Friday, April 3, 2009

ARGHHHH! STUPID GOVERNMENT RUINS TERPS' ANTI-FINAL FOUR

Since those crazy kids in College Park had no Terp in the fight at the Final Four, the question was "What are we gonna do instead?"

Well, the answer was pretty obvious to those wizards at the student theatre at the University of Maryland: PORN!

Yep, they decided to show the XXX film "Pirates II: Stagnetti's Revenge" and, needless to say, tickets were selling fast.

While, "Pirates II: Stagnetti's Revenge," was mysteriously overlooked by those stuffy Oscar folks, it does have an interesting plot. Evidently, pirate hunter Captain Edward Reynolds and his blond first mate, Jules Steel, return where they are recruited by a shady governor general to find a darkly sinister Chinese empress pirate, named Xifing, and her group of Arab cutthroats, whom are trying to resurrect the late Victor Stagnetti, the world's most feared pirate, from the grave to bring on world domination.

Apparently, achieving world domination involves a lot of sex.

But, wait! Enter, the Maryland General Assembly.

Yesterday, during a budget debate, conservative Senator Andrew P. Harris offered an amendment to the budget that would withhold state funding to any school that aired a Triple X movie. C'mon, everybody loves a good pirate flick!

Now the administrators over at UM love a good time, but forgoing $424 million a year seemed a bit much.

No more movie - plug pulled - literally.

Needless to say, the students were incensed. Don't be shocked if beer is consumed and something gets set on fire.

OK, kids, what have we learned?

Answer: Sen. Andrew P. Harris, left, is a fuddy-duddy, and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (right) really needs a haircut.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

ADIOS, T.A.H. AMIGOS

Look, you're just gonna have to suck it up and go it alone. Yes, you're gonna have to muddle through the Final Four without T.A.H. holding your hand. You'll be OK.


When in doubt, drink more, and dream those sweet LAX dreams.

We're going to Mexico - Isla Mujeres to be exact. (Go ahead, Google it, we'll wait for you.)

Supposedly there is a beach bar with satellite T.V. (Jax Bar and Grill) which shows "American Sports" in "English." Hey, Jax other gig is sportfishing, so he has to be a cool guy. If they don't show the games, the jokes on us. Worse comes to worse, we catch a fast boat to Cancun - 35 pesos. That's about $3.50 U.S. last time we looked, which was about two beers ago.

So, be brave, and enjoy the cyber silence.

There are a half-dozen internet cafes on the 5 mile long island, so if we get bored, or it rains, we may check in from time to time…but, don't count on it.

VILLANOVA: DUKE IN WOLVES CLOTHING

The word before the Duke v. Villanova game was that the two teams were mirror images of one another. Based on the final score, we’re gonna have to go “Fun House” mirror, but, general speaking we concur with the assessment. Duke and Villanova are very similar.

Neither team is particularly big and both basically run a four guard game. It now appears that the Wildcats play better defense than the Blue Devils and they have proven they can handle bigger teams by beating Pittsburgh.

But can they beat North Carolina?

Short Answer: Probably not. If Villanova plays their best game and North Carolina does the same, the now seven-point favorite Heels win every time. If Ol’ Roy’s boys lose defensive focus and allow the good Villanova guards to penetrate and kick the ball out, ‘Nova has a chance.

But the math doesn’t bode well for Villanova. While they have more offense contributors than Duke, they still don’t match up well with a bigger more prolific North Carolina.

The Cats starting five of Dante Cunningham (pictured below), Scottie Reynolds (pictured above), Corey Fisher, Corey Stokes and Dwayne Anderson are averaging 16.2, 15.2, 10.7, 9.5 and 9.1 points per game. Other than his last second shot heroics, Reynolds has not played particularly well during the Big Dance.

UNC’s starting five of Psycho-T, Ty “The Toe” Lawson, Wayne Ellington, Danny Green and Deon Thompson average 20.9, 16.3, 15.6, 13.3 and 10.7…

Do the math…Villanova’s starters total 15.8 points per game less, and they aren’t bring the likes of Ed Davis, Bobby Frasor or Tyler Zeller off the bench.

