Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday ACC Hoops

GEORGIA TECH @ VIRGINIA, 12:00 PM, TV: ACC Network (XM 190) – The Yellow Jackets are on a roll while the Cavs really miss Mike Scott and are in the middle of a three game losing streak.

Oddly, the boys in Vegas post the Wahoos as a one point favorite.

CLEMSON @ MARYLAND, 2:30 PM, TV: ACC Network (XM 191) – Maryland laid an egg at home against Virginia Tech the other night and they are likely to bounce back.  Clemson lost again in Chapel Hill but that happens so frequently that it shouldn’t leave any permanent scars.

The boys hunched over in the back room of the casino wearing tube socks like the Terps by six.

DUKE @ WAKE FOREST, 4:00 PM,  ESPN (XM 190) – There are two relevant questions about this game?  Why are they playing at all? Wake is soooo bad right now it’s downright ugly.  They scored all of 13 points in the second half of their loss to GT last time out.  The Deacons lit it up for a total of 39 points for the game.

The second question is why is this on ESPN?  Yes, it’s the Blue Devils and Coach K (media faves, we know,) but while this match-up may have looked interesting when they organized the schedule last July, now it’s a bad blow out…If your not a Crazee, why watch?

The Good Fellas have Duke listed as a 22.5 point favorite. 

*Point spreads for recreational purposes only.

Quote of the Day

"I messed up a great situation.  It was my fault."

-- former Tar Heel and projected NFL first round draft pick Marvin Austin #99 expressing regret for his role in an NCAA investigation that tarnished UNC’s football program that carried ACC championship hopes last summer.  That said, Austin, in Orlando for the East-West Shrine game and looking to impress pro scouts as he hasn’t played a down of football in over a year, refused to discuss agent-funded trips to Miami, any improper gifts he took or his relationships with former UNC assistant coach John Blake or agent Gary Wichard.

Other ACC players in the game: Mario Butler CB Georgia Tech,  Graig Cooper RB Miami, Christian Hairston OT Clemson, Tyrod Taylor QB Virginia Tech, Demarcus Van Dyke CB Miami, Beau Warren Center Virginia Tech and Da'rel Scott RB Maryland.

Kickoff is at  4:00 pm Eastern.

Unrealistic Fans in Tar Heel Nation: Fire, Ready, Aim

This little tidbit from Jason King’s column this morning over at Yahoo! Sports:

A loyal reader asks:  Is there a column to be written on the similarities between Roy Williams’ tenures at Kansas and North Carolina as far as having high expectations and falling short? Or would that be premature? -- Al Dingle, Little Switzerland

King responds: While he was at Kansas, Roy Williams won more games than any coach in the 1990s and then took the Jayhawks to the Final Four in 2002 and 2003. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame mostly because of his accomplishments as a Jayhawk. At North Carolina he’s been to three Final Fours in seven years and has won two NCAA titles. I’m not sure I’d call any of that “falling short of expectations” – unless, of course, those expectations are unfair and unrealistic.

And that would be that.

Where We Stand

Well, here we are in the third week of January and the ACC is looking like a four-team max Big Dance league.  Word nationwide is that the preeminent basketball conference is having a “down” year and everybody wants to know why. As usual, there isn’t a simple answer but a confluence of different reasons for the general malaise outside of Durham.

Duke is good. Maybe not #1 good without super frosh point guard Kyrie Irving who’s out with an injured toe, but a lock for the tournament and a likely #1 seed.  With Irving, we will speculate that the Blue Devils would have run the table. The kid is that good.

Yesterday in a coaches conference call Gary Williams suggested part of the level of play league-wide is the plethora of freshmen playing meaningful minutes.  While this is true, it certainly isn’t uncommon in other leagues or unusual in the ACC.  

N.C. State starts three freshmen while North Carolina and Wake Forest start at least two each game. Beginning in 2005-06, there have been just two seasons in which no freshmen or redshirt freshmen ranked in the top 10 in the ACC in scoring.  

However, this season and last season only one freshman has been among the top-10 ACC scorers, so maybe the ACC’s talent pool isn’t what it once was.  Across the nation, freshman continue to have a big impact at places like top-ranked Ohio State, #10 Texas and #12 Kentucky (the Cats have to rely on freshmen ‘cause everybody goes to the NBA after one season!).

Coaching changes have had an impact at Clemson, Wake Forest and Boston College. Some new faces are having better seasons than others.  Injuries have been a key issue in Blacksburg where four players who would have either started or played substantial minutes are out for the season, while in Charlottesville the Wahoos lost their best big man in Mike Scott and their bench is simply too thin to minimize the impact.

