Friday, April 10, 2009

FACEBOOK: JUST ANOTHER WAY FOR BIG BROTHER TO WATCH YOU

Well, maybe not you, but the Big Brother we know and love (the NCAA) is keeping a sharp eye on hot shot recruit John Wall and all the schools wooing him.

We profiled John “Off The” Wall in one of our Things That Make You Go Hmmm…for a variety of reasons, but the latest Off The Wall News involves the suits in Kansas and N.C. State.

Yesterday the Wolfpack ‘s compliance office for NCAA issues sent a cease-and-desist letter to a student citing concerns that the "John Wall PLEASE come to NC STATE!!!" group launched on Facebook constitutes improper contact with a prospective student-athlete, according to NCAA bylaws.

"NCAA bylaws go on to state that all in-person, on- and off-campus recruiting contacts, as well as correspondence and telephone calls, with a prospective student-athlete shall be made only by authorized institutional staff members," the letter said. "With this correspondence, North Carolina State is alerting you to the applicable NCAA legislation. Any current or future recruiting contact…must cease immediately."

News of the Facebook group devoted to the Raleigh Word of God senior, who is rated the No. 1 point guard available in this recruiting class, first came to light in an article published Tuesday in the Technician, N.C. State's student paper.

The student took down the sight commenting he wasn’t looking to get his school in the NCAA’s dog house.

Other schools/students/alums with similar sites include Memphis, Baylor and Kentucky.

Wall currently is in Portland, Ore., preparing to play in the Nike Hoop Summit, an exhibition game featuring an international all-star team all the while complaining that he and his entourage are not being recruited by UNC.

Various reports say Ol’ Roy did give “Another Brick In The…” a call during the Final Four, but we wager it was to say “frig off.”

ACC NOT REPRESENTED IN WASHINGTON D.C. FROZEN FOUR

The ACC only has one ice hockey team – Boston College – and this year they missed out on a trip to the NCAA Ice Hockey Championship, the Frozen Four, which is being held in the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

Yesterday Miami (Ohio) (Redhawks, 20,126 students, Oxford, OH) defeated Bemidji State (Beavers, 4,363 students, Bemidji, MN) and Boston University (Terriers, 18,534 students, Boston, MA) won over Vermont (Catamounts, 9,454 students, Burlington, VT) 5-4.

NINE ACC PLAYERS CHOSEN IN WNBA DRAFT

First Round:
2 - Washington Mystics Marissa Coleman Maryland
3 - Chicago Sky Kristi Toliver Maryland
10 - Connecticut Sun Chante Black Duke

Second Round:
15 - Minnesota Lynx Rashanda McCants North Carolina
17 - Connecticut Sun Lyndra Littles Virginia (pictured)
18 - Detroit Britany Miller Florida State
21 - New York Liberty Abby Waner Duke

Third Round:
37 - Detroit Shock Tanae Davis-Cain Florida State
38 - Seattle Storm Mara Freshour Florida State

(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY

OLD GUYS. A couple of seniors played well in the opening round at Augusta. Former champ Larry Mize got it to -5 before stumbling early this morning. Greg Norman, who has seemingly perfected painful ways to lose the green jacket, also started out well for a guy who really doesn’t play much competitive golf anymore.

(Photos by David Cannon/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

OOPS: Tiger Woods’ ball lands next to a spectator’s foot near the 18th green. El Tigre shot an opening round two under 70.

(AP Photo – Yahoo Sports)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

SOME CONFUSION IN CHAPEL HILL OVER NCAA TROPHY

You would expect this at some place like UVA, Virginia Tech, Miami, Florida State or Clemson where they never have gotten a good, up-close look at the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship trophy, but you really don’t expect such things to happen in Chapel Hill…

(Photos by Shawn Rocco and Ethan Hyman RN&O)

HANSBROUGH, GREEN, FRASOR: WHAT DO YOU MEAN WE HAVE A GAME ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT?

That's crazy talk.

You probably thought the playing careers of UNC seniors Tyler Hansbrough, Danny Green and Bobby Frasor were over for 2009. Had you been in Hickory, NC last night you would have found out something all together different.

The three UNC seniors along with David McClure and Greg Paulus of Duke did a little old fashioned barn storming when they showed up to play the Hickory High School seniors.

