Saturday, March 8, 2008

UNC @ DUKE

Remembering 1991: The Last Time UNC-Duke Was Played for the ACC Championship
by Sportz Assassin, AOL FANHOUSE ACC

North Carolina and Duke will battle for the ACC Championship on Saturday night. The last time the ACC regular season title came down to a final game between the two hopefuls was way back in 1991. Again, it was North Carolina and Duke.

Duke won the game and the conference that year. That was the ol' Laettner-Hurley-Hill Duke team beating the Fox-Rice-Chilcutt Tar Heels' squad.

A week later, North Carolina tore into the Blue Devils, 96-74, to win the ACC Tournament in Charlotte. That win gave the Tar Heels the top seed in the East Region ... which was played in East Rutherford. Dean Smith was joined by Jim Boeheim, Rollie Massimino, John Chaney, Eddie Sutton, Gene Keady, Pete Carril and ... gulp ... Dave Bliss.

Duke was the #2 in the Midwest Region (Pontiac, MI) that featured these coaches: Lou Carnesecca, Tom Penders, Dale Brown, Tom Davis, Bobby Cremins, Jim Calhoun and Pete Gillen. Both teams would win their regions. UNC breezed through due to upsets elsewhere in the bracket (they faced a 16, 12, 10 and 9 seed on the way to the Final Four) while Duke crushed everyone in their path.

There they were, both in the Final Four. The entire state of North Carolina was buzzing that these two may actually meet for the National Championship. Imagine that kind of hype!
The funny thing is that UNC was the team favored to get into the title game -- not Duke. The Tar Heels face an upcoming Kansas team that knocked off Bobby Knight's Hoosiers and Nolan Richardson's Razorbacks to get to the Final Four. Kansas' coach? Roy Williams.

Ol' Roy would face off against his mentor, Dean Smith, for the first time that afternoon. Smith wouldn't make it to see the end (he was ejected) as the Heels were upset by Kansas, 79-73, ending the dream for everyone in the Triangle.Well, it wasn't like it was going to happen anyways. After all, Duke was going up against undefeated UNLV. The same UNLV that beat the Blue Devils by 30 in the title game a year ago. Duke was a heavy underdog.But they won anyway. 79-77.

Duke would end up beating Roy's Jayhawks in the National Championship game, 72-65, to give Mike Krzyzewski his first championship. Thinking back to that year brings back a lot of memories. It also reminds me that while the UNC-Duke game this Saturday is so important...things can change very quickly.

Even if UNC beats Duke...Duke may end up winning the ACC tournament next week and getting a #1 seed. Still, UNC has a great shot to win a championship no matter what seed they are.

So can Duke.

TAH: PART OF THE PROBLEM

The Internet and the 24 hour news cycle are way out of control.

And, yes, we know TAH is part of the problem.

New Redskin head coach Jim Zorn hasn't seen the first game, and yet some are already calling for what they believe is his inevitable firing...

http://firejimzorn.com/

TAH VIDEO OF THE MONTH NOMINEE – PRO DIVISION

We know it’s a commercial for a big company, but it’s still funny.

Especially so, if you have ever bailed on work to go play golf when maybe you shouldn’t have...

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY

ACC WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT QUARTER FINALS…UNC, Duke, Virginia and Maryland.

Here Duke's Wanisha Smith (23) and Florida State's Shante Williams, right, chase a loose ball during the first half of a women's ACC basketball tournament game at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C., Friday, March 7, 2008.


A North Carolina player's shoe shows support for slain University of North Carolina student body president Eve Carson before a women's ACC basketball tournament game at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C., Friday, March 7, 2008.


(AP Photos/Chuck Burton)

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY 2

WINNER/JUMPER...US Lindsey Vonn celebrates after winning the women's downhill at the FIS alpine skiing World cup on March 8, 2008 in Crans-Montana, Switzerland. Vonn won ahead of Austria's Renate Goetschl and Italy's Nadia Fanchini.



(Photo by Nicholas Ratzenboeck/AFP/Getty Images)







Lindsey Vonn of the United States during the Alpine FIS Ski World Cup Women's Downhill Training on March 07, 2008 in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.


(Photo by Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

ADIOS, UNO...Uno the beagle, winner of Best in Show at the 132nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, poses after eating steak at Sardi's Restaurant in New York, in this Feb. 13, 2008 file photo.