Fans continue to call for a coaching change in Atlanta where Paul Hewitt is imply unpopular and his record isn’t helping him out in that department.  If Miami had a larger legion of basketball fans it’s likely we’d be hearing the rumblings of discontent there as well.  Sid Lowe keeps making more and more N.C. State fans pine for Herb Sendek as the Wolfpack can’t seem to get to the next level.

Florida State is making the best of what they have and North Carolina is better than they were last year but a far cry from what people expect from the Chapel Hill basketball machine.

Williams concluded with a big picture assessment, "If you want to say our talent's down a little bit, that's fine," But just remember, the ACC has won five of the last 10 national championships and has won more NCAA tournament games in the last 20 years than any other conference. This may be a little down this year. But we'll be back."

We predict Duke, North Carolina and Florida State make the NCAA tourney.  The Hokies are already on the bubble, but they can play their way in.  Somebody else (Terps?) could also sneak in based on the fact that the selection committee needs 68 teams.

The Streak: The Second Time, Out Of The Last 55 Times, That Clemson Lost A Basketball Game In Chapel Hill...

Outlaws, bank robbers and the world famous crime spree known as Bonnie  Clyde, Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were still alive…

The Streak: January 3, 1934, North Carolina 38, Clemson 26, Chapel Hill, NC.

Barrow, who was born on March 24, 1909 traveled the Central United States with Bonne Parker and their gang during the Great Depression. 

Their exploits captured the attention of the American public during the "public enemy era" between 1931 and 1934. Though known today for bank robberies, Barrow, in fact, preferred to rob small stores or rural gas stations.

The gang is believed to have killed at least nine police officers and committed several civilian murders.

While Parker, born October 1, 1910, was present at a hundred or more felonies during her two years as Barrow's companion, she may not have been the machine gun-wielding killer portrayed in the newspapers, newsreels and pulpy detective magazines of the day.

Parker's reputation as a cigar-smoking gun moll grew out of a playful snapshot (right) found by police at an abandoned hideout, released to the press, and published nationwide.  Seriously, who hasn't pointed a sawed-off shotgun at their boyfriend's mid-section while pointing out that the blast will rupture his spleen...?  Really, who hasn't done that?

According to various sources, Parker was not a cigar smoker, but a chain-smoker of Camel cigarettes. Evidently…Ms. Parker would “walk a mile for a Camel” because “more doctors smoke Camels than any other Cigarettes.  The popular brand also claimed smoking Camels was good for digestion. Hey, when your living life on the run on the road, good digestion is important. 

Parker and Barrow bought the farm in a shootout with police (brilliantly portrayed in Arthur Penn’s 1967 movie Bonnie and Clyde) on May 23, 1934 in Louisiana. 

Pictures of the Day

NICE BONE. Butler the Bulldog enjoyed the spoils of victory after Butler defeated Green Bay 81-75 at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN.  (Photo by Mike Talor/Southcreek Global/
LONG WAY FROM CHAPEL HILL. Former North Carolina Tar Heel and current New York Knick Raymond Felton shoots over San Antonio Spurs’ guard Tony Parker during their game at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX. The Spurs won 101-92. (Photo by Greg Nelson/Sports Illustrated)
SCOOOOOOORE.  OK, it’s not as good as GOOOOOOAAAAL, but you get the point.  Here, James Simpson-Daniel of Gloucester scores the first try during the Amlin Challenge Cup match at Kingsholm Stadium on January 20, 2011 in Gloucester, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images Europe)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thursday Night ACC Hoop

VIRGINIA TECH 74, MARYLAND 57 – (AP) Virginia Tech used balanced scoring, led by a career night from Erick Green, to defeat Maryland at Comcast Center on Thursday night. With the win, the Hokies improve to 12-5 overall and 3-2 in ACC action. Maryland falls to 11-7 overall and 1-3 in league play.

Erick Green
The Hokies jumped out to a 12-0 lead less than four minutes into the contest and never trailed in the game. Tech took a 40-29 lead into the intermission and built the lead to as many as 17 points before Maryland cut the score to 61-53 with 7:15 remaining. The Hokies then held the Terps to just four points the remainder of the game to claim the 17-point victory.

Erick Green led all scorers with a career-high 24 points, fourteen coming in the first half. He also registered four steals in the win and made 12 of his 16 shots on the evening. Malcolm Delaney added 19 points and seven assists and Victor Davila chipped in 13 points on six of eight from the floor. Jeff Allen grabbed 10 rebounds for the Hokies, who out rebounded the taller Terps, 37-30.

Tech shot 53.6 percent from the field for the game, including 56.0 percent in the second half. The Hokies assisted on 14 of their 30 made shots and forced Maryland into 16 turnovers. Tech scored 42 of its 74 points in the paint.

The Streak: The First Time, Out Of The Last 55 Times, That Clemson Lost A Basketball Game In Chapel Hill...

