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TD: Spewitt Again

Date: 3/11/2010

Two Dukies  
Posted By: Matt (preramble, comments, 10th seed-level performance), duhomme (comments, usage mastery)

Volume XIII, Episode 40
March 11, 2010

Mattís comments in
duhomme's comments in red.

(9) VIRGINIA (14-15, 5-11) v. (8) BOSTON COLLEGE (15-15, 6-10)

Preliminary note - - welcome to Dukies.comís coverage of the 2010 ACC Tournament!  Yes, weíre doing every game, as usual.  I went a little light in my coverage of todayís events, which will be a crushing disappointment to absolutely no one, because of directing more energy toward my recap of Duke destroying the last shreds of Roy Williamsí credibility, which can be found
here.  The redoubtable duhomme, who includes his recap below, joins me for what I believe is the sixth straight season of this event - - he did it even before joining the website as a full-time contributor, which was all kinds of cool.  Thanks to him for all of the material, and here we go with the first four of 11 previews in four days.  Enjoy.   

Without Landesberg, I donít imagine that UVa stands much of a chance in this opening tilt of this yearís ACC-T, although they did play fairly well at home against Garyland minus Shelven, and arguably had a chance to win short-circuited by an ill-timed technical for jacket-throwing called on Bennett with 0:38.6 remaining, trailing by just a point.  Zeglinski and Non-Crotch-Grabbing-Non-Co-Ed-Watching Jeff Jones reawakened, and Meyinsse continued his very late charge toward a professional career somewhere, one imagines, with 17.  However, BeeCee beat Virginia just eight days ago in Chestnut Hill, and I have to believe that the Nutcracker and Mr. February want their third shot at Duke.  Fourth and fifth sentences to note that Iím glad the Tournament is back in Greensboro, although I also like the occasional forays to Atlanta.  The tournament belongs nowhere else, and that has nothing to do with the fact that Swoffieís Empire is HQed in Gíbo; the Triad is just a perfect host environment and the facility is a beautiful and graceful venue, with Atlanta as a nice change of pace every few seasons.        

College 64, Virginia 61.

Reportedly Matt has already beaten me to recapping the exhibition game Duke played against an NAIA team last Saturday night, but this time he had to do it without the benefit of seeing my material first and stealing my best stuff (did you have fun going it alone this time, big guy? HA!).  Plus, as you may know, we get to do this allllll over again Thursday night, only this time without being spotted three days of advance notice of what the matchups will be.  So this wonít be nearly the recap it could have been if, say, I could go days without sleep or if the ACC Tournament featured only eight teams (ahhh, the memories).

But first!  A big ďHell, yeah!Ē to Jon Scheyer, Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith and Lance Thomas. Jon and Kyle made the All-ACC First Team, Nolan got Second Team and Lance was picked for the All-Defensive Team.  Also, Jon was named to the Sporting News second team with Kyle selected on the fifth team.  Much deserved, especially the media dopes who vote for the All-ACC teams recognizing Lanceís contribution in keeping other teams from scoring.

When it comes to Player of the Year and Coach of the Year, Iím kinda split.  As much as Trashkiss annoys me (and he actually has toned down the act this year), he probably deserved to get the thumbs up over Scheyer.  After all, the Venezuelan Voicebox does not have a Kyle Singler or a Nolan Smith or a born-again Treebeard or a pair of Plumlees.  No, he has a creature who used to be a Hobbit until the One Ring to Rule Them All mutated him and a bunch of other guys so dull I canít bring myself to say anything funny about them.  For those observers out there who worry about Duke ďrelying too much on three players,Ē Pippinland (third LOTR reference in one paragraph.  Should be some sort of record.) only needs one bad shooting night/foul trouble from Fauxhawk to be eliminated in either of the upcoming post-season events.

