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TD: NCCH (2) Game Post/Blog

Date: 3/3/2012

Two Dukies  
Posted By: Matt

Volume XV, Episode 16
March 3, 2012

#6 NORTH CAROLINA-CHAPEL HILL (26-4, 13-2) @ #4 DUKE (26-4, 13-2)

Matt's comments in
Stickjerker's comments in white.

WEAK DEPARTMENT:  I didn't really get the Wake game.  Did you?  Kelly basically showed up and demonstrated that when he's really on, Duke is very difficult to defend.  Rivers, interestingly, had three nice drives and then pretty much stopped working for his shot.  Curry played well, as did Miles.  Mason hit eight free throws.  Defense, particularly on the part of Thornton, was strong - - Chennault's contributions to that stupid run weren't really TT's fault.  So . . . yeah.  Wake is a terrible team and I give Bzzkillick two more seasons.  But you had to like our defense, other than during that run, and our distance shooting.  I'm not sure if that was a game from which much can be taught or learned.

CREEP YEAR DEPARTMENT:  We all knew it was trouble when UNC played Maryland on a Leap Day, right?  Sure.  In a related story, I think we've identified the worst frontcourt defenders in the ACC, and possibly the nation.  Aston Pankey, James Padgett, Alex Len, and Berend Weijs - - come on down!  Yes, the same group that surrendered 82 rebounds to Miles Plumlee sent Ty Zeller to the line a preposterously mindblowing 23 times on Wednesday night, which, as Chapel Hill Infominions will tell you, and ESPN will mangle, is the most-ever free throws by an ACC player on February 29.  WAIT A SECOND!  FREEZE IT!!  IS THAT FEBROO-ARY 29, OR FEBROO-ARY 2-9, CARTER BLACKBURN??  HAHAHAHAHAH.  Thanks, Dick.  By the way, MDCP received 21 FTAs of its own, so Zeller somehow managed to earn two more whistles than the Twerps' whole team.  Duke gets all the calls. 

HA HEE DEPARTMENT:  Turgid apparently wasn't too happy about the aforementioned fiasco, "joking" to reporters afterward that he was going to send Alex Len to whatever clinic Zeller attended.  Hi-larious, Markie Mark.  But first, kindly send him to (a) advanced idiomatic English classes, (b) an actual institution of higher learning, and (c) a certified Destiffification facility.  Kthxbai.        

FISH IN A DADGUM BARREL DEPARTMENT:  This doesn't happen too often, and is the kind of statistical point that mediots will deemphasize a/k/a ignore because it doesn't feed the meme that NCCH is some titanic offensive juggernaut - - but check this out.  On the season, UNC-CH is shooting .459/.675/.345.  Hmm.  As for Duke?  .465/.698/.390.  Yes, better from all angles, even from the floor overall.  Why is this?  Well, for starters, Greedo and Phone Pole are overrated postmen.  Sure, Zeller's 54.0% on two-point shots isn't bad, but for a 6-10 clown, 50.6% from within the arc (and therefore overall) isn't the droid that Stick Figure was looking for.  By comparison, Miles shoots 60.8% on twos and Mason 55.5% (also both overall field goal totals; neither has attempted a three-pointer this season).  Heck, *Rivers* shoots 47.4% on twos and Curry nets 49.3% of his attempts from within the arc.  So don't listen to any nonsense about how great an offensive team NCCH is.  We all know that they're not three-point shooters, but it turns out that they aren't really that fantastic on two-pointers, either.  I think this was part of the strategy when Krzyzewski appeared to allow the Tools to feed the ball to Zeller on nearly every possession in the first half of the first meeting.   


They're the same guys as last time.  And they all put their circus pants on one leg at a time.  Except for Zeller, who is for some reason underrated, and Watts, who is a nonentity, all of them are overrated, most of them drastically.  By the way, I'm still not including Still Waters White in this list.  He'll play one minute and record one stat, probably an assist.  Unless, of course, Marshall gets in foul trouble. 