Thomas Edison was still alive…

Yes, the man that invented the light bulb was still with us.

As you may remember from your history classes, Edison was an American inventor, scientist, and businessman who developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. 

Sadly, the phonograph (or turntable as it was later known) was driven to extinction by the CD during the late 1980’s and early 1990's only to be purged by the MP3 file in the 00's. This was unfortunate for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is you can't play Frisbee with an MP3 file, but we digress...

It comes as no surprise that the debut of this now extended streak would enjoy a controversial start -- the two schools don't agree on the final score.  According to Clemson it was 48-24, but the folks in Chapel Hill have it recorded as 50-20.

That 1925-26 Tiger squad was not a strong one finishing 4-17 with only a win over in-state rival South Carolina to growl about.  Clemson was coached by A.A.Gillian who was an assistant football coach. 

He coached the freshmen team one year and then moved up to the varsity for one season posting a 4-17 overall record, 1–7 in the Southern Conference.   He would be replaced the next year by the very popular Josh Cody.

Harlan Sanborn was the Tar Heel’s head coach coming to Chapel Hill by way of Blacksburg where he coached one season.  Sanborn was the head coach of Virginia Tech during the 1916–17 season and his .895% winning percentage (17-2) remains the second highest for the Hokies.   

After Monk McDonald left as the North Carolina head coach, Sanborn resurfaced inheriting a strong Tar Heel squad which included Jack Cobb, Bill Dodderer, and Sam McDonald who had earned the nickname of the White Phantoms because of their fast play making and defense skills.  

The White Phantoms were led by Jack Cobb who would find his way to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.  Cobb was raised in Durham and attended Woodberry Forest High School in Virginia.  He led the Tar Heels to a 26-0 record in 1924.  That team was eventually voted national champion by Helms Athletic Foundation (there was not NCAA tournament back then).

Cobb was also named Helms National Player of the Year in 1926 and he was the second All-America basketball player for the Tar Heels earning the honors three consecutive years.  

A 6’2” forward, Cobb averaged 15 points per game.  He is one of eight Tar Heels basketball players who have had their jersey retired. Cobb's dreams of pursuing a coaching career were dashed when he had a motorcycle accident in 1929 and lost part of his lower right leg.  He died in 1966 at the age of 62.

Foreshadowing things to come in the ACC some forty years later, one of the more memorable games of this season involved a slowdown game against N.C. State.  The Wolfpack utilized the "stall" (as it came to be known) to counter the Tar Heels’ fast offense.  As there was no shot clock, a team could hold the ball as long as they wanted without taking a shot. In the end, State was able to maintain control of the ball and win the game by the final score of 17–8 – the fewest points ever scored by a North Carolina team.

Cobb, front row, left.
Sanborn's team was undefeated at home playing in Chapel Hill’s Indoor Athletic Center (known as the Tin Can).  With losses to Wake Forest, Navy, Harvard, Maryland and N.C. State, all on the road, UNC would finish the regular season 16-5 (two wins over Duke) before running off four straight wins to capture the Big South tournament title.  To earn the conference hardware, the Heels defeated Clemson, Virginia, Mississippi and Mississippi State.

After the season ended, Sanborn left as head coach of the Tar Heels and James N. Ashmore took over as the fourth coach in four years.

Thomas Edison died on October 18, 1931. 

Dear Mr. Snyder

Mind you, we did say we were done for the year, but we felt compelled to pen you a quick note to point out one very important fact about Sunday’s NFL Championship game between the Cheese Heads and Da Bears.

Yes, loyal readers and Redskins’ fans across the globe, your men in burgundy and gold – yes, Mr. Snyder your, literally your Washington Redskins defeated both the Monsters of the Midway and the winners of the first two Super Bowls (and the greatest small market sports franchise ever), those lovable Green Bay Packers in successive weeks!

The Skins defeated Green Bay on October 10 by a score of 16-13 in overtime.  Then, one week later on October 17, powered by four DeAngelo Hall interceptions (thank you, J. Cutler) they beat the Da Bears 17-14.

The Packers were bemused, and Chicago was downright embarrassed.

Just sayin’.

Enjoy the game.

Your Loyal Fan.

P.S. This kicker guy is also playing in the AFC Championship with the Pittsburgh Steelers. But our Gano kicker guy is better, right?

T.A.H. To The B.C.S.: Put The Crack Pipe DOWN!


Now we have to amend our very popular “Things That Make You Go…Hmmm” feature to include a new sub-category titled “Put The Crack Pipe DOWN!!”

