! And Villanova? Ever since Rollie snuck off to UNLV for a big bag of money, it seems like Nova is in the Final Four every damn year. They’re not, but it sure does seem that way. We are far inferior, it’s as simple as that,” bellyached Swofford.

“Ultimately, when you lose road games in the NIT like State did to West Virginia; in spite of the fact that, 26 of the first 30 teams did, you’re toast, and it’s time to pack it in. And the Georgetown game? When G-Town plays great for 33 minutes and is still losing by 10 that just proves how much better they were top to bottom. Boy, if the Hoyas play badly, they’re down 20, so how good are they?”

“Never mind, that Georgetown hasn’t been to a Final Four in 22 years and during that time only 4 ACC teams have made 16 trips,” continued Swofford. “That record’s just not acceptable, and we aren’t going to tolerate that kind of under performance. There is simply no reason to keep playing,” he whined.

“Finally, we’re losing coaches to Radford, which should shut the whole thing down.”

PITIFUL ACC WINS SLAM DUNK CHAMPIONSHIP

In yet another example of how far the once powerful ACC has fallen, Georgia Tech's Mario West won the Slam Dunk Championships held at Georgia State during Final Four basketball festivities Thursday March 29 2007, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)

PICTURE OF THE DAY

THE KID with the shaved hair from Michigan is at it again. Quality.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

DUKE LACROSSE CHARGES ABOUT TO BE DROPPED?

According to the Duke Chronicle, the remaining charges against three former Duke men's lacrosse players are likely to be dropped soon, but there is no set date for such an announcement, parents of the indicted players said Thursday.Citing information from Inside Lacrosse Magazine writer Paul Caulfield, Foxnews.com first reported Thursday morning that the sexual assault and kidnapping charges against Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann would be dropped within "the next few days."

Parents of the indicted players confirmed to The Chronicle the case was nearing its end but said it was not yet clear when it would formally happen."We don't exactly know what the day is," said Philip Seligmann, father of Reade. "All I can say as far as [the families] are concerned is it can't be soon enough. We've been waiting for that day for almost a year now."

WAHOO'S TOP RECEIVER INJURED

Kevin Ogletree, Virginia's top wide receiver, suffered a serious knee injury and is expected to miss the 2007 season. Ogletree tore an anterior cruciate ligament in practice Friday and will require surgery, coach Al Groh said on Wednesday. Ogletree ranked third in receptions in the Atlantic Coast Conference last season as a sophomore, catching 52 passes for 582 yards and four touchdowns. He played as a true freshman in 2005, so Ogletree can redshirt this season and return in 2008 with two years of eligibility remaining.

Coach Al Groh was clearly annoyed by the injury, and said Ogletree would spend the season sanding the VT initials out of the basketball court in the $130 million John Paul Jones Arena.

NEXT TO CATCH ON FIRE: ROME?

Hey, we know modern society is hurtling down a path to who-the-hell-knows-where, but to borrow a phrase from SI, here’s one more sign of the apocalypse. Last night in Freddom Hall, the home of the Louisville Cardinals, during the McDonald’s All-American Game, fans repeated taunted top recruit O.J. Mayo with “overrated, overrated.”

Ouch.


It’s a high school game. Mind you Mayo’s self-recruitment (he declared he was going to USC so he could bask in the pre-pro-enhancing spotlight of Los Angeles) has been the subject of much sports talk. This reached a zenith when he pushed a ref (his peeps say the ref “flopped”), and when he refused to give coach Tim Floyd his cell phone number. It didn’t help that he is supposed to be the best high school player in the country and he finished with 12 points on 4-of-17 shooting.

By the way, if you haven’t ever heard of Dime magazine. Good. If you have, you’d have a problem. Dime is the “basketball lifestyle magazine” with the motto “The game. The players. The life.” There are a lot of articles and ads about shoes.