Awestruck might be an understatement…

SO NOW WE DON’T HAVE PSYCHO T TO KICK AROUND ANY MORE

Tyler Hansbrough and J.J. Redick have something in common. Both were dogged by “haters.”

There seems to be two schools of thoughts on this. There are those who admire Hansbrough and speak highly of him such as Jason King of Yahoo Sports who says:

"We complain about athletes being prima donnas and using college as a pit stop to the NBA. Yet when a player comes along, works hard, stays four years and does it the right way, we rip him for it. It makes no sense."

…and the there are folks like Greg Couch from AOL Fanhouse who think Hansbrough’s overrated because he’s white and a media darling while ever so reluctantly acknowledging his many accomplishments…

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

CRIME REPORT: B.A.C. .155 – NOW THAT’S MESSED UP

Florida State wide receiver Rod Owens (left) faces a DUI charge after Tallahassee police pulled him over early Sunday on a routine traffic stop. Coach Bobby Bowden said “dadgummit,” and suspended the receiver indefinitely on Monday.

Hours after FSU officials announced the suspension, another receiver's career at FSU took a turn into the crapper as the NCAA denied Corey Surrency, 24, another year of eligibility.

Before enrolling in El Camino Community College (really, John…), where Surrency played for two seasons, he played with the Florida Kings, a recreational football team that helps athletes with troubled pasts earn a chance to play in college. In doing so, Surrency unknowingly violated an NCAA rule that prohibits athletes from playing an organized sport after their 21st birthday and before they enroll in college. Of course, that is EXACTLY the kind for which the suits in Kansas want a POUND of flesh.

David McCranie, a spokesperson for the Tallahassee Police Department, said Owens was arrested around 4:30 a.m. when he was spotted driving without his headlights on (Doh!). Owens provided a breath sample at that time and "blew a .155, which is almost double the legal limit," McCranie said.

The incident occurred after Owens caught three passes in Florida State's annual Garnet and Gold spring game.

Um…dude, .155? It was just a scrimmage.

CRIME REPORT 2: UNC RECRUIT CHARGED WITH FELONY

Angelo Hadley, a University of North Carolina football recruit, was arrested on two felony charges of lewd and lascivious battery on Sunday by the Hillsborough County (Tampa, Fla.) sheriff's office, according to The St. Petersburg Times.

Hadley, 18, had consensual sex with a 14-year-old girl, according to Debbie Carter, the spokeswoman for the Hillsborough County sheriff's office who was quoted in the Times' report. When the girl's mother found out, she pressed charges, Carter said.

Hadley, an all-state safety from Armwood High School, signed a letter of intent in February to play for the Tar Heels in the fall. Like most recruits in his class, he has not been admitted to the school yet.

A spokesman for UNC said the school is aware of the charges against Hadley and will "continue to monitor the situation."

WAKE'S TEAGUE TO TEST NBA WATERS, JOHNSON HIRES AGENT

The good, but very young, Wake Forest team may never get a chance to play to its full potential. It's already getting dinged by the NBA.

A spokesman for Wasserman Media Group said Thursday that James Johnson has signed with their agency and will be represented by Dan Tobin. That means Johnson will not be able to return to play for the school.

The 6-foot-9 Johnson was the top rebounder with 8.5 per game and second on the team in scoring at 15.8 points. He's been projected to be a first-round pick in most mock drafts.

Wake Forest guard Jeff Teague also declared for the draft this week, but did not hire an agent. Coach Dino Gaudio believes Teague will return for his junior season.

Forward Al-Farouq Aminu is returning to Wake Forest for his sophomore season.

UNC BANNER MYSTERIOUSLY APPEARS AT T.A.H. WORLD HEADQUARTERS

We received a semi-anonymous tip yesterday evening about “something” on the hood of the T.A.H. Pop Culture Editor’s car. We quickly investigated and found the following on the car which we quickly attached to the garage wall.

We believe more info about this banner can be found at http://www.piedmontpress.com/

Or by emailing tedeschi@crosslink.net

Just a hunch…

LOOK, THE BIG EAST WON A BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

Tina Charles was up front during Connecticut's celebration — fitting for the player who put up 25 points and collected 19 rebounds in the Huskies' defeat of Louisville. UConn won their sixth National Championship with a 39-0 season.