You can laugh all you want, but read this item from Andrea Adelson ESPN College football blog last week…

In his remarks to the Football Writers Association of America, Hancock praised the virtues of the bowl system because it allowed a team like Tulsa to travel to Hawaii, and a team like Kansas State to travel to New York City. He also said the system worked because it allowed TCU to play in the Rose Bowl, something that would have never happened under the old system. Then he went on to say the BCS had allowed teams like Boise State and TCU to thrive in the upper echelon:

There is a new populism never before imagined. A new equity that could not have been envisioned just 10 years ago. New hope that previously was inconceivable. New national fervor for a game that some believed had reached its zenith, but whose potential now seems unlimited -- a tree growing to the sky.

Yes sir Mr. BCS! Anything you say...(Look inside, it's full of money!)
How has the BCS done this?

It is very simple: by providing unprecedented access to the top-tier bowl games, by maintaining the focus on the regular season and by enhancing the entire bowl system that provides a foothold for programs on their way up.

Exhale. Inhale. Bubble, bubble, bubble. Exhale.

*Items in italics are a direct published quote from Mr. Hancock, no s***.

Playoffs? The Gen. Bounds Modified 16 Team BCS Playoff

What the heck is this?
How about this simple solution?

A sixteen team playoff and Tulsa can still go to Hawaii and those poor rubes (according to Hancock) from K-State can still visit the Big Apple.  Since each major conference regular season champion gets in (so the ACC and the Big East won’t have a cow – only Virginia Tech would have made a logical 16 team playoff last season), the regular season still “matters.”

Let the BCS bowl games host the quarters, semis and finals – that’s seven games for the five BCS bowls.  They can rotate the Championship Game around so each gets time in the big limelight. Or they could play it annually in Indianapolis to keep The Suits happy.

The first round of eight games and the two other quarterfinal games can be auctioned off to the other bowls. Highest bidder comes to the party.  Or they could rotate those around as well…they move basketball regionals around every year.

The BCS continues to suggest any playoff would create an “all or nothing” bowl scenario and backs it up with quotes from coaches on their website.  We are guessing the question was posed in a “choose one or the other” fashion or pulled in and/or out of context from other articles on related subjects.

In short, the BCS’s all or nothing position is bull****. 

How about a combo of a playoff and the current bowl system? The BCS sponsors the 16-team format suggested above and, all the “non-playoff” bowls along with all those 8-4, 7-5 and 6-6 teams carry on as usual and continue Hancock’s dream of “a tree growing in the sky” with nice corn-fed student athletes from the Midwest going to NEW YORK CITY or maybe all the way to Hawaii (wherever that is?). Oh, and the kids from Florida International still get to go to the Little Caesar Bowl in Detroit.  Wouldn’t want to miss that…

Why is this so hard?  Ok, we have oversimplified it. It would be a massive undertaking to figure out how to undo all the existing contractual arrangements between the existing bowls and the various conferences.  However, with the proper leadership and a good business plan that would appeal to all the parties, we wager this could get done.  Any deal can be made if ALL the stakeholders want to make it. 

Here is a potential playoff scenario:

Fri, Dec 18 noon First Round #1: Outback Bowl
Fri, Dec 18 4pm First Round #2: Capital One Bowl
Fri, Dec 18 7:30pm First Round #3: Bowl
Fri, Dec 18 9pm First Round #4: AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Sat, Dec 19 noon First Round #5: Meineke Car Care Bowl
Sat, Dec 19 4pm First Round #6: Hyundai Sun Bowl
Sat, Dec 19 7:30pm First Round #7: Chick-fil-A Bowl
Sat, Dec 19 9pm First Round #8: Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl

Fri, Dec 24 4pm Quarter-Final #3: AT&T Cotton Bowl
Fri, Dec 24 7:30pm Quarter-Final #4: Progressive Gator Bowl

Sat, Dec 25 1pm Quarter-Final #1: Discover Orange Bowl
Sat, Dec 25 4:30pm Quarter-Final #2: Tostitos Fiesta Bowl

Sat, Jan 1 4pm Semi-Final #1: Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio
Sat, Jan 1 7:30pm Semi-Final #2: Allstate Sugar Bowl

Sat, Jan 8 8pm Championship Game: Tostitos BCS National Championship Game*

*This entire schedule will work better on six out of seven years when Christmas and New Year’s Day do not fall on Saturday.

The rest of the bowl games played as currently scheduled:  New Mexico Bowl, uDrove Humanitarian Bowl, R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, Beef 'O' Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl, Maaco Las Vegas Bowl, SDCCU Poinsettia Bowl, Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl, Insight Bowl, Military Bowl Pres. By Northrop Grumman, Texas Bowl, Valero Alamo Bowl, Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, New Era Pinstripe Bowl, Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl, Ticket City Bowl, BBVA Compass Bowl and the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

Happy freakin' holidays!

In a perfect world, the “rest of the bowl games” would take turns hosting the non-BCS playoff games if they could meet certain criteria – size of stadium, sponsorship, etc. 