Advantage Carolina.
As previously stated, if UNC plays their game, they win.

MONDAY NIGHT PREDICTION

UNC v. MICHIGAN STATE: The Spartans are on a roll and playing close to home, and, if they knock off UConn (currently a four point favorite), they will have revenge on their side. Back in December, North Carolina beat Michigan State 90-zillion to 60-something at Ford Field - the very same site as the Final Four. So the Trojan Horse kids would be looking to even the score from a serious a** whoopin.

Won’t matter. Even with center Goran Suton playing (he didn’t back in December), they can’t match up with Carolina. Suton is good, but he only averages 10 points a game. He can’t bridge the gap between 90-zillion and 60-something…assuming, the Heels play their game. If they lose focus, Michigan State can win what amounts to a home game in the Championship.

UNC v. UCONN:
We’re pretty sure UConn is good, but we’ve yet to see it. The win over Mizzou was downright butt ugly and all this talk about how freshmen point guard Kemba Walker “emerging” into a game changer based on 23 points vs. Missouri is silly. Prior to that, he averaged two points per game. Simply put, Ty Lawson will eat his lunch.

While Thabeet is tall and talented, he can’t stop all the weapons Carolina will throw at him. His 13 points and 10 rebounds per game is likely offset by any number of OlRoys’ cavalry.

Either way, advantage Tar Heels.

HAMBURGER HELPER: NINE MCDONALD’S ACC ALL-AMERICANS

Derrick Favors, F, 6-9, 235, (Georgia Tech), Atlanta: No pressure on the gifted power forward; he only has to lift a Georgia Tech from the ACC basement and save coach Paul Hewitt's job.

Milton Jennings, F, 6-9, 215, (Clemson), Cottageville, S.C.: Clemson's first McDonald's All-American since Sharone Wright (1991) should fit right into the top of Oliver Purnell's press and complement Tigers power forward Trevor Booker.

Ryan Kelly, F, 6-10, 217, (Duke), Raleigh: Tall and skinny, the Ravenscroft forward plays more in the mold of current Duke forward Kyle Singler than as a true post presence.

Dexter Strickland, G, 6-3, 180, (North Carolina), Rahway, N.J.: If Wayne Ellington leaves for the NBA, Strickland likely would be the Tar Heels' starting shooting guard. Like Ellington, Strickland is regarded as an excellent 3-point shooter.

John Henson, F, 6-10, 200, (North Carolina), Tampa, Fla.: The top power forward in the Class of 2009, Henson's strength is his ability to run the floor. With Tyler Zeller and Ed Davis, he gives the Tar Heels plenty of options to replace the departing Tyler Hansbrough.

Mason Plumlee, F, 6-11, 220, (Duke), Arden: Plumlee possess the size to immediately upgrade Duke's interior next season. Like a lot of Duke's forwards, he can also score while facing the basket. (Pictured)

Michael Snaer, G, 6-5, 200, (Florida State), Moreno Valley, Calif.: With Derwin Kitchen sliding over to the point guard, it likely will be Snaer, who averaged 28.1 points per game, to replace All-ACC guard Toney Douglas in FSU's starting lineup.

David Wear, F, 6-10, 225, (North Carolina), Huntington Beach, Calif. …Travis Wear, F, 6-10, 230, (North Carolina), Huntington Beach, Calif.: The Wear twins can both shoot the ball and run the floor. They are the latest in a long line of prospects Roy Williams has mined from the state of California.

HEELS WIN CHAMPIONSHIP BASED ON BEING ‘TAR HEEL DEAD’

Paste Magazine which is “devoted to signs of life in music, film and culture” got out on a limb a bit recently when they published a blog post by Nick Marino about who would win the Final Four based on the schools’ fight songs.
The basketball fan in me believes that a successful Final Four comes down to fundamentals—the team that wins the tourney will hit free throws, box out for rebounds and contain the gawky awesomeness of Tyler Hansbrough.

