Recent Sports Developments from a Curmudgeon’s Point of View

Al puts on her curmudgeon's cap for this round of commentary

For those of us who love college football and basketball above all other sports, this is a tough time of year. Yes, the NBA playoffs are on but since they go from now until Wimbledon starts (or it so it seems), I can’t get excited about them yet. I’ll be more interested in them around Memorial Day. And, yes, baseball season has started, but I’m a Braves fan who has been denied round-the-clock Braves coverage since I moved away from Atlanta, so I’m not seeing a lot of their games. I do know about that Colorado no-hitter against the Braves (unfortunately), but that’s about it and it’s enough to make me flashback to being a Braves fan in the 1970s.

I don’t know why, but I seem to be suffering from the post-CBB doldrums more than usual. Maybe it’s because, for me, a season in which UNC sucked and Duke won the National Championship is best spent in denial. So, in my mind, there hasn’t been any college basketball since April 2009. However, thanks to a significant other’s love of SportsCenter in both Spanish and English and the continuous ESPN broadcasts at my gym, I’ve been forced to take notice of some recent developments. And that has prompted me to share my curmudgeonly views on them.

68-team NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament expansion

Whew, we really dodged a bullet on that one? Right? Um, wrong. If I had the power to give awards, the NCAA would get one for “Sneakiest Way to Handle Tournament Expansion.” This was brilliant from a spin and public opinion perspective. Have a couple of NCAA officials and former officials hint that “expansion is possible” and let ESPN and other sports outlets run with a 96-team tournament scenario, getting college basketball fans all riled up and arguing the pros and cons. Then, after letting us rant and wail for awhile, they say, “We’re only adding three more games.” This completely deflated most complainers while fans like me were relieved and happy that we don’t have to worry about a bracket with 96 teams–yet. Continue reading

Why I Hate Duke- A Tar Heel’s Perspective

As I watch Duke on a fast track to the National Championship, a seething hate is beginning to take over my body. I’m supposed to hate Duke. Now I am, at least.

Having spent 6 years in Chapel Hill, Duke hating comes as naturally to me as duke making. [poo joke] It wasn’t always this way, though. Gasp! Yes, this die hard Tar Heel was once not so anti-Duke. I can’t go as far as to admit that I may have actually been a Duke fan. My skewed memory won’t let me.

When I was young, like now, I loved basketball. I played in a local optimist league and, by chance, I was “drafted” to play for the “Blue Devils.” Naturally, being an impressionable youth, I wasn’t aware that I had been drafted to a team symbolic of everything wrong with the world. My team was successful throughout my years in the league. Eventually, my dad and my best friend’s dad took over coaching duties for the team and we retained the “Blue Devil” moniker, mainly so they wouldn’t have to buy new shirts.

Chris Collins

I don't care how many American symbols you have on Chris Collins. I think you're a douche now.

I even remember that I shared a number with Chris Collins and actually actively pulled for him to do well. We had a natural rivalry with the Tar Heel team. We destroyed them regularly. I think it’s fairly easy to see how an innocent impressionable youngster who’s nurturing his love of basketball as a “Blue Devil” … (excuse me while I vomit) … can cause one to be less than hateful toward the school. Fortunately for me, this perception changed.

I have an older brother. We have a natural sibling rivalry, but nothing more than what you would expect from two boys. When my brother started applying for college, he didn’t have any specific athletic allegiances, similar to me by that point. Unlike me, but like the majority of Duke students, he didn’t care much about sports. He applied to the major ACC schools in North Carolina and a few small schools outside the state. Upon acceptance to Duke, his eyes glazed at the perceived status it would bring this woefully average country boy. It was a reaction that would become all too familiar.

Throughout my brother’s tenure at Duke, I visited the campus many times, and I learned to hate everything about it. I hated it’s overdone, imitation Gothic architecture. I hated that I had to sit through the cold wind in an empty stadium to watch a bad football team be cheered on by a scant crowd that could really care less about the outcome.