South Carolina-based trainer Aaron Wilkerson tells The State newspaper of Columbia that Uno, the charismatic canine crowned best in show at last month's Westminster Kennel Club, is retiring.

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, file)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

MUSH....William Hanes, of Kasilof, Alaska drives his team past a snow sculpture as he arrives at the Takotna, Alaska checkpoint on the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, Thursday, March 6TH.

(AP Photo/Al Grillo)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 5

RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT...Allen Johnson of USA, Dongpeng Shi of China and Allan Scott of Great Britain compete in the Mens 60 Metres Hurdles Heat during the 12th IAAF World Indoor Championships at the Palau Lluis Puig on March 8, 2008 in Valencia, Spain.


(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Friday, March 7, 2008

UNC STUDENT PRESIDENT KILLED

The Tar Heels postponed yesterday’s news conference with coach Roy Williams and players due to the news of the death of student body president Eve Carson.

"In light of the news and out of respect for Ms. Carson, we feel it is inappropriate for us to hold a basketball-related news conference at this time," the school said in a prepared statement.

Thousands of students gathered silently on campus to mourn Eve Marie Carson, whose body was discovered about a mile away early Wednesday. The 22-year-old senior from Athens, Ga., had been shot several times, including at least once in the head, police said. Officials said there are no suspects and no arrests have been made.

A witness reported finding Carson's vehicle, a blue 2005 Toyota Highlander with Georgia plates, near the main drag through the college town about 45 minutes west of Raleigh.

Carson's body was found on the street at an intersection after neighbors reported hearing shots about 5 a.m. Wednesday in an upscale residential area. It was not clear why she was in the area, which does not have student housing.

THURSDAY HOOP

CLEMSON 80, GEORGIA TECH 75

Zack Peacock hit four straight free throws in the final 16 seconds to help Georgia Tech beat 24th-ranked Clemson 80-75 last night.


The Tigers’ Terrence Oglesby, who hit the winning 3-pointer in last week’s big comeback win against the Terps, missed a 26-footer with 22.5 seconds that would've tied the game at 76.

After Cliff Hammonds (broken bone in his wrist and all) made one of two free throws, Clemson coach Oliver Purnell was furious when Peacock wasn't called for a foul on K.C. Rivers' missed layup. (See yesterday’s article about zebras).

Neither team scored a field goal after Clemson guard Demontez Stitt's 3-pointer cut the lead to 74-72 with 2:16 remaining.

Anthony Morrow led Georgia Tech (13-16, 6-9 ACC) with 16 points, going 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. Peacock, one game after scoring a career-high 23 points in a loss to Virginia on Monday, finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and five steals.

Clemson is attempting to earn an NCAA tournament bid for the first time since 1998. Purnell, now in his fourth season, led the Tigers to the NIT the last three years. But any ACC team that has won nine league games and 20 overall has made the NCAA field. Clemson was seeking to tie a school record in victories last matched in 1989-90.

Clemson made only 4 of 19 three pointers (21%) and lost another game at the free throw line…9 of 17 (52%).

No wonder Oliver Purnell always looks so stressed out.

ABOVE: Georgia Tech D'Andre Bell (13) dunks against Clemson during the second half of a basketball game Thursday March 6, 2008, in Atlanta.

Clemson's Raymond Sykes (12) dunks above the heads of Georgia Tech D'Andre Bell (13), and guard Lewis Clinch (0) during the first half.

(AP Photos/John Amis)

THROW ANOTHER NAKED GUY ON THE BARBI?

Nope, it’s the same one.

You’ve already seen the photos right here at TAH, but here’s the video…stay with it, it’s pretty entertaining.

Streaker Robert Ogilvie ran onto the ground (field) during the second final (period, half, game?) of the one-day triangular (?) series (home and home and neutral site?) cricket match between India and Australia in Brisbane on March 4, 2008. Ogilvie who appeared at the Brisbane Magistrates Court on March 5, 2008 insisted he had no regrets (permanent injuries) about his on-field romp (blatant act of stupidity), saying it was "great" when burly Australian all rounder (big ass guy) Andrew Symonds smashed him to the turf of Brisbane's Gabba ground (stadium turf) with a shoulder charge (hockey check). The 26-year-old Ogilvie was handed a 1,500 dollar (AUS) ($1,395 USD) fine but escaped having a conviction recorded against him after pleading guilty to willful exposure (indecent exposure).