Tyler Zeller, 7-0 SR - - NCCH's best player, but also one with definite limits on his stamina.  Maybe I was imagining things, but I thought Duke was purposely directing the Tool offense through Zeller in the first half of the first game, and remember, until we played some incomprehensibly stupid Stallball at the end of the half (???), it worked masterfully.  In fact, Duke appeared to have the Twinks' number for almost all of the first stanza.  Zeller did all the work down low and scored quite a bit, but he was also visibly winded from about the six-minute mark on, hurting his defense and his post moves.  Interestingly, the Tools' offense functions much better when it does not run through Zeller, which is a weird position to be in with your best player.  But then, the Tools also cannot really win halfcourt games against teams with comparable talent (Virginia need not apply, thanks).  They win because of jailbreak plays and transitional stupidity allowed by complacent opponents.  Since Zeller fits into the halfcourt game, but doesn't have as great a role in the latter, there you go.  If my stance on this is confusing, believe me, it's not you, it's me - - but see if you find this example enlightening: 

    -    Point guard ("PG") brings ball over the timeline.  
    -    PG passes to small forward ("SF") on left wing.  SF dribbles to the left, pulls up, then redirects to PG at top of key.  
    -    PG looks over the defense, then passes to shooting guard ("SG") on right side.  SG penetrates, pulls up, then passes back to PG at top of key.  
    -    PG passes ball in to center ("C") in the center-right of the lane.  C dribbles with back to basket, steps left, fakes left, turns to the right and shoots 8-footer. 

Sound familiar?  That's almost every single set play that UNC runs for Zeller. 

Now, try this: 

    -    SF dribbles on left wing, penetrates against defender, pulls up and hoists 15-foot shot from left side.  Misses.  
    -    Opposing C rebounds, fumbles ball.  
    -    Power forward ("PF") rips ball out of opposing C's hands.  No whistle.  
    -    Opposing PF slides over to help, leaving C open.  
    -    PF passes to C   
    -    C, unguarded, lays in ball

Or this: 

    -    SF dribbles on left wing, penetrates against defender, pulls up and hoists 15-foot shot from left side.  Misses.
    -    Ball bounces to opposing SG, who gets fingertips on ball, but cannot corral rebound.  
    -    PF captures carom on left block, dribbles, passes up shot.  Finds PG flashing into post on right side.
    -    PF passes to PG.  PG is doubleteamed by opposing team, passes out to left wing, where SF has no one within 32 feet of him.  
    -    SF takes 20-foot shot. 

Do the latter two examples sound more like the Tools' offense to you?  If so, then we're covering some real ground here.  UNC-CH has an opportunistic offense that is actually relatively easy to guard, but depends on breakdowns in opposing defensive sets, either because of:

    (1)    an initial transition play; 
    (2)    a secondary break; or 
    (3)    some sort of jailbreak nonsense off of a missed shot, as detailed in the examples above. 

Since Zeller isn't usually a part of that, they usually do better without him, and have a ceiling when he's leading the charge.  Of course, if said charge is being led against a horrible program on the verge of not sniffing the NCAAs for the next six seasons, as in the Twinks' most recent "contest," it doesn’t matter. 

John Henson, 6-10 JR - - easily the most overrated big man in Division I.  It's true - - he blocks a lot of shots, because he's 6-10 and can jump quite high.  He also garners a very respectable amount of defensive rebounds, because all he does on defense is stand underneath the basket.  Watch him on any given Duke halfcourt possession on Saturday; he'll putatively be guarding someone, but he'll always be watching the ball and inching back away from his man, toward the basket, ready to provide weakside help to block a shot in aid of a toasted UNC defender, or he'll just anchor himself in subrimian position, ready to capture the bound.  And that's his defense.  His offense is pitiful.  His FT rate is 33.1, which is absolutely abysmal for a power forward (Mason Plumlee: 72.9; Ryan Kelly: 60.1; Miles Plumlee: 53.6).  When he does get to the line, he misses exactly half his shots.  And as far as his floor shooting, he's a two-foot sanitation engineer who can also hit unguarded midrange shots on occasion - - and in fact, should be encouraged to do so whenever possible, for two reasons.  First, he usually clanks them, and second, he never, EVER follows his own shot, so he's not in rebounding position, opening the lane for defenders.  Unfortunately, Stick Figure hit two of those side-of-the-basket crap shots against the Blue Devils in the first half of the first game, then missed another, but Duke played him tight after that, which was a mistake.  He can be played off a step, even two, with impunity.  As a bonus, he's easily the college game's biggest all-around douche.  INCLUDING Ben Howland!   