This doesn't make you dark and enlightened

This doesn't make you dark and enlightened.

Most of all I hated the arrogance that permeated the place. You could smell it, you could feel it, but mostly you heard it. Constantly. I heard spiel upon spiel about how Duke is unlike any other, about how it’s students will rule the country, about how Duke isn’t just the Harvard of the South but better than Harvard and Yale. You heard it on their recruiting speech. I heard enough.

To pile it all on, I heard about the basketball team. Yes, the arrogance of Duke transcends the academic realm. Once the media realized that true “student athletes” (re: white) could exceed on a national level, they jumped on the bandwagon in full force. And Duke students took part as well.

Bolstered by the media myth and mocking UNC’s J.R. Reid, Duke students claimed J.R. could not “Reid.” In response, Dean Smith pointed out that Reid’s SAT score exceeded the media’s model student athlete Christian Laettner’s.

It’s not like the accolades that Duke receives and heaps upon itself aren’t totally undeserved. It is a very good academic institution and it’s basketball team has achieved incredible success. But just because you’re successful doesn’t mean you have to inflate it even further, and that’s something that seems universal to the place.

My brother was never the same. He left for Durham a well grounded, intelligent kid from rural North Carolina. He returned with an inflated ego, a sense of entitlement, and roughly as intelligent as he left.

The phenomenon isn’t isolated with my kin, though. Having encountered more Duke alums in my post graduate education, there is one commonality among them. When asked where they attended undergrad, they all stand with a smirk on their face as they proudly announce, “Duke.”

That smirk says it all.

Picking through the ashes of what was once my bracket

Al's 2010 NCAA Men's Tournament Bracket

For most of the morning, I’ve been looking for something good in the smoldering remains of what was once my 2010 NCAA tournament bracket picks. The fact that I, like Flop, got an astonishing 7 out of the 16 teams in the Sweet 16 correct, which is the worst I have ever done in a history of spectacular bracket failures that began in 1999 with the advancement of Gonzaga, is mind boggling. I am extremely upset about Villanova. I feel like Jay Wright let me down personally. I am in a icy cold rage that Duke will now probably make it to the Final Four for the first time since 2004 and we will now have to hear about the resurgence of the greatest college basketball program ever ad naseum from ESPN and CBS.

Al reacts to the Kansas loss

But the worst is the stunned horror I felt as I watched Kansas implode Saturday night.

I had scouted Northern Iowa earlier in the year because of my prediction series in December and January and they didn’t impress me then.  I still can’t believe that a Bill Self-coached Kansas team failed to dominate a group of guys who looked like they’d be as equally at home on a tractor in a cornfield or in a teen-age slasher movie as they were on the basketball court (not that there’s anything wrong with tractors, cornfields or teenage slasher movies, mind you).  It was like waking up one day and finding out there’s a Democrat in the White House and a healthcare reform bill has passed. Oh, wait…

So, is there anything to salvage from what has become a disaster of a tournament for me (and many others)? I think so. Here are a few bright spots that I’ve found:

  • Syracuse, my bandwagon team, has a better chance of winning it all now that Kansas is out of the way. As they have for most of the season, they’ve been kind of quiet as they make their way through the tournament without too much trouble. Their performance this year reminds me a bit of Kanas’s in 2008. Solid, quiet…National Champs? It could happen.
  • If Kentucky continues playing the way they’ve been playing so far, they should take care of annoying surprising Cornell and they could potentially decimate Duke in the Final Four. The idea of a bunch of freshmen dominating the Duke upperclassmen has a great deal of appeal. Of course, the picture of a bunch of militant jihadists from Afghanistan dominating Duke appeals to me, so we should take my Kentucky thoughts with a grain of salt.
  • The Maryland-Michigan State game was a great battle between two veteran coaches and some great talent, although Vasquez’s emotional breakdown after the loss was a bit over the top. Tom Izzo really is the best active NCAA Tournament Coach. He may not have teams that dominate in the regular season, but in the NCAA, it’s a different story. Even when Maryland had the go ahead basket with 6.6 seconds left, I knew that Michigan State would pull it out. I’m curious to see what Izzo will do against Northern Iowa without Lucas.
  • Although I was pulling for Georgia Tech, I have to admit that it was fun watching Evan Turner.
  • Baylor versus St. Mary’s. Wow. Two mid-majors I don’t hate. That’s like a record.
  • Gonzaga lost. While that’s not as good as Duke losing, it’s close.
  • UNC has now had a winning season and they’re still playing in the postseason. So what if it’s in the “Not in the Tournament” Tourney? The fact that I get to shout “Oh, God, not to Deon!” for at least one more game is a bright spot.