Coach of the Year is a different story.  If it was coming down between Coach K and his more damp colleague, the rational choice would have been the guy who lives and works in Durham, N.C.  After all, Spilliams pretty much had everyone back from a team that last year made it to the ACC semis and into the NCAA-T. K, on the other hand, lost Henderson, arguably the best player on the team, created a point guard where one had not existed before and had to figure out a frontcourt rotation that included a freshman, a sophomore who barely played as a freshman and an Ent who had been incredibly erratic and error-prone during his career.  However, these campaigns are usually based on expectations.  Duke was picked to be first in the conference (along with another team that apparently disbanded its program a few months ago), so, job done.  Since Blare-y exceeded expectations (I think they were picked in the middle of the pack), he is seen as having done the best coaching job, even though he took a known product and simply gave it one more year of experience.  Thatís just the way it works, I guess.  Although, I imagine there is another award Coach K would rather have when the season ends a month from now.

(By the way, thanks again for the activity in the comments section.  Itís been fun to read.  This edition begins the most grueling stretch of the season and, speaking for myself, I needed that jump-start to get through it.)

Got time for a quick story?  Okay.  During the 10th or 11th blizzard we got in the D.C. area this winter (Iíve lost count), I walk into the bathroom to discover the curtain on the window, well, moving.  Turns out, there was a bird on the window sill. I apparently spooked him and he took off through the living room.  (If I had moved quicker, I could have closed the door, opened the window and popped the screen out for it.)  In the amount of time it took me to wash and dry my hands, the stray I took in last fall, ordinarily a sweet and kind of dopey fellow, had caught the poor thing.  The bird was flapping for maybe 20 seconds as I tried to pry the catís jaws open, then was gone.  The cat actually killed him with his mouth.  And.  Would.  Not.  Let.  Go.  Of.  It.  Just kept walking around with the bird in his mouth and growling at me and the other two cats (yes, I operate a cat ranch) just so we all knew what a Total and Complete Badass he was.  The short version of the end is I was so grossed out I walked to the grocery store in several feet of snow even though I didnít need anything.

If you take that paragraph and replace ďbirdĒ with ďNorth Carolina-Chapel HillĒ and ďcatĒ with ďDuke,Ē then you pretty much get a idea of how that game went.  Normally, when Duke has a large halftime lead, thereís a bit of a defensive let-down early in the second 20 minutes.  But that didnít happen here.  It is hard to tell if Duke maintained their effort because the Hoots simply didnít even try to mount a comeback, and their coach helpfully refused to use timeouts.  And, how many of their turnovers were passes to spots on the floor that didnít have a powder blue uniform within 15 feet?  I actually laughed out loud several times, and for the first time in many years, could not come up with the ďOkay, hereís how they could blow this thingĒ mechanism.  Things got so bad for Coach Cleetus, every time his team had the ball, the Cameron P.A. system played this song (let it play for a couple of seconds to get to the familiar part).

With that playing away in the background, turn your attention to the center ring of this circus of a website as the Ringmaster says, ďLadies and Gentlemen! Children of all ages! Welcome to the Ö!Ē

WIN OF THE GAME: There is plenty in the box score, which has been engraved in genuine oak, framed and available for only three payments of $29.99 from the Franklin Mint.  But letís take the 20,000-foot view and go with watching three of most likeable fellows ever to play in Cameron go out on such a high note.  While non-Duke nation was probably retching at the sight, watching Coach K greet them as they each left the game was really cool.  Letís just hope it will be as long as possible before we see that again this season, if you know what I mean.

FAIL OF THE GAME: This is going to sound extreeeeeemely spoiled, but Duke flirted a couple of times with a 40-point lead, and I was sorta hoping that would be the final margin of victory.  Hey, I warned you that would sound spoiled.