(AP Photo – Baltimore Sun)

PICTURE OF THE DAY

LENDING A HAND. Jacob Immelman, son of defending Masters champion Trevor Immelman, holds his father's putter during the Par 3 tournament Wednesday at Augusta National.

(AP Photo - Baltimore Sun)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

WHAT TOOK SO LONG? Coach C. Vivian Stringer, John Stocken, David Robinson and Michael Jordan pose with jerseys after the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame announced their induction to the class of 2009 at a press conference at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center on April 6, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan.

We don’t know when Jordan was eligible, but shouldn’t he have been inducted in about five minutes after he hung up his jersey for the final time?

(Photo by Allen Einstein/Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

SPLASHDOWN. Brittany Lincicome celebrates in the water surrounding the 18th green after winning with an eagle on the final hole during the final round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills Country Club on April 5, 2009 in Rancho Mirage, California.

(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"ENJOYING THE CRAP OUT OF IT"

As Most Outstanding Player Wayne Ellington said, we also “enjoyed the crap” out of the Tar Heels National Championship victory. But then again, how could we not have?

After a long lunch at the Soggy Peso that included the soon-to-be tradition of pre-game ribs, salsa and rooster wrangling with Steve - T.A.H's newest "special correspondent in charge of Harleys, tatoos, and good yarns about Texas" - we made a quick loop of the island via golf cart just to be sure everything was where it was supposed to be. As far as we could tell, it was.

We made a few new stops and a few repeat stops. Saw some old friends from days prior and some new friends before we headed back to town to duck into JAX to check the crowd size. Luckily, the owner - Jackie from Dallas - was handy and accommodating as always. We scouted out our spot at the bar near the “lucky TV” that worked so well for the semi-final win over Nova.

When we returned, we were delighted to see that JAX had "reserved" our front row seats, as we ended up being just two of four folks in the whole place pulling for the Heels. Well…the guy next to us was from Madison, Wisconsin, so he was admittedly pulling more against the Spartans than for North Carolina...

The Michigan State folks filled up the downstairs of the place, staked out at the other six televisions on the ground floor. They were out in force on Saturday night and back again on Monday. They got very quiet very quickly.

A MSU fan we had talked to on Saturday, came up and sat down about halfway through the second half and declared the game over. She said the Heels were too big, too fast and too good. She was right. Give those Big 10 folks some credit – they’re loud and they’re proud and they’re good sports as well.

Hats off to JAX for great hospitality, good food and cold Mexican beer. We chose Victoria for the beverage of the night since victory was also on the menu. Hey, don't knock it, it worked!

After "One Shining Moment," we headed down Av. Hildalgo figuring there had to be a little swarm of Tar Heels somewhere on this tiny island excited about a fifth national championship – or sixth depending on how you count. We never found them, but we did find what appeared to be an ex-Pat having a big night. He left his bar stool to congratulate us and was rewarded with a slightly used (albeit lucky) UNC baseball cap. He was delighted thanking us more than once.

Come to think of it, buying us a celebratory drink must have slipped his mind…

T.A.H. Standing rule henceforth: UNC in the Final Four, head to Isla Mujeres, Mexico.



UNC’S DEFENSE: THE READER’S DIGEST VERSION

Plenty has been said and written about North Carolina’s team and both its championship season and the Final Four, but we wanted to take a moment to point out that ultimately it was the Heels' defense that fueled their successful run through the Big Dance.

While the Heels faced what could have been crushing expectations, some injuries and a propensity to allow opposing guards to go crazy, they pulled it all together when it mattered most. Evidently, while the pundits were anointing one Big East team or another from one week to the next to wear the crown, the Carolina Blue boys were practicing – probably defense.

When UNC lost its two opening ACC games to Boston College and Wake Forest, the Heels were torched by opposing guards Tyrese Rice and Jeff Teague. Dribble penetration was an issue, and it looked like, in spite of all the offensive firepower, the high scoring Tar Heels might have a problematic Achilles heel.

Somewhere along the line, Ol’ Roy and his charges got it sorted out. It may well have something to do with the emergence of Ty Lawson who’s offensive skills seem to have cleverly disguised his defensive prowess. Also, the ACC Player of the Year simply may not have understood until later in the year, just how good he was both offensively and defensively.

