Friday, March 13, 2009

WE CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW, THE COACH HAS YELLED

We can see all obstacles in our way,
Gone are the dark clouds that had me missing three pointers…


Every close basketball game has a defining moment. Some of those moments are obvious, some are harder to detect since we can’t hear and see everything that happens on the court or in the huddle during timeouts.

We believe the defining moment for UNC’s 79-76 victory over Virginia Tech in the ACC quarter finals probably happened during a time out with 3:30 seconds left in the game and the Hokies leading 72-71. It appears that down home Carolina Roy Williams told his boys to “dance with who brung ya” and stop shooting (miserably, we might add – 6 of 19, 31 percent) three pointers.

“Hey, remember this Hansbrough guy?” we imagine Ol’ Roy said, “He’s still the reigning national player of the year, unanimous first team All-ACC again and when the game started he was just 50-some points shy of being the all-time leading scorer in the best basketball conference in the nation.”

Then sometimes-potty-mouth Roy paused for effect, and then we imagine he calmly said:

“GET HIM THE DAMN BALL, (BLEEP)(BLEEP)!!”

Or something like that…

Without Ty Lawson, the Tar Heels weren’t firing on all cylinders, but they figured out what to do at crunch time and that was put the ball in the hands of the best player on the court. Just like last year, Tyler Hansbrough made the winning basket.

Hansbrough scored 28 points and scored the go-ahead basket with 36.1 seconds left – the the 12th lead change of the second half -- and then he tied up J.T. Thompson in the lane for a jump ball that gave North Carolina (28-3) possession with 5.2 seconds to go.

Coach/Zen Master Seth Greenberg of Virginia Tech (18-14) did his best Gary “Speedstick” Williams imitation as he threw his jacket in disgust, believing Thompson was fouled.

Hansbrough was fouled on the inbounds, made two free throws and A.D. Vassallo, who scored 26 points to lead Virginia Tech, missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have forced overtime.

As predicted here and elsewhere, Ty Lawson was in uniform but didn't play.

The speedy point guard wore a black, stiff-soled shoe on his right foot as he cheered on his teammates from the bench. The ACC said it was the first time the conference's player of the year missed his team's tournament opener.

Senior Bobby Frasor took over at point guard and played 37 minutes. He scored only four points, but did have four rebounds, three assists and just one turnover.

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images and AP Photos/Dave Martin)

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