Harrison Barnes, 6-8 SO - - if Henson is the nation's most overrated big man, then I'll repeat myself from the last Tool edition: Barnes is the most overrated, overhyped player in the country.  Some key stats:

    -    Shot 7-30 from the floor combined in two matchups against Virginia this season.
    -    Has hit more than two threes in a game six times in 30 games this season.  
    -    In ACC play, has shot more than 6 FTAs only four times in 15 games.  
    -    Rarely steals the ball, almost never blocks a shot, and has been spotted playing tight defense about three times this year.

Other than that, he's great.  Keep him out of the transition game and those breakdown plays, and he's oh-so-containable.  Moreover, he's only slightly less emotionally combustible than Henson. 

Kendall Marshall, 6-3 SO - - Phone Pole and Greedo would have much lower field goal percentages if Marshall wasn't so good at getting them ball in prime scoring position.  What can you say?  He's just absolutely gifted at it.  Also happens to be a nice kid.  Pretty good free throw shooter at 70.3% on the season.  However, as all of us except NCSU (who decided to play a reverse box-and-one against him, leaving him quite literally without a man within ten feet of him on many plays - - just another chapter from the terrifying series The Mind of Mark Gottfried, now showing on Chiller) understand, he prefers not to shoot and his defender can sag off of him as a result.  He's taken 165 shots all year, which is only 30 more than McAdoofus.  Throw out games against North Carolina State (thanks), and he's hit six three-pointers in ACC play.  He has entered double digits in FGAs once in 15 ACC games - - against Wake Forest.  On defense, he is usually a step slow and his footing is below average.  He is under strict orders not to foul, as he's the only person on his team who can handle the ball. 

Reggie Bullock, 6-7 SO - - he might as well not have been on the floor against us at the Artificial Noise-o-Dome, taking just three shots and committing three fouls in 34 minutes - - but I certainly did appreciate him switching off of Rivers on that last play.  Now, you sure won't find him at the line - - he has three FTAs in ACC play this season.  However, I must admit that he has come on of late, scoring in double digits in four of the Tools' last five (unsurprisingly, the exception came against Virginia, the only above-average defensive unit in the bunch; the Cravs held him to three points), and notching at least six boards in five of the last six.  Of course, he and Hairbag Barnes are by far the Twinks' best outside shooters, but he would rank only fifth on Duke in terms of 3PFG%.  Plays no defense whatsoever, and thankfully for the Blue Devils, his effective height is about 6-2 or 6-3.  Can probably be guarded by Curry for most of the night. 

BENCH?  Sure.  Won't take up much of your time. 

James Michael Matthew Mark Luke & John McAdoo, 6-9 FR - - just awful.  Shooting 39.3% on the season, has no outside game, shoots nothing but trash, and is a very poor rebounder.  No appreciable steal or block numbers, meaning that he has no defensive presence.  Committed foul silly fouls against us the first time around and could repeat that here.  Let's not let him repeat the three cinch uncontested baskets we gifted him. 

P.J. Hairston, 6-6 FR - - now shooting .305/.863/.283.  He was scoreless in 10 minutes against us and scoreless in 10 minutes against MDCP.  Defense or ballhandling?  Forget it.  That about says it all. 

Justin Watts, 6-4 SR - - he's Justin Watts. 