SPEAKING OF BIG MACS

We are going to have to make fun of Duke for as long as we can, because they are reloading with top prospects. As usual, a bunch of kids playing in the Mac All-American game are headed for Duke: Nolan Smith, PG, 6’3”, 210, 22.1 points per game; G/F Taylor King, 6’8”, 210, 27.6 ppg, 11.7 rebounds and C/F Kyle Singler, 6’9”, 210, 29.7 ppg, 8.8 rebounds. What happened to O.J. Mayo? No cell phone service in Durham?

North Carolina State landed 6’10”, 240lb J.J. Hickson, 25.9 ppg, 13.8 rebounds (doesn’t Big Sid have enough big guys already?) and Georgia Tech snagged Gani Lawal, 6’9”, 220.


Other schools to land a McDonald’s All-American were Georgetown (2), Syracuse (2), Florida, Ohio State, USC, Villanova, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Arizona, Arizona State, Indiana, UCLA and Memphis.

Who’s missing from the list? UNC.

Virginia Tech also landed two players with McDonald’s credentials. William Jefferson “Double” Wide, 6’0”, 338 lbs, and Kingston “John” Candy, 6’2”, 346 lbs. both of Daytona Beach, Florida. The two had finished tied for first in the much heralded Daytona Beach Biker Week Big Mac Derby by consuming 27 of the triple decker burgers each.

“Well, at least there from Florida,” said Hokie head coach Seth Greenberg, “That’s a step in the right direction.”

HANSBROUGH WOODEN AWARD FINALIST

North Carolina sophomore Tyler Hansbrough is among the five finalists for the John R. Wooden Award, presented to college basketball's outstanding player. Others invited for the April 7 presentation at the Los Angeles Athletic Club are freshmen Greg Oden of Ohio State and Kevin Durant of Texas, Texas A&M senior Acie Law IV and Wisconsin senior Alando Tucker.

JUST PRETEND IT’S SOME KID’S HEAD

Last night on PTI, it was revealed that Texas Tech doesn’t have a punter for the upcoming season. So the Red Raiders coaching staff is running an ad in the student newspaper. The PTI boys suggested basketball coach Bob Knight try out for the job. According to Kornheiser, “then people will go to their games.” No word on the response to the ad.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

THE MESSAGE attached to this photo we received yesterday from a "lawyer who knows stuff" said something like "if this is what you see when you walk outside your house first thing in the morning, go back in and stay there as it's not going to be a good day." Amen. There are omens, and then there are omens.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

WOLFPACK COACH'S SON ARRESTED

Just as the tournament is winding down and it looks like the news flow is about to lighten up, along comes off-season crime. Why wait until the offseason? Sid, Jr. didn’t.

The son of North Carolina State basketball coach Sidney Lowe faces more than 20 charges, ranging from armed robbery to drug possession, in connection with two separate attacks, authorities said Tuesday. Twenty-year-old Sidney R. Lowe Jr. was charged with nine counts, including a felony of aiding and abetting attempted armed robbery in connection the shooting of a man in a campus dorm Saturday.

Lowe's attorney, Locke “’Em Up” Clifford, police also filed 13 charges against his client in connection with an incident March 16. Clifford said Lowe is charged with six counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, six counts of second-degree kidnapping and one count of assault inflicting serious bodily injury. He said Lowe and another man are accused of going to a house with six people in it and striking one of them on the head with a bottle. In addition, there are other drug related charges as well.

Lowe maintains his innocence. It all sounds like a big “misunderstanding.”

Florida State head football coach Bobby Bowden contacted the Greensboro police and asked, “Can that dad gummed boy throw a football or not?” Bowden was disappointed to learn that he could in fact toss the rock, but that Butch Davis and Frank Beamer had first dibs.

GREENBERG LEAVING VIRGINIA TECH

Made you look!

Brad Greenberg, the associate head coach on brother Seth Greenberg's staff at Virginia Tech, was introduced as the men's basketball coach at nearby Radford University on Friday. The job will be the first as a head coach for Greenberg, 53, but his history in basketball includes several stops as an assistant coach and several in NBA management.