(Photo by Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images)

SI HONORS HANSBROUGH

North Carolina junior forward Tyler Hansbrough was named the 2008 men's college basketball player of the year by Sports Illustrated, the school announced Tuesday. Miraculously, the Heels survived the jinx and beat FSU on Tuesday night.

The 6-9 junior leads the ACC in scoring (23.4) and rebounds (10.4) and leads the top-ranked Tar Heels with 45 steals.

He's been named ACC Player of the Week a record-tying seven times, a feat also equaled by former UNC star Antawn Jamison and former Duke star J.J. Redick.

Hansbrough is the 10th UNC player to earn a national player of the year award and second to earn SI's distinction. Jerry Stackhouse was so honored in 1995.

UNC's National Players of the Year:
Jack Cobb, 1926
George Glamack, 1940, 1941
Lennie Rosenbluth, 1957
Phil Ford, 1978
James Worthy, 1982
Michael Jordan, 1983, 1984
Kenny Smith, 1987
Jerry Stackhouse, 1995
Antawn Jamison, 1998
Tyler Hansbrough, 2008

However, if he wants to have his jersey retired, and not just honored in the ceiling of the Dean Dome, he will have to win one more national POY award. Currently, UNC uses only these six National Player of the Year Awards as its criteria for retiring numbers: the Associated Press, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, The Sporting News, the US Basketball Writers Association, the Wooden Award and the Naismith Award.

Here’s a little taste of Grant Wahl’s story in SI:

No player in memory has absorbed, initiated and (let's be honest) enjoyed more bumper-car moments in the lane than the 6' 9", 250-pound Hansbrough, SI's choice for national player of the year. Yet even though Hansbrough has banged his way to more free throw attempts (310) than any other player in the nation, that hardly means he's lacking in finesse. "He finishes with a soft touch, but he can do that after being beaten to death by three people in a matter of two seconds," says Williams. "It's like sumo wrestling followed by George Gervin's finger roll."

Here’s the whole story:
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/grant_wahl/03/04/march.madman0310/index.html?eref=si_writers

Photo: Bob Rosato/SI

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY

THERE'S NOTHING LIKE A BIG INTRO...Shaquille O'Neal #32 of the Phoenix Suns is introduced against the Denver Nuggets on March 5, 2008 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.



(Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)


Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics screams on the scoreboard before the game against the Detroit Pistons on March 5, 2008 at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.




(Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

CRAZY ENVY...This one must make the Cameron Crazies a little envious.

(Photo: Bruce Yeung/Yeung Photography via SI.com)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

REVERSE LIMBO…U.S.A.'s Jesse Williams jumps during qualifications for the Men's High Jump on March 7, 2008 during the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Valencia.

(Photo by Pierre-Phillipe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

DISNEY WORLD...? Nope, Dubai.

Andy Roddick, who flew 6,000 miles and endured jet-lag and sleep loss to travel from Memphis to the Dubai Open, stands on the balcony of Jumeira's 'Mina Salam' resort which overlooks Dubai's landmark 'Burj al-Arab' (l) luxury hotel on March 7, 2008.

The sixth-seeded former U.S. Open champion from the tackles Serbia's Novak Djokovic tonight at the semi-finals of the Dubai Open tennis championship in the Gulf emirate.

(Photo AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 5

OH, NO...South Korea's Lee Seung-Hoon (l) leads Apolo Anton Ohno (2nd l) of the US and compatriots Lee Ho-Suk (2nd r) and Song Kyung-Taek (r) during the men's 1500m final at the 2008 World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Gangneung on March 7, 2008. Song won, clocking a time of 2:18.916.

(Photo by Kim Jae-Hwan/AFP/Getty Images)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

FOULING TYLER HANSBROUGH

If you are looking for FOUL SHOT KING = FOULING TYLER HANSBROUGH via Yardbarker just scroll down a bit...

WEDNESDAY HOOP

#5 DUKE 86, VIRGINIA 70

Unlike last year when Sean Singletary made a overtime game winner, the Wahoos had no answers for the visiting Blue Devils looking to avenge that loss at JPJA. The Hoos even wore their orange unis at home for the first time since 2001 when they beat…Duke.

This go ‘round Gerald Henderson scored 19 points and #5 Duke had little trouble with the cellar dweller Cavs wining 86-70. The game was little more than a tune-up for the Devils, setting up this Saturday night’s showdown with top-ranked North Carolina for the ACC regular-season championship (ESPN, 9 pm).

