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TD: Hotel Cryolina

Date: 3/5/2011

Two Dukies  
Posted By: Matt (of my own device); CDG (pink champagne)


Volume XIV, Episode 26
March 5, 2011

Matt’s comments in blue
Mevin Kadden's comments in white. 
CDG’s comments in red. 

#4 DUKE (27-3, 13-2) @ #13 NORTH CAROLINA-CHAPEL HILL (23-6, 13-2)

Duke beat Clemson by double digits and everyone was bummed.  I don’t get it.  You don’t beat Clemson by 30, and you certainly don’t beat a team coached by Brad Brownnose (TM Patrick and Elmore) by 30.  And now, a visit to that wondrous environment, the Goofiest Place on Earth, with silent, death-ray-gaze-dealing ancients ready to yell at you to get off their lawn, and 

So Get to the Parody Already Department:
Right.  Sing along here.  

Hotel Cryolina 2011
(D. Felder, D. Henley, G. Frey, M. TwoDukies)

On a dark NC highway - - NCAA in their hair
Foul smell of Jay Bilas filling up with hot air
Up ahead in the distance, Turnover Jesus took flight
Rrhoid felt like Haiti as his roster slimmed
Screamed at callers all night

There was Graves in the doorway
Caught some funky smell
Then I was thinking to myself
Relying on Leslie will equal death knell 
But league coaches were gentle; and they fun-gunned all day
Some old bluehair who’s an orator - - I thought I heard him say  

Welcome to the Hotel Cryolina
They can’t shoot a three
(Sounds like brick to me)
And the throws ain’t free
There’s plenty of goons at the Hotel Cryolina
A.J. Blue’s got beer
(Lawson’s in low gear)
Peel back Roy’s veneer!

Coach K got Schnozzo delisted - - made Pop McCants Facebook friends (ugh)
Roy's got a lot of itty bitty toys; mediot trends 
How they prance in their columns, weeeeeeak sobriquet
Anoint The Messiah; last season forget! 

So Roid called up to Luckie
“Please don’t make me whine”
Eades said, “You haven’t been a legit champ since nineteen-fifty-nine” [minus two]
And Phil Ford’s lawyers are calling on Visit Day
School prez tweets in the middle of the night; something dumb to say:

Welcome to the Hotel Cryolina  
Where the noise ain’t real
(It’s on reel to reel)
Roy's got balls of steel
They’re running it up at the Hotel Cryolina
That track meet’s unwise
(Was Lowe so advised?)
LT’s alibiiiii . . . ?

Dexter’s hit his ceiling
No more calls on Skype
The Wears said:
We are f**king prisoners here
Of this guttersnipe

And in the bastard’s chambers
found his cords were greased
McInnis got with coaches’ wives
Who didn’t want Phil’s quick release

Last thing I remember, there was mad bolt for the door
Had to leave that maniac who goes and sees recruits and snores
“Relax,” said the Swoffman - - “my sked’s programmed to reprieeeeeve”
“Prepsters check in any time they like - - but sophomores always leave”

[extended guitar solo]

Some Historical Perspective and Matt’s Usual Rant About The Tools:
13-2 in the ACC isn’t bad, and if Duke hadn’t insisted on hoisting 58 bricks in TeeHee (FSU: with Chris Singleton's defense) and K hadn’t entered Nolan and Kyle in the 58th annual Blacksburg Marathon, well, the Blue Devils could be even better.  But how did the Dirty Footmen achieve that lofty record?  Let’s see . . . ohhhhh, I see how this happened.  The Messiah hit two separate last-seconders to win lost games (FSU: without Chris Singleton's defense), Mr. February’s game-winning three in Chapel Hill touched every part of the rim before spinning out, and then there were just the two Clemson games overall.  Hell, even below-average Scaryland managed to cut into a late Twink lead.  Did I mention the unfortunate bounces of the ball at Miami?  Barely beating the Virginia teams?  Yeah.  It has not been an impressive road for the Sickly Blue. 

Of course, as CDG notes infra, this one’s for ALL THE MARBLES, and if both teams are 13-2, then they must be equally good, and be likened to titans of legend squaring off against one another as mere mortals tremble in fear. 


Rrhoid’s down to eight players now, one of whom is Justin Watts, meaning that it’s really seven players.  Ken Doll can’t shoot to save a life, no one can make even a passing acquaintance with a three, free throws remain elusive, and . . . well, let’s just see what Steve Donahue, the New Nutcracker, learned about gameplanning these guys.  76 possessions in the blowout loss up in Chestnut Hill, and 58 possessions in the near-win for BC at the Dead Dome (leave your body and soul . . . at the door!).  Hmmmm.  I wonder if most of the Tar Heels’ recent wins feature pieces of silliness that besmirch the triumphs just a little bit.  See Figure 73B. 