He was the general manager of the
Philadelphia 76ers in 1996 when they selected Allen Iverson with the first overall pick in the draft. He was the director of player personnel and then vice president of player personnel for eight years with the Portland Trail Blazers when they twice reached the NBA finals.

Greenberg also was as an assistant coach with the
New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers. He was director of basketball operations for his brother at South Florida before both came to Virginia Tech in 2003. Radford, which competes in the Big South Conference, was 8-22 this past season and it’s campus is about 20 miles from Blacksburg.

HANSBROUGH, DUDLEY, SINGLETARY and THORNTON ARE ALL-AMERICANS

ACC loyalist grumbled when the Associated Press released its 2006-07 men’s basketball All-American teams on Monday. UNC’s Tyler Hansbrough was on the second team. Of course, ACC folks thought he should have been first team, and many believed Greg Oden had Psycho T’s spot.

Now before you label them sour grape whiners, you should know that the NCAA basketball coaches agreed. The Coach’s Association’s first team was Kevin Durant (Texas), Alando Tucker (Wisconsin), Acie Law IV (Texas A&M), Arron Afflalo (UCLA) and Hansbrough. The AP team was identical except for swapping Oden for Hansbrough.

Statistically, there isn’t much difference. Both played the same number of minutes with Hansbrough averaging 18.4 points per game and Oden 15.4. Oden averaged 9.4 rebounds per game to Hansbrough’s 7.9. Hansbrough is a better free throw shooter and he got to the line more than twice as often while also dolling out more assists. Defensively, Hansbrough had 41 steals to Oden’s 16, but when it came to who was a defensive stalwart, that was easy. Oden had 100 blocked shots – not a misprint ONE HUNDRED! Wow. Hansbrough had 17 and couple of those were by accident.

Boston College’s Jared Dudley, FSU's Al Thornton and UVa’s Sean Singletary also got some love from the voters.

Coach’s Association: Second Team - Nick Fazekas University of Nevada-Reno, Greg Oden Ohio State, Crazy Hair Boy Florida, Jared Dudley Boston College, Al Horford Florida. Third Team - Aaron Gray Pittsburgh , Jeff Green Georgetown, Sean Singletary Virginia, Chris Lofton Tennessee, Julian Wright Kansas

AP: Second Team - Nick Fazekas Nevada, Jared Dudley Boston College, Chris Lofton Tennessee, Crazy Hair Boy Florida and Hansbrough. Third team - Aaron Brooks Oregon, Al Thornton Florida State, Aaron Gray Pittsburgh, Jeff Green Georgetown and Al Horford Florida.

PEARL LIKES THAT ORANGE JACKET AND ROCKY TOP

Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl says he happy at Tennessee and he won’t be leaving. The men's basketball coach was contacted Tuesday by Iowa athletic director Gary Barta, who got clearance the night before from Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton to talk to Pearl, a former Iowa assistant.

Pearl told Barta he was not leaving Tennessee, and then he wanted fans to know.

"I'm putting it out there just as fast as I can because I don't want it to be a concern of our fans, and I want to demonstrate my loyalty and my commitment to this program. I appreciate very much being here, so I don't want them to worry about me going anywhere," Pearl told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "This is where I want to be. I want to be here as long as they'll be happy with me here."

Iowa will hold a press conference announcing the hiring of Pearl later today.

CLEMSON MEN, UNC WOMEN ADVANCE

Clemson had a lead and tried to lose it. They threw rocks from the free throw line. Sound familiar? However, yet again, they found a way to win 68-67 over Air Force to advance to the NIT finals at MSG on Thursday night. K.C. Rivers scored 19 and Trevor Booker added 13 points for Clemson (25-10), which will play West Virginia (26-9) who beat Mississippi State 63-62 on Darris Nichols' buzzer-beating 3-point bomb on a inbounds play earlier in the evening.

