As the long, slow thaw continues here in NC, games are back
underway as of today - but that doesn't mean big crowds. Anticipating
that, UNC did the right thing and will admit any student who shows up with a
picture ID for free, according to WRAL last night.
Last night's only game took place in warm, sunny (compared to here, maybe)
Charlottesville, where UVa continued their march to the NCAAs with an 86-81 win
over FSU. Because of the weather, links are few. Here's
the intrepid Sabre! UVa is now firmly in 3rd place, making tonight's UNC-Maryland
matchup that much more key. Maryland
has managed to actually get to Greensboro, and will drive to Chapel Hill
later today. There is pressure all round in this game - pressure on both teams,
both coaches, and
Terence Morris. Paul Erisslin makes the intriguing suggestion that maybe
the snow storm was exactly what UNC needed - that it kept the world at bay.
Ned Barnett has a column up
about the vindication of Todd Turner. He says that Turner looks like a
genius for hiring Sendek at State and Stallings at Vandy, but come on.
Sendek was on State's list, but it took awhile for them to get around to hiring
him - weren't there two other guys they were more interested in? It took
them awhile to get around to Herb. We said at the time that anyone who took an
Indiana Mr. Basketball away from Bob Knight was someone worth pursuing - that
and his record and what Pitino said, which was glowing. The wonder was it took
State so long, not that they got him.
As for Stallings, the surprise is that it took him so long to move up - and
that he moved up to Vandy rather than a more established school. No knock
on Vandy, but after his sensational record at Illinois State, schools made a run
every spring. He seems like a perfect fit at Vandy, and is doing a
brilliant job there.
Turner doesn't so much deserve credit for having a brilliant eye for talent
as he does for persuasion. That's still pretty good, though.
Sendek is getting it done at State. It's a new day,
which is illustrated by Anthony Grundy, who has no memory of Valvano in the
Pit, saying, somewhat cruelly to those of us who do remember, "I was only
State, of course, is a strong candidate for the NCAA, but there
is a lot of dust to settle in the ACC yet. Wake is desperately
trying to figure out what has gone wrong.
Of all ACC performers, perhaps
no one has improved as much as Will Solomon. Last season, he was a guy who
could play a bit, and helped in a pinch. This season, partly due to
Clemson's collapse, and partly due to his own hard work, he has emerged as a
legitimate player, which is great. But the losing, clearly, is killing