The Blue Devils (26-3, 13-2 ACC), who got coach Mike Krzbmp2ski his 800th victory last Saturday at N.C. State, can get him his 17th ACC title by completing a sweep of the Tar Heels.

Virginia (14-14, 4-11), playing its third game in five days, closed within 12 points with 7:42 to play, but was no match for the Blue Devils' depth.

Sean Singletary led Virginia with 18 points, while Calvin Baker had 15 and Mamadi Diane 12.

Kyle Singler scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half for Duke, while DeMarcus Nelson had 16, Greg Paulus 14 and Jon “Crazy Face” Scheyer 10. The Blue Devils hit 12 3-pointers and shot almost 51 percent from the field.

Sound familiar?

Duke's Gerald Henderson, right, shoots the ball as Virginia defender Laurynas Mikalauskas goes for the block during the second half. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

MIAMI 74, BOSTON COLLEGE 61

AP - The Miami Hurricanes ended a run of 13 consecutive losses to Boston College, overcoming an 11-point deficit in the second half to win 74-61 Wednesday.

Jack McClinton and Lance Hurdle led the rally by the Hurricanes (21-8, 8-7 Atlantic Coast Conference), who bolstered their chances of making the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2002.
Miami won for the sixth time in its past seven games and improved to 14-2 at home this season, the best home record in school history.

The Hurricanes reached eight victories in the ACC for the first time since joining the league in 2004-05. Their final game before the conference tournament is Saturday at Florida State
Boston College (13-15, 4-11) lost for the 11th time in the past 12 games since beating Miami on Jan. 15.

UM's Jack McClinton looks to pass as Boston College's John Oates, left, and Rakim Sanders defend during the second period Wednesday night, March 5, 2008, at BankUnited Center in Coral Gables. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald)

ACC WOMEN’S PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Crystal Langhorne, a senior post player, received 23 of 49 votes cast by members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. North Carolina's Erlana Larkins received 12, Terrapins teammate Kristi Toliver had eight, North Carolina State's Khadijah Whittington had five and the Tar Heels' Rashanda McCants (Rashad's sister) received one vote.

Maryland's career scoring leader and the school's leading rebounder regardless of gender, Langhorne ranked sixth in the ACC in scoring and second in rebounding this season. She averaged 16.5 points and 9.2 rebounds while leading the Terrapins to a No. 5 national ranking, a near-perfect ACC season and the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament that starts here Thursday.

In doing so, she became just the second Terps player to win the individual award and the first since Vicky Bullett in 1989 - the last time Maryland won the league tournament.

"We want to get some more championships as a team," said Langhorne, one of the key components of Maryland's run to the 2006 national title. "It's just great for our program to get that (player of the year) honor. Maryland's been on the map, but it's another step for our program."

Earlier in the week, Langhorne became one of 10 players to make the all-ACC first team for a third time. She is the league's active leader with 55 double-doubles and had 12 this season, leading the Terrapins to a 13-1 finish in conference play with the only loss coming in double overtime at North Carolina.

(AP Photo/Gail Burton, file)

ZEBRAS: DREAM KILLERS

You see and hear about sporting events where fans for one team cry foul. Heck, some New England fans are still whining about how the zebras helped the Giants with the Super Bowl.

(Sometimes it’s true – like last season when the refs ignored a take down of Ty Lawson by Georgetown’s Roy Hibbert late in the first half of the Hoyas Elite 8 comeback masterpiece against UNC. Hibbert obliterated Lawson, but the zebras chose to ignore a game changing third foul on Georgetown’s most important player. So, long story short, it happens.)

But how often do you hear the player, the coach and the media join in on the fans’ belly achin’?


Not so often in these parts, until the favorite to win the Virginia State heavyweight wrestling title lost a controversial match 3 to 2. The state heavyweight championship for Nick Cook would have capped of a high school career that has him heading to Blacksburg with a full ride to Virginia Tech.


Here’s what the local paper had to say:
Fauquier High School’s Nick Cook lost a shocking triple overtime loss in the Group AAA state heavyweight final.

"It was horrible. It definitely [killed] my dreams," said Cook, a senior ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 8 nationally with a 47-2 record. "The way I felt about it is the way everybody else felt — I got robbed by the officials."

Cook's complaint was that the officials never called stalling on Burbank, whose defensive strategy was evident from the opening whistle. The Cox heavyweight, ranked fourth in AAA, backed away from Cook continuously and rarely attacked, but only a warning for stalling was issued.