The music fan in me believes it’ll all come down to fight songs. Here, I rank the four remaining teams based on the quality of their fight songs.

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Curious now, aren’t you? Go ahead click here and read who wins…

TOES LAWSON FEELING LUCKY IN DETROIT

AP – Norrth Carolina guard Ty Lawson has already won big at the Final Four.

Don't expect the NCAA to make commercials about it, though.

Hours after arriving in Detroit, the North Carolina point guard hit a downtown casino and left with a little extra cash.

"We got in last night, and Coach [Roy Williams] gave us a curfew of 1:30," Lawson said when asked if he had visited any casinos. "I went over to Greektown and won about $250. So I already had my time there. It's probably the last time I go there before the games start."

Lawson said he played only craps and earned his winnings in about an hour.

Team spokesman Steve Kirschner said the 21-year-old is legally of age to visit a casino.
"I'm just amazed that people are going to make a big deal about it," Kirschner said.

While neither illegal nor a violation of NCAA rules, gambling is a touchy issue for an organization already skittish about holding its biggest event in a city that counts three casinos among its attractions.

In a separate news conference at Ford Field, NCAA president Myles Brand said the organization only prohibits gambling on college and professional sports. But Brand said he would prefer athletes don't gamble at the casinos.

"Well, I warn against that slippery slope. It's a fair question," said Brand, who was not asked specifically about Lawson. "What a student does, play bingo in his church for example, while we discourage that, we prefer not to try and regulate that particular kind of activity. But it's highly discouraged."

Calls to fellow Final Four participants Villanova, Connecticut and Michigan State regarding whether their players have visited casinos or were prohibited from going were not immediately returned.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

N.I.T. CHAMPS. Penn State players celebrate during the awards ceremony after beating Baylor 69-63 in the NIT championship college basketball game Thursday, April 2, 2009, in New York. That should make the Hokies feel a little better.

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

FSU WINS APPEAL AND HAS SIX LOSSES EXPUNGED FROM RECORD

Folks in Tallahassee are calling it “a miracle.”

The Suits In Kansas, also known as the NCAA, announced this morning that they were completely wrong about what the punishment needed to be for the cheating scandal at Florida State.

Reacting quickly and decisively to a letter written by FSU President T.K. “Couldn’t Stand The” Wetherell to the NCAA Committee on Infractions on March 17th of this year, the Myles “Behind” Brand-led organization decided to immediately reexamine its "entire penalty structure."

Even though the cheating involved every sport at the school (over 217) and the overwhelming majority of the “student athletes” (estimated to be as high as 13,598), the whiz kids from Tornadoville slashed the “totally unfair” punishment previously announced.

Now instead of forfeiting scholarships and reversing victories, the traffic cops over in Stupid Rules World have decided to actually give the Seminoles more scholarship and reverse some losses.

Needless to say this caused much joy (almost to the point of a post Maryland big win riot) on campus and throughout Bowden households all over the land. Except at three of the sons houses who issued statements about “Dad getting all the breaks.”

The final bit of icing on the garnet and gold cake was when it was revealed that Florida State would be able to choose the six losses to now reverse into overwhelming victories.

Coach Bowden and his ever loyal boosters held an emergency meeting of the Chop Chop Tomahawk You Get What You Pay For Club and made a very quick decision on the losses to reverse.

Sighting Bowden’s seniority - the elder Bowden has been coaching Florida State for 149 years - the “boosters” allowed Bowden a single pick. His choice surprised no one when he instantly blurted out “the dadgum 2006 Orange Bowl” when we lost to “that dadburn bastard Joe Pa” in triple overtime 26-23.

The money men then chose, again to no one’s surprise, Wide Right 1 (Gerry Thomas), Wide Right 2 (Dan Mowrey), Wide Right 3 (Matt Munyon), Wide Right 4 (Xavier Beitia) and Wide Left (Xavier Beitia) as the other five games.

Officials at Miami and Penn State could not be reached for comment.