Clemson, which tied the 1986-87 Tigers for most wins in a season with its fourth straight victory, reached the NIT finals for the second time -- and first since losing to California in 1999. After being snubbed for the NCAA tournament, the Tigers are motivated to bring an NIT title home.

North Carolina has been knocked out in the late rounds of the NCAA tournament by the eventual champion each of the last two seasons. Last year's title shot was ruined when star guard Ivory Latta hurt her knee early in a loss to Maryland in the national semifinal.


Now Latta and the Tar Heels -- who improved to 34-3, setting a school record for wins -- get to try again, starting with the dubious honor of facing fellow No. 1 seed Tennessee in Cleveland on Sunday. They got there by beating Purdue last night 84-72. Just like the boys, the girls scored 52 points in the paint.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

THIS PICTURE has nothing to do with anything, but it was part of a Brushback.com faux story about the Duke Equestrian Team having wild parties and abusing their horses. It wasn't that funny, but the picture has some merit.

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

PRINCETON has a band, and they are know for being a bit quirky for lack of a better term. A big part of their shtick is called "The Reveal." They scramble (a band term for running around like crazy people to a particular spot as opposed to the more traditional marching) and the grand finale is always The Reveal. A handful of members run to a spot and open their jackets to reveal a message -- something clever like Harvard Sucks, etc. Here they are rehearsing curbside. Their parents must be proud. Nice unis.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

UNC STUDENT MASCOT DIES FROM INJURIES

Jason Ray, a North Carolina student who performed as a mascot for the school's basketball team, died three days after being struck by a car hours before an NCAA Tournament game. He was 21. Ray died Monday morning, said Steve Kirschner, the university's associate athletic director for communications.

An NCAA official told ESPN.com that the men's basketball tournament selection committee is discussing with the four Final Four teams to determine how they will memoralize Ray's death prior to Saturday's national semifinals.


Here’s a nice column from Adam Lucas about UNC student mascot Jason Ray: http://tarheelblue.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/032407aaf.html

CAREFUL WITH THAT WHISTLE, EUGENE

If we asked any NCAA coach the following two questions, how would they respond? How would you respond?

Q1: If Greg Oden or Roy Hibbert picks up a fourth foul (good or bad call) before the end of the first half in Saturday’s game will it have a major impact on the game?


Q2: Same question, add “and will it change the outcome?”

TAH answers: Q1: absolutely, it will have an impact and Q2: most likely it will change the outcome because all plays ultimately change the outcome. We suspect that statistical review of tournament games where impact players had 4 fouls before halftime would verify those answers.

Call it pre-game analysis or fresh grapes.

Your call.

(and, yes we read a story about Pink Floyd last night in Rolling Stone.)

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO GILBERT’S GRAPES?

(OOPS! News Flash: We just discovered that CBS was wrong. They said Hibbert was in the game at the end of the first half with three fouls, when he only had two. They had assigned somebody else's foul to Hibbert. Doesn't make the whole debate moot, but certainly changes it a little. A fourth foul is a much bigger deal...)

Yesterday, we were accused by some of sour grapes and whining because we pointed out that Roy Hibbert committed an obvious foul at the end of the first half that wasn’t called. Here’s what we said “Finally, little things can change a close game…” We described the play in question and said “...at some point the official decided to let them play and Hibbert enjoyed a Sheldon Williamsesque 20 foul afternoon.”

Of course the Sheldon reference was the obligatory swipe at Duke, but even Billy Packer said during the game that the refs weren’t calling fouls in the second half like they did in the first. That was the other point, it was inconsistent. Nothing more than an observation of what occurred verified by a guy (like him or not) who has been the game analyst on every Final Four game for the past 30 years.

