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Posts Tagged ‘North Carolina Tar Heels’

Duke AND Carolina Lost?

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Duke, Carolina Fans

I’ll pose the same kinds of questions I asked about Brook and Robin Lopez: What happens to the basketball universe if Duke and North Carolina lose on the same night? Does the basketball universe cease to exist? Does ESPN pull the plug on their upcoming “the best rivalry in sports” love fest? Does Roy Williams start feeling heat as his team continues to disappoint? What about Duke? Do people start re-piling on Jon Scheyer, provider of one of the best sports faces, maybe ever? Or did they ever stop?

After last night’s failure — especially for the Tar Heels — it appears as if the college basketball world is still turning, although, I think non-fans are enjoying themselves a little more.

While Duke’s loss is a little less surprising (a road loss to a decent NC State team), there’s little doubt people still take joy in watching the Blue Devils fall. Carolina’s home beatdown at the hands of Wake Forest, on the other hand, is little more surprising. Nobody expected the Heels to be, well, this average. Because of their recent play (three straight losses, four out of five), the Tar Heels find themselves in an unfamiliar spot for a defending National Champion: directly on the bubble.

Currently, the Heels are 12-7 (1-3 in ACC play). In order to get invited, Roy’s boys are going to have to win at least nine conference games, meaning they need to go 8-4 over their last 12 games. Is that even possible with the all-of-a-sudden pedestrian Tar Heels? Considering just how “up” opposing teams are going to be for North Carolina — especially now that they smell baby-blue blood in the water — it’s going to be a hard road for them to travel, especially when they have problems shooting the ball. Fans, however, are not giving up on their Heels.

Now we get to see if they will have something the cheer for.

College of Charleston Rightfully Storms

My boys over at Storming the Floor should be proud of the College of Charleston students, who obviously know when it is and when it’s not appropriate to rush the court after win. I think this scenario — where a small college upsets a bigger school — should always allow for a proper court storming, even if the “smaller school” is having a top-rank-worthy season. While that may not be the case for the 8-6 Cougars, Bobby Cremins’ team is always in a position for an automatic bid because of their normally-strong record in the Southern Conference — although, Stephen Curry and Davidson have been stealing their thunder as of late.

However, now that Curry is plying his trade in the NBA, the Cougars have a chance to dust off their dancing shoes again. Of course, upset wins against perennials like North Carolina only help such matters. The play of the game has to go to Andrew Goudelock, who hit an absolute bomb of a three-pointer to send the game to overtime. Oh, look, video:

Not only did Goudelock’s (Goldilocks?) three-point bomb give the storm-ready crowd free basketball, he also scored the Cougars’ final eight points in regulation. Apparently, it was Goudelock’s day to way the Superman cape. And he wore it well.

Don’t Heckle Roy Williams’ Players

I’m not sure what got stuck in Roy Williams’ craw, but it got taken out on a Presbyterian fan who had the audacity to “heckle” Tar Heels center, Deon Thompson, who has been at North Carolina longer than Dean Smith, it seems. As for the quotations around the word “heckle,” I’m not sure you can consider telling a player from the opposing team to miss a free throw should be considered heckling, unless there was booze and profanities involved.

Based on the laundry list of reports out there, that doesn’t seem to be the case. In fact, this “story” is being framed like it was Roy Williams who overstepped his boundaries, and not the fan.

Here’s the reaction from one of IF’s blog friends, Truzenzuzex, from A Sea of Blue. Needless to say, he wasn’t impressed by Williams’ reaction:

Odd? Well, yes, more than odd, in fact. His behavior was reprehensible and wrong. And being “from the mountains” does not excuse that. In fact, I’ll wager that most people from the mountains would find Ol’ Roy’s thin skin funny at best… I know that surgically repaired shoulder is hurting him and all, but Williams had a bad night, and was a straight-up jerk both on the court and in the news conference when he refused to talk about it.

Dress up that halo, Roy. It has a noticeable list to starboard.

Granted, Truz is a UK fan, but his sentiments reflect the consensus of non-Tar Heel fans.

John Wall, Left-handed

John Wall

During Kentucky’s route of UNC Asheville — nothing like getting ready to play the big North Carolina school by smashing one of the smaller ones — John Wall provided perhaps the best highlights of Monday night. No offense to Drew Brees or Devrey Henderson. With the game winding down, Wall, who has actually exceeded his preseason hype, caught the ball on the left elbow, behind the 3-point line. As his defender closed out to challenge a potential shot, Wall gave a little head-and-shoulders fake, lost his defender, drove baseline and threw down one of the prettier dunks of the young college basketball season.