Figure 73B
Ridiculous Features of ACC Wins by the Tools This Season

Win                                                     Ridiculous Features  
@ Florida State by 2                           Outboarded Noids 39-28; FSU’s defense horrible
MCDP at home by 9                           Sweaty allows Globetrotter Game with 153 shots
@ NCSU by 12                                  Sid Lowe
BC at home by 2                                 Iggles miss 75% of their shots; 1-14 to start second half
Wake at home by 14                           Tools up by only eight with 6:45 left; had 20 o-boards
@ Clemson by 2                                 Jerai Grant scoreless; Tigers shoot .344

So How Good or Bad Is North Carolina-Chapel Hill This Season?
I’m sure that leading charter citizens of Tar Heel Nation can look at the above and explain it all away - - Jerai Grant was shut down by Stick Figure, BC missed all those shots because of sterling defense; a letdown against Weak was inevitable; NCSU is a tough team.  None of this holds any water.  These things that have been benefiting them aren’t likely to continue in serial fashion.   

The Tools are a shallow team with two post players, a wing forward, a point guard who can’t score and a shooting guard who can’t shoot.  Those five guys are backed up by the sole shooter on the team from range, a very serviceable post player that Rhoid can’t figure out how to use, and, uh, Watts.  In the last six games, since their second-half choke in Cameron, NCCH is shooting 26-101 (25.7%) from distance, and 92-126 (73.0%) from the line.  The first statistic speaks for itself - - play a soft M2M on these guys, as Duke did in the second half of the game at Cameron, and the Tools are lost.  The second stat is noteworthy because it shows how above their heads the Twinks have been shooting at the line of late - - they’re a 66.4% foul-shooting team on the season, but suddenly they’re bettering that clip substantially?  I don’t buy it, and a reversion to the mean is probably impending. 

Their Last Game    
That ridiculous result against Florida State.  I figured that the Heels would blow F$U, whose season has been over for some time without Singletoid, through the walls of the Don Tucker Center, but instead they required a last-second three to win.  Not very impressive. 

Projected Starters and Pithy Comments
Tyler Zeller, 7-0 JR C - - Greedo had a great first half against Duke in the initial game between these two teams, but then K implemented some halftime adjustments and it wasn’t so easy for Marshall to find Zeller down low.  Also, I think Zeller, who is about a 25-minute player, wilted under the late pressure at Cameron.  The team has no choice but to play him heavy minutes

John Henson, 6-10 SO PF - - Phone Pole has enjoyed four matchups in the Tools’ last five games in which there was no true opposing big man, enabling him to conserve his small power reserves as needed, a luxury that he may not have against Duke if the Blue Devils fail to spot their rivals the first eight points of the game again.  Stick Figure had 15 bounds against Maryland, College Park, but mostly on long misses and strange bounces right up his alley, often against Twerp guards.  Meanwhile, Jordan Williams had 19 caroms.  Henson cannot guard bona fide big men, and Duke has two of them, three if Kelly decides to play inside, and four if Singler is driving the lane

Harrison Barnes, 6-7 FR SF - - has been a feast or famine shooter this season - - exactly what I’d expect of someone solely interested in building his draft stock.  Against Singler’s defense, he’s not likely to see many open looks 

Kendall Marshall, 6-3 FR PG - - he still has no shot and can be wholly defensed by playing off of him a couple of steps.  Duke: please do this

Dexter Strickland, 6-3 SO SG - - since losing in Cameron, Dexter the guarantor has made seven field goals, five of which came against NCSU.  So since the loss to Duke, Strickland has two field goals against non-NAIA competition 

Justin Knox, 6-9 SR PF - - the Tools’ lone non-cheerleading “senior,” Knox actually works in circulation in the law library and teaches a few classes.  Remember, he was allowed to transfer without sitting out a season because Alabama-Tuscaloosa has neither libraries nor classes.  Anyway, Knox, who has been ridiculously underutilized by Rrhoid all season long, will start in this one, and could get some buckets around the paint if Duke isn’t careful.  He’s listed as a bench player here because I don’t care who the Haitian Catastrophe Expert starts on Senior Night

Leslie McDonald, 6-4 SO SG - - the oooooooooonly guy you have to guard from distance on this team.  He’s hit three of five threes in each of the last two games, but has shot 4-19 from arcland in the Twinks’ six dumpjobs this season