What we didn’t say -- We didn’t say the call in question caused Georgetown to win or Carolina to lose. We said it was an obvious foul. Simple as that. It’s called Today’s ACC Headlines. We write about what happened. We analyzed the game and pointed out things that happened that we perceived to be important. We did not say Georgetown played better for the final 15 minutes for one simple reason: You already knew that. We didn’t say UNC puked all over their shoes for the same reason. We pointed out a play that most of you probably didn’t even notice. That was the point. Here is an impact play that was overlooked by CBS and lots of folks watching the game.

If we had said something obvious like “If Wayne Ellington sinks the last shot, UNC wins” – would that make us a cry baby? Would that be sour grapes or would it be simply pointing out something that happened that impacted the outcome of the game? Does it matter if it’s said before he shoots, while he’s shooting or after he shoots?

It’s really no different than saying Georgetown got a break on Green’s last shot against Vandy. You can be self-righteous and say “I would never say that,” but if you are attempting to analyze what happened, it would be na├»ve and/or short sighted to ignore one play of impact – the Hibbert no call -- and to acknowledge another (such as Wallace’s clutch shot to take the lead or Ellington’s time expiring miss.) They all happened, and they’re all important. To think that each individual play in a game doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of winning and losing is unrealistic. Every play counts and ultimately plays a role in the sum of the parts. How much each play matters depends on the score and the time.

So the question seems to be one of timing. If you say a fourth foul on Hibbert in the first half will impact the game before the game, it’s ANALYSIS, but if you say it after the game, it’s WHINING/SOUR GRAPES?

Things that make you go "Hmmm..."

PITINO SAYS HE’S STAYING WHICH MEANS HE’S LEAVING

Rick Pitino says he's happy coaching Louisville and wouldn't consider returning to Kentucky, the school he led to the national championship in 1996. "I would never ever leave [Louisville] to go to another college because they're my family," Pitino said yesterday. Didn’t Nick Saban say that about three times?

Pitino, who was "shocked" by Tubby Smith's sudden departure last week, sees too much potential in the Cardinals to consider leaving. Louisville went 24-10 this season and finished second in the Big East before falling to Texas A & M in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Kentucky will hold a press conference later today to announce hiring Pitino as their new head coach.

TWO DEACONS TRANSFERING

Wake Forest reserves Casey Crawford and Shamaine Dukes are transferring from the Demon Deacons, coach Skip Prosser said Friday. Crawford, a freshman forward, and Dukes, a sophomore guard, will leave the school after the spring semester.

"Casey and Joe are first and foremost, outstanding young men," Prosser said. "Our entire coaching staff truly appreciates their contributions to the program and wish them nothing but the best in their future endeavors."
Crawford, a 6-foot-9 forward from Overland Park, Kan., averaged 1.1 points and 0.4 rebounds in nine games, scoring a career-high five points in November against Air Force.
Dukes, a 6-1 guard from Cuthbert, Ga., was the Demon Deacons' backup point guard this season, starting a total six games during two seasons. He averaged 2.7 points and had 37 assists this season for Wake Forest.

We don’t know where they’re going. As Dice would say “Does it matter?”

ACC TEAMS OUT OF WOMEN’S NIT

Yawn. Hence, this is the last you will hear of it. It happened a few days ago. Virginia Tech got beat by Auburn who got beat by Kansas State who’s in the final four. Virginia lost their regional final to Wisconsin, who is also in the final four along with Wyoming and Western Kentucky. Evidently a tournament record crowd of 11,253 saw Wyoming win their game Sunday against South Dakota State.

PICTURE OF THE DAY


NOT particularly good looks.

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

BEFORE and after. This guy needs no introduction.

Monday, March 26, 2007

THE FULL BLOWN WHEELECTOMY

North Carolina’s strategy worked perfectly for 30 minutes. Then the wheels came off. The dreaded wheelectomy. Not a lug nut, a couple of lug nuts, not a wheel, but the full blown wheelectomy. All four came off, and it got ugly.