But maybe you came here to find out how many of the four ACC-T play-in games I can get wrong, and I would hate to delay the call to your sports book where you say, ďHey, check out this webpage and put me down for a C-note opposite of every pick the guy who obviously knows nothing about French made.Ē

Given the recent decline of the Pronouns, winning this game against a team that beat them just slightly more than a week ago, even with Sylven Landesberg at their disposal, was about a probable as me actually reading the Dukies.com style guide and retaining more than 23 percent of it.  Well, that wonít be the case during lunch hour today, as Svelte has been declared academically ineligible for the rest of the season, and if anyone can explain to me how that happens half-way through the second semester, feel free to use the comments section (which is starting to resemble a beach hotel in July) to enlighten the rest of us.  Yet another blow in a tough first year for Tony Bennett (ďWho SIMply MUST do something FUNny for sake of this WEBsite!!!!Ē) Ė um, who invited Walter?

Boston College 69, Virginia 60.

(12) MIAMI (FLORIDA) (18-12, 4-12) v. (5) WAKE FOREST (19-9, 9-7)

This should be it for the Mime of Miami, although, as commenter KD quite rightly pointed out yesterday, WFU, especially under Goonio, is always ripe for visiting a ridiculous upset upon itself.  This would indeed be such an upset; everyone on the Hurryclowns except freshmen Durand Scott and Reggie Johnson (Dews: 3-12 for 7 points in 38 minutes against FSU - - are you kidding?) has stopped playing, and Dwayne Collins will miss this one (and the rest of Miamiís historic run to the ACC crown) with a stress reaction in his leg.  Memo to Miami: I know that youíre a football school first and a baseball school second, but thereís really no reason to show any further faith in Haith - - the guy canít coach at this level.

Wake Forest 75, Miami (Florida) 65.       

If I was better with Excel, I could put together a file that would show my success rate for picking results for each individual ACC team, but, lacking that ability/effort/willingness to see the results, the off-the-top-of-my-head guess is that Wake would be the 12 seed in my personal post-season tournament.  These two clubs played twice this year (Nurse! Crash cart STAT!!!!), with the host impolitely sending their dinner guest out the door with a loss in each occasion.  However, the game in the ATM Center was a two-point win for the Low Pressure Systems, while the trip to tobacco central saw the Dopes victorious by nine, and, if you take into account the difference in fan support in Greensboro for one team over the other (keep in mind, Miami fans donít go to Miami games *in* Miami, and for good reason), it gets pretty easy to figure out what will happen here.  I think Iíll squeeze in an extra sentence here to tell you to get ready for an inside joke.

Forest 70, Miami (FREAKINí FLORIDA!!!!!! OKAY!?!?!?) [Yes.  Itís okay.  Finally!] 65.


I donít care who wins this game; thereís a benefit either way.  If the Tools lose, cleansing the Tournament of He Who Finds It So Inconvenient and Offensive, Waaaaah, Waaaaaaah, thatís fantastic, and weíll delightfully follow the Dirty Footmen into the NIT, should they accept the bid (Iím still not convinced).  However, if the Twinks win, then the BugThugs, who shouldnít be in the NCAAs anyway, will almost certainly be left out, and the thought of firing Hewitt might even manage to penetrate the formidable hair helmet of GIT AD Dan Radakovich.  This fourth sentence will serve as an advisory that this one is simply made to sit back and enjoy, counting Tool turnovers, mistakes by Spewitt, or whatever you please. 

Georgia Institute of Technology 72, North Carolina-Chapel Hill 71.     

On the season, the Bees are 2-0 against the Little League Team from Chapel Hill that is supposed to, apparently, being playing a sport other than basketball, at which they, well, tremendously suck.  A loss for Hoots may ensure we donít have to pay attention to them anymore this season, while the resulting win for the Pee Blazers probably cements yet another season of watching Putrid (who, if he ran a restaurant, would have the best kitchen equipment on the market, sous-chefs and line cooks from the finest schools in France and meat/product from a wholesaler that had found the Garden of Eden, but would still turn out food of a quality several levels below your average high school cafeteria) take yet another talented squad and discover unheard of areas of mediocrity.  What a dilemma, but the very notion that Coach Yokel, who hates this tournament already, is playing on Thursday is knee-slappingly funny.

Georgia Insitute of Technology 75, North Carolina-Chapel Hill 68.