My pleasure.  There's no team in the country that more quickly exposes dumb opposing coaches (Gottfried), unclever enemy gameplans, or stretches of total laziness and lack of execution by the other side (the first 18 minutes of the second half in the first meeting with us, by us).  Simply put, they have raw talent, mostly residing in Zeller, Marshall's passing, Henson's height and vertical leap, and to some extent, Barnes and Bullock's quickness - - but that's about it.  Their "unitary concept" is weak.  Barnes and Henson are abysmal team players, and the depth, in the form of McAdolt and Hairston, is atrocious.  Ballhandlers?  Just one.  Defenders?  Just one.  Three-point shooters?  Only two.  There are many, many ways to beat this team, and even playing for only 21 minutes in Chapel Hell, we managed to find one, if admittedly one of the more difficult selections on the menu.  By all rights, this Duke team should beat these pretenders by 10-15.  But then you have all of the weird things that happen in this rivalry, the utterly bizarre problems in Cameron this season, and the power of Bullethead and Bias trying to will the Tools to a win from the cage.  These intangibles - - or a weird night from key Duke players - - could make things quite exciting, but honestly, they shouldn't be.  There's no one on the Tar Heels who can guard either Rivers or Curry, and after his regularly scheduled two games off, Andre Dawkins is expected back for this one.  Add in some sort of return of Mason Plumlee, the continued beasting of Miles (playing his final game in Cameron, which ought to be a nice piece of motivation), competent or better defense at the point from TT and Cook, and the human X-factor that is Ryan Kelly, who pretty much earned the Wake Forest win singlehandedly, and honestly, this one should go Duke's way.  I'm going to pick a two-point Duke win, but by all rights, it should be more than that.  We'll see.  Go Duke! 

PREDICTION:  Duke 81, North Carolina-Chapel Hill 79.                              

Last Edition

Matt 1-0

This Season

Matt 10-5 
Guests 2-0

Last Edition's Score Prediction Margin Variance

Last Season:
Matt 52-18
Guests 3-3 


View more articles from this category


Posted by: tom Date: 3/4/2012 12:08:10 PM  
Okay, I just woke after sleeping for 11 hours. Mark. You're cool man. I know it may not show here but I curse a lot especially watching last nights game. And for now, I will keep the FB UNC fans because none of them deleted myself after Duke won the first game. Not that I was that loud about it. Besides, it's petty anyway. Just hope UNC doesn't go all the way.
And I totally agree with Jake about this years team. Who knows what will happen in the ACC and NCAA tourney. And I'm pretty sure all of us agree here that this is a team that could lose in the second round or go as far as the final four. It's just that type of season. Well, it's a new day. The sun is out. I'm going to try and do something. Thanks Miles and thanks Matt.

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 3/4/2012 7:03:17 AM  
upon waking this morning, i'd like to apologize AGAIN for my rants/profanity. this team is too much for one's health.

judging the reactions of coach k during games, i am not expecting great things in the post season. he seems reserved to the fact.

Posted by: Jake Date: 3/3/2012 11:37:01 PM  
You really have to wonder how the number 3 team in the country can continue to play this kind of first half. They missed 15 shots in a row, missed their first 6 three-point shots and missed 2/3 of their free throws in that period. Then they come out and play like gangbusters in the second half. Our guys have done this time and time again this year. They just dug themselves too deep a hole in half 1 tonight.

It's hard to watch them constantly failing to get the ball inside the entire half, failing to block out the entire half, passing the ball mindlessly around the perimeter and then jacking up horrible looking 3-balls that clank off the rim.

And why do some guys just disappear for several games in a row? I'm talking Mason, Andre and Ryan for much of the last month. Curry tonight. And Austin for much of the game. I don't think UNC put that good a defense on them to explain our failure to score more points.

I just feel this group has never come together as a team. We've got some really good players who are able to put together for some great games here and there, but they're never consistent in terms of defense, ball handling, shooting, assists, and teamwork on offense. It always seem like five guys running around without much purpose or coordination. And absolutely no leadership anywhere at any time.

Shouldn't the coaches be able to do something about these very obvious problems over the space of 6 months?

