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ACC Roundup

Things went from bad to worse
in many respects for UNC in their loss to
For a lot of the game, UNC was never that far out of it - maybe
just one Brian Morrison hot streak away. A couple of three pointers, a
nice pass, and it's a tie game and then State's nervous. And let's face it - it
wasn't like State ran away from UNC for the entire game. The Heels, despite
missing Manuel and Capel, were never too far out until relatively late.
Moreover, they played much of the game at their own pace, not allowing State to
run wild. UNC's zone clearly bothered State in spots.

In the halfcourt, State a lot of times looks lost. There are a lot of
guys who stand around, and several times, they ended up with a forced shot
late. Despite a clear advantage in athleticism, they only shot .464 from
the floor.

However, they took really good care of the ball, only turning it over 6
times, and UNC tossed it away 16 times. That's not good, but considering State's
defensive prowess, and UNC's weakness, we thought the Pack might have had break
after break.

Didn't happen.

In many ways, the biggest surprise about this game was the number of State
fans who got in the Dean Dome
. It was clear even on TV that they managed
to get a lot of red-clad folks in the baby blue snooze
, and even in the
best of times (let's be honest) 1,000 State fans are more than enough
competition for the rest of the Dean Dome crowd.

This segues nicely into a comment on the respective fan bases. UNC has gotten
used to success, and it's understandable that this season maybe it's easy to not
go to a game or two. And as someone pointed out to us, many UNC fans drive
to the games from places like Salisbury, Charlotte, or points

Still, it's not like all State fans live within walking distance of the ESA,
and they have struggled since Valvano left with precious little glory to tide
them over. They packed Reynolds, they have mostly packed the ESA, and they
have been passionte fans even when their team has seemed cursed.

Woody Durham and Mick Mixon berated the fans who gave away their tickets,
we can understand that, but we heard from a reader that they referred to a
couple of specific seats occupied by State fans and promised to keep an eye on
that spot next week when Duke comes to town.

It's unfortunate for UNC that so many people chose to skip this
, but in
fairness, this is the choice they made when the prime Dean Dome seating went to
fatcats and bluehairs. There is no question that UNC's fans are just as
passionate about their team as is State, but unfortunately, they aren't in a
position to demonstrate it since the rowdy ones don't have tickets.

Focusing on two particular seats in that way almost smacks of vigilantism in
a way. We understand Woody's point and we support it wholeheartedly, since
Cameron similarly invaded by the baby blue in the 70s. Oddly, Woody wasn't
offended then.

It raises an interesting question though: since Duke is UNC's most hated
rival, and looking like the best team in the country, and UNC is at a
now-unquestionable historic low, will UNC fans go to the game or opt out,
assuming Duke will romp as Maryland, Wake, and State have done?

We're not in the habit of giving Matt Doherty advice or comfort, but we will
say this: he's learning now who he can and can't count on. If he turns out
to be highly successful in the long run, hard times will have revealed who
his true supporters are, and that's a luxury that a lot of guys don't get at the
beginning of their tenures.

In the other Wednesday night ACC game, Maryland just ran over Wake
Wake, at this point, is underachieving, and that was something you
hoped was gone with Dave Odom. It'll be interesting to see how Prosser
addresses this. Here's
Lenox Rawlings on the game.
Here's the
too, and the Sun on
Maryland's win.