I also learned some lessons that I hope I can apply next year:

  • I should stick to my guns and not fill out a bracket if that’s how I feel. I think that maybe the reason I didn’t do so well this year is because I really didn’t want to do one.
  • I should listen to my brain more for my first and second round picks and save my gut feelings for picking the national champion. This year, my brain wanted me to pick Cornell over Temple and Washington over Marquette but my gut said to go with Temple and Marquette. However, my gut wanted me to pick Syracuse as the National Champion but my brain said to pick Kansas. I have to say, though, even if I had picked Syracuse, I would have had Kansas losing to them in the Final Four, so it’s really kind of moot.
  • I should have a “nightmare bracket” where Duke wins it all every year. I’ve had one of those since 2002 until this year and it’s worked out well for me. This year, I decided not to do that and I’m worried. Please, please, let someone take them out. I’m talking to you, Purdue, West Virginia, Kentucky and Syracuse.
  • I should wear my lucky Nikes more. I had them on for most of Saturday afternoon (for luck during UNC’s NIT game, which I watched while I worked out), but took them off before the Kansas game to wear a new pair of cute sandals I bought. Big mistake.

So, my new rules for next year are:  “1) Nightmare bracket with Duke winning it all; 2) Brain for first two rounds, gut for champion; and 3) No cute sandals.”

And now, during this break from the stress of a horrible bracket and the fear that even more of my favorites will falter, I get to prepare for my big trip to Charlotte to see Mexico take on Iceland in soccer/futbol on Wednesday. I wonder if there will be any other redheads in the stands pulling for Mexico….

Al’s Conference Tournament Observations and Questions

Al's new way of watching tournament action

For the better part of a month, I’ve been trying to pretend that the current men’s college basketball season is nothing but a nightmare and that when I wake up, it’ll be October 2009. (Unfortunately, that would mean that I haven’t gotten the substantial raise I was given in 2010–but hey, what’s 25% more salary when the Tar Heels are the epitome of major basketball suckage?) So, for much of February, I avoided watching most games, and instead developed an avid interest in world soccer.

This all changed when my daughter and I decided to join the cadillac of torture chambers fitness clubs–an amazing three-story megaplex of all things workout-related. This place has more HD flat-screen TVs on the wall than the biggest sports bar in Raleigh and there are even small TVs on some of their exercise equipment.

Because my workout program is designed to kill me before I get healthy, I have to spend a lot of time at the fitness club and there’s no way to avoid college basketball and workout at that place, because 80% of their approximately 8 million TVs have been tuned to men’s college basketball tournament play. Plus, I always feel obligated to watch as much of the ACC Tournament as possible based on the fact when I remember when winning that tournament was almost as big a deal as winning the National Championship. I also remember how, basically, all work used to stop in the state of North Carolina during that time and everyone knew, to the minute, what was happening, thanks to small TVs and radios smuggled into the office.

As a result, I now feel qualified (not that one really needs to feel qualified to write something here at EJSIC) make these observations based on what I’ve seen, as well as raise some rhetorical questions.

This is a men's college basketball score? Seriously?