Of course, the business plan includes some sort of revenue sharing plan similar to the one utilized for the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship, and that is probably what is holding back the BCS schools/bowls.  They are no doubt thinking why share our revenue when we would have to grow that revenue to make as much (or more) than we do now?

That said, most folks think a playoff would be so big that it would make huge profits for all the parties.  If the BCS would take the lead in creating the playoff system, they would be well positioned to negotiate certain revenue guarantees for the original five BCS bowl games and the BCS conferences. 

Hey, BCS, have your people, call the T.A.H. Worldwide Media(tion) people!

Pictures of the Day

YOU-KNOW-WHAT OVER TEA CUP. Iouri Podladtchikov of Switzerland (say it three times, really fast) takes 2nd place during the FIS Snowboard World Championships Men's and Women's Halfpipe on January 20, 2011 in La Molina, Spain. (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images Europe)

INTERSECTING LINES. Lots of lines. France's Adrien Theaux competes during the men's Super G in Kitzbuehel on January 21, 2011.Croatia's Ivica Kostelic won ahead of Austria's Georg Streitberger and the third placed Norway's Aksel-Lund Svindal.Theaux finished 7th. (Photo by Joe Klamar/AFP Photos)
SUBTLE BIRD?  Venus Williams of the US speaks during a press conference after retiring hurt from her round three women's singles match against Andrea Petkovic of Germany on the fifth day of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 21, 2011. Williams retired hurt after just one game of her third round match against Germany's Andrea Petkovic. The seven-time Grand Slam winner screamed in pain and stopped playing while receiving at 0-1 down, after being broken in the first game. She limped to her chair and quickly conceded defeat after seeing a trainer.  (Photo William West/AFP Photo) 

SAY REASON. Seriously, who does this? Surfers drop into a large wave at Waimea Bay on the North Shor of Oahu in Haleiwa, Hawaii.  The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational was called off on Thursday due to inconsistent wave of 40 feet or higher.  Damn.  Stupid waves. (Photo by Hugh Gentry/Reuters)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wednesday Night ACC Hoops

Nolan Smith drives to the basket.
#4 DUKE 92, N.C. STATE 78 – Nolan Smith scored 22 points to help No. 4 Duke beat North Carolina State on Wednesday night, avenging last season’s surprising road loss to the Wolfpack.

Kyle Singler added 18 points for the Blue Devils (17-1, 4-1 ACC), who dominated early to lead by 14 at halftime then turned away a second-half comeback to extend their recent dominance in the series. Duke has won 29 of 34 meetings with N.C. State (11-7, 1-3) since 1995 and improved to 5-2 against Sidney Lowe’s Wolfpack.

N.C. State earned a surprisingly easy 88-74 win against the Blue Devils last season in which Tracy Smith scored 23 points and the Wolfpack shot 58 percent. That said, the Blue Devils held the Wolfpack to 22 percent shooting in the first half to build a double-digit lead.

Then, after N.C. State closed within five, Smith led a 7-0 spurt that took back control of the game for the Coach K-ians.

Tracy Smith and one of the Plumlees.
Duke shot 51 percent for the game and had plenty of balance with Miles Plumlee (13 points, nine rebounds) and Ryan Kelly (11 points, eight rebounds) backing up the Blue Devils’ senior stars.  The Blue Devils out-rebounded N.C.S.U. 44-34.

BOSTON COLLEGE 70, VIRGINIA 67 – Reggie Jackson hit a key 3-pointer late to become the 39th player in Boston College history with 1,000 points and sealed it with four free throws in the closing seconds, lifting the Eagles to a win over Virginia on Wednesday night.

Jackson, the ACC player of the week the past two weeks, finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists despite spraining his ankle late in a loss at Miami on Saturday.

Joe Trapani led the Eagles (14-5, 4-1 ACC) with 18 points and six rebounds. Biko Paris scored 12 and Corey Raji had 10.

Mustapha Farrakhan led the Cavaliers (10-8, 1-3) with 14 points and seven assists. KT Harrell had 13 points.

Jackson’s 3-pointer from the left wing with 3:35 to play pushed BC ahead 61-58 and gave him 1,001 points.

Wake Forest's head coach who wishes to remain anonymous.
GEORGIA TECH 74, WAKE FOREST 39 – Look, we know the Deacs aren’t good, but 39 points – 13 in the second half?  Really?  Yike.

Wake Forest made 14 of 54 shots (26 percent) from the field, 9 of 26 (35 percent) at the foul line and had no one in double figures. It was the school’s lowest-scoring game since a 44-34 loss to North Carolina on Jan. 8, 1959.

