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TD: The Royal Ram

Date: 3/30/2010

Two Dukies  
Posted By: Matt (micropreramble, microcomments), duhomme (micropick)

Volume XIII, Episode 50
March 30, 2010

Matt’s comments in
duhomme's comments in red.

(4ST) NORTH CAROLINA-CHAPEL HILL (19-16, 5-11) v. (2BL) RHODE ISLAND (26-9, 9-7 Atlantic 10)

Wow - - in watching the Tools’ 60-55 win over Alabama-Birmingham, I was reminded of how I used to think of Mike Davis after he succeeded Bobby Knight at Indiana; namely, how he was pretty stupid in his on-court decisionmaking.  I had forgotten all that.  Coach Davis seemed to have made the right decision in leaving Bloomington - - the IU fans apparently never were going to accept him, not after his program seemed to crash following that loss to Sweaty in the 2002 title game, anyway.  Crash being a relative term, of course, but finishing sixth, tied for ninth, and twice tied for fourth in the Big Ten doesn’t get it done at Indiana.  If only the Hoosier fans had known what was coming, but Tom Crean seems to have the ship steered back in the right direction now.  Meanwhile, Davis went on to . . . well, coach one of the dumbest games I’ve ever seen against the Soiled Pedestrians last week.  For some reason, despite being down about five points for almost the entire second half, the Blazers played stallball, waiting until there were about six or seven seconds left on the shot clock, then throwing up a wild and/or heavily contested shot.  My favorite sequence came when UAB had the ball, down five, from approximately 7:20 to 5:25 of the second half.  They did what I described above, got an o-board, repeated the sequence, got another bound, and then lathered and rinsed again before the Tools claimed the carom.  I get this if you’re up five.  Mike Davis gets it if you’re down five.  Great job, Rrhoid!

Jim Baron of URI can coach a little bit, as Duke fans will remember from the Rams’ visit to Cameron two seasons ago.  Baron’s son Jimmy graduated, but Baron put together a pretty good season this time out, finishing fifth in the A-10 despite a mid-February swoon, and defeating Northwestern, Nevada, and - - quite welcomely - - homestanding VPI to make it to NYC.  URI features three double-digit scorers in 6-4 senior Keith Cothran, 6-8 junior Delroy James and 6-6 senior Lamonte Ulmer, solid role players in 6-1 junior Marquis Jones, 6-1 freshman Akeem Richmond (from Sanford, NC), and 7-0 junior Will Martell, and additional depth in 5-9 sophomore Stevie Mejia and one of college basketball’s All-Name First Team selections, 6-9 sophomore Orion Outerbridge.    

Rhode Island offers some fascinating statistical contrasts.  The Rams featured the 27th most efficient offense in the country, and were fourth nationally in turnover percentage, ninth in opponents’ steal percentage, and second in Division I in opponents’ steal percentage, so we shouldn’t expect to see them turning the ball over to the Tools with regularity.  URI boards well offensively, but also gives up a shortbusload of offensive rebounds to its opponents.  Rhode Island doesn’t get to the line very often, but they do allow their enemies to do so.  They don’t shoot all that well from three-point land or from the line, but neither do the Tools really; the most important stat here might well be turnovers, where the Rams give up very few, as noted, and force/benefit from quite a lot (#40 in steal percentage, and #48 in opponents’ turnover percentage).  That doesn’t sound good for Tarheelio.             

URI defeated Dayton at UD Arena this season, and beat Providence and BeeCee (in Chestnut Hill) in the early OOC portion of the schedule.  I don’t know - - on the one hand, the Twinks look like they’re on a mission of some kind, and on the other hand this is probably just dumb luck.  It *is* putting the more obnoxious members of Tool Nation in a bit of an awkward spot, as you can imagine what they would be saying if the shoe was on the other dirty foot.  Ah, well.  Let’s try a split-the-benefit pick. 

North Carolina-Chapel Hill 72, Rhode Island 70. 

North Carolina-Chapel Hill 68, Rhode Island 64.    

Last Edition:
Matt 1-0
duhomme 1-0

Matt 93-46
duhomme 91-48
Guests 16-4


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Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 3/31/2010 4:50:08 PM  
yeppers! ...nuff said

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/31/2010 4:43:49 PM  
SFSF - that is exactly why I didn't go any further!

I see so many possibilities but to even mention any of them would be to tempt the fates and engage all the wrong kinds of mojo... I even had second throughts about my post after the fact! Even now I am starting to worry myself.... It does make you smile though, doesn't it?

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 3/31/2010 2:48:36 PM  

I must...
temptation... to start guessing next year's Crazies chants. There is, after all mojo at play here, and water still to flow under this bridge, but you certainly brought a smile to my face.

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/31/2010 11:25:59 AM  
But would they hang it? ;)

I can't wait to hear what the Crazies will chant at them next year when they take the court...

Posted by: Andrew Hicks Date: 3/31/2010 10:47:30 AM  
Yeah, that was pretty much what did it for URI. For the game URI was 67% from the line, which is okay (compared to UNC-CH's awe-inspiring 8 for 16), but they couldn't sink them when it mattered. From the last TV timeout to the end of regulation, the Rams managed only two shots from the floor (missing both), and only one point out of six attempts from the line.

UNC-CH was brick-laying from outside even worse than they were from the foul line: 2-16 for the game, with a 1-7 from Graves and 0-4 from Drew Too. But they outrebounded URI, 60-45, with Thompson, Henson, and Ginyard all in double-digits for boards.

At this point, I almost hope they win it all just so they can have another piece of laundry to hang in the Dump Dome and we can laugh at it.

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 3/31/2010 1:09:46 AM  
Son told me URI missed eleventy-seven FT's, including all of them with a 5 point lead and a minute to play in regulation? Ouch.

Posted by: ClemsonGuest Date: 3/30/2010 11:53:59 PM  
Larry 2 Dope scores the last five points of regulation to force OT and the Feet go on to win. Gee, next thing you'll tell me is that the Saints won the Super Bowl. Oh wait ...

Posted by: duhomme Date: 3/30/2010 7:43:01 PM  
Yeah, this one kind of snuck up on me. Massive props to Matt for keeping up his end of the deal. Now I have to take on his week of kitchen duty in the office.

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 3/30/2010 6:16:33 PM  
Thanks for the pre-cap Matt; the level of analysis is a real bonus as I'm not sure anyone was expecting it (given the relative insignificance of this game to, um, other basketball events in the works these days?). I have to say that for the first time in my career as an ABC guy, I could care less how UNC-CH does tonight (how cool is that?), though your write-up now has me interested in URI.

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