Friday, March 4, 2011

Saturday ACC Basketball

Ahh...The good old days when blood was part of the rivalry!



DUKE @ NORTH CAROLINA, 8:00 PM, TV: CBS – According to Wikipedia, the Carolina–Duke rivalry, also referred to as the Battle of Tobacco Road, or The Battle of the Blues, is a fierce rivalry between the University of North Carolina’s and Duke University’s basketball teams.

It is considered one of the most intense rivalries in all of sports: a poll conducted by ESPN in 2000 ranked the basketball rivalry as the third greatest North American sports rivalry, and Sports Illustrated on Campus named it the #1 "Hottest Rivalry" in college basketball and the #2 rivalry overall in its November 18, 2003 issue.

The intensity of the rivalry is augmented by the proximity of the two universities, located only eight miles apart roughly along U.S. Highway 15-501, and the dissimilar funding structures of the schools, as North Carolina is a public university and Duke is a private university.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a flagship school of the multi-university UNC system and consistently ranked in the top 30 national universities by U.S. News and World Report. Duke University is located in Durham, North Carolina, and is consistently ranked in the top 10 national universities.
To read more, click here

The Streak: The Eighteenth Time, Out Of The Last 55 Times, That Clemson Lost A Basketball Game in Chapel Hill…

JFK and Patsy Cline were still alive.

The Streak: Game 18, December 5, 1962 – North Carolina 64, Clemson 48.

This was the final season for Press Maravich at Clemson, and one of his best.  

The Tigers would finish 12-15, 4-10 ACC, but they would make a run at the ACC tournament title giving Clemson its first appearance in the Championship Game.  After defeating #2 seeded N.C. State and then #3 Duke, the Tigers would lose the championship game 77-66 to Wake Forest (16-10, 11-3).  Jim Brennan became the first Tiger to be named to the first team of the All-ACC Tournament Team.

Press and Pete Maravich
This was the Wake Forest team of All American Len Chappell who would be the MVP of the ACC tournament and a future number one NBA draft pick (Syracuse).  The Demon Deacon squad also featured one Billy Packer who would gain much fame as an announcer.  Wake Forest would go all the way to the Final Four before losing to Ohio State in the semi-finals.  The Deacs did rally and defeat UCLA in the “consolation game.”

The 1961-62 season was the debut of Dean Smith who was hired to replace Frank McGuire.   Smith, who was only 30 at the time, was faced with a number of challenges, including a limited game schedule and the loss of two key players (ruled academically ineligible.)

Prior to the start of the 1961 season, the ACC experienced a point shaving scandal. Four N.C. State players were accused of altering the score of several games and one UNC player was found to be involved with a gambler.  As a result, William Friday, the President of the University of North Carolina system de-emphasized basketball by allowing only sixteen regular season games. Therefore, Smith was limited to only two games against out of conference opponents (Notre Dame and Indiana).

Smith's illustrious career started on December 2, 1961 with a victory against Virginia in Chapel Hill on their way to an 8-9 record, 7-7 in the ACC.  Junior guard Larry Brown and senior center Jim Hudock led the Heels and both were named to the All-ACC Second team.

I was a few more years until Phil Ford came to Chapel Hill. 
North Carolina lost to South Carolina in the first round of the ACC tournament ending their season.
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy was born May 29, 1917.  He was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963.

After military service as PT-boat commander during World War II in the South Pacific, Kennedy represented Massachusetts's 11th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1947 to 1953 as a Democrat.  Thereafter, he served in the U.S. Senate from 1953 until 1960.

Kennedy defeated then Vice President and Republican candidate Richard Nixon in the 1960 U.S. presidential election. He was the second-youngest President (after Theodore Roosevelt), the first 20th Century born President, and the youngest elected to the office, at the age of 43.

Kennedy is the only Catholic and the first Irish American president, and is the only president to have won a Pulitzer Prize. Events on note dealt with his administration included the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the building of the Berlin Wall, the Space Race, the Civil Rights Movement and early stages of the Vietnam War.

Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas. Lee Harvey Oswald was charged with the crime but was shot and killed two days later by Jack Ruby.  

Patsy Cline was born in Winchester, VA (about 40 miles from T.A.H. Worldwide Media LLC Headquarters) on September 8, 1932 as Virginia Patterson Hensley.  She is considered one of the most influential, successful, and acclaimed female vocalists of the 20th century.

Cline was best known for her rich tone and emotionally expressive bold contralto voice, which, along with her role as a mover and shaker in the country music industry, has been cited as an inspiration by many vocalists of various music genres. Her life and career have been the subject of numerous books, movies, documentaries, articles and stage plays.