Reggie Bullock, 6-7 FR SF/WG - - whoops!  He’s done for the season with a knee injury.  Sorry to hear this, seriously, as I don’t wish injury on anyone.  And if I were evil and did wish injury on Tool players, I certainly wouldn’t pick on Bullock, who was one of Duke’s most potent offensive weapons on the floor in Cameron.  Turns out that all that point shaving takes a toll 

Justin Watts, 6-4 JR SG - - last time, I noted that he had scored five points since January 2.  This time, I’ll note that he has scored five points since January 2.  Like any true ironman, he’s played 40 minutes - - but those 40 minutes have been spread over the Tools’ last six games since their defeat in Cameron

Most Likely to Bootsy:
Marshall (19 points required)

North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s Likely Gameplan
As always, Royboy only knows one style - - run run run run run.  If you’re a Roy Williams team and you can’t run, you’re in trouble, unless there are plenty of stupid opposing league coaches and depleted league teams around, combined with a friendly schedule, in which case you’re 13-2.  So that’s the plan on offense - - run, Forrest, run.  On defense, Rhoid isn’t going to let Nolan beat him, and will deploy most of his meager defensive arsenal toward that goal. 

The Mentalist Department:
According to Ol’ Roy, Nolan is a “maniac.”  Talk about a man bites dog story!  In related news, Nolan did not tell the News & Oblivious that Horseface is “a completely sane, rational, and stable individual.” 

Rumblings Department:
I’ve given up trying to figure it out.  The boot is off.  You know as much as I do.  And I’ve heard every possible sequence of future events that people can think of, credibly sourced and supported.  

Kevin Durant Department:
Turns out that Durant thankfully wasn’t seriously hurt after his collision with Handjob, which, naturally and of course, featured Traveler doing a patented flop in an attempt to draw a charge.  Against Durant.  In the Neeba.  But hey, Duke players are the floppers, right, Tool Nation? 

Mythbusters Department:
I’m real tired of hearing that Barnes and Singler “canceled each other out” during the last game.  True, Singler canceled Barnes, as surely as CBS axed its hit comedy One and a Half Men and One Psychopath, but Barnes didn’t cancel Singler.  It just baffles my mind how these things get started.  Any clearheaded analysis of the game tape shows that about 10 of Kyle’s 14 misses from the floor against NCCH in Cameron were due to rushed, silly shots, many of them off-balance and ill-advised.  Was The Messiah nearby during those shots?  Sure.  But let’s not go overboard here by giving the overrated freshman doof the Darrelle Revis Lockdown Award just yet.  I have a feeling that Singler is going to be a bit more relaxed and selective with his shot this time around.  As for Barnes, he always struggles against credible defenders, and will do so again.     

Two or Three Sabermetric Stats about North Carolina-Chapel Hill:
- Neither do they steal the ball (thefts on just 8.7% of their opponents’ possessions, #223/345 in Division I), nor do they do a very good job of preventing larcenies by the opposition (foes steal the ball away on 10.0% of the Tools’ possessions, putting NCCH at #243 in the country in this ball-shepherding category)
- 2.4 percentage points below the D-I average in 3PFG, and 2.8 percentage points below the national average in free throw shooting
- Third in Div I, behind only Ohio State and Florida, at “preventing” their opponents from getting to the line

Two Weird or (Un)Cool Tidbits:
- Singler is 11-21 on three-point field goals in his three games in Chappaheeya, and is averaging 18.7 ppg over that span.  He may be the focal point of this one for Duke
- This is only Nolan’s second game at the Dump Dome.  Duke’s loss to the Handjob-Flawson show at Artificial Noise Arena in 2009 was the last of the three games that Nolan sat out after that ejection-worthy illegal screen by Dirty Dave Neal and Nolan’s resulting concussion.  Remember that, Bias & Bullethead?  Somewhere, those d-bags may have stopped laughing

Duke Appraisal
I guess I was one of the few people out there not powerfully disappointed in the Clemson game.  Nolan stuck with his attack of the basket despite the fact that he could not buy a call all night, and once the switch came on for Curry, he was unstoppable.  Singler had a workmanlike performance and the Plumlees and Kelly were solid.  Dawkins has disappeared a bit again, but without any really good defensive check on Saturday night, he could emerge with several of his daggeresque baskets.  TT’s defense is sterling.  I like the feel of the team right now, even though I am apparently virtually alone in so liking.  By the bye, the coaching and gameplanning were totally hole-free (heh) on Wednesday night; I got the impression that Coach K, Wojo, Collins, and Nate James had everything down to the prescription on Bryan Narcisse’s goggles scouted and accounted for.  Even the typical inept officiating was not a problem.  Nicely done, Duke.  And now, this game.  Let’s go, Blue Devils!!!!!  You can absolutely do this.         