With Danny Green and Wayne Ellington taking turns in the Marcus Ginyard role of defensive stopper and Lawson handcuffing opposing point guards, UNC’s defense was extremely effective when it counted most – the NCAA tournament.

Outscoring opponents in the six games by 119 points, North Carolina was never really threatened. Part of that is their high-octane offense, but the other part was lockdown defense when it was needed most.

Only LSU and Gonzaga managed to shoot better than 45% from the field and overall the Heels held their opponents to 26.7 percent shooting from behind the arc (35-131). All the while, the Tar Heels were shooting 43-94 or 43.7 percent from three-point land.

In the Elite Eight and Final Four games, UNC held good three-point shooting teams Oklahoma, Villanova and Michigan State to a combined 14 of 69 for 20.2 percent three-point shooting. During the same three games, the Tar Heels made 21 of 48 three pointers (the exact 43.7 percent they shot for the entire tournament).

Good offense and consistent defense when it matters. Too good for everybody else.

Game over.

RANKING THE CERVEZA: BECAUSE SOMEBODY HAS TO DO IT

Look, it’s hard to say which cold Mexican beer with a lime served in swing bar staring out at the blue Caribbean on an 85 degree day is the best ‘cause their all pretty darn good under those circumstances.

Most places had a limited selection of “gringo beers” and a handful of Mexican beers. Some more than others, just depended on where you were.

Today, most Mexican beers are produced by the two beer giants, FEMSA and Grupo Modelo. FEMSA is a general beverage corporation whose roots date to back to 1890 and the first large Mexican brewery, Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma in Monterrey. They make: Tecate, Sol, Dos Equis, Carta Blanca, Superior, Indio, Bohemia and Noche Buena.

The other big boy, Grupo Modelo, has fewer brands but a larger part of the Mexican beer export market with Corona, Corona Light, Negra Modelo, Modelo Especial, Modelo Light, and Pacífico.

They also brew brands intended solely for the domestic market: Victoria (a recent advertising campaign for this brand featured the fact that it is unavailable abroad), Estrella (a local beer found only in the west of the country) and León.

So in the Post-Season/Post Final Four Mexican Beer Poll, the coaches remain appropriately silent, but T.A.H. has a vote:

VICTORIA – “V” as in victory.
SUPERIOR – good discovery at roadside place called El Varadero de Oscar.
DOS EQUIS – the green bottled lager and a long-time favorite.
PACIFICO – A pleasant surprise.
CARTA BLANCA – At Zama Beach Club in the beautiful open palapa restaurant located on the Sac Bajo beach one would be hard pressed to not like any beer.
MODELO LIGHT & ESPECIAL – Never had a Modelo Light before, but on the beach at Playa Launcheros with "tikin xic" fish, it hit the spot.
CORONA – Solid standby year after year.
SOL – Not a favorite, but what do we know?

We never had a LEON – an ridiculous oversight. Saw it at Buho’s Beach Bar and forgot to order one.

Damn! Gonna have to go back…incomplete research.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

AT HOME. Vince Carter, Rashad McCants, Makhtar Ndiaye and Antawn Jamison poke a little fun at their rival on Monday night.

VIDEO OF THE DAY

WHERE'S THE PARTY? Time lapse photo from Franklin Street in Chapel Hill following a recent win by the home team.

Timelapse: Franklin Street after the victory from The Daily Tar Heel on Vimeo.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sunday, April 5, 2009

PICTURES OF THE DAY







THE BIG EAST...BLAH BLAH BLAH

By now you know that North Carolina and Michigan State will play Monday night for the National Championship. Oddly enough, there won´t be a team from the Big East playing on Monday night. The word down here in ol´Mexico is that the mainstream media is perplexed.

So, it´s deja vu all over again. The Heels clobbered the Spatans in December, but this version is now clearly better. However, as we stated before last night´s game, if UNC shows up and plays defense like they did last night, Michigan State is in a tough spot.

Loyal readers would normally expect additional pithy commentary and wise anaylsis. Today, you will get no such thing.

Ít´s 85 degrees. The people are nice, the food is good, and the lizards are BIG.
Go Heels.

Adios.

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