Her hits included "Walkin' After Midnight," "I Fall to Pieces," "She's Got You," "Crazy," and "Sweet Dreams." Posthumously, millions of her albums have sold over the past 50 years. She has been given numerous awards, which have given her an iconic status with some fans similar to that of legends Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. Ten years after her death, she became the first female solo artist inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

In 2002, Cline was voted by artists and members of the country music industry as number one on CMT's television special, The 40 Greatest Women of Country Music, and in 1999 she was voted number 11 on VH1's special The 100 Greatest Women in Rock and Roll. Cline was  ranked 46th in Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Singers of all Time."  

Like Buddy Holly profiled here two Streak games ago, Cline also died young in a private plane crash trying to get home to her family after a series of shows in Kansas.  The plane she was travelling in stopped to refuel and later crashed in Camden, Tennessee. 

Charlie Sheen Tweet Of The Week: Apocalypse Me

"The title of my book has finally been delivered thru vast and extensive Lunar channels. Apocalypse Me.  What does the name mean? "Warlock Latin for WINNING."

Thursday Night ACC Basketball

GEORGIA TECH 80, WAKE FOREST 54 – Iman Shumpert scored 24 points and Maurice Miller 20 as the Yellow Jackets routed Wake Forest. 

Jason Morris added 13 points for the Yellow Jackets (12-17, 4-11 ACC), who pulled away from a seven-point halftime lead to snap an eight-game conference losing streak.

Gary Clark had 15 points, Travis McKie 11 and C.J. Harris 10 for the Demon Deacons (8-22, 1-14), who lost their ninth straight league game.

The loss also continued Wake Forest’s season of frustration under first-year head coach Jeff Bzdelik, who replaced Dino Gaudio after three winning seasons and two trips to the NCAA tournament.

Already assured of its worst record since 1985-86—going 8-21 in then-head coach Bob Staak’s first season—the Demon Deacons also posted their worst ACC record since 1986-87 (2-12).

With two of the league’s worst teams on the court—Georgia Tech’s RPI was 182nd coming in, Wake Forest’s 246th—both sides had their problems Thursday.

For the Yellow Jackets, it was fouls—24 in all, with Shumpert spending more than 10 minutes of the first half on the bench after getting two fouls, and Mfon Udofia fouling out early in the second half.

But the Demon Deacons had trouble with Georgia Tech’s defense, committing 22 turnovers (19 off steals), shooting 32.6 percent from the field and being outrebounded 44-27.

Quote Of The Day

“I’ve heard a lot about eight scholarship players (Virginia Tech, UNC, Boston College). We only have nine, and I don’t think nearly enough has been made about what my guys have been able to accomplish. … I want somebody to write about our team and how hard they play. I’m tired of reading about everybody else in the league.”

-- Clemson head basketball coach Brad Brownell, who thinks his team is being sold a little short in the overcoming-adversity department.

First Class Exit

Not that it has anything to do with the ACC, but Tommy Harris has been released by the Chicago Bears after seven seasons.  The popular defensive tackle by way of Oklahoma was very gracious in his departure, publishing this goodbye add in the newspaper.   So, that said, not everything in the NFL is completely effed up.

Click on the ad for a closer look.

More on North Carolina UNC/NFL Investigation

Marvin Austin

Investigators have issued a search warrant for the financial records of NFL agent Gary Wichard as they continue looking into whether North Carolina’s sports agent laws have been broken.

The warrant issued Tuesday to Bank of America was for documents connected to Wichard and his California-based firm, Pro Tect Management LLC, since January 2009.

Investigators say that Pro Tect paid $1,000 to reimburse a high school assistant coach, who had paid for former Tar Heels defensive lineman Marvin Austin’s flights to and from California in March 2009, according to a probable cause affidavit filed with the search warrant.

In addition, Pro Tect paid $915.40 to a travel agency to cover changes to Austin’s flight itinerary, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit also alleges Wichard failed to register with the state as a sports agent despite having “several phone conversations” with Austin starting in January 2009.

North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall’s office launched an investigation after the NCAA began looking into possible agent-related benefits in North Carolina’s football program.

The NFL Players Association suspended Wichard in December for nine months for his role in the UNC probe. Howard Silber, an attorney for Wichard, didn’t immediately return a call and e-mail seeking comment on the search warrant.

Separated At Birth?