Who Is Blathering Over The Sound of the Game?
CBS - - Nantz and Kellogg, of course, as Can’t Broadcast Sports begins its traditional ninth-inning warmup for carrying the NCAA Tournament.  This season, of course, the expanded tournament package (sorry if this sounds like copy from a Cialis ad) will also run on TNT, Tru TV, False TV, Oxygen and Animal Planet.  Nantz is a “go with the crowd” kind of guy, while Kellogg secretly hates Duke, but only occasionally lets his guard drop.  As usual, the main pleasure will lie in not having to deal with Bristol. 

Bottom Line This For Me, Please:
Duke should win.  The percentages favor us, we outscore them, we outdefend them, we outshoot them from every angle, and even without Bull-lock’s helpful contributions, we’re a deeper team.  I’m tempted to split the benefit, but will forecast a Duke win.  CDG?  Over to you in the Canadian bureau. 

The Missing Link(s):
NCCH’s space alien-brimming roster.
NCCH’s mostly unimpressive stats.
NCCH’s state-issued propaganda. 
And now, try this for something more refreshing and not utterly nauseating. 

Score Prediction:
Duke 78, North Carolina-Chapel Hill 70. 

Other ACC Action
@ Clemson 54, Virginia Polytechnic 53.
@ Maryland, College Park 72, Virginia 67.
@Boston College 75, Wake Forest 72.
Miami (Florida) 68, @Georgia Institute of Technology 66.
@North Carolina State 55, Florida State 50.    

So is anyone else suffering from an overdose of hyperbole yet?

You’ve seen the articles, all of them batting around words like “intense”, “legendary”, “epic”, and most talking about how rare it is that two teams meet in the final regular season game to decide between them who gets the regular season title.

I get it.  Duke vs. Crapolina is a BIG deal in college basketball.  I myself love these match-ups and have my own little rituals that I follow to make sure Duke is victorious.  But really, some of the crap I’ve read the last few days is just too much.  Most of it is on Tool partisan sites as well.  Figures.

Nevertheless, here we are with two teams living in one giant media-bubble (and less than 10 miles apart) going at it “for all the marbles”.

Am I surprised that we are coming down to the last regular season game to decide the ACC title this year? Kind of, given where these two teams were in November.  Oh what difference a point guard makes... (applies in BOTH cases, no?)

Am I unhappy about it?  Not really.  As much as I loved pounding the Holes last year and watching their season circle the drain along with their coach’s sanity, I couldn’t help but think that there was something terribly wrong with the universe when our real rival couldn’t beat College of Charleston.  Funny for sure, but two full years of easy beat-downs? Kind of sad.  I like the competition.

If you listen to Dexter Strickland, however, the Tools have a guaranteed victory on their hands here because they’re playing at home and have figured out how not to make mental mistakes this time!  Wonder if he said the same thing before playing F$U on Wednesday?  Or maybe he’s just been sampling a little too much of that new drug on the streets: Charlie Sheen.  Hope your face doesn’t melt off there, Dexter!

In case you missed it, here’s what he said to the Charlotte Observer, in its entirety:

"I'm glad it's home; that will give us a little advantage,'' the shooting guard said after Wednesday's victory. "I feel like the last time we played them, we just made mental errors that can be mentally corrected. I think that on Saturday, we're going to win. I know we're going to win on Saturday. I have a lot of confidence in myself and in my teammates. And if everybody has the same attitude I do, I know we're going to win."

Listen Dexter, confidence is fine, but let’s poke a few holes in your theory of guaranteed victory.

First off, the Dead Dome is hardly the greatest home-court-advantage in college basketball.  I can’t speak from personal experience since my only Tobacco Road experience was at Cameron (on the floor, behind the visitors bench!) but I have been informed by other independent observers that Matt’s characterization of the Dump Dome as a cavernous and soulless building is pretty on target.  Look at it this way: the level of fan noise in the place must be next to a whisper if Horseface can get an opposing fan tossed for heckling.  Don’t spill your whine there when you reach for your cheese!  Intimidation factor: negligible.

Secondly, but for an unfortunate step on the line and a few no-calls that went the way of baby-blue, F$U had your number. Up by 7 with less than 4 minutes to go, you stop scoring for the next two and half minutes??? Bit of a mental fail there if you ask me. If not a mental fail, it was a definite playing fail.  So, either correcting mental errors doesn’t help if you actually can’t score down the stretch, or someone can beat you if they put together the right defense even when you don’t have any mental errors.  Either way, not good.