LAWSON AMPUTATES OWN TOES WITH HELP FROM PSYCHO T

UNC point guard Ty Lawson’s father, Gus “I Fought The Law And The” Lawson made news a few weeks ago when he advised the star point guard to soak his injured toe in a warm Epsom salt bath. The result was a badly swollen big piggy that could have cost the Heels a trip to the Final Four.

When Lawson's now famous appendage was sore following North Carolina’s victory over Oklahoma in the Elite Eight, Lawson’s dad was there to help once again. This time he suggested a more radical treatment – amputation.

“Cool,” said fellow All-American Tyler Hansbrough, “Let’s whack it off with a ping pong paddle.”

While the elder Lawson did not attend medical school, the younger Lawson noted that he had “driven by” both the world renown Duke and UNC medical centers on “numerous” occasions.

“My dad has never steered me wrong,” said an upbeat Lawson after the procedure, “…well except maybe that one time with the toe thing.”

When asked why he voluntarily chose to remove the other uninjured big toe, Lawson said, “That was Tyler’s idea. He said if I had nine toes, I’d be unbalanced and it would mess up my shot.”

“Obviously, he’s smarter than me, “ concluded Lawson, “I was the ACC Player of the Year and he wasn’t, and yet I'm second team All America and he’s first team. Go figure. Oh…and his dad actually went to med school, so he knows stuff.”

SHOCKING NEWS: MOM WAS RIGHT!

Duke junior forward Jon “Crazy Face” Scheyer has been admitted to the Duke Medical Center in an attempt to remove the “crazy face” from his countenance. Before today, Scheyer’s face was completely normal until he stepped on a basketball court. Once he attempted to make any kind of play, his face would seemingly go into uncontrollable spasms.

There is only one known photo of Scheyer playing for Duke with a “normal” expression on his face. That shot was taken in Duke’s loss to Villanova where the stat line notes that Jon “Normal Face” Scheyer was 3 for 18 from the field and only scored 13 points in a spectacular NCAA tournament loss for the Blue Devils.

Doctors at the famous medical complex were stunned (and a little grossed out) by Scheyer’s bizarre facial contortions noting that his mother probably “warned him.”

Scheyer typically complained that his face was sore after games noting that the pain was especially excruciating after an overtime game.

“If I don’t stay hydrated,” Scheyer said, “I get cramps in my lips and cheeks. Jeez, that smarts.”

NEW ON – AND FLYING OFF – THE BOOKSHELVES

Recruiting Un-Athletic Doomed To Fail In The NBA White McDonalds All-Americans, by Mike Kryzjnbv2ski.

If It Ain’t Friggin’ Broke, Roy Williams Ain’t Gonna Friggin’ Fix It, by Roy “Roy Williams” Williams.

Diet And Exercising For The Small(er) Kitchen Appliance(s), by Ralph “The Fridge” Friedgen.

Life Lessons From An Underachieving Millionaire, by Ralph Sampson.

The Ying and Yow of Maryland Basketball: An Expose By The Head Coach Who Resurrected The Program From Death And Then Won A National Championship When The Miserable Jerks In The Athletic Department Said He Never Would While Questioning His Recruiting, by Gary “Speed Stick” Williams.

Job Hunting In The NFL During A Down Economy While Constantly Explaining To Your Family Why You Quit The ‘Good’ Job At The ‘Nice’ College, by Jeff Jagodzinski.

My Life At The Free Throw Line And The Lessons I’ve Learned, by Oliver Purnell.

Dead Grandparent Jokes: A Collection of Short Stories, by N.C. State alums and fans.

Hottest NCAA Cheerleaders I’m Not Married To, by Jeff Jones.

The Lonely Panet Guide To The Best Places To Score A Snapple At 4 A.M., by Julius Hodge.

PICTURES OF THE DAY

ALL DONE. Officials at Duke and the University of North Carolina have agreed to call off the Tobacco Road rivalry due to "unsavory behavior" displayed by all parties.

Students at Maryland say "WTF?"

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

ALL DONE. Duke Coach Mike Krzycvbp7ski has promised to stop yelling at referees. Instead he will send them obscene messges via texting, email and tweats.