Ryan Mallett

Arkansas QB Ryan Mallet and Garrett Dillahunt who plays Burt Chance on Fox’s sitcom Raising Hope?

Greg García is the creator/producer of Raising Hope, the follow up to his very successful Emmy-winning My Name Is Earl.  García grew up in Arlington, Virginia, graduated from Yorktown High School. He attended Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland and participated in the Warner Bros. Writing for Television courses, which ultimately opened the door for him as a writer in Hollywood.

García worked as a board operator for The Tony Kornheiser Show on WTEM radio and was also briefly an intern and recurring character on the syndicated Don and Mike radio show.

Pictures Of The Day

OUCH. Peru’s Leon de Huanuco gets a swift kcik up the middle from Rafael Marques of Brazil during a Coba Libertadores soccer game in Porto Alegre, Brazil.  (Photo by Nabor Goulart/AP Photos)
MUST BE THE GLASSES. Clemson’s Bryan Narcisse looks to make an in-bounds pass against Duke as he is heckled by the Cameron Crazies during the first half of their recent game in Durham, NC.  (Photo by Ellen Ozier/Reuters)

WHITE OUT. Samuel Costa of Italy speeds down the in-run as fog settles in during the trial jump for the Nordic Combined large hill SH134 event at the Nordic Ski World Championships in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Peter Josek/Reuters)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Crime and Punishment: Why Isn’t the ACC Better At Football?

With five teams landing in the top 20 of criminal college football teams, why isn’t the ACC a bigger factor in annual run to the BCS National Championship Game?

Seriously…the ACC has Criminal Tech Blacksburg, Criminal State at Tallahassee, The Criminal U., Criminal Tech Atlanta and the University of North Criminal-ina -- they all landed in the top 20 of a recent Sport’s Illustrated/CBS survey of 2010 pre-season SI Top 25 football teams with players on the roster with police records of some flavor... 


The big loser was the Big (L)East's Pittsburgh at #1 with 22 players on the crime blotter, followed by Iowa (18), Arkansas (18), Boise State (16) and Penn State (16).

Iowa?  Who saw that coming?

The HOKIES led the ACC – tied for sixth with 13, followed by Wisconsin (9), Oklahoma (9),  FLORIDA STATE (tied for seventh with 9), MIAMI (tied for tenth with 8), Ohio State (7), Florida (7), Oregon (7), USC (7), Alabama (5), NORTH CAROLINA (tied for 15th with 5), Cincinnati (5), Utah (5), Nebraska (4) and GEORGIA TECH (tied for 19th with 4).

The list was rounded out with Oregon State (4), LSU (3), Texas (2), Stanford with a scant one and TCU with ZERO. Way to go Horned Frogs.  Of  course, there were plenty of other schools with various numbers, but this investigation just looked at the SI Preseason Top 25.

The unprecedented six-month investigation by Sports Illustrated and CBS News involved conducting criminal background checks on every player -- 2,837 in all -- on the preseason rosters of those 25 teams. Players' names, dates of birth and other vital information were checked at 31 courthouses and through 25 law enforcement agencies in 17 states. Players were also checked through one or more online databases that track criminal records. In all, 7,030 individual record checks were reviewed.

In all, seven percent of the players in the preseason Top 25 -- 204 (1 of every 14) -- had been charged with, or cited for, a crime, including dozens of players with multiple arrests.

Frankly, five or less doesn’t seem like an unreasonable number when one considers the number of players on a college football team – as many as 125.

Oh well…college football: Tradition, pageantry, color, sportsmanship, student athletes preparing for the NFL…and crime.

To read more, click here.

(Editor's Note: It should come as no shock to loyal followers of T.A.H., that the link to this story was sent to us by a Wahoo delighted by the Hokies prominent place on the list!.  Subject line of email: "Va Tech is #6 !!!!!!!!!" Hey, it's rivalry week.  As the Rock Star from Mars says "Bring it!")

The Stage Is Set: Duke v. North Carolina II

Harrison Barnes making the winning shot.
#13 NORTH CAROLINA 72, FLORIDA STATE 70 –The ACC pattern of late has included blowing a lead and then hanging on desperately to secure the win. There was no reason that chapter two of UNC v. FSU should be any different.  But if, Saturday’s Duke at North Carolina game was going to have the maximum drama, the Tar Heels needed desperately to get out of Tallahassee with a win and a share of the ACC lead.

North Carolina led by seven with 3:56 left to play when the Noles went on a 10-2 run.  Suddenly, Ol’ Roy’s boys, who had throttled Florida State (20-9, 10-5) in Chapel Hill, found themselves down a point with 18 seconds remaining.  The plan called for Harrison Barnes to isolate one-on-one and to drive to the basket.