First and foremost, the scores of most of these games seem abnormally low. Out of the 39 Division I games played yesterday, not a single team made it to 90 points and only three teams had scores above 80. And not a single one of those games had both teams with a score of 80 or above. One of the big games of the night–West Virginia and Notre Dame–had a final score of 53-51. Duke’s win over Virginia was 57 to 48. 57? 48? What is this, college football? These kinds of scores are expected in the Big 10, where for years, making baskets has not been as important as preventing them, but when teams in conferences known for high-scoring offenses, such as the ACC and Big East, have scores that would make Wisconsin and Illinois fans sigh with envy, I have to wonder what’s going on. Is this year’s crop of teams really that good defensively? Some might argue that this is so, but I really think that there’s been a lot of really sloppy play this week.

My next observation relates more to the ACC than it does the other conferences, although I’ve seen glimmers of it in the SEC, Big East and PAC

The layup...soon to be a lost art?

10, too. It really does appear that many of the ACC players I’ve watched are lacking some basic basketball skills such as inbounding, passing, layups and free throws. The Tar Heels in particular sucked at all four. However, watching both the Miami and Virginia Tech game and the Maryland and Georgia Tech games yesterday, I started cringing every time anyone went to the free-throw line, tried to inbound the ball, headed to the basket to attempt a layup or tried to get the ball to another player down the court. I’m left wondering what these guys actually do during practice. Three-point shots? Traveling without seeming to? Flopping? What’s happened to working on the basics? There’s no excuse for missing an easy layup or consistently screwing up a pass. There’s also no excuse for letting 3 minutes go by without either team scoring a basket, especially when there’s no evidence that either team has a good defense.

Thirdly, I’d like to know when all the tournament refs got together and agreed not to call 90% of the fouls committed by either team in any tournament. I’ve seen an enormous amount of hacking, attacking, bruising and pushing going on while the refs stood idly by, apparently incapable of using their whistles. I guess I should be happy that they don’t seem to be favoring one team over another in these games, but honestly, it’s getting to the point where you have to wonder if we should just get rid of the notion of fouling all together if so many flagrant fouls are going unpunished.

I don’t want to seem like a total curmudgeon (although I fear I’m becoming one as I age and the years I’ve followed basketball creep toward 35), so I want to be clear that I’ve seen some good things in these games.

For example, I’ve enjoyed very much the resurgence of the zone defense–especially the zone defense played well.  I’ve also seen some excellent individual play, such as that of Derrick Favors, Sherron Collins and John Wall.  Also, the number of upsets in these tournaments has had me on the edge of my comfortable fake leather-couch or treadmill (if I’m at the fitness club) and I love that. My hat’s especially off to San Diego State, Minnesota, Miami (FL) and the Woofies of N.C. State for shocking everyone. I also still can’t believe that Georgetown knocked off my new bandwagon team, Syracuse. I still think the Orange can win it all, though.

Of course, the upsets beg questions that I still can’t answer–have they happened because this is one of the weakest years for men’s college basketball? Or is it because so many teams know that their tickets are already punched for the NCAA tournament so they don’t care? Or is it because so many bubble teams want to get in so badly that they play out of their minds and upset a higher seed or favorite? What do y’all think? Let me know.

Colonial League Kings: The ODU Monarchs celebrate their ticket to the Big Dance.

On a final note, I’m going to make a little plug for a Cinderella team: The Old Dominion Monarchs. One of the nicest guys at my high school is their associate coach. They’ve had a really nice home winning streak going and they won their conference. It should be fun to watch them play.

EJSIC’s ACC Tournament Preview

Take that Joe Lunardi (click on image to enlarge)

Time for the ACC Tournament, or as Roy Williams has liked to call it  “a cocktail party” “that daggum tournament we need to win since we’ve been playing like crap, by golly”.  People have called this year a down year in the ACC, but ESPN’s most recent bracketology had seven ACC teams earning bids to the Big Dance.  That can be taken one of two ways, either that the ACC actually is a strong league, or that this is such a down year that mid-level ACC teams are backing in to the tournament.  Given how UNC has struggled this year I would love to believe it is the former, but in all honesty think its probably more of the latter.  Excuse me while I light my 2010 Tar Heels season t-shirt (which is really pretty ironically hilarious) on fire.