HAPPY APRIL FOOLS DAY

*items in italics may not be true, but you already knew that.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

CRAIG LITTLEPAGE'S INBOX


JOKES OVER: CAVS HIRE TONY BENNETT

Surprise!

OK, Wahoos, you can stop tracking Tubby’s airplane and spreading rumors about Capel’s family’s drug habits, Tony Bennett, who led Washington State to its first appearance in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament in 2008, will be named head coach at Virginia whether you like it or not.

(T.A.H. polling suggests that students, alums and fans are not thrilled with the hire. With limited polling data in at this early hour, T.A.H. is putting significant weight on Dr. A.G. Wahoos poll response of “F*** ME!!!!!”)

Washington State director of athletics Jim Sterk confirmed that Bennett has accepted the head-coaching position at Virginia on Tuesday.

Bennett led the Cougars to consecutive NCAA tournament appearances before finishing 17-16 this past season.

“Look, he was one game over .500 this season, and that has University of Virginia basketball written all over it,” said Craig Littlepage, UVA Athletic Director.

While Littlepage was reportedly “stunned and disturbed” by the 362 coaches who failed to return his phone calls since former coach Dave Leitao “resigned,” he doggedly continued the search until he found what sources close to the Wahoo Athletic Department were calling “our man.”

“It was really a no-brainer,” continued Littlepage. “Bennett is uniquely qualified – he’s the Mid-Continent Conference's all-time leader in points (2,285) and assists (601). He still ranks as the NCAA's all-time leader in 3-point percentage (.497). Who better to teach our guys how to shoot three pointers than a guy who could shoot three pointers?”

Gotta admit, it’s hard to argue with that logic.

Littlepage concluded saying, “In addition to his incredible coaching qualifications, you have to admit, he looks like a UVA guy. Look at him…young, clean cut…His wife told me he even owns a bow tie.”

(No, she didn’t mention Zima, but she hasn’t returned T.A.H.’s phone call yet.)

Virginia insiders were hoping the school would land a big name, brand product coach like Minnesota's Tubby Smith or Oklahoma's Jeff Capel or Texas' Rick Barnes or LSU's Trent Johnson.

After the hiring of Bennett leaked out, each coach made a comment about the Hoos’ coaching opening.

“I’m done with basketball in the south and rednecks calling me the “n” word when you don’t beat a small in-state college by 30 points in November,” said Smith. “Give the Cubagges and all those hoop crazed hillbillies up on Afton Mountain my regards.”

“Why would I want to go to UVA and get my a** kicked by North Carolina?” asked Jeff Capel. “I just got my a** kicked by North Carolina, why would I want to do it two, maybe three, times a year? Remember, I went to Duke, that’s not gonna sit well on any side of the aisle.”

“Have you been to Austin?” queried current Texas coach and past Clemson coach Rick Barnes, “The slogan for the place is ‘Keep Austin Weird,’ who’s leaving that? Besides, I still have a restraining order that says I can’t get within 500 feet of Dean Smith and that’s going to make the “at UNC” game a bit uncomfortable.”

“Actually,” said LSU coach Trent Johnson, “I like my job, and I’m a BIG football fan…”

Local Wash State grad G. Cougar Bengston said, “Wahoo bastards stole my coach!”

*Items in italics may not be true.

WE’LL SEE YOUR SIX OVERTIMES, AND RAISE YOU AN OVERTIME

The lax boys at Virginia and Maryland weren’t all that impressed with the Syracuse v. UConn six overtime marathon, so they went out created an ESPN Classic game of their own.

In the longest game in the history of Division I men's lacrosse, No. 1 Virginia beat No. 9 Maryland 10-9 when junior midfielder Brian Carroll scored one minute into the seventh overtime.

ESPN Classic didn't take long to pick it up. The network replayed the game last night.

The teams combined for 53 turnovers and between them made only 19 of 89 shots.
On the scoreboard, the game took 85 minutes: 60 for the four quarters, 24 for the first six overtimes and one for the seventh.