The eighteen-year-old freshman who has built a resume this season on late-game heroics had other ideas.  He liked the look he got at the top of the key and sank the game winning three-pointer. Nice bookends as Barnes had made North Carolina’s first basket as well.

On the subsequent inbounds, Florida State’s Derwin Kitchen stepped out of bounds as he rushed back up the court looking to return the favor.

Game over.

FSU's Barnes gets blocked by FSU's James.
“Great players make great plays,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton shrugged. “That’s about as good as it gets.”

But it wasn’t anything unusual for Barnes, who has made the game-winning or go-ahead shot in five games this season.

“I’ve always been comfortable taking the last-second shot,” said the soft-spoken Barnes, “I’m glad Coach gave me the opportunity and I came through.”

Barnes was supposed to drive to the basket, but decided to pull the trigger from long range after he briefly surveyed the defense.

“They had three guys high so I knew it was going to be a jump shot, because it would be hard to get to the rack,” he said.

“You can’t really second-guess yourself,” Barnes said. “You have to go with the first instinct.”

Florida State’s Michael Snaer blamed himself.

“I just gave him too much breathing room,” Snaer said.

Kendall Marshall gets an earful from Roy Williams.
John Henson had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Barnes added 18 points for the Tar Heels (23-6, 13-2 ACC), who won their sixth straight game overall and their fifth in a row on Florida State’s court.

Leslie McDonald added 10 points for North Carolina, including two 3-pointers 43 seconds apart that gave the Tar Heels a 49-44 lead with 14:18 left.

Snaer added 11 points and Bernard James had 10 for the Seminoles, who were without top scorer Chris Singleton (broken right foot) for the fourth straight game.

North Carolina shot 47.3 percent for the game and had a 39-28 rebound advantage.

Duke Knocks Off Clemson, Headed Next To Chapel Hill For Regular Season Championship Show Down

#4 DUKE 70, CLEMSON 59 – Speaking of patterns – Duke has shut teams down with stingy defense all year long and last night was no different as the Blue Devils held Clemson to 25 second half points. 

Nolan Smith scored 21 points and Kyle Singler added 18 points and 11 rebounds in their Cameron finale.

“Just knowing that it’s your last time out there, we just wanted to play hard,” Smith said. “They played a tremendous game defensively, being really physical defending us. We had to get tougher, and then there was a point in the game when we all got tougher and made the tough plays in order to win.”

Seth Curry also had 18 points for the Blue Devils (27-3, 13-2 ACC). They overcame a season-high 20 turnovers and never trailed in a physical second half to finish 17-0 at Cameron—their second straight undefeated season at home. 

Demontez Stitt scored 14 points to lead the Tigers (19-10, 8-7), who threatened their season low by shooting 30 percent. Still, they managed to keep it within single digits for most of the game and were in it down the stretch despite being held to two field goals in a late 11-minute span.

Duke bounced back from the weekend loss at Virginia Tech by winning their NCAA-best 36th straight home game while claiming their 56th in a row at home against an unranked opponent.

The Blue Devils went 65-2 at Cameron during the careers of Singler and Smith, with the only losses coming during their freshman and sophomore seasons to rival North Carolina. Duke’s record in games Singler has played is 120-21; with Smith on the court, the Blue Devils are 116-20.

Milton Jennings added 10 points and 11 rebounds and Jerai Grant added 11 boards for the Tigers, who were denied their first victory at Cameron since 1995. They’ll enter their regular-season finale against Virginia Tech on Saturday still in contention for a first-round bye in the ACC tournament.

Mutter "Maryland" (look down, shake head), "Maryland" (repeat), "Maryland" (repeat)…

MIAMI 80, MARYLAND 66 – Last season, North Carolina had locker room issues which undermined a talented team.  With freshman Terrell Stoglin and sophomore Jordan Williams in the spotlight, one has to wonder if the Terps’ upperclassmen are rebelling or are Gary Williams pieces just not fitting together?

Last night, Rion Brown scored 19 points while he and Malcolm Grant hit consecutive 3-pointers late in the second half to propel the Hurricanes to the win. Brown was 6 of 7 from 3-point range.

Grant, who finished with 16 points, made a 3-pointer to put Miami (18-12, 6-9 Atlantic Coast Conference) up 69-56 with 6:06 remaining.