"It was a shame. The officials don't make the calls and they cost a kid the state title," FHS coach Bryan Hurst said. "The official was scared. He didn't want to decide the state championship on a stall, but it's just like any other match, you have to call that. He didn't have the guts to."

Without stalling called, scoring was at a minimum in the title match. The only points during the six-period contest were awarded for escapes.

"This guy wasn't wrestling me. He was just backing up the whole time," Cook said. "I did everything I could. It was all on the officials, really."

That viewpoint was also voiced by many people in attendance. After a scoreless first period, the crowd began clamoring for a stalling call against Burbank.

Bellowing from the pursed lips of Fauquier fans and impartial observers alike, boos began cascading from the stands in the second period after Burbank took a 1-0 lead. But those jeers failed to provoke a call from the officials, even in overtime when Cook was the relentless aggressor but couldn't score on the retreating Burbank.

"It's obvious he was stalling," Hurst said. "When there's booing in the stands and little old ladies are coming down and hugging Nick Cook, saying he deserved to win — it's an embarrassment to wrestling."


The fans' outrage reached a crescendo when Burbank broke a 2-2 tie in the sudden-death third overtime period. Burbank began with the distinct advantage of bottom position and, shortly after the whistle, worked to his feet before easily slipping from Cook's grasp for the winning escape point.

Minutes later, when Burbank climbed to the top spot on the medal stand he was met with vociferous boos.

"I feel bad not only for Cook, but for the other kid, too," Hurst said. "He got booed on the stand and that should never happen — he worked his butt off. But he won that match because [of] the officials."

You see, sometimes the zebras can change the outcome. Nick Cook will be fine. He will, no doubt, enjoy a great career as a Hokie.

Unfortunately, bad calls/no calls are part of every game.

(Moral of the Story: Georgetown cheated. Bastards.)

(Photos Fauquier Times-Democrat/Randy Litzinger)

WEEKEND ACC LACROSSE

#3 VIRGINIA 14, #11 SYRACUSE 13

No. 11 Syracuse dogged No. 3 Virginia during most of the match until the Cavaliers launched an absolute onslaught of offensive power, scoring five of the games last seven goals. But it took an overtime to close the deal. Sophomore midfielder Brian Carroll's second goal of the game with 1:29 remaining in overtime lifted the Wahoos. The Cavaliers improve to 4-0 overall this season, while the eighth-ranked Orange falls to 2-1.

#2 DUKE 15, #4 MARYLAND 7

Zack Greer, Max Quinzani and Brad Ross scored three goals apiece and Sam Payton won 14-of-19 face-offs to lead second-ranked Duke to a 15-7 victory over third-ranked Maryland in front of 4,238 fans at Koskinen Stadium on Saturday night.

The Blue Devils improve to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in ACC play while the Terrapins fall to 2-1 overall and 0-1 in the league. The eight-goal margin is the largest for Duke in a win over Maryland, eclipsing the previous high of seven set in both 1997 (17-10 in ACC Tournament semifinals in Charlottesville, Va.) and 2007 (14-7 in College Park). (Duke Photography)

#7 NORTH CAROLINA 13, #5 CORNELL 8

Junior goalkeeper Grant Zimmerman made 15 saves and attackmen Michael B. Burns and Billy Bitter each scored three goals as No. 7 North Carolina defeated No. 5 Cornell 13-8 Sunday afternoon before a sun-drenched crowd of 3,866 fans at Fetzer Field. UNC improved to 3-0 on the season while the Big Red fell to 1-1 on the campaign. The loss was only the third in the last 23 games for the Big Red. Ben Hunt (file photo)

Freshman goalie Adam Ghitelman helped Virginia beat Syracuse on Saturday.
(Photos: Baltimore Sun)

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY

THIS SAUCE COULD REALLY USE A COUPLE OF BAY LEAVES…oh, here’s a whole bunch.

Thanks, Anni.

Ladies' 1,500 metre winner German skater Anni Friesinger (c) shows her gold medal with second place winner Netherlands' skater Paulien van Deutekom (l) and third place winner Canadian skater Kristina Groves (r) on the podium of the World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships in Nagano on March 6, 2008.




Canadian Kristina Groves (f) leads Netherlands' Ireen Wust during the Ladies 1,500-metre competition of the World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships in Nagano on March 6, 2008. Groves finished third.