Glen Rice Jr. scored 21 points, Iman Shumpert had 20 and the Yellow Jackets (9-8, 2-2 ACC) didn’t have a letdown coming off a 78-58 win over North Carolina on Sunday. They led by as many as 42 and eclipsed their previous mark for largest conference win, a 31-point blowout of Florida State in 2002.

Of course, it helped to be playing Wake Forest (7-12, 0-4), which lost for the eighth time in nine games and hasn’t come close in ACC play, losing by an average of 26 points.

Georgia Tech hardly tried to run it up, clearing the bench and scoring its final points with 5:27 remaining.

Durand Scott
#“Others Receiving Votes” FLORIDA STATE 55, MIAMI 53 – Almost ranked Florida State missed its first 10 shots but rallied from a 10-point second-half deficit, scoring 11 consecutive points down the stretch and beating the Miami in a wild finish on Wednesday night.

The Canes Durand Scott missed driving shots on back-to-back possessions in the final 10 seconds.
Florida State (14-5 overall, 4-1 ACC) is off to its best start in the league since 1993.  

Miami (12-6, 1-3) shot 1 for 8 over the final 6 1/2 minutes and lost for the first time in nine home games this season. Malcolm Grant scored 20 for the Hurricanes.

Florida State won with only one player in double figures—Terrance Shannon had 10 points. The game was nearly 10 minutes old before the Seminoles sank a basket, but they trailed only 11-7 because of Miami’s sputtering offense.

Deividas Dulkys’ four-point play started the 11-0 run and cut the margin to 48-47. Derwin Kitchen’s driving layup gave the Seminoles their first lead, 49-48, and they led the rest of the way.

Florida State missed its final five free throws over the last 1:53 but survived a frantic finish.

Grant sank a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 55-52 with 42 seconds left, and when Chris Singleton missed the front end of a one-and-one, the Hurricanes got the ball back.

Scott missed an off-balance layup with 10 seconds left, but Bernard James missed two free throws for Florida State. Scott grabbed the rebound and drove the length of the floor, then missed a reverse layup.


Game over.

The Streak: The First Time, Out Of The Last 55 Times, That Clemson Lost A Basketball Game In Chapel Hill...

Peace Officer Earp
…Wyatt Earp was still alive...

Well sort of...

Yesterday, we ran this little piece which is a rift of a feature we used to run called “The Last Time Duke Won A Conference Football Game On The Road…”, and we realized we have made an error with the Clemson/UNC variation of this theme.

It isn’t that Clemson hasn’t won in Chapel Hill since 1926, it’s more like the Tigers have NEVER won a game in Chapel Hill. Seriously, Since the time the teams started playing each other, North Carolina has never lost a home game to Clemson.  Is that even possible?


Hey Tiger Nation, don’t feel to bad.  In 2003, Brown ended their then record streak of road losses to Princeton at 52 games. At the time, Clemson was toiling with 48 losses and no one believed that streak could continue and yet it improbably has.

So…that said.  We amend the headline.

The First Time, Out Of The Last 55 Times, That Clemson Lost A Basketball Game In Chapel Hill...

…Wyatt Earp was still alive.

Earp was an American “peace officer” in various Western frontier towns, a farmer, teamster, buffalo hunter, gambler, saloon-keeper, miner and boxing referee. He is, of course, best known for his participation in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, along with Doc Holliday, and two of his brothers, Virgil and Morgan.

Due to a “creative” biography written by Stuart Lake that made Earp famous, he has been the subject of various movies, TV shows, biographies and works of fiction.
Wyatt Earp was born on March 19, 1848.

He died in January 1929 almost three years after the now 55-0 streak began. 

Ol’ Roy: “Keep Your Damn Phone Calls To Yourself”

Seems as UNC’s head coach Roy Williams is a bit cranky with radio talk show callers.
And, generally speaking, who can blame him?

It goes like this: The Heels barely get their arms up in a rout in Atlanta on Sunday night and then some of Tar Heel faithful (many of whom expect UNC to be the undefeated NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball National Champion EVERY year) call his show and want answers about the dismal performance.

Williams was not amused. 


We’re guessing that while Ol’ Roy was probably tough on his boys in the locker room after the game and at practice on Monday, the veteran coach had their back when it came to public criticism.
Williams thought he showed "great restraint" on his Monday night show when callers peppered him with inquiries about the Heels effort in the 20-point loss, the starting lineup, the substitution pattern, their emotional status – you name it.

(Now, Ol’ Roy has to remember that he volunteered for this gig (he is not required by the University to do the show), and the Raleigh News & Observer notes that this headache come with an annual paycheck of at least $400,000.)

After Tuesday night’s win against Clemson, Williams vented to the media.