The Hurricanes later scored six unanswered points during a 1:22 span to seal it. Durand Scott’s basket gave Miami a 75-58 lead with 4:06 to play.

Scott scored 15 points and Reggie Johnson finished with 12 points and 15 rebounds for Miami.

The Terrapins (18-12, 7-8) rallied from a 47-30 deficit early in the second half with a 15-3 spurt. Adrian Bowie and Terrell Stoglin each hit 3s during the run.

Stoglin led Maryland with 20 points.

Adrian Thomas, a sixth-year Miami senior, scored 12 points in his final regular-season home game.

Fans Split On Sidney Lowe

-- J. P. Giglio/Raleigh News & Observer

N.C. State fans are divided on Sidney Lowe's future, according to an independent survey released on Wednesday.

A recent survey by the Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling showed 29 percent of the people surveyed who identified themselves as N.C. State fans thought Lowe should return for a sixth season, while 27 percent thought he should be replaced. (The other 44 percent of the Wolfpack fans surveyed reserved judgment on Lowe's future.)

Given the survey's margin of error, plus-or-minus 3.8 percent, that's a statistical push.

Lowe's fifth Wolfpack team is 15-14 this season, 5-10 in the ACC after Tuesday's loss at Virginia.

Lowe's first four teams failed to make the NCAA tournament, and this one can only get there by winning the ACC tournament next week in Greensboro. Overall, Lowe has a record of 86-76 at N.C. State, with a 25-54 mark in the ACC.

Public Policy Polling surveyed 650 registered voters in the state by telephone from Feb. 16 to Feb. 21, before N.C. State's home loss to North Carolina last week and Tuesday's disappointment at UVa.
Overall, Lowe was viewed favorably by all fans (30 percent) compared with 17 percent unfavorably (with 53 percent "not sure").

Lowe got a 31 percent approval rating from N.C. State fans, compared with 23 percent unfavorable.
Of the 650 people surveyed, 73 percent identified themselves as college basketball fans of one of the four in-state teams. UNC (34 percent) topped the list, followed by "None of these teams" (27 percent), Duke (17 percent), N.C. State (16 percent) and Wake Forest (6 percent).

Pictures Of The Day

MIGHT AS WELL JUMP! (L to R) Britta Johansson Norgren, Ida Ingemarsdotter, Charlotte Kalla and Anna Haag of Sweden celebrate after winning the silver medal in the Ladies Cross Country 4x5km Relay race during the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships at Holmenkollen on March 3, 2011 in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
SENIOR NIGHT. Duke forward Kyle Singler acknowledges the crowd as he introduced on senior night. (Photo by Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer)
SKI GUITAR. Devon Kershaw (L) and Alex Harvey of Canada celebrate after winning the men’s Cross Country Skiing Team Sprint Classic Final at the FIS Nordic Skiing World Championships in Oslow, Norway.  (Photo by Cornelius Poppe/EPA)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Speaking of Crazy

Isn't it nice to wake up every morning this week and be reminded that you are reasonably sane?

If you have been watching, and more importantly listening, to the ravings of the “rock star from Mars” know to the rest of us as Charlie Sheen, you have learned that one can actually be crazier off drugs than on them! Who knew?

With that as preface, this photo  seemed the perfect way to start a crazy day as part of a crazy week that started last Saturday when the Hokies knocked off Duke…

What?  What was that loud noise?

(Evidently, that loud thud was just the Hokies coming back to earth in a rather noisy heap…)

Here Sheen, who we now know has delusions of grandeur in ways “a normal brain can’t process” (thank goodness!) equal to or greater than some of our biggest sports’ stars, is chillin' with another famous King of Vice.

Yes, sir, here’s "Adonis’s’ DNA" sitting next to the one and only Pete “I Never Gambled On Baseball…OK, Maybe I Did, PLEEEEEZ PLEEEZ PLEEEEEZ Put Me In The Hall Of Fame” Rose.  

It would appear from this 2006 photo that Rose has fallen so in love with gold (watch, bracelet, glasses and who knows what’s under that shirt) that he’s actually had his hair gilded.

Nice, Pete, NICE!

Feeling really normal now, aren’t you?

Things That Make You Go…

Corey Raji


In the jubilation that followed Saturday night’s upset of #1 Duke, the word out everywhere was that the Hokies had just punched their ticket to the big dance.  Simply put, did last night’s Senior Night loss to Boston College at home unpunch the Hokies’ dance card?

No doubt, Seth Greenberg lectured his charges from Sunday morning until Tuesday tip-off about the importance of this game.  Also, no doubt, he pointed out some serious match-up problems that have allowed the Eagles to sweep Virginia Tech this season.

