UNC showed some improvement from the first, dreary parts of the season
against Kentucky, but not enough. The
game was still dreary: poor shot selection, disastrous ball handling, and an
inability to shut down the hot hand. That would be Tayshawn Prince, and
hot is an understatement. Doherty marveled at the distance of one shot and
thought there was no point in chasing someone that far. Well, unless he's making
them, that is. Jim Valvano would have slapped a box and one on Tayshawn
Prince, and he would have used Jackie Manuel to chase.
Kris Lang continues to impress, now that Brendan Haywood is out of the
middle. Lang's low-post game is better than anyone saw previously, and he
showed some real heart, playing the second half after throwing up at halftime.
No truth to the rumor that Matt Doherty was throwing up in the next stall over.
To make matters worse, after seeing a similar dome, and one with passionate,
loud fans, UNC partisans are realizing what the rest of the conference and
outlanders like Rico Hines have long-since figured out: The Dean Dome
offers no particular advantage to the home team. Leaving Carmichael was,
in many respects, a disaster for the program. We saw Ron Curry take a cell
call during the Indiana game. That could never happen at Duke - you can't
even hear your cell phone ring - and it could never have happened at
Carmichael, either. That place was a first-class pit,. right up with
Cameron, Reynolds, and Cole. After this year, only Cameron is left.
On the other hand, though, apparently the crowds weren't overwhelming, so
despite UNC's trauma this year, the
aura still travels.
Sagarin update: UNC is at 243.
have redefined their season in Syracuse by
taking it to the Orangemen in a big way. We'll confess: we expected to see
dreary things out of State as well. It's too bad they couldn't beat UMass,
but this makes up for it in many ways and, finally, gives the Pack some reason
for optimism. They can't count on that kind of night from Grundy (26 points) on
a regular basis, but it's still great news.
Tough loss for the Tigers as South Carolina hammered
them but good. Points for Dave Odom! And in the
isn't-this-pathetic category, Western
Carolina stuck it to Florida State last night. That's pretty bad.
Maryland plays Detroit today with Byron Mouton, who of course is dealing with
family tragedy (his brother was murdered). Fortunately for Maryland, Taj
Holden seems ready to step up.