Well, maybe we'll finally get our act together in the ACC tournament. But can we really hope this team goes beyond the first or maybe second round in the NCAAs? I'll try to stay optimistic, but this is not very promising.

Get it together Duke. Now is the time!

Posted by: tom Date: 3/3/2012 11:08:39 PM  
You know, I'm seroiusly thinking about deleting all of my FB friends that are UNC fans or alumni. None of them are close friends of mine in fact one of them, I couldnt stand in high school because of his fanhood and yet, he decided to friend me (and I accepted for some reason). I just can't do it now because of what happened tonight so I'll just seeth. I told my sis tonight who is a diehard Duke fan that she needed to burn that chair she painted tarhole blue. Just had to paint it today of course.

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/3/2012 9:38:06 PM  
And mad props to Al White Stadium - - an absolutely peerless place to watch your team (including every game of the 2010 title run). Thanks, Al.

It has strong Internet access for ripping (e.g.) Ryan Kelly after games like this, too.

Posted by: Al White Date: 3/3/2012 9:35:43 PM  
What a complete embarrassment! The Duke players looked completely in awe of the Tools from the opening tip, acting like there were five Dwight Howards out there to block every shot.

I loved K's hoarding of timeouts while the game was lost in the first half, apparently operating under the patently absurd fiction that he would ever need them. Maybe he needs some counseling from MacrocephaPete.

I am really glad that Miles had a great game.

The team will still get a 2 seed. Unless the coaches can somehow get these guys to play with fire and intelligence for 40 minutes in every round, it is going to be a short NCAA-T.

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/3/2012 9:27:03 PM  
5r4 = 54.

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/3/2012 9:26:27 PM  
AWESOME. Great game, Duke - - just great.

Miles, thank you, and we apologize for the rest of the team's performance. Whoa, actually, Mason played well too. In fact, the Plumlees (despite the usual array of near-countless mental errors) were decidedly not the problem in this one.

Curry: 3-13 from the field, 0-8 from the two-point area.

Kelly: HE WAS HUGE!! 1-8 from the floor, played abysmal defense, just an enormous presence.

Rivers: 5-12, pitiful defense, four turnovers, missed that key one-and-one.

Dawkins. Dawkins? Dawkins? Dawkins? Hello? Thanks for the consistency, bud.

Krzyzewski's really giggle-inducing moves came in the final minute or so. Puts Gbinije in, takes him out immediately. Huh? Must have been going offense-defense. Then we start pressing with about 5r4 seconds left. Maybe try that a touch earlier?

Every circus shot that NCCH put up went in. Every single one. Well, except those by Hairston. Tells you how bad he sucks, when even THIS wasn't his night.

Amusingly, NCCH looked mostly like clowns in the second half (in which we outscored them 46-40), and if Curry had hit that three, we could have cut it to eight. But yeah, they're dominant.

Well, glad I only spent two hours on the preview. Thank goodness.

There will be no new material, other than perfunctory stuff, for the ACC-T. I'll just put up blogs and let you guys talk, which will be more interesting for me anyway. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy conference tournament week. Sorry, but this team has me exhausted.


Posted by: tom Date: 3/3/2012 9:08:56 PM  
And another thing. Get a two seed and travel the East coast. Of course, Ryan Kelly was a no show, Andre was a no show. Mason played like crap the first half. I do hope his second half play gets him in the right frame. Can't believe I'm actually glad that Duke doesn't have anymore home games. Last time I checked, the championship didn't end tonight.

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 3/3/2012 9:04:15 PM  
Goddammit Jay, shut up! His entire angle is to call a game as it pertains to UNC. Syracuse vs Russia, he'll tellya how it affects HIS WAL-heels.

His law practice...heh...if that's what it's called...must be Chapel Hill based.

Espinoza says if UNC wins, "the world is right."
They lose, the Mayans were right, it's over!

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 9:00:26 PM  
Thank goodness Duke's tournament games aren't in Cameron!