(Photos by Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images)
THROW A DOG A BONE...The Butler mascot had a great view of the game...but had other things on his mind (and in his mouth).

Butler senior guard Mike Green has been named as the Horizon League player of the year, and his freshman teammate, Matt Howard, the newcomer of the year.

The #14 Bulldogs are 27-3, 16-2 and the Horizon League regular-season champs.

(Photo: John Biever/SI)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

HEY NICK, HOTEL ROOMS HAVE LIGHTS…Use them. Evidently, Nick Dougherty of England got dressed in the dark. He did manage to set off the monochromatic beige ensemble with a snappy white belt.

Dougherty is playing in the Maybank Malaysian Open held at the Kota Permai Golf & Country Club on March 6, 2008 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (where they have electricity).




(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

THOSE NBA GUYS ARE REALLY TALL…The color guard is dwarfed by NBA players during the National Anthem prior to the game between the Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on March 5, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.

(Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 5

I CAN'T REACH THE PEDALS...
Mini Fox #1 of the Utah Flash is introduced to the crowd prior to the game against the Anaheim Arsenal on at the McKay Events Center in Orem , Utah.
The Flash and the Arsenal are part of the NBA Developmental League, also known as the home of Josh "Irish Julia" McRoberts who still says he'd rather be in Utah than Durham.

(Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

FOULING TYLER HANSBROUGH

If Tyler Hansbrough were the hamster in Creature Comforts* this is probably what he’d say when asked for some specific self-evaluation with regard to any "circus-like" moves he may or may not have around the basket:


No, Tyler Hansbrough is not a circus-style performer. He’s not a human highlight reel. Tyler Hansbrough is a meat and potatoes erector set. Never has someone done so much for so long to so many with so little apparent athleticism. The key word being “apparent.”

Hansbrough leads the Tar Heel and the league in scoring (23.4) and rebounding (10.4), both offensive and defensive. It’s interesting to note that both stats go up in conference games – 24.5 and 11.4. He is so good that he’s gotten better while his All-ACC point guard has been injured. So, don’t be fooled. Tyler Hansbrough will eat you up, spit you out and drop free throws on your head.

Did somebody say free throws?

Yes, free throws. Hansbrough has taken more free throw attempts in his three-year career (889) than anybody else in Carolina blue history. Up until February, Lenny Rosenblum held the career record at 815. The NCAA record belongs to Demon Deacon Dickie Memric who made 905 career freebies from a whopping 1,359 attempts. That record appears to be safe.

Thus begs the question, why so many trips to the foul line?

The anti-Carolina crowd will start yowling about how the Tar Heels get all the calls ever since Dean Smith found God and civil rights and then hypnotized the majority of the refs and scared the ever lovin’ bejeezus out of what few that could still blink. (Note: Mike Krzhfbvn3ski has mastered a similar technique, but we digress.)

The actual answer is players who take control of the game, or in other words – players who take their game to their opponents – make the most trips to the charity stripe. Let’s look at who’s leading around the league.

Tyrese “I Lit Up UNC For 46” Rice has been to the free throw line 175 times, Clemson’s Marty Booker (104), Duke’s DeMarcus Nelson (168), FSU’s Uche Echefu (115), Georgia Tech’s Jeremis Smith (134), Maryland’s Bambale Osby (146), Miami’s Dwayne Collins (94), N.C. State’s J.J. Hickson (177) Virginia’s Sean Singletary (173), Virginia Tech’s Deron Washington (177) and Wake Forest’s Jeff Teague rounds out the list at 124.

Not to many stand around shooters in that crowd. Most likely to take a jump shot would be Singletary and Rice, but neither is hesitant to take the ball to the hoop and into the foul zone.

That’s the point, players who are either slashers or inside pounders typically get fouled the most. There is more contact around the basket that anywhere else for all the obvious reasons. The fact that three refs are watching the ball headed toward the hoop (whether they are supposed to be or not) is also part of the equation.

So if Tyler Hansbrough goes and does some heavy lifting in the paint, taking his game to his defender, he will get more fouls. But, why so many more than so many gifted Tar Heels before him?

It’s a function of technique. On one hand, it’s brute strength even though Psycho T doesn’t look that strong. On the other hand it’s how he shoots the ball when close to the hoop.

We’ve all seen Hansbrough take the ball in those two big mitts and head into traffic. Remarkably, he seems to get to the basket almost every time with the ball still in those hands and headed for a score regardless of how many opposing hands look to impede its path. That’s strength with a side dish of determination.