"I'm really proud of those kids. Everybody talked about how poorly they played at Georgia Tech. My radio call [show] last night stunk; everybody was talking about how they were Carolina fans for 9 million years and how bad we are. I don't give a damn how long you're a Carolina fan; those are kids in the locker room, and they played their buns off tonight.”

Williams went on to say, "I can remember working for Coach [Dean] Smith, and we go down to Clemson, and we got beat 93-76, and I thought the world was going to end. ... But I didn't have everybody calling up the TV show, talking about my team. Don't call me next week and say how good we are; keep your damn phone calls to yourself."

Also according to the News & Record, Tuesday night, Williams also said he was sorry for making an issue of the radio show during the post-game news conference.

"But my God, these are 18-, 19-, 20-year-olds. Did any of you call my call-in show? Then I apologize; I should tell them that. I thought I showed great restraint last night."

Is Duke The Next Texas Style Media Darling?

According to T.A.H. sources close to the big wigs at ACC league headquarters, Commissioner John Swofford and Duke head coach Mike Krzfghb6ski will hold a press conference later today to announce that Duke has reached a 20-year $100,000 deal with Fox Sports for a television network that will broadcast Blue Devil sports and other Coach K content.

The deal will reportedly mirror the 20-year, $300 million deal the University of Texas reached earlier this week with ESPN.

According to various sources, the deal valued 20 years of Duke Basketball at $100 million dollars, but at the same time, it claimed (without much argument from Durham) that Duke Football devalued the hundreds of hours of future programing by a negative $101 million.

The other Duke sports were valued at $1.1 million which brought the total value of the deal back up out of the red to a nice bottom line of $100,000.

“Had we made this deal a few years back,” said an undisclosed source at Duke, “I think we could have cashed in on our lacrosse program, but right now other than having sex with a coed who made some silly list that went viral (whatever that is), the sport, while successful, isn’t much help in contract negotiations…”

George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN Inc. and ABC Sports, called their new Texas network “a testament to the school’s remarkable, tradition-rich success and widespread, devoted fan base.”  When asked about the new Fox Duke Network, Bodenheimer replied, “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of…SCOREBOARD!

*Items in italics may not be true.

Pictures of the Day

HELMETGATE. Plenty of UNC football fans are upset that Marvin Austin plans to wear a Tar Heels helmet in Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game this Saturday in Orlando, Fla. Regardless of Austin’s headgear, his dealings with sports agents and eventual dismissal from the program would still be hot topics of conversation in the television coverage and among UNC fans.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images North America)

YES! Ray Allen of the Boston Celtics celebrates his game winning shot in the fourth quarter against the Detroit Pistons on January 19, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Pistons 86-82. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
HOLD ON. Lieghton Aspell and jockey Abey M’Boy about to part company during the Handicap Steeple Chase Race at Newbury Racecourse in Berkshire, England.  (Photo by Julian Herbert/Action Images/
NICE REACH. Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a forehand in his second round match against Ryan Sweeting of the United States of America during day four of the 2011 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 20, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia. Nadal won – his 23rd straight Grand Slam match. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tuesday Night ACC Hoops

Larry Drew II
UNC 75, CLEMSON 65 – After North Carolina’s wretched performance in Atlanta on Sunday night, Tiger Nation had good reason to believe that the 0-for-Chapel Hill drought that seemingly started just after the ink dried on the U.S. Constitution was about to end...

That said, with Kendall Marshall (for Larry Drew II), Leslie McDonald (for Dexter Strickland) and Justin Knox (for Tyler Zeller) inserted into the Tar Heels’ starting line-up, UNC changed the pattern of their first three ACC games where they fell behind early.  This time, North Carolina took care of the basketball in the opening stanza (only 4 turnovers), shot much better (51.4%) and carried a 46-38 lead into the intermission.

The second half wasn’t as pretty.  Clemson shot 25% in the face of a stalwart Tar Heel defense that produced eight blocked shots and 10 steals to the Tigers’ seven steals and one block. Carolina wasn’t much more efficient with the basketball committing 10 second-half turnovers while scoring a whopping 29 points.

The key stats of the game were that Clemson only scored 11 points off of the 14 UNC turnovers and then went just one field goal in the final 7:46 of the game.  The Tigers did sink ten three-pointers (10-29, 33%) to no avail.

Harrison Barnes continues to improve and last night he  hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with about 5 minutes left.  Barnes finished with 13 points and six rebounds for the Tar Heels (13-5, 3-1 ACC), who improved to 55-0 all-time against the Tigers in Chapel Hill--an NCAA record for most consecutive home wins against a single opponent. Fellow freshman Reggie Bullock scored 16 of his season-high 18 points in the first half, while John Henson added 14 points.

Tanner Smith
Devin Booker, Andre Young and Demontez Stitt each scored 11 points for the Tigers (13-5, 2-2), who rallied from a 10-point deficit in the second half and headed into the final minutes in a tie game.  Jerai Grant who came into the game averaging 17 points per ACC contest was held to just two on 1-12 shooting.