(11) NORTH CAROLINA STATE (17-14, 5-11) v. (6) CLEMSON (21-9, 9-7)

Sweet & Lowe is confident about an ACC Tournament run - - and apparently, heís referring to one by his own team.  Yeah, Iím pretty confident in the just the opposite, interestingly enough.  As for Clemson, I was disappointed that they didnít have enough for Wake Forest on Sunday in what turned out to be a pretty competitive game, but they should win this one and solidify their already firm grip on an NCAA bid.  Fourth sentence to note that this is not last seasonís Tiger team, which closed the season by getting bounced by twelfth-seeded GIT in this event and then dumped its first-round NCAA game to Michigan; this team has won five of seven, and the two defeats were at Marylandís Unnecessary New Arena and the LJVMC. 

Clemson 75, North Carolina State 72.      

Well, itís been almost two months since the Tiggers met up with the Woofies, so how about we have them do it again, and see if the outcome will be any different that the three-point loss the Carnival Barker suffered on his (for the time being) home floor?  I certainly donít think so, even though Clemson did me wrong this weekend and set me back ANOTHER game behind Matt.   You guys owe me one.

Clemson 71, North Carolina State 60.

Last Edition:
Matt 6-0
duhomme 5-1
Guest (CDG) 5-1

Matt 76-33
duhomme 73-36
Guests 7-2


View more articles from this category


Posted by: KD Date: 3/12/2010 12:23:48 PM  
Wow - was a little nervous about another BC match-up (see Matt's Personal Super Bowl phenomenon), and can't believe Bennett pulled it off. This guy could be the real deal and make UVA relevant again (ugh). Here's to hoping that Duke takes control early like it did in C-ville recently to give Andre and Ryan some minutes.

Posted by: Andrew Hicks Date: 3/12/2010 10:35:44 AM  
My pick for COY: Bennett. He has given a textbook example of how to come in to a decrepit program and lay a foundation.

Pure speculation on Landesberg's mid-semester difficulties: maybe his grades were borderline in the fall, and he was put on warning that if he was under water by the end of mid-terms, that was it? In any event, a great move by Bennett. I don't think another coach in the league except K. would have done it -- it would have been very easy to wait another week or so.

I hope the young man sucks it up, gets his academics in order, and is on the team this fall. It would be something he could be proud of for the rest of his life.

I'm glad the Cavs got by BC, but I suspect that their season is just about over. Go Duke!

Posted by: bluedevilruss Date: 3/12/2010 10:01:31 AM  
what a great week to be a Blue Devil!

Beatdown of Heels last weekend

Heels lose and finish at .500 for season

Michael Gbinije commits last night

Begin our ACC title defense today!

Great job Matt and duhomme on Swofford's tourney coverage! keep it up!

Posted by: duhomme Date: 3/11/2010 11:37:01 PM  
serious g,

anyone else notice a correlation between duke successfully mining the mid-atlantic recruiting vein and nate james joining the staff?

Posted by: Serious G Date: 3/11/2010 10:59:06 PM  
Duke landed a good recruit for 2011:


Good to see. Also nice to see the tar holes take the gas pipe earlier tonight.

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 3/11/2010 9:28:47 PM  
Thanks for the update on things Clemson, ClemsonGuest. Puts the last 1/2 in perspective, and we all know about guys having to step up due to injury and then the starter comes back. Dangerous. As to whether or not ACC gets 7, those stellar lads from UNC-CH just did their part.

Posted by: ClemsonGuest Date: 3/11/2010 6:40:44 PM  
In Clemson's contest at Raleigh, the good guys built a 21-point lead just after halftime. Then Demontez Stitt sprained his ankle and didn't play any more that day, and that's when the Woofers cut it to 3 and almost tied it. D-Stitt was hobbling in the next game or two, then sat out a game (loss at BC), but he's at 100% now. And the time as the primary point guard did a world of good for backup Andre Young, although it didn't show until the last few weeks (including two buzzer-beating THREE!s just before halftime at FSU and vs GT).