Does this mean Duke will win?  Of course not!  Nothing is ever a given.  But as Matt has so carefully laid out above (or as I’m sure he has, since I am not allowed to see this “Top Secret” material in advance - company policy) there is a way to do it; a way that doesn’t involve relying on a few corpses in the stands or Jedi mind tricks.

Since I was asked by Matt to Guest, I guess I should give my two cents on how I think we can win this.  Or, you can scroll down to the Comments link below too.

I figure Singler should be tasked with guarding Barnes again since it worked really well in round one.  If Kyle can shoot a bit better this time, all the better.  Seth should be given a license to shoot at will provided his fouls stay in check since not one of the Dirty Footmen were able to deal with him.  Nolan will be Nolan, and that is damn good.  Kelly and Plum-trees need to get on the boards and if Plumlee I can get a few more of those post moves going like we saw against the Tiggers, that would be awesome.

Will the Devils pull it off, though?  I think they will.  This is purely a gut thing, but I think Duke will relish the fact that this isn’t a PSBAD game and will respond more aggressively than they have in the past few games.  Not having to fend off desperate teams trying to build their Tourney creds has got to be exhausting.  In this case, the Holes are already in the Tourney and by definition Holes games can’t be PSBAD, or at least I don’t think they can be since Duke and UNC rarely need to beat each other for anything other than rivalry bragging rights.

So, unless this team goes way off the rails and repeats the first 20 minutes of Part 1 in this year’s rivalry over both halves, I’m going for the W and in a fairly convincing fashion.  And if I’m wrong, you’ll have to cross a border to come find me to collect your money.

Duke 81, North Carolina-Chapel Hill 70.  

Last Edition:
Matt 3-1
ClemsonGuest 2-2

This Season:
Matt 48-12
Guests 3-2



View more articles from this category


Posted by: Stephen Frazier Date: 3/6/2011 7:24:45 PM  
Couple of points....

I agree w/ El G that we don't have a leader on this team. That's the biggest difference between this years squad and last years. It's not K, we just don't have a leader like Jon Scheyer ON THE COURT. Scheyer was intelligent, determined, and outspoken. We are missing those qualities in our leaders this year.

Two....We are missing our true leader. Kyrie (a true PG unlike Nolan) being out is the only reason we aren't that good. A good PG makes the game easier for everyone else on his team. Case in point, Larry Drew v. Kendall Marshall.

No need to get to complicated in the analysis.

Posted by: blueflame Date: 3/6/2011 2:57:50 PM  
If last year was one of Coach K's best as a coach, this year is shaping up to be one of his worst. Last year's team was tougher emotionally and continued developing, growing after each loss. I would never question Kyle or Nolan's level of chutzpah. But I don't see the same level of passion and fire in this year's starting unit. I would concur with the observations of Dawkins by others. I would fully expect a transfer in the off season. Some other team will get a gem. He deserves to play a lot for someone. While Miles played a pretty good game, it basically was the same standard of mediocrity we have come to expect for 3 years. The dumb fouls by Mason - ditto. The steady stream of three point clunkers by Kelly - oh yeah. I had such hopes for this team, even after Kyrie's injury. But this team was playing better, more inspired basketball 6 weeks ago than it is now. For the first time in a long time, I am dreading the ACC tournament. Perhaps... coach can find the magic to get this team playing an inspired defense that can keep the opposing team under 50 at the half.

Posted by: El Guapito Date: 3/6/2011 8:54:58 AM  

My point is that the team was designed to be a run and gun team. It cannot do that in its present form, but it has not adjusted from that style although it flirted with being a 1/2 court team when Thornton played. It is almost like K is trying to keep the system in place to put Irving back into it. Why? If he is out, he is out. Adjust accordingly. K has not adjusted this year, has not convinced anyone other than Nolan to take on certain roles and as a result the team looks lost. Dawkins has been in the doghouse so long that he has already transferred in his mind. I want to play poker with THAT guy.
Moreover, it is clearly psychological and not about talent. Since St. Johns, they do not look like they are enjoying the game. K should offer some certainty and stability and if Kyrie returns, he returns to the style they have adopted, as Boozer had to do in 2001. Since the St. Johns game they have lost their poise. I believe it all starts with Singler and the team is reflecting his leadership. God knows what it is going to be next year. Does Miles Plumlee even speak? It reminds me of that scene in “Remember the Titans” where the young linebacker says to the team captain: ”Effort reflect leadership, Captain.”