That said, nothing much worked for the Hokies who got off to a slow start and never recovered losing 76-61.

Reggie Jackson scored 20 points and Corey Raji added 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Eagles (18-11, 8-7 ACC) who beat Virginia Tech 58-56 at home on Feb. 5th. This time, BC led most of the way and used an 18-4 run to ice it after the Hokies closed to within 45-39 with 16 minutes left.

The Hokies (19-9, 9-6) were led by Erick Green with 21 points. Malcolm Delaney, one of three seniors honored before possibly his final home game, added 17 and fellow senior Jeff Allen had 14.

The Eagles, in their own battle to beef up their post season credentials, began the night tied with Maryland for sixth in the league standings, and having also swept the Terrapins.

Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg removed Delaney, Allen and Terrell Bell, the third senior, to polite applause with 1:55 remaining and the Hokies trailing 71-56.

Delaney had all 11 of his first-half points in the burst, and his last basket moved him past Dale Solomon into third on the Hokies’ career list with 2,137 points. 

Sampson And Worthy Headed to Hall of Fame

Ralph Sampson

Virginia great Ralph Sampson and former Tar Heel James Worthy are among the eight members of the Class of 2011 of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

Also in the class announced Monday are coaches Eddie Sutton and Bobby Knight, players Cazzie Russell and Chris Mullin and contributors Joe Vancisin and Eddie Einhorn.

Induction will take place at the Hall of Fame on Nov. 20 as part of a three-day celebration that includes the CBE Classic at Sprint Center featuring Missouri, California, Georgia and Notre Dame.

Worthy with Dean Smith
Sampson, a four-time All-America at Virginia, is one of three men to be national player of the year three times (1981-83). He joined Cincinnati’s Oscar Robertson and UCLA’s Bill Walton as three-time winners. The 7-foot-4 Sampson led Virginia to a 112-23 record, including an appearance in the 1981 Final Four. He was the sixth player in NCAA history to score more than 2,000 points (2,228) and have more than 1,500 rebounds (1,511).

Worthy is one of seven North Carolina players to have his jersey number retired. He led the Tar Heels to the national championship game in 1981 as a sophomore and to the title the next season when he was a unanimous All-America selection. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 2003.

Happy March 2nd!

In short, it’s March. 

Madness is lurking.

Time was when "March Madness" evoked images only of Lewis Carroll and Alice in Wonderland. College basketball was a regional sport played before small hometown audiences.

That changed when a young TV executive named Eddie Einhorn began a full-court press with his revolutionary idea of broadcasting college hoops nationwide. Enthusiastic response to the first prime-time telecast of a college game in 1968 convinced even skeptics of the sport's media potential.

In How March Becomes Madness, Einhorn presents an account of basketball's rise to the rim as told through the voices of the game's greatest players, coaches, and announcers.

Seniors Lead Wahoos To Win Over Wolfpack

Freshman Joe Harris scored 19 points and senior Mustapha Farrakhan added 15 as Virginia defeated North Carolina State 69-58 on Tuesday night.

Farrakhan, playing in front of his grandfather, Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, for the first time in his college career, nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 3:23 left to give the Cavaliers a commanding nine-point lead.

N.C. State never got closer than seven the rest of the way.

Will Sherrill, who tied a career high with four 3-pointers, added 14 points for Virginia (15-14, 6-9 ACC).
Sherrill hit two 3-pointers as the Cavaliers stormed to a 16-0 lead. The Wolfpack (15-14, 5-10) responded with a 17-2 spurt, including seven points from Javier Gonzalez, who finished with 16.

Bennett was happy that his team was able to send Farrakhan and Sherrill, his two seniors, out on a good note. They were playing their last regular-season home game.

All In The Family

Louis Farrakhan and his wife, Khadijah
University of Virginia guard Mustapha Farrakhan has rounded into a solid player during his career in Charlottesville.  So, most days it is forgotten that he is the grandson of Reverend Louis Farrakhan, the founder of the Nation of Islam.

Farrakhan points out yesterday in a Washington Post article that his famous grandfather has never been an issue or a point of definition in Charlottesville noting “his family's notoriety never has come up in discussions with teammates and that his ancestry has not been an issue around campus during his stay at Virginia.”

Flying under the radar is a little tougher on one day each year when Grandad Farrakhan holds an annual event known as Saviour’s Day in Chicago.  Sunday, in front of a sold out crowd of more than 18,000, Reverend Farrakhan delivered the keynote address – all four hours of it.