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/3/2012 9:00:08 PM  
Agree tom. Games are 40 minutes, not 20.

I need to turn this off - Jay & Dickie are giving me a migraine. Yuck.

Thanks again Matt - great preview.

Night Fats, Mark et al.

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 3/3/2012 8:59:18 PM  
Miles, thank you.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 8:58:17 PM  
G'night folks. I need to go drink some more and watch a comedy.

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/3/2012 8:58:00 PM  
Good night nurse. The last 55 are going to suck...

Posted by: tom Date: 3/3/2012 8:57:45 PM  
Got to play a complete game both halfs. Especially agains UNC. I'm glad they made it close in the second half somewhat. As I watch the missed layup there and the HB 3 and 1. You know, since that game that's all we saw was that AR shot, the fans upset, ESPN and other sports idiots out there talked about it ad nauseum. So, you can see where if it would get you riled up the next time you play. Heck, Maryland did the same thing in 2001 after they lost in the greatest comeback. Although there were some other things as well.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 8:57:16 PM  
A 2 seed is not bad for this season.

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 3/3/2012 8:56:04 PM  
Inadvertent whistle = Jay wanted it called, but the ref was too embarrassed to go through with it.


Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 8:55:45 PM  
One thing NC has done really well in this game, is tittilate Jay Bias.

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/3/2012 8:54:50 PM  
Night London Dukie.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 8:54:31 PM  

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/3/2012 8:54:16 PM  
And miss that????

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 8:53:36 PM  
Jesus. A crap-tastic shot with 2 on shot clock, and it falls into McAdont's hands.

Posted by: London Dukie Date: 3/3/2012 8:53:06 PM  
And that's your ballgame. It's almost 2 am here so I will bid you all adieu. Let's hope the ACC tournament gives us a rematch and a chance for revenge.

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/3/2012 8:52:42 PM  
How did that rim out?????

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 3/3/2012 8:52:40 PM  
That's too much to take!

Posted by: London Dukie Date: 3/3/2012 8:49:47 PM  
****!! I thought Curry's 3 was in - if it had dropped I think we could have pulled it off. I'm less confident now, but at least we've made them a bit nervous.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 8:49:17 PM  

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/3/2012 8:48:06 PM  
A horse is a horse, of course, of course. Nice face, Roy...

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/3/2012 8:47:22 PM  
Great stop. C'mon - big possession!

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/3/2012 8:45:41 PM  

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 3/3/2012 8:44:54 PM  
Clarification: a player is not allowed a rebound within 3 feet of Zeller without being called for a foul.

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/3/2012 8:44:43 PM  
And that favors Duke, Jay.

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 3/3/2012 8:42:38 PM  
ACC Memo: a player is NOT allowed a rebound without being called for a foul.

Jay nods slowly, eyes closed. Mark Alarie must be ashamed.

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/3/2012 8:41:44 PM  
Oops. Sorry - Mase.

Posted by: London Dukie Date: 3/3/2012 8:41:39 PM  
Why Ryan??? You are not the man for threes right now!!!

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/3/2012 8:41:25 PM  
How is that a foul on Miles?????

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/3/2012 8:39:29 PM  
Ok. These Direct TV ads keep getting better!

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 8:39:00 PM  
You know that nobody's sleeping in my household tonight!

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/3/2012 8:38:52 PM  
Let's keep forcing them to turn the ball over and make it respectable.

Posted by: London Dukie Date: 3/3/2012 8:34:55 PM  
When Marshall's hitting 3s and Henson is hitting jumpers and circus shots you know you're in for a long night.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 8:31:02 PM  
****. Everything Henson throws up goes in.

Posted by: London Dukie Date: 3/3/2012 8:29:08 PM  
A little glimmer of hope early in this half, but I fear that light is all but extinguished now. Just not our night. Some encouraging signs offensively from Miles and Mason though, which might enable us to avoid Fats' nightmare scenario of a R64 exit...

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 8:28:54 PM  
The entire crow's nest must be slathered in Jay's spooge by this point.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 8:28:13 PM  
@Mark HA!