Posted by: Jake Date: 3/6/2011 8:10:16 AM  
If you think about it, UNC did to Duke in the first half what Duke did to UNC in the second half of the previous game.

It didn't help us that Kyle had yet another awful game, but it seemed to me that the real advantage UNC had was in offensive rebounds. Just about every time they missed a shot -- which wasn't often -- they got the rebound for an easy put back or kickout for an open shot.

And the reason they got those rebounds is because we didn't work hard enough. Our big guys just didn't contribute.

The other thing I was specifically watching for in this game was an indication of just what our offensive game plan was. As far as I can tell we didn't have one. We never push the ball up the court to attack the basket, we just push it up very fast to set up a half-court offense, which is really a waste of energy. Then it was two passes and a quick, off-balance three-point shot. Or in Kelly's case, one pass and bad three-point shot. Why is he even taking those shots? He hasn't made one in about 8 games. And he took three in the opening minutes of the game, six over all? Sheesh.

The only other offensive strategy we have is that when we get desperate Nolan takes over the game and goes one on four.

I don't see any set plays, any effective player rotation or movement of the ball. All the things we had when Kyrie was leading the team.

Well, I could go on and on, but most of the other problems have been noted here already. I still think that if we play harder than we have been we'll have a good chance of winning the ACC and getting a one-seed in the NCAAs. If we don't, we're going out early in both. We have the talent; we just need to apply it.

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/6/2011 12:04:54 AM  
Okay, EG - - I'm too dumb to get your point; sorry, dude.

Posted by: David MacMillan Date: 3/5/2011 11:49:54 PM  

Singler just hasn't had it all year. He is a warrior, and his jersey will be hanging in the rafters. But the fact is that he has not played as well this year as he did last year. I think, as usual, when the season is over we will hear that his knee was an issue.

Without Nolan being Superman, this would have been a 10-loss season easily. Anyone who votes for Jimmer over Nolan for NPOY just doesn't get it.

Kelly is not a good shooter. He had one little stretch when he made everything, but otherwise he has been a nightmare.

Clearly Dawkins has checked out and will not be on the team next year.

Why would any big man want to play for Duke? Yet the need is so obvious-- a good big man would start from day one.

This team's defense has not been good. The reason the efficiency is so high has more to do with the quality of our opponents than Duke's defense.

I believe Kyrie is going to give it a try. I don't think he will be able to make a difference in time to save the season.

Duke will not be a better team next season--simply losing too much talent. And I wonder how Austin Rivers is going to fit into the team concept, given the quotes I've read from him.

It's hard to believe that 27-4 is disappointing, but it is. I think we're all realizing that this is going to be a "what might have been" year. I hope I'm wrong and Kyrie's return turbocharges us.

I doubt it. I think if we win ACCT it will be because the Heels stumble before the final. Then, we will be a #1 seed that loses on the opening weekend, a la Kansas last year. Sorry to be so negative, but damn. This is the only place to vent with sensible fans.

Posted by: El Guapito Date: 3/5/2011 11:42:18 PM  

Not my point.

Posted by: tom Date: 3/5/2011 11:22:29 PM  
Congrats to the holes. Better team won tonight. And now, based on my word, I have to go to said fans at work and congratulate them on the win. But anyone could see where this game was going when they took a lead with Knox and 3 other seniors (including a short Asian kid) where able to out hustle Duke. It was basically, Nolan and Seth, and everyone else tonight and when you don't make but one shot in the final 10 minutes of the game you aren't going to win. No need to name said player(s) that played bad on defense and offense and couldn't get it together. It's just the way it goes but I do think it's a sign for how the rest of the season will play out and I agree with Matt about how far Duke will go, unless, something changes. This team so much reminds me of 2006 it's unbelievable. I even bought the special Heineken beer for tonight but to no avail. The Karma was just bad. And my folks visited and Duke started loosing when my mother sat down to watch the game. I kicked her out downstairs but to no avail. Maybe I should have told her to stay in a hotel. So, with that in mind I'll finish my beer and get ready for the ACC tournament. I have my days set up to take off for the tournaments so I can watch them (this is my Christmas) and I'm looking forward to it. Finally, I will add that 1 and 2 DO NOT play each other in the ACC tourney. I don't think it's happened since 2001. So, if you think Duke and UNC will play again I don't see it happening. But I've been wrong before. Enjoy the UNC ballwashing by the media and just see what happens.

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/5/2011 11:14:02 PM  
We definitely handed it to them. The fact that Nolan was single-handedly able to keep us within a 8-12 point range most of the night proves it. Nolan ALONE hung with the entire UNC line-up; he just couldn't bridge the gap alone. He's who I'm hurting for right now because he deserves better.