The good news for anybody who’s professing any concept less than mainstream is that Charlie Sheen can’t stop talking and the media can’t get enough of his special brand of crazy.  Hence you may not have heard about Reverend Farrakhan’s latest filibuster.

He made some headlines by saying that now-more-than-ever seemingly crazy Libyan dictator  Moammar Gadhafi "has always been a friend and he won't distance himself from" him.   

Add to that:
Rihanna gettin' all...filthy(?)
  • He's been checking out Scientology lately. He likes it, and according to Farrakhan, L. Ron Hubbard is "so exceedingly valuable to every white person on this earth."
  • He said the way Rihanna performs is "filthy" and you are "swine" if you like her.
  • He warned that “non-believers and the sinful would face the wrath of God through high-technology UFOs."

Alas, no advice for how to improve his grandson’s team’s woeful shooting (25% 6-24 in the second half against Boston College on Saturday).

The Streak: The Seventeenth Time, Out Of The Last 55 Times, That Clemson Lost A Basketball Game in Chapel Hill…

Castro and Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway was still alive.

The Streak: Game 17, January 13, 1961 – North Carolina 77, Clemson 46.

Clemson finished the season 10-16 with victories over Syracuse, The Citadel, Texas, Furman, Davidson, South Carolina (twice), Virginia (twice) and Maryland.  While they were tied for sixth in the ACC with a 5-9 mark, they were clearly the champions of the state of South Carolina.

Clemson was led by Larry "Choppy" Patterson, a master of the two-hand overhead shot. He was voted second-team All-ACC in 1961 and was also a member of the second-team All-ACC Tournament team that year.  During the season, Choppy shot a not-so-choppy 88% from the free throw stripe – 8th best in the NCAA. 

Patterson suffered an injury in an auto accident in 1961 that forced him to miss the 1961-62 season and reduced his effectiveness as a scorer.  That said, he still ranks in the top 25 in five different Clemson categories. He is 24th in points scored (1,131), 9th in best scoring average (14.88), 13th in 20-point games (21), 13th in free throws made (315), and 9th in free throw percentage (0.816).

Patterson would become a lawyer and eventually a judge after serving in the South Carolina House of Representatives. 

The Tar Heels finished the season prematurely with an impressive 19-4 record – 12-2 in the ACC, tied for first.   They would end the year ranked 5th in the AP poll in spite of the fact that NCAA probation kept them out of the ACC tournament which was the only way to qualify for the 24-team Not Very Big Dance.

The NCAA violations, primarily what was then known as “excessive recruiting,” (along with some rumors of point shaving in the Dixie Classic) created an irreparable rift between head coach Frank McGuire and UNC Chancellor William Aycock.   That summer, Aycock sent a letter to McGuire making it clear that the program needed to clean up its act.  McGuire responded by leaving town.  McGuire’s replacement was none other than Dean Smith, his assistant whom he recommended for the job.

Born in New York City as the youngest of thirteen children in an Irish-American family, McGuire graduated from St. John's University in 1936. He served in the United States Navy during World War II, played pro basketball briefly in the American Basketball League and coached and taught before becoming the head coach of St. John’s  basketball and baseball teams

After bringing the baseball team to the College World Series in 1949 and the basketball team to the Final Four in 1952 – becoming one of only three coaches to achieve both accomplishments – he left the Johnnies to become basketball coach at North Carolina. He guided the Tar Heels to the 1957 NCAA title, winning the championship game 54-53 in triple overtime against the Wilt Chamberlain-led Kansas team, and finishing the season with a perfect 32-0 record.

Coincidentally, after he left North Carolina, McGuire became the head coach of the NBA's Philadelphia Warriors and he coached Chamberlain during the Warriors' last season before they moved to San Francisco.  That one season saw Chamberlain set the all-time NBA record for scoring average in a season (50.4 points per game).

Following his brief NBA stint, McGuire returned to college coaching at the University of South Carolina in 1964. The Gamecocks quickly achieved national prominence and went undefeated in the ACC in 1970 and won the ACC tourney in 1971, after which USC would leave the ACC (a bad move to this day), becoming an independent before ultimately joining the S.E.C.

To this day, the Gamecocks’ 1971 tourney win is the only one won by a school based in the state of South Carolina. McGuire would then go on to take USC to the NCAA tournament several times..

McGuire holds the record for most victories in a season without a loss -- 32-0 -- tied with Bobby Knight's 1976 Indiana Hoosiers.