Anyways the Tournament kicks off on Thursday and we here at EJSIC love nothing more than to offer our unprofessional opinions and non-expert picks on college basketball.  Since this is most likely the only non-NIT bracket I’ll be able to fill out that has the Tar Heels in it this year I’ve painstakingly filled out my predictions for how the tournament will shake out.  Aside from the picks themselves here are some more thoughts on the ACC tournament.

Most Likely First Round Upset: UNC over Georgia Tech

Look I’m not saying this is by any means a sure thing but I think its just the best bet.  UVA is in a free fall and without Landesberg against a BC team that has been playing a little better down the stretch.  Miami is not beating Wake Forest.  Clemson should be able to take care of NC State.  Georgia Tech has beaten UNC twice, but the Tar Heels have a home crowd advantage in Greensboro and will come out fighting for the possibility of an NCAA tournament appearance (which will quickly disappear in the next round against Maryland).  Georgia Tech is inconsistent and may let the Tar Heels, who they destroyed in Atlanta, sneak up on them in the first round.

Most Interesting Player: Greivis Vasquez

I could use a different picture, but I like this one too much

Vasquez ended up beating out Jon Scheyer for ACC POY and deservedly so.  The guy can take over a game and be one of the most impressive players to watch when he’s on.  Furthermore you never really know what act of douchebaggery he will unveil next.  He is simultaneously the most entertaining and hateable player in the ACC, the latter of which is surprising since he doesn’t go to Duke.

Most Potentially Disappointing Team: Virginia Tech

The Hokies have been playing well as of late under the leadership of Malcom Delaney, but a matchup with Wake looms on Friday that just reeks of an early exit for Virginia Tech.  Wake played the Hokies very close down the stretch in Blacksburg and a home crowd advantage in Greensboro along with a Wake team trying to get back out of a late season tailspin may make conditions right for an mini-upset.

Freshman to Watch:  TIE- John Henson/Derrick Favors

Both were rated among the top recruits in the nation and are very talented.  Favors is likely to be a lottery pick next season and has been a strong, physical presence in the Yellow Jacket frontcourt all season.  Henson has recently begun to break out for the Tar Heels due to injuries in their frontcourt and has averaged 10.7 points and 9 boards per game over the past six games.  If the Heels are to make any type of run in the tournament, they will need Henson to come up big.

Potential Sleeper Team: Clemson Tigers

As has been the case over the past several years, the Tigers started the season out strong then managed to fall apart later in the ACC schedule.  However, the Tigers have actually gotten their act together over the past several games and are a potentially dangerous team that could make a serious run to the finals.  They have beaten FSU (their potential second round opponent) twice and also have split their series against Maryland who they could meet in the semifinals

Projected Winner: Duke Blue Devils

I tried to convince myself it could be someone else but I really just can’t see a scenario where Duke doesn’t win this thing aside from an injury to one of the big three.  Scheyer has been consistently great all season and Singler has really stepped up in the past few games.  The Blue Devils are probably not good enough to be considered NCAA title favorites, but no team in the ACC outside of Maryland and maybe Georgia Tech really has the ability to exploit their few weaknesses.  Jon Scheyer wins ACC tournament MVP.  I drink heavily.

The Five Stages of the UNC Fan Experience: 2009-2010 Edition

Stage 1: Excitement

The best thing about being a UNC fan in October of 2009 had to be the expectations, or lack thereof. For the first time in three years we weren’t going to be considered epic failures if we didn’t railroad every team on our schedule. With the 2009 National Championship team we had to listen to the haters’ pour insults down upon us from all directions after beating teams like Valparaiso by a mere 18 points. Even when we did win the National Championship (a game I attended), I didn’t really feel much in the way of excitement. I just felt an overwhelming sense of relief. We weren’t going to become the laughing stock of the NCAA.