Then there’s his shot. Imagine your left elbow is tied to your waist with a bungee cord. The cord will not allow you to lift your left hand any higher than the bottom of your nose. Not your typical shot technique, now is it?

Most D1 hoopsters take most of their shots with the ball above their head at release. Hansbrough’s release is lower, and certainly more awkward looking. Yes, he’s developing a more standard looking jump shot from 10 to 15 feet, but he keeps his money shot in close.
Enter opponent’s defenders who can typically jump over a car while juggling chainsaws. These phenomenal athletes take one look at this low slung delivery and T-man’s herky-jerky movements and suddenly they’re drooling like Pavlov’s dog at noon in a bell tower.

It goes like this: “Surely, I can block that shot EVERY TIME!”

No doubt opposing coaches instruct their big men to the contrary. No doubt those very same forwards and centers pretend to listen, and head into the game thinking ESPN top play for facing Psycho T.

Then the buzzer sounds, and the game starts. Entry pass to Hansbrough. He spins and shoots. The previously humored opposing big man tries to block the shot, and the whistle blows sending Hansbrough to the free throw line 889 times.

Oh, and on a lot of those occasions he makes the shot anyway, not to mention the foul shot (last night he made 10 of 11).

Now you know.

(*"Throw the knife at the lady..." What a great line!)

(Photos by AP Photo/Gerry Broome, Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images and Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

TUESDAY NIGHT HOOP

#1 NORTH CAROLINA 90, FLORIDA STATE 77

Roy Williams good teams have a certain style. If opponents have the right strategy, play good D, get some rebounds, and ultimately control the tempo, they can trade punches with the #1 team in the country. Teams can even do it in the Dean Dome.

But, the last 5 minutes of the first half when a little fatigue sets in and just a little bit of focus gets lost, watch out. Better brace yourself for a big Tar Heel run.

That’s exactly what happened to Florida State when UNC outscored the Noles 20-8 in the latter portion of the first half to break open a close game. With 5:02 left in the first half, the Noles, coming in on a three-game ACC win streak, were hanging tough at 24-24. When the halftime buzzer sounded, it was UNC 44, FSU 32.

Good night, game over. Please drive home safely.

Tyler Hansbrough had 20 quiet points as FSU’s big men denied him the ball early. Ty Lawson, playing in his first home game in a month, added 10 points in 20 minutes to help the Tar Heels beat the Noles 90-77 keeping them in position to play for the ACC regular-season title this Saturday night against #5 Duke.

It was senior night, so the Heel faithfuls got to give some love to "Q" -- Quentin Thomas, the only scholarship senior, who has played remarkably well while filling in at point guard. (The other senior, walk on 6-5 Surry Wood by way of Hampden-Sydney, scored four points in four minutes including the Heels opening basket.)

Marcus Ginyard had 13 points for North Carolina (28-2, 13-2), which maintained a comfortable margin through most of the second half for its seventh straight victory. North Carolina, which spent 11 weeks atop the national rankings before losing to Maryland here in January, was playing its first game since regaining the No. 1 spot following Tennessee's loss at Vanderbilt last week.

Lawson had seven points on 3-for-3 shooting in the second half, helping the Tar Heels shoot 70 percent after the break while pulling away from the Seminoles (17-13, 6-9) over the final 11 minutes. North Carolina led by just six midway through the second half before pushing the margin to as many as 23 in the final minutes.

Jason Rich was spectacular scoring 27 points to lead Florida State, which was trying to win four straight ACC games for the first time since the Sam Cassell-led Seminoles did it 15 years ago.

"Carolina scrambled the game with their run and jump, and their trapping of our ball screens," Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton said. "We never regained our composure, and that's a credit to them."

Head coach Roy Williams hugs senior Quentin Thomas #11 of North Carolina Tar Heels after Thomas fouled out during the second half against the Florida State Seminoles at the Dean E. Smith Center on March 4, 2008 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Jason Rich #25 of the Florida State Seminoles drives against Will Graves #13 and Danny Green #14 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during the second half. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

VIRGINIA TECH 80, WAKE FOREST 58

By Adam Kilgore - Washington Post Staff Writer

Sitting behind the baseline, Denise Washington watched her son, Deron, play the final home game of his career. She had waved her maroon-and-orange pompom for the entire first half, marveling at the scene unfolding: a blowout victory by a team hitting its peak.

"I feel good right now," she said. "This is what it's supposed to be like."