The longest college men's game took place last year, in Division III, according to Inside Lacrosse. York (Pa.) beat Catholic 10-9 in a seven-OT game that ran 85 minutes and 41 seconds.

Next for top-ranked Virginia (1-0 ACC, 11-0 overall) is a noon game Saturday with No. 10 North Carolina (0-2, 8-3) in the inaugural Big City Classic at East Rutherford, N.J.

(AP Photos)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TOLY HANSBROUGH

Somewhat miraculously, multi-sport star Toly Hansbrough has made it semi-intact to his SEVENTH birthday.

Well done, T-man.
Have a big day.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

DOWN AND OUT. Louisville's men's team didn't make the Final Four, but thier women's team will after defeating top seed Maryland 77-60 last night.

Here, Maryland's Drey Mingo (left) and Emery Wallace (right) console senior forward Marissa Coleman in the closing minutes of the second half.

The Terps won the National Championship in 2006, but that was little consolation to the seniors after last night's career-ending Elite 8 loss.

(AP photo)

Monday, March 30, 2009

VIRGINIA CROONING OVER NEW COACHING CANDIDATE

The University of Virginia is in hot pursuit of another new head coach for the men's basketball team sources close to the program tell T.A.H after University officials realized that nobody actually was “sweeping down the plains” from either Oklahoma or Minnesota.

In spite of thousands of Wahoos insisting that either Tubby Smith or Jeff Capel would be the Hoos next coach, Virginia A.D. Craig Littlepage has decided to go in yet another direction.

To see the latest top secret coach-in-waiting click here.

WAHOOS CHASING “ELITE” COACH

Confidential sources close to T.A.H. and approximately 70 miles from Charlottesville, are claiming that UVA “has our man” and that an announcement concerning a new head coach is coming later today or early tomorrow.

This news comes after best-selling author John Grisham turned down the latest overtures from Cav A.D. Craig Littlepage. In a carefully prepared statement, Grisham said:

“While an attorney and block-buster author who’s books have sold millions and been turned into block buster movies starring the likes of mega-stars Tom Cruise and Nicholas Cage, many of you in the Virginia family may erroneously think that I am not qualified to coach a major division one college basketball team.

Nothing could be further from the truth. With my superior intellect and midas touch, I’m entirely confident that I could resurrect “The University’s” basketball program to levels even greater than those achieved in the now seemingly ancient Ralph Sampson era.

Since am currently working on a new book which will eventually be heralded an important piece of modern American literature, I simply do not have time for the frivolity of collegiate athletics in spite of my obvious and overwhelming talents which make me capable of doing any damn thing I please.”

Yet again, the negotiations are so secret, that we aren’t allowed to reveal the identity of the candidate on the T.A.H. pages.

To see the latest top secret candidate click here.

(Photo by Robert Meggers/Getty Images)

TAR HEELS HEADED BACK TO FINAL FOUR

No. 1 NORTH CAROLINA 72, No. 2 OKLAHOMA 60 – If you had told Oklahoma (30-6) coach Jeff Capel that Tyler Hansbrough would only score eight points and Wayne Ellington nine, and his Sooners would hold the ninety-points-per-game Tar Heels to just 72 points, he would have been delighted.

Had you told Ol' Roy the same thing he would have been moritified.

At the same time, if you told Capel a combination of North Carolina’s defense and a poor shooting night would hold his eighty-points-per game Oklahoma squad to just 60 points including 2-19 (10.5 percent) from behind the arc, he would have been mystified.

This game looked like a bit like the Duke v. Villanova match-up from Thursday night. Oklahoma was tentative and UNC’s first-half defense was so solid that twice the Sooners failed to get a shot off. An effective double team held Player of the Year Blake Griffin as in check as he can be held and the rest of his teammates seemed nervous and tentative - missing shot after shot.

Griffin finished up with 23 points and 16 rebounds, prompting Hansbrough to say his counterpart was the “best rebounder” he had ever seen. The Tar Heels did manage to hold Griffin scoreless for the first 11 minutes of the game.