Strickland: I owe you an apology. Clearly you did have a guaranteed win, but not why you thought. Instead it was guaranteed by Duke when it only fielded 1.75 people.

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/5/2011 10:45:05 PM  
Just an absolute utter and total embarrassment to and failure by the program by everyone involved therewith except for Nolan Smith, who is fantastic and deserves better than this garbage. Coach K should be thoroughly humiliated. And no, before anyone says it, NCCH is NOT, repeat NOT a good team. They can advantage when they're handed a game, and boy, did Duke fully cooperate.

Bright side: only four or five games left in this season. Sad side: only four or five games left in Nolan's career. What a way for him to go out.

And yeah, NOW I'm disappointed and generally just angry. What a complete travesty.

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/5/2011 10:40:50 PM  
El Guapito, I imagine that the team knows Kyrie's status, or no one does.

Posted by: El Guapito Date: 3/5/2011 10:17:23 PM  
Dawkins (@ 82% FT %) missing 3 straight just sums up the whole night. Singler clearly needs a moment.

This team has lost it's identity and needs a shot in the arm. The interior scoring that was there at the beginning of the year is not there. The rebounding is not there. The loss of Kyrie is more than just a loss of a player, it is the loss of the philosophical understanding of who this team is, what they bought into, and what they were to become. They have not figured out a way to adjust as clearly they are hoping like the rest of us that he will return.

I have never enjoyed the forced trip to the Dump for the last game of the year. It lines up well, however, for another match-up in the final game of the ACC, where a win there would make this game amount to nothing.

The Kyrie tease, however is not fair to anyone and especially not this team. Do them a favor, either say when he is coming back or give him a medical redshirt. Stop giving the team and the fans the proverbial Blue Balls and let these guys know what their identity is once and for all.

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/5/2011 9:52:06 PM  
Since we all need some comic relief, my friend just texted me from her babysitting gig. She's watching the game with her charge - a 5 year-old boy - and he keeps saying things like "the guys in blue are the good guys" and that "the guys in white need to stop taking the ball from them"!!!

Well said!

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/5/2011 9:34:29 PM  
"Uneventful year?" wow - that is the biggest euphemism I have ever heard for the Hole's crap-feat last year!

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/5/2011 9:31:23 PM  
Nolan is just putting this team on his back right now. He is so POY. Not going to win it that way but he is just so special. Quick nod to Curry for being "Robin".

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/5/2011 9:20:43 PM  
LOL, what a complete joke. Just certify these guys for a #1 seed in the East and the national title right now. In other news, nice game by Sweaty, and another tough effort by VPI. Clutch!

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/5/2011 9:04:45 PM  
I think Tom needs to have that vodka tonic about now...

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/5/2011 8:41:59 PM  
Thanks for all the kudos people but you are FAR too kind. My drivel coming after Hotel Cryolina? UNKIND (to you readers that is). Matt - no need to thank me; it is I who should thank you for letting me contribute and ruin the quality of the materiel on here.

Okay, I am not terribly pleased right now. We are looking a little scattered. And why are the Tools making those threes???? Ugh!!!


I forgot: GTHC GTH!!!!

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/5/2011 8:01:33 PM  
ZOMG, hit the post button too early - - thanks to CDG for guesting. You were great as always, and you and ClemsonGuest are ever-so-kind to take up your time with this stuff. Thanks a ton!!!!! You rule.

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/5/2011 7:48:13 PM  
Glad you commenters enjoyed; thanks.

Sorry about not having more analysis, but . . . this has got to be one of the simplest teams to gameplan in the entire country. Donahue figured that out from game to game, and Coach K figured that out from half to half. Unfortunately, Donahue didn't quite have the horses to win, and naturally the ball bounced the Tools' way. Even Listless Len figured these guys out and had them beat before of course choking, and that was without his "best" player.

On reflection, I think Hess/Luckie/Cahill would be too obvious even for the ACC. Probably one of them, plus a more subtle Duke-hater like Kersey or Kitts, and never count out Roger Ayres or a Tim Nestor-like sleeper (literally) to allow Hess/Luckie to operate. Man, this conference sure has lots of awful officials. Wonder why? smh

Posted by: Phil Markell Date: 3/5/2011 7:29:03 PM  
Jesus H. LOL. Is this the funniest site on the Net? And I thought I laughed hard at the last Hotel Cryolina parody. Don't know how you do it, man.

Dunno about a margin of eight to ten, but I can see it happening. Stopping UNC is really easy on paper, but those bastards have all the luck as usual. Will be interesting to see. Count me as another one not depressed after the Clemson win.