He achieved the number one ranking with both the University of North Carolina and South Carolina, and is one of three coaches--Larry Brown and Roy Williams are the others—to take two different schools to the NCAA Finals.

McGuire was famous for using his New York City ties to enlist players to come south to play at UNC and USC, and was known as one of the top recruiters in the sport.  Players he coached or successfully recruited included Lennie Rosenbluth, Larry Brown, Donnie Walsh, Doug Moe, Billy Cunningham, Bobby Cremins, John Roche, Tom Owens, Tom Riker, Kevin Joyce, Brian Winters, Mike Dunleavy, Sr. and Alex English.

McGuire was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1977, and retired in 1980.

Oh, Hemingway?

He globetrotted around drinking, fishing, hunting, smoking cigars and hanging out with various heads of state.  He took the time to write a few books and short stories before he committed suicide in July of 1961.  You may have heard of some of them – The Sun Also Rises (1927), A Farewell to Arms (1929), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940) and The Old Man and the Sea (1951), to name a few.

He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954.

Quote Of The Day

“No question we’ve seen a drop-off in attendance and revenue. Those sort of things are part of the overall picture. No matter where we go from here, clearly we all are understanding we need to re-energize our fans. That isn’t lost on anybody here. We’ve had a lot of empty seats.”

-- Georgia Tech Associate athletic director Wayne Hogan when asked about basketball coach Paul Hewitt’s job security and the lack of fan support.

Pictures Of The Day

LEATHER FACIAL.  Kentucky’s Josh Harrelson smashes the ball into the face of Vanderbilt’s Lance Goulbourne on an attempted block during the second half of their game in Lexington, KY.  (Photo by Ed Reinke/AP Photos)
OUTGOING.  Toronto Blue Jay center fielder Darin Mastroianni attempts to catch a fly ball in the second inning during a spring training game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Dunedin Field in Florida.  (Photo by Kim Klement/U.S. Presswire)
WELL RESTED.  North Carolina defensive lineman Marvin Austin runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis.  Austin did not play last year after be suspended for the season.  Austin ran afoul of NCAA rules due to accepting two trips to California and two trips to Florida from agents.  (Photo by Todd Rosenberg/Sports Illustrated).

INCOMING!  Spectators duck for cover from a line drive foul ball hit by New York Yankees’ Mark Texeira during the third inning of their game against the Detroit Tigers in Ladeland, FL.  (Photo by Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Photos)

Monday, February 28, 2011

ACC Players Of The Week

Virginia Tech's Jeff Allen has been selected as the ACC Player of the Week and Maryland's Terrell Stoglin is the ACC Rookie of the Week presented by Chevrolet following their outstanding performances.

In earning the Player of the Week award for the third time this season and fourth time in his career, Allen averaged 17.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists as the Hokies posted key ACC wins over Wake Forest and Duke.

In Tuesday's 76-62 win at Wake Forest, the Washington, D.C., native had 17 points and eight rebounds in 29 minutes of action. Four nights later, Allen posted his eighth double-double in the last nine games, and 15th overall on the year, finishing with 18 points and 15 rebounds in a 64-60 win over the top-ranked Blue Devils.

Stoglin captured his second-straight ACC Rookie of the Week honor, averaging 22.5 points, 3.5 assists and shooting .552 from the floor (16-for-29) in a pair of conference matchups.

The Tucson, Ariz., freshman opened the week with a 17-point, four-assist effort in Maryland's 78-62 win over visiting Florida State. In Sunday's 87-76 loss at No. 19 North Carolina, Stoglin scored a career-high 28 points on 11-for-20 shooting, the most points by a Terrapin this season.


(Photo by James Lang)

#1 VIRGINIA 11, #5 Stony Brook (Sea Wolves, 16,342 students, Stony Brook, NY) 10 – The kid with the best lacrosse name going – Steele Stanwick – scored five goals, including the game-winning goal in overtime, Saturday afternoon, inside LaValle Stadium. Stanwick added two assists for a game-high seven points.
Penn (Quakers, 20,643 students, Philadelphia, PA) 7, #10 DUKE 3 – Pennsylvania scored the game's first five goals and Duke falls to 1-2 overall on the year, The loss was the first by the Blue Devils on an opponent's home field since March 24, 2007 at Georgetown
#3 MARYLAND 20, #14 Georgetown (Hoyas, 15,318 students, Washington, D.C.) 8 –Senior Grant Catalino scored five goals and added an assist in the annual "Battle of the Beltway" Saturday afternoon at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.

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