UNC went as cold as any good team has ever gone. Going from 9:32 to 2:21 without scoring a basket and shooting 1-10 from 9:32 until the end of the game. Make just one of those, win the game. Ty Lawson was 2 for 9, Ellington 2-11, Green 0-6 and Terry 4-13. Some of that is good defense, some of that is just what makes college hoops exciting and unpredictable. Some of it is just plain weird. Carolina missed 21 of their final 23 shots. That's hard to do.

To their credit, Georgetown shot 63% in the first half and 58% for the day. They stuck to their plan and as the Heels devolved, it worked. Their first half shooting performance was the only reason it wasn’t a UNC blowout. The Hoyas shot 37% from behind the three point line. UNC’s numbers were (not surprisingly) 35% and 25%. UNC had more rebounds (45), twice as many offensive rebounds (20) and fewer turnovers. But…in the end the Heels looked weary and the Hoyas seemed to have plenty of bounce left.

Three interesting things happened. First off, Roy Williams let the Tar Heels play just like he has done all year, and just like he did Friday night when they roared back to beat USC. Unfortunately, the first thing led to the second – the kids abandoned their reliable inside game and the strategy that was working and started taking jump shots which didn’t fall. It was almost as if, suddenly, everybody wanted to reprise Michael Jordan's famous shot. This was considerably exasperating as UNC had already proven that a) they could penetrate the zone and score and b) Georgetown was vulnerable inside demonstrated by the simple fact that little used freshmen Deon Thompson scored 14 in the paint.

In addition, the Heels have not been in many close games, and their very young team doesn't have much experience in those situations. It showed.

Finally, little things can change a close game. At the end of the first half Hibbert had three fouls and should have been on the bench to keep him from getting a fourth. UNC knew that, and Ty Lawson drove the lane. Hibbert took the bait and challenged Lawson blocking his shot. He also body slammed him off the court. No whistle. It should have been Hibbert’s fourth and everybody would be calling JT3 a knucklehead for having him in the game. Did the Georgetown crowd booing the officials for an entire time out earlier play role? Who knows, but at some point the official decided to let them play and Hibbert enjoyed a Sheldon Williamsesque 20 foul afternoon.

Pounding the ball inside and getting to the free throw line was a good strategy that was working, but by the time UNC went back to it (twice) late in the game, the officials had swallowed their whistles. Ironic, as we had been complaining about so many other games being settled by late game foul calls.

Florida is good. Better than Oregon. Tajuan Porter who had 33 for the Ducks went ice cold and that was all the opening that the Gators needed.

UNC WOMEN ADVANCE

LaToya Pringle's mom was counting the blocked shots, knowing her daughter needed three to becoming the single-season leader in North Carolina history. She had four by halftime. And the Tar Heels pretty much had their spot in the regional finals by then, too.

North Carolina went on a 22-5 surge while George Washington's defensive dynamo Whitney Allen was on the bench in foul trouble midway through the first half, then rode that lead to a 70-56 victory Sunday night in the semifinals of the Dallas Regional. Pringle ended up with 16 points and 15 rebounds.

If Roy Hibbert gets called for mashing Ty Lawson just before the end of the first half, does the summary of the men’s game read just about the same way? Insert Hansbrough for Pringle and Hibbert for Whitney Allen...

LITTLE HOPE FOR UNC's RAY

This is a bad story that is getting worse.

Jason Ray, one of the three North Carolina students that would wear the Rameses mascot uniform for Tar Heel events, is still in a coma and on life support, two days after being hit by an SUV outside of a New Jersey hotel. Ray has serious head injuries and brain swelling as a result of the injuries sustained in the accident. According to ESPN.com, he is in extremely critical condition and doctors have little hope for recovery.

PICTURE OF THE DAY


DAMN, it's cold.

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

DAMN, it's really cold.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

DIVISION 1? WAIT AT THE BAR…

We don’t want to fall victim to hyperbole, but this is the most amazing finish of a basketball game we have EVER seen. Period. End of Story.