Meanwhile, Carolina (32-4) seemed a little tentative as well. They did get off to a quick start and a 13-2 lead, but from there it looked like the basketball version of the golfer’s “safety swing.” After a year of gigantic expectations including a No. 1 ranking and prognostications of a highly improbably undefeated season, North Carolina was on a mission to get back to the Final Four for a chance to avenge an embarrassing defeat to last years champ Kansas.

While they played hard and efficiently, for most of this game, North Carolina looked like they just wanted it to be over. They played tenacious defense (for them), and they shot the ball well (51 percent for the game), but they also worked the clock in the second half which is not their strong suit. Luckily, Lawson and his now famous toe were holding the ball as the shot clock was winding down. The Heels used 62 percent second-half shooting to build a 21 point lead, and they coasted in from there.

While it would be hard to argue the outcome of the game, it would have been different game had Oklahoma shot better. Credit UNC’s much maligned defense for many of those misses. On the other hand, the Tar Heels left quite a few points on the floor including one stretch in the second half where they committed five turnovers.

Ty Lawson was the Most Outstanding Player of the South Regional scoring 19 points in yesterday’s win. On the way to Detroit for the Final Four, Lawson has committed a grand total of two turnovers – not a misprint, that’s TWO. Danny Green added 18 points for Carolina, and his game seems to be back to normal.

North Carolina made fifteen of sixteen free throws (93.8 percent).

North Carolina reached a record 18th Final Four and their second straight as part of nine in the past 19 seasons.

The Tar Heels have already visited the Final Four site once this year when they easily defeated West Regional winner Michigan State 98-63.

North Carolina led 61-40 before Oklahoma scored nine straight points, including its first 3-pointer after 15 misses to start the game. Lawson made a couple free throws with 4:12 to play to halt that run.

“It’s not hard to see how talented they are throughout the year. I’ve always been impressed with them,” said Taylor Griffin, who scored four points for the Sooners. “They’re as good as advertised, I think.”

On Saturday, Williams uttered perhaps the week’s most prescient quote:

“If you say, Tyler, you’re going to have eight points and seven rebounds but North Carolina is going to win, he’s going to be the happiest guy in town.”

(Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images and Zeke Smith/InsideCarolina.com)

FLOODING THE MIDWEST ONE LOOGIE AT A TIME

Evidently, it’s good luck if you spit in the Mississippi River. So, every time the Roy Williams plays in New Orleans, St. Louis or, say, Memphis, he makes it a point to spit in America’s Mighty Muddy.

However, on this trip to the Final Four, Williams asserted in his post-game news conference yesterday that he had no plans to expectorate in the Gathering of Waters, but the bus made a few unscheduled turns on the way from the hotel to Fed Ex Forum and, lo and behold, there they were.

Well…since, we’re here, we might as well have a good ol’ spit for luck!

To bad Detroit is located on the Huckleberry Finn Highway.

(Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

YOUNGER CURRY SELLS SOUL TO (BLUE) DEVILS

After spending his freshmen hear with the God Squad at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, Seth Curry is headed in the opposite direction. Now, the younger brother of Davidson star Stephen Curry will call himself a “devil.”

After spending several hours Sunday with Duke head coach Mike Krzythl5ski on the Durham campus, Curry – the nation's leading freshman scorer (20.3 points per game) this season – committed to play for the Blue Devils.

Under NCAA rules, Curry will not be allowed to participate next season but can begin play in the 2010-11 season.

"After spending five hours with Coach K and his staff and hearing how highly they regard [Seth] and how they think he can help their program, it speaks for itself," father Dell Curry said Sunday evening. "It seems like the right fit. Seth committed before he left."

"Coach K really wanted Seth," Dell Curry said. "His vision for Seth and for the program -- it was great as parents to hear someone of his stature sell us on how bad he wanted Seth."

Krzlpzk4ski is not allowed to comment on Curry until he signs with the school.

BOBBY KNIGHT CLEARLY HAS NO GROOVE

Say what you will about Bobby Knight, but when it comes to dancing and singing, he's all white guy. "Stiff" would be kind.