Going into this season was entirely different. We had tons of inexperience. We had veteran role players who were going to have to step up and lead this team. Who knew what to expect out of this group?  Of course the media didn’t hesitate to label us a final four contender. I can’t speak for all the fans, but I simply ignored these benign expectations. I was excited. I was excited to see young players developing again. I was excited to see our veterans become real leaders. I was excited to see our coaching staff step up to new challenges. Nobody knew what to expect. So let’s just play some ball.

Stage 2: Understanding

Stage 2 set in just after the 68-66 loss* to Kentucky. The loss came shortly after the Syracuse massacre. I understood where this team was coming from. We had some good players who were going to contribute, but we were going to have to endure some massive runs from our opponents for a while. But, over time our players would learn how to shorten the runs thrown at us. We weren’t going to be a top 10 team this year, but we certainly deserved to be in the top 25. By the end of the year we could be fighting our way through the tournament again. I understood that we were going to have a few “what the hell” moments, but ultimately, we were going to continue to enjoy the success of our program under Roy Williams.

Stage 3: Not Understanding

The beginning of this stage had a very definitive moment. It started with a pass from Donovan Monroe to Jeremy Simmons on an inbounds play in overtime versus College of Charleston. There was two minutes left on the clock when Deon Thompson decided to double team the scrub freshman Willis Hall on the perimeter rather than follow his man (Simmons) under the basket. The play resulted in an easy layup and put the Cougars up by four. It was inexplicable. How could our senior leader make such a stupid mistake? The whole team looked as though they had just given up. Nobody was playing with the kind of heart I was used to seeing from UNC players at this point in the season.

Things just snowballed from there. They should have sown pockets onto our shorts. Everybody, including our coaches, adopted a ho-hum attitude about the season. “We just need to work harder” seemed to be the common theme. I kept waiting for the bleeding to stop, but it never did. Some people thought the win against North Carolina State was an indication that we were turning things around. Well, and I mean this with absolutely the most disrespect possible, N.C. State is terrible. Nobody should be losing to us by more than ten points this year, twice. I can’t really fathom how a team can be that much worse than we are currently. Somehow they have managed to reach a new, wholly undiscovered, level of sucking.

Stage 4: Meltdown

This was really a private stage for me. I tried to separate myself from those that I cared about out of fear that I may inflict physical or emotional damage upon them. It all started during the UVA loss at the Smith Center when Will Graves was given the responsibility of guarding Sylven Landesberg. Just writing that last sentence was difficult. I am using a bold font right now as an indication of how hard I am pressing down on the keys. Will Graves couldn’t guard a gay octogenarian playing in their socks. Who in their right mind thought he could guard one of the ACC’s most prolific scorers? I am telling you, I lost it. I started swearing at everything. “F@#K YOU, COUCH.”

Now, I know that I am not a coach. I don’t know as much about basketball as the UNC coaching staff (or any other coaching staff for that matter), but somebody must have been slipping them stupid pills this season. Every decision seemed to be exponentially worse then the preceding decision. John Henson gets put out on the perimeter. Marcus Ginyard’s punishment for playing like a freshman in high school is more playing time. Leslie McDonald’s reward for being the only guard to limit himself to one turnover in ACC play is less playing time.

I could go on like this for pages, but I won’t. It’s too damned embarrassing. Too many things contributed to the meltdown. However, there is one thing that trumps all others, free throws. I could literally sit in a gym for 48 straight hours, with no food, water or sleep, shooting free throws continuously, and never shoot up an air ball. Whenever one of our players steps up to the free throw line, I can’t help but think about Chris Farley tearing apart that dinner roll in Tommy Boy. We are a complete disaster…..strike that, catastrophe.

Stage 5: Acceptance

Believe it or not, I am at peace with our suckage. I have managed to find a strange comedic value to the whole season. I have joked with friends about how God is punishing us for Roy’s decision to throw a Presbyterian fan out of a game. It makes some sense. Did we get too smug? Is there some validity to the “holier than though” sentiment that gets thrown at us on a near daily basis? Maybe God is putting us in our place. How else do you explain the injuries, the depth at which Roy’s foot is positioned in his mouth, the free throw air balls, etc? The only thing that seems to have carried over from last year is the womanly play of Deon Thompson. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it may be the thing I miss the most from this season. I get a good laugh every time he gets rejected by somebody half his size. I catch myself having a hearty chuckle every time he shoots a fade away shot from 18 feet.