Both sides have been hearing questions about "The Streak" for years now, though they each continue to brush them off – UNC saying it had to end sometime, Clemson by saying the past doesn't matter to that current team. The Tigers certainly had a chance to silence all those questions for good, tying the game on a 3 from Stitt with about 7 1/2 left to make it 63-63.

But Clemson would score only one more basket and lose yet again in Chapel Hill.

The Tigers chances were further compromised when Tanner Smith left the game with a knee injury in the first half and did not return.

The Streak: The First Time, Out Of The Last 55 Times, That Clemson Lost A Basketball Game In Chapel Hill...

Karel Matěj Čapek-Chod
Karel Matěj Čapek-Chod was still alive.

Čapek-Chod was a famous Czech naturalistic writer and a journalist.

He graduated from college in 1879.

He was born in 1860 during the American Civil War and never cultivated a taste for basketball of any flavor.

That said, he was alive the first time Clemson lost to UNC in Chapel Hill.

Čapek-Chod died in December of 1927. 

Singleton, Jackson ACC Co-Players of the Week

Reggie Jackson
Florida State's Chris Singleton and Boston College's Reggie Jackson have been selected as ACC Co-Players of the Week (presented by Chevrolet) (Really?), while Wake Forest's Travis McKie was named the ACC Rookie of the Week presented by Chevrolet (Well, heaven forbid, Ford should sneak in there and honor those dedicated "rookies.") following their outstanding performances this past week.

Singleton averaged 14.5 points and 4.0 rebounds as the Seminoles posted league wins over No. 1 Duke and N.C. State. The Dunwoody, Ga., junior was 8-of-19 from the floor, including 3-of-7 from 3-point range and 10-of-12 from the free throw line (.833) in the two wins.

Jackson averaged 25.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.0 blocked shots per game as the Eagles split two games last week. The Colorado Springs, Colo., junior made 16-of-29 from the floor (.551), including 6-of-13 from behind the arc, and 13-of-16 from the foul line (.813).

Chris Singleton
In earning the league's rookie award for a second time this season, McKie averaged 14.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots per game in two outings last week. In Wednesday's 74-55 loss to Maryland, the Richmond, Va., native posted his fifth double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Three nights later, McKie had 15 points and a team-high four rebounds in a 94-65 defeat at Virginia Tech.

Quote of the Day

"It did send a message, it said that nothing's given. In practice, he made the lineup changes, and that made people more intense, made them go a little harder. I think it's for the best, because people came out fired up, and people were playing more hungry."

-- UNC forward John Henson, who had 14 points, eight rebounds and five blocks.

Things That Make You Go...


Have Trophy, Will Travel

Just like last year, the BCS National Championship Trophy enjoyed a Tour de Alabama Wal-Marts.

Auburn fans got to pose with the crystal football at three Wal-Marts and an Academy Sports and Outdoors.

To relief of many, a Birmingham-area location was added to the original list.  Even War Eagle Nation devotees in Georgia got to visit with the grand prize.

Alabama's trophy got the same tour last year, and, just like then, fans were able to have their photos taken with the prize. Dr. Pepper, the sponsor of the trophy, and Wal-Mart agreed to the tour.

The photos seem to yet again make the point that the overall popularity of college sports has little to do with people who attend, attended or plan to attend college.

Even a few Crimson Tide fans stopped by to visit (top left photo) with their former lover…

To see more…and we mean MANY more…photos, click here.  

Pictures of the Day

MR. ANDERSON’S MENU FOR SUNDAY'S GAME? A tailgating menu is displayed in the parking lot outside Soldier Field before the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game between the Chicago Bears and the Seattle Seahawks on January 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America)
THIS IS WHY NOBODY EATS BEEF IN EUROPE. A couple walks by empty ski racks, shaped like cows, in the deserted finish area of the Hahnenkamm men's downhill course in Kitzbuehel on January 19, 2011 shortly after the first training session for the men's World Cup downhill event in Kitzbuehel was cancelled due to bad weather conditions.  (Photo by Joe Klamar/AFP PHOTO)
THE SLOOPS JOHN B, C, D, E, F AND G.  Melges 32 sailboats cross the start line for the fourth race of the Key West 2011 sailing regaqtta in Key West Florida.  A total of 136 boats, in 13 classes, are competing in 10 scheduled races set to end on January 21. (Photo by Ken Sanek/Florida Keys News Bureay/Getty Images)
LONELY PLANET. Venus Williams of the U.S. makes it emphatically clear that tennis is not a team sport in her second round match against Sandra Zahlavova of the Czech Republic during day three of the 2011 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 19, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

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