Posted by: Al White Date: 3/5/2011 5:47:54 PM  
Fantastic previews and analysis from two countries! I didn't think anything could top the "Lawson's tires are squealing, Green's dad's on ice" version of "Hotel Cryolina", but Matt of course did. Horseface, you and your tools are a parodist's dream with your endless source of ridiculous material.

Kendall Marshall, with that ramrod straight trot, reminds me of Steve Martin's classic "Walk Like an Egyptian" sort-of dance on SNL. The key to containing this guy is not to let him lull you to sleep. Let's hold him to zero assists so Nolan can get the PPG/APG title double.

It was no surprise to see this morning that Harry Barnes was voted as the NBA player of the year for the 2011-2012 season. How else to justify his being a four-time first-team All-American before he got to Directional U? Unless the refs are on a mission to protect Harry at all costs, Kyle shuts the prodigy down. And the reverse will not be true. Think pull-ups, Medford Marvel.

I expect a tough contest because the Tools will get a lot more inside hoops than the Devils will. But the Twinks should not get anything beyond 10 feet. I see a narrow Devil win unless we shoot a lot better than we have been. If we shoot really well, think blowout!

Posted by: Jake Date: 3/5/2011 4:07:50 PM  
Loved the Hotel Cryolina -- a classic!

For the record (and I have no idea what record that might be -- may be something by the Eagles), I also thought the Clemson game was great. Just a fun game to watch, very exciting throughout, and an 11 point victory was really nice. No way we should have expected to win any bigger than that.

As for tonight, I think it'll be closer than 11 points. Don't know why. I just do. Carolina almost always plays us strong and they're at home playing for the conference regular season title. But I'm hoping they don't want it more than we do. We've settled on a kind of methodical, workman-like approach to our games this season, which usually works well. But I hope we don't find UNC's guys are flying around the floor, diving for loose balls and so forth (think St. Johns) while we smooth our way through the first half. We have to match if not top their intensity from the tip off or we'll find ourselves in a hole like last time.

Nolan will be Nolan, and I hope Kyle comes on strong, but I predict the key will be the play of Curry. If he has a hot night, the points will flow and -- just as important -- Nolan and Kyle will be less likely to be smothered by the UNC defense.

It should be a good test for us, one way or another.

Can't wait.

Posted by: Josh Date: 3/5/2011 2:52:49 PM  
With all the Eagles titles this year, I was hoping for a good song parody, and Hotel Cryolina ranks with the best of them. The rest of the material was great too - pulling out the big guns for a big game! Thanks Matt and CDG!

I have a dilemma. I have to (assistant) coach a high school regional final tonight at 7 PM (CST), which is, of course, the same time that this one is tipping off. I haven't decided what I'm going to do...DVR the game and "go dark," hoping that no one spills the beans to me, or DVR the game and sneak a peek at the score on my BlackBerry at halftime and after the game. Either way, I agree with the writeups - Duke is better. Forget the overplay defense and don't get into a track meet and the right shade of blue will win.

Posted by: dan Date: 3/5/2011 2:42:33 PM  
Great preview Matt and CDG.

Duke wins if:

Nolan plays under control
Kyle posts his averages
The bigs play the entire game like they did the second half of the 1st UNC game.

Go Duke!

Posted by: tom Date: 3/5/2011 2:39:23 PM  
Great stuff guys. We'll see what happens.

Posted by: The Short Fuse Date: 3/5/2011 1:48:20 PM  
Wow, I didn’t think that “Hotel Cryolina” could be bested but you never cease to amaze me. :) Good luck today Duke! :)

Posted by: KD Date: 3/5/2011 1:14:31 PM  
Thanks, CDG and Matt. Great stuff as usual, and the Hotel Cryolina is once again a classic. I think the Duke Nation is not feeling great about our chances in this one, so I like both of your thoughts on how we get it done. Although I agree that Harry was not the reason that Kyle whiffed in the last contest against the Holes, the combination of his defense and the long arms of the two freaks inside really created problems for Kyle. He rushed and chucked shots all night because he just wasn't able to find any space. Unfortunately, I think they may be in the cards again tonight. However, I like Matt's stat track on Kyle's nice work from 3. Although I usually am pleading Kyle to lighten up on his 3 attempts, I think he is going to have to make 4 or 5 for us to win tonight. Be hot, my man. And of course, somebody else has to help out Nolan and Kyle. Would love to see Seth again, but I have my sights on Mason or Andre to pull a double-digit scoring night. Some Duke friends coming down from Durham tonight - hope that brings good luck. Go Duke!

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