In case you missed it, here's the new Guitar Hero commercial featuring Knight, Pitino, Ol' Roy and Krzxwyfgvb8ski.

Frankly, T.A.H. was a bit disappointed. While we realize it's for the Metalica version of the game, the commercial should have featured Ozzie Osbourne. Imagine the exchange between the Prince of Darkness and Coach Knight?

PICTURE OF THE DAY

SOMEBODY IS WATCHING YOU. And it’s not the money you could be saving on your car insurance…It’ likely that Phil and the PGA boys figured their chances of a green jacket were a bit better with Tiger coming off a long injury-related layoff.

Not so fast, for the second straight year at Bay Hill, Woods made pivotal putts along the back nine and came to the 18th hole needing a birdie to win – and for the second straight year he made the birdie putt and won the tournament.

Layoff? What layoff?

(Photos by David Cannon/Getty Images and Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

MOST VALUABLE TAR HEEL. Ty Lawson cuts down the nets after North Carolina defeated Oklahoma to advance to the Final Four for the second straight year.

(Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

STILL THE ONE. The Tar Heels celebrate after the trophy presentation as the Champions of the NCAA South Region.

(Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

DADDY’S BOY. Draymond Green #23 of the Michigan State Spartans celebrates with Steven Izzo (son of head coach Tom Izzo) after Michigan State's 64-52 win against the Louisville Cardinals during the fourth round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Lucas Oil Stadium on March 29, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

UPSTART VILLANOVA DERAILS BIG EAST MARCH TO THE FINAL FOUR

Whaddya mean Villanova is in the Big East?

Holy crap!
Oh, well...let's move on.

It was only fitting that when two Big East powers locked horns in the Elite Eight, that the final two minutes would be epic.

After a see-saw battle, Villanova finally won the game on a play that Villanova coach Jay Wright said “never worked” in practice.

So, there were the Wildcats desperately clinging to a narrow lead over No.1 Pittsburgh with seconds and a trip to the Final Four hanging in the balance…

With a five second call imminent, Nova's Reggie Redding, who had on the previous play thrown what might be heralded as the “worst in bounds pass in the history of the NCAA tournament” had Vilanova not pulled out the win, threw a lob to Dante Cunningham who handed it off to a streaking Scotty Reynolds.

The rest, as they say, is history. With five-tenths of a second left on the clock Reynolds made a tough shot in the lane to shock the top-ranked Panthers and to send Villanova back to the Final Four for the first time since 1985 when they played the almost perfect game to defeat Georgetown.

Reynolds, somehow found the basketball after Pitt’s final desperation three-point heave (evidently an assistant coach snagged it), and he was still holding it when the post-game press conference ended.

"It's going to be one of those shots that you always see," Wright said. "It's great for your program. It's great for that kid. He'll be 30 or 40 and they'll still be playing that shot."

NOTE TO ALL COLLEGE BASKETBALL PLAYERS: Villanova was 22 of 23 from the free-throw line.

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

CLEMSON’S BOOKER TO RETURN FOR SENIOR SEASON

Tigers coach Oliver Purnell made the announcement Friday. The 6-foot-7 Booker became the first player since Wake Forest's Tim Duncan 12 years ago to lead the Atlantic Coast Conference in field-goal percentage and rebounding.

Booker averaged 15.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and two blocked shots a game this season.
He said in a statement that after consulting with his family, he decided there were several areas in which he could improve before moving on to a professional basketball career.

(Reuters Pictures)

PICTURE OF THE DAY

LOCAL BOY DOES GOOD. Quality Road ridden by jockey John Velazquez on his way to winning the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on March 28, 2009 in Hallandale Beach, Florida.

Quality Road will next run in the Kentucky Derby. He was born and raised at Spring Hill Farm in Casanova, VA just down the road from Warrenton where the T.A.H. World Headquarters.


(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

LOCAL GIRL DOES GOOD. Marrisa Coleman scored a career-high 42 points, including the go-ahead basket with 27.9 seconds left, as No. 1 seed Maryland rallied from 18 down to beat Vanderbilt 78-74 on Saturday.

(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

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