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 3/3/2012 8:26:14 PM  
How many orgasms has Jay had this game? He's porn quality, which is farrrr better than his short-lived 'movie' career.

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/3/2012 8:25:45 PM  

Posted by: London Dukie Date: 3/3/2012 8:19:21 PM  
If the shot clock is winding down and my life depends on us hitting a 3, I want TT to have the ball in his hands.

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/3/2012 8:19:02 PM  
Right now, I am just hoping we get outside of the "embarrassing loss" zone. I think the Devils are too.

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/3/2012 8:17:42 PM  
H.O.L.Y. C.R.A.P!!!

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/3/2012 8:16:49 PM  
Thank you!

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/3/2012 8:13:39 PM  
Ooh. I do like #3 on Zellers (joke for us Canucks).

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/3/2012 8:13:36 PM  
Ooh. I do like #3 on Zellers (joke for us Canucks).

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/3/2012 8:13:05 PM  
Maybe I am optimistic, which is not at all like me, but can we really shoot that bad two halves in a row????

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 8:09:11 PM  

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 8:07:51 PM  

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 8:00:31 PM  
Again, nightmares of losing R64.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 7:59:28 PM  
@Dave, HA!

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 7:59:06 PM  
36% from FT. 24% from field. 17% from 3.

Posted by: Dave Date: 3/3/2012 7:58:27 PM  
Fats, if you commit suicide, then Henson will have won.

Posted by: London Dukie Date: 3/3/2012 7:57:37 PM  
I'm starting to reconsider whether staying up past 1 am to watch the rest of this is really that appealing an option.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 7:56:08 PM  
I think I'm going to go commit suicide.

Posted by: London Dukie Date: 3/3/2012 7:43:54 PM  
On the plus side, I don't think K will be breaking out Stallball in the last minutes of the half.

Sorry, I know it's not much, but right now it's all I got...

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 7:43:54 PM  
If I see one of them refs, I am going to cut them.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 7:41:13 PM  
Zeller is not there, Bias, you **** ***** ****>

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 7:40:02 PM  
Not a charge on Mase, I don't care how frickin' clumsy he is.

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/3/2012 7:39:50 PM  
Shut up Bias!

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 7:39:38 PM  
Mother***** ****** ***** *****

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 7:36:54 PM  
Ji-suz. Every bounce.

Posted by: Dave Date: 3/3/2012 7:34:16 PM  
Henson is such a clownshow.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 7:34:14 PM  
This was my fault, guys. Just realized I'm wearing a puke-blue t-shirt. Barechested the rest of the way!

Posted by: London Dukie Date: 3/3/2012 7:27:12 PM  
At least they called that one.

Posted by: London Dukie Date: 3/3/2012 7:20:42 PM  

Posted by: Dave Date: 3/3/2012 7:17:32 PM  
Loved the shove from Barnes to Thornton's chest. No call.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 7:11:44 PM  
47 seconds in, Bias love for UNC.

Posted by: London Dukie Date: 3/3/2012 7:09:53 PM  
Miles off to a flying start!

Posted by: Dave Date: 3/3/2012 7:09:21 PM  
Miles saved that dropstep his whole career.

Posted by: Dave Date: 3/3/2012 7:08:11 PM  
Dammit Matt, now I've got expectations going in...

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/3/2012 7:04:03 PM  
Amazing, as usual Matt. I am wearing my requisite "Friends don't let friends go to Carolina" shirt drinking from my Cameron cup, and ready to see the Tools GTH.


Now, let's club them!

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 7:00:49 PM  
Stillman Whit(e) has recently directed a film following the lives of the elites of Salt Lake City, the *Last Days on Not-Discoing,* wherein the characters sit around discussing the nature of purity and the social mores of the Mormon upper class in a somewhat witty manner.

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 3/3/2012 6:59:10 PM  
Apologies, regarding the language in my previous post. Again, apologies.