Virginia Tech could hardly have asked for more in its 80-58 victory Tuesday night over Wake Forest at Cassell Coliseum. Coming off a 19-point win over Boston College last week, the Hokies offered a convincing argument for a NCAA tournament berth by crushing Wake Forest for their fourth straight win. Playing on Senior Day, Deron Washington led Virginia Tech with a season-high 22 points.

"It was one of those special nights," Seth Greenberg said. "That's why you coach."

Virginia Tech (18-11, 9-6) bolstered its aspirations for both the ACC and NCAA tournaments. The Hokies ascended to No. 57 in the Ratings Percentage Index entering Tuesday and, playing the best they have all season, are missing only a signature win on their résumé.

A showdown Sunday at third-place Clemson, No. 19 in the RPI, will provide an opportunity to change that. A win Sunday -- or a loss by Miami, which finishes with Boston College and Florida State -- would also give Virginia Tech a first-round bye in the ACC tournament. It would be Virginia Tech's third tournament bye in four years since joining the league.

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

CLEMSON'S HAMMONDS BREAKS WRIST

Clemson All-ACC candidate Cliff Hammonds suffered a broken right (non-shooting) wrist during Clemson’s victory over Maryland on Sunday evening. X-rays revealed the injury on Monday. But, Hammonds said he plans to play Thursday night against Georgia Tech.

Hammonds wore a cast on his right wrist during practice Tuesday. He broke it when he fell while blocking a dunk in the Tigers' 73-70 victory over Maryland on Sunday night. The senior played the last 16 minutes with the injury.

"I am not going to stop playing the way I am playing, I am still going to give it my all," said Hammonds, who has never missed a game at Clemson (21-7, 9-5 ACC).

"There is some pain, but not as much as yesterday. Hopefully I will be able to do all I can to help this team beat Georgia Tech."

While Hammonds said he is ready to go, Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said he won't decide whether to play him against the Yellow Jackets (12-16, 5-9) until after practice Wednesday.

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

ACC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Boston College's Tyrese Rice was named ACC Player of the Week while Clemson's Terrence Oglesby earned ACC Rookie of the Week honors.

In earning the league's player of the week award for the second time this season, Rice scored a career-high 46 points in Saturday's 90-80 loss to second-ranked North Carolina. The Richmond, Va., product made 20 of 41 field goal attempts against the Tar Heels, including eight-of-12 from three-point range and 10 of his 11 free throw attempts.

Earlier in the week, Rice had 15 points and two rebounds in a 67-48 loss at Virginia Tech. The 6-1, 190-pound junior is currently second in the ACC in scoring (21.4) and fifth in assists (4.8).

In earning the league's rookie award for the second time this season, Oglesby capped a 20-point second half Clemson rally with a three-point field goal with 2.3 second remaining to lift the Tigers to a 73-70 victory at Maryland Sunday. The Cleveland, Tenn., freshman scored 12 points, all in the second half, against the Terps, making four-of-seven from behind the arc.

On the week, Oglesby averaged 9.0 points and 2.0 rebounds as the Tigers won twice.
(Photos by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images and AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

SO LONG BRETT FAV-RUH

He’s one of the best to ever play the position, he’s a Super Bowl Champion, a lock for Canton and he has a famous movie line in Something About Mary.

So, really, what is there left to do?

Evidently, nothing.

Brett Favre is riding into the sunset after a 17 year NFL career. Tuesday’s surprise move comes just months since the 38-year-old three-time MVP set several league records, including most career touchdown passes, in one of his most successful seasons.

Coach Mike McCarthy said Favre informed him of the decision by telephone Monday night.

“He said it was time for him to hang up the cleats,” McCarthy said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

(Ummm...until August when it's time to pick them up again?)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY

OH NO! HILLARY'S BACK IN IT...Arsenal's Swiss player Philippe Senderos (l) tries to find his happy face after learning that Hillary Clinton won primaries in Ohio and Texas.

Actually, he was reacting to having a shot saved by AC Milan's goalkeeper during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final match at San Siro Stadium in Milan on March 4, 2008. Arsenal won the game 2-0.

Hillary won her day 3-1.

(Photo Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

SHORT ON CASH....After fielding another team with a huge payroll, the New York Yankees found themselves a little short on supplies.

Here Yankee, Johnny Damon trades one cigarette for seven baseballs before the baseball spring training game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla., Tuesday, March 4, 2008.

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

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