The season is figuratively over and I am still a fan. I am still going to support the team in the future. This is a comforting feeling. It reaffirms what I learned after the 2001-2002 season. I am not a fair-weather fan. I can handle us sucking. I like knowing that. I have accepted that this season did not go well, and I’m okay. Just don’t let it happen again next year, God.

Duke Sucks!

The most interesting race in the ACC

The Atlantic Coast Conference, a juggernaut in college basketball, is having a down season by its own standards. But don’t give up on them yet. The Tar Heels may be free-falling and the Blue Devils pulling away a little more after each game, but an intriguing competition remains.

Like most seasons, it involves the Heels and the Devils. However, this race is all about the coaches: Mike Krzyzewski of Duke and Roy Williams of North Carolina. Both coaches are vying for the coveted “ACC Douche of the Year” award.

Coach K has long been considered such, but he actually finds himself trailing this season. He was getting shutout, actually, until this past week, but we’ll get to that a little later.

Roy Williams
The good ole boy who says “daggumit” when he spills his Coca-Cola on his baby blue vest has lost a little luster on his image this season with two douche moments. The first occurred during the non-conference season when Roy had an opposing fan thrown out of the Dean Dome.

That opposing fan happened to root for the powerhouse Presbyterian College Blue Hose and said fan hollered during one of Carolina’s players free throw attempt. Roy had him escorted away. The incident caused some ripples in the blogosphere, but the real douche move occurred recently when Williams compared his team’s struggles to the Haiti earthquake. A public backlash ensued and he later apologized.

Roy Williams – 2

Mike Krzyzewski
The coach of the Duke Blue Devils who enjoys gardening and employing a soft-spoken voice during television interviews has long been hated by the rival Heels and college basketball fans nationwide. But as I stated earlier, he was on the verge of being blow out in this race if it hadn’t of been for a game this week in Miami.

In the second half, Duke guard Jon Scheyer was at the free throw line when Coach K heard an unusual sound in the stands. It turns out it was a conch shell being blown by a student. Krzyzewski had the Miami staff remove the noise maker (I’d like to point out that Miami University is now up for the biggest pussy award for not protecting their home court) and the game resumed after a slight delay.

Mike Krzyzewski – 1

Now the ACC has something to really promote in the last two weeks of conference play plus the tournament. Duke and UNC already hate each other so their respective fans should jump on this immediately. Good luck to both coaches and may the biggest douche win.

Breaking News: The Sky is Falling!

If only the rest of this team had this man's heart.

This has nothing to do with the white stuff that literally is falling on a daily basis now. This situation is much more dire. Roy Williams and the University of North Carolina, winners of 2 National Championships in the past 5 years, are pulling a complete 180 from the 2005-06 season.

That was the last time UNC lost 4 starters to the NBA in a single year. Think about that, we’re talking about twice in a period of 5 years that UNC lost 4 players from one team to the NBA. And there were other players in between those two seasons who also went on to the NBA. That’s incredible.

But this year, UNC is doing what UNC under Roy Williams doesn’t do. They’re losing pretty regularly. Some of that had to do with the strength of their schedule. Playing a true road game at Kentucky, Texas in Dallas, Syracuse in New York, and Michigan State at home is by far the toughest out of conference schedule any team played this year. They also beat a solid Ohio State team early on.

Going into the ACC, UNC was ranked and had some quality wins under their belt. But then 2010 happened and the sky fell. Literally. On December 30th, UNC pounded Albany. On January 4th, their next game, they blew an 11 point lead with 3 minutes on the clock and have been in a tailspin since.

Now, standing at 2-4 in the ACC with 6 road games left on the schedule, UNC might be on the outside looking in at the NCAA tournament. Roy Williams, for the first time in his career, could be looking at a trip to the NIT.

So what happened?

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