Left-handed, no less. Wall is a natural rightie. We have video to prove it, too:

In two of Wall’s last four games, he’s cracked the double-digit assists barrier, and last night’s tally of 14 broke a freshman record for Kentucky. Next up for Wall and his crew are the North Carolina Tar Heels. The Cats and the Heels get after each other on Saturday, and the game will be televised on CBS, as they kick off their college basketball coverage in style.

The Madness Begins Anew

Tar Heels

Lost amidst the fallout of NFL Monday is the fact college basketball officially begins tonight. The 09/10 season begins much where it left off: with the North Carolina Tar Heels. Roy Williams and the gang play the first official game of the new season when they face up against Isiah Thomas and his Florida International Golden Panthers. More than likely, this game is going to get so out of hand in Carolina’s favor, Thomas will be dreaming of life on the New York Knicks sidelines.

The Carolina/FIU game is part of the 2K Sports Classic, featuring other big names like Syracuse, Ohio State and the University of California. The big four of this opening season basketball festival will play two games, none of which will be against each other. Over at, they have a list of announcers for the slate of first week basketball games. Unfortunately, when you take a quick glance at the schedule, you’ll notice there aren’t any marquee games that catch your interest.

In fact, the “biggest” game might just be Valparaiso at North Carolina — if the Valparaiso team from 2004 was playing.

Nevertheless, it’s a time of joy and celebration. It’s not everyday you get to say “Hey, the college basketball season officially starts tonight!” now is it? With that in mind, here are some minor predictions:

Final Four — Kansas, Texas, Kentucky, Michigan State

National Champion — Michigan State

Player of the Year — Luke Harangody, Notre Dame

Freshman of the Year — John Wall, Kentucky

ACC Champion (regular season) — North Carolina

Big East Champion — UConn

Big 10 Champion — Michigan State

Big 12 Champion — Texas

Pac-10 Champion — Washington

SEC Champion — Kentucky

Yes, that was the quick-and-dirty approach for my season preview, but I think I got the major topics. Sorry to any mid-major/non-big money conference teams and/or fans that might be reading.

The Madness Begins Again

Big Blue Madness

Hear that? That squeaky sound of rubber midsoles (well, not so much rubber anymore) squeaking across the hardwood floor under a mixed sky of spotlights and firework smoke? Well, you don’t hear it quite yet, but in about four hours, you won’t be able to escape it. I’m talking about the official start of the college basketball season; an event that’s kicked into gear by that age-old tradition of Midnight Madness — otherwise known as the first (legal) day of basketball practice.

Only, it’s not so much a midnight event anymore.

More Madness after the jump >>

ESPN Ranks the All-Time College Basketball Teams

Tubby Smith

While the Worldwide Leader might be all about the NFL and the upcoming MLB Playoffs, they are also preparing for college basketball. One such way is to generate mounds of page views and discussion concerning team rankings. Since the preseason Top 25 isn’t quite ready for the printing press, ESPN decided it would offer an all-time ranking of all the Division 1 college basketball teams, with the help of Jeff Sagarin. You see, ESPN is getting ready to release a book called “ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia: The Complete History of the Men’s Game” and one of the book’s features is it ranks college basketball teams on an all-time basis.

In order to quantify these rankings, Sagarin took data from the last 72 years (wins and losses as well as the scoring differential) and created a ranking algorithm that gave us the following top 10:

After the jump >>

Danny Green Dances College Basketball Away

And just like that, she was gone. Like a thief in the night, stealing your heart away, college basketball can be a cruel mistress. Does she return the love you so willingly give? Not usually, but that’s what keeps us coming back for more. Considering the way things work in sports, about the only college basketball lovers who left this year’s affair in a happy mood were the Carolina Tar Heels faithful, who had Danny Green to help celebrate. During the team’s campus National Champions pep rally, Green ended his segment with his little jump around dance that’s become a staple during the aftermath of big Carolina wins.

Green’s dance also signals the official end of college basketball for another summer. Sure, there’s still some recruiting business to sort out, but that’s not quite the same as playing. No, college basketball is finished for the time being and Danny Green was last seen dancing at its funeral.

How long until Midnight Madness?