Miami made good use of the zone D vs WF today. I wonder why Purnell didn't play more zone last Sunday against the long-distance-deficient Foresters.

Forgive me for toeing the ACC company line here, but I'm rooting for GT tonight. Even if the Insects from the Institute may not deserve it, it'd be good to get a seventh team in the Big Bracket. But my gut says the Goats win.

Sensing a Duke beatdown on the Wahoos tomorrow, then a nailbiter vs VT Saturday.

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/11/2010 5:08:38 PM  
Double ouch - - like we really care? I'm thrilled to be facing UVa and laughing hilariously at Wake.

Steve!!, I don't know what brings you here, but I don't think there are many that would have predicted either result from this afternoon. :)

Posted by: Steve!! Date: 3/11/2010 4:59:41 PM  
Double ouch. 0 for 2 as Miami (Florida) knocks off Wake. It's a good thing it is not the prognosticating that brings me to this site.

Posted by: T. Randall Taylor Date: 3/11/2010 2:07:05 PM  
Ouch. 0 for 1 guys. Although I'm not too bummed about meeting UVA.

Posted by: tom Date: 3/11/2010 12:22:00 PM  
Good stuff as always guys. Job use to not care when I took days off for the tournament. Now they suddenly do. Apparantly, the bosses aren't all ACC basketball fans (Probably UNC fans).

Posted by: Dave Clark Date: 3/11/2010 12:15:28 PM  
Hewitt's buyout remains an albatross, but I think we've crossed into point-of-no-return territory. Hewitt's been openly feuding with local columnists via Twitter and generally making an ass of himself for the past few weeks; I don't see how anything good comes from his tenure at this junction.

Paying Paul to go away is going to kill Tech, of course- the athletic department is already strapped for cash, and its chief moneymaker, the football program, can't even sell out games when they're supposedly among the elite (snort).

Of course, that didn't stop Radakovich from opining on the local AM a few months ago that Tech was somehow swimming in cash because everyone in Atlanta had bought a Josh Nesbitt jersey. Uh huh. Good luck with that, Crickets.

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 3/11/2010 11:59:48 AM  
OK, here we go, Tourney I (and done, for some). Must rush this in before commenting on things UNC-CH, and specifically their head coach, becomes irrelevant. Your site has a link to one of the best articles written about Coach K in years:
In it, K on leadership:
"I wanted to be a teacher and a coach, but really what I always wanted to be was a leader," ... "I didn't know it at the time, but it's exciting. Every day is different. It's never boring. It's never perfect. ...

"It's never-ending, and I find it incredibly interesting. And I think to tap into people who I've met, developed relationships with, who are leaders in their fields, helps me. Business, medicine, community leaders.

"It's something I'll do until I die, is study leadership. I think it's the most exciting thing you can do in whatever place you have the opportunity to do it."

And from that other HOF coach down the road, ole Roy, on his radio show this week, discussing what he will take from this season:
ďWhat Iím going to try to get from it is learning. Iíve gotten to a point this year that I feel very confident in what Iím doing. I donít think I got that dumb that quickly. Weíve had pretty good doggone success for 21 years. I donít think what weíre doing is wrong, but it didnít fit the way of teaching this team. So Iíve got to try to figure out a way to get to these guys better. It hasnít shaken my confidence. Itís humbled me, thereís no question about that.

"Iím writing down things all of the time in a little notepad that Iíve got in my desk about things that I want to change in the offseason and ways that I want to attack and demands that Iím going to make of the players, requests that Iím going to make of the players. So I am trying to learn from this. Like I told our guys in the locker room, Iím not going to forget this. Iím not going to forget Saturday night. Iím not going to forget the feelings that Iíve had when those games are over withÖ So to me, Iím going to use this to drive to be even more hungry than Iíve been.Ē

I don't know about anyone else, but clearly I have underestimated the power of keeping a little notebook in my desk, and dadgummit, writing stuff down. That leadership guy, talkin' to all those people, and learnin' and stuff, well, I just don't know what to say about that.

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