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 3/3/2012 6:57:52 PM  
Fuck you, Mr Bilas.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/3/2012 6:55:04 PM  
Extended chuckles reading this one.

Posted by: T. Randall Taylor Date: 3/3/2012 4:38:12 PM  
I just wish that for once Matt would stop pussyfooting around and say what he really thinks.

Once again we are playing for a #1 seed in a year where we seem to be a bit overrated in the polls. Props to Coach K.

As usual on a weekend I will be internet free. Good game everyone!

Posted by: Al White Date: 3/3/2012 3:12:34 PM  
Terrific preview, Matt! Very insightful, as always. You are right on with your profiles of the Tool players. The media, and many fans, confuse athletic ability with basketball skills, and that confusion is always quintupled for the Tools. The key is to keep these guys from translating their height into points and, as you pointed out, that means limiting them to halfcourt possessions.

Marshall has to be one of the most deceptive PGs ever. He looks so slow he seems to lull the opposition to sleep. It is not necessary to suppress his assists to beat the Twinks but it sure would help. Tyler, Quinn and Seth need to stayin his face when he has the ball.

Our defensive effort in the "Rivers game" has much room for improvement. It is too much to ask this team to give us 40 minutes of strong play at both ends, but it won't take that to beat these overrated doofs.

On offense, we have many ways to score against Rhoid's boys. The new driving Seth won't have any trouble getting to the hoop against this loose D, but will he be able to convert past Greedo and Son of Hen? If so, we can score 90 with ease.

A great start would make this game so much fun! As Matt said, we should beat these clowns by 15!

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/3/2012 11:54:44 AM  
Jake, I don't think I did say that, at least not very clearly, but you did, very eloquently. I completely agree. We were playing these clowns better than even for the vast majority of the first half. Then we broke down, and not surprisingly, as I feared at the time, that led to second-half momentum for NCCH. I honestly think that without that idiotic Stallball possession, we might have won by seven or eight. But who knows. I do think we're the better team.

Josh, best of luck to you and your team.

You're welcome to everyone who enjoys the preview. I was going to do a song parody, but we seem to lose to these jagoffs when I do that, and then it just royally blows even further (for me).

Posted by: Josh Date: 3/3/2012 11:38:30 AM  
Thanks for the great preview, Matt! I'll unfortunately be unable to take part in the live blog because I'm assistant coaching in a HS regional final game (against an opponent that's located 8 blocks from us and wears a different shade of blue than we do...hmmm...), but I look forward to reading all the comments afterwards. Go Duke! GTHC!

Posted by: Jake Date: 3/3/2012 10:02:15 AM  
Excellent preview, as always, Matt. Thanks.

Thanks especially for pointing out that Duke led in the first game for almost the entire first half, giving up two shots in the last minute that let Carolina get a 3 point lead at the half. The media knuckleheads keep insisting that UNC "totally dominated" Duke for the entire game but somehow had some bizarre, never-to-be-repeated letdown at the end. No one seems to remember what happened in the first half. If Duke plays the whole game today as it played the first 18 minutes last time, we'll win by 15 points or more.

As for today, I'm just hoping Duke comes out and hits its first two or three three-point shots and keeps the pressure on. Please don't let us have a repeat of too many home games this year, in which we hit one out of 10 shots and miss all our threes in the first 10 minutes. Sometimes you can recover from those starts -- if you're playing Clemson for example -- but that won't serve against even an only decent team, as we learned too often this year.

Go Duke!

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 3/3/2012 8:42:37 AM  

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 3/3/2012 8:41:42 AM  
Matt, agree with all of the above. This edition of the WAL-heels is not what we are led to believe by the game day crew on ESPiN.

Bilas? What happened with him and Duke? There is a reason for his betrayal.

Thank you for pointing out Henson's antics. It seems whenever I see him, which isn't often, he is bullying an opponent as the ref is detailing why it is illegal to guard Zeller with effort. Kid seems to be a jerk.

But...when I look over to the sideline and see Roy doing his usual routine, it all makes sense.

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