Take 3 minutes out of your life and enjoy it. Barton v. Winona State Div 2 basketball final. Barton is a private Christian school with 1,189 students in Wilson, NC – the home of one of the three of our Duke alum homies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdpmzUK2kwU

FINAL HALF OF FOUR

Evidently, Ohio State coach Thad Matta looked down the bench and locked eyes with Greg Oden. The big man, sitting out with three fouls, nodded. "Let's go," Matta told him, adding his usual advice in such situations: "Play real hard and don't foul anybody."
It was close, and then it wasn’t. Oden followed orders perfectly, dominating like only a 7-footer can over the decisive stretch in the second half to carry the top-seeded Buckeyes past Memphis 92-76 and into the Final Four.

UCLA will go as far as their guards will take them and yesterday they took them 45 points worth. The two starting backcourt guys were the only Bruins in double figures led by Arron Affalo’s 24 ponts. Too bad, according to Papa “Big (L)East” Geeeee-leo, the Big 12 is underrated. Rock, chalk, chicken hawk. That sound you hear is brackets exploding nationwide.

NCAA SAYS DUKE HAS LOOSE RIMS

(Up front, true story. So you know…)

Who knew? The NCAA has tests to see how tight and loose the rims are at college arenas throughout the country. They also have a legal range for rims, with 35% as the tightest a rim can be and 50% the loosest. They drop a 5-lb weight on the rim from four feet and a sensor on the weight measures the velocity and energy impact and computes that into a percentage. The "tighter" the rim, the less give the rim has on shots; a "loose" rim is forgiving and are designed to give a shooter's bounce.

The interesting findings can tell you about the program. For instance: Duke's rims rate at a 49% while North Carolina's are at 37%. Telling, since Duke has been built on perimeter shooting while UNC is built on going inside.

From the Raleigh News & Observer:

“Still, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said he didn't know the figures in Cameron Indoor Stadium, only that he wants his Blue Devils' shots to go in. And UNC director of basketball operations Jared Haase said he had never heard about rim tension. As a player at Kansas, he said, his only thought was about hitting the net.”

The NCAA decided to regulate rim tension after finding some places had a percentage of 10% and up to 90%. The parameters are used to try to keep games fair and more uniform.

DUKE’S DREADFUL DEFEAT

Pops again to AOL Fanhouse.

Posted Mar 25th 2007 2:39AM by Sportz Assassin

The Duke Blue Devils women's hoops squad won their first 30 games of the season, including every one of their regular season games. Their first loss was to NC State in the semifinals of the ACC tournament ... but their 30-1 record was good enough to place the Lady Devils in the Greensboro Regional of the NCAA Women's Tournament. However, it wouldn't prove to be the ultimate advantage.

Duke was beaten by Rutgers, 53-52, in the Sweet 16. The #1 Devils who spent all season dominating everyone won't be able to win the program's first National Championship. They won't even get to the Final Four.

Amazingly, the hurt is also in how they were eliminated. Down by a point, Duke's Lindsay Harding ... the ACC Player of the Year ... was fouled with 0.1 seconds left. If Harding knocked down both shots, Duke would advance to the Elite 8. The first one missed. Okay, hitting the next one means Duke and Rutgers will play on for another five minutes to decide the winner. Well, except for the fact that she missed. Ouch!

Yes, the #1 team had it's #1 player choke when it counted…

Bad day all around for the ACC squads – FSU lost to LSU and NCSU lost to #1 seed UcConn.

PICTURES OF THE DAY

IF YOU DON"T LIKE college hoop there is something wrong with you. Here's three more reasons to feel the love.

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

THE NEWEST Tar Heel in the clan and Dean's List student M.C.A. Tar Heel sent this photo of Bobby Frasor and Tyler Hansbrough out on the town the weekend before the end of the regular season. We don't know what is on Psycho T's head, and that bottle that appears to be a Corona most certainly is not. If it was a Corona (and it's not), it belongs to an adult chaperon and not to any students mentioned previously or any student athletes pictured or not pictured.

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