The current state of electricty in North Carolina is pretty bad, and it came home for all to see in yesterday's televised game from the RBC Center between NC State at South Carolina; a 23 minute power failure in the first half interrupted play. The time out did not cool the
Wolfpack, who went on to win, anyway. Julius Hodge was key in the win, with his new career-high 26 points.
We watched the game and it basically looked like a
State-Wake game from a few years ago, except that Mr. Peepers was coaching the
Chickens instead of the Deacs. Seriously, though, Dave Odom did a nice job
under tough circumstances, and State played pretty well, at least after a while,
anyway. They did some foolish things - fouling 3 point shooters repeatedly
being one of them - but at the end of the day, despite weak center play, no
point guard, and Julius Hodge bearing more than his share of the burden,
State came through just fine.
After the game, Herb Sendek made a mildly
bitter crack about how he wasn't supposed to be able to coach free throw
shooting, but he had somehow figured it out and was now a better coach.
Apparently some air got into one of those air-tight compartments he prattles on
Dave Odom had made some noises about how it would be nice
for more ACC teams to play South Carolina. Well, South Carolina can blame
themselves for that. Ok, kids, history lesson: the athletic also-ran known as
the University of South Carolina was once a member of the ACC. Under
former UNC coach Frank McGuire, a man who paid his players, incidentally, and
that's documented, South Carolina developed a bit of a persecution complex and
grew increasingly bitter towards the ACC. They announced that they were
departing after the 1971 season. As the season progressed, the
rancor grew on both sides, and South Carolina got their wish, but not without a
great deal of nastiness all around.
McGuire's decision to be an independent proved to be an utter disaster, South
Carolina made periodic inquiries about rejoining the ACC, but were turned down
flat. As McGuire's career declined, and South Carolina tanked, they joined
the Metro 7 from 1984-1991, before the SEC finally took them in. Meanwhile, the ACC was raking in enormous amounts of money, gaining huge prestige, and all South Carolina had to show for their departure was a crooked coach who left the athletic program in a shambles and a trip to basketball purgatory that has yet to end.
But hey, they sure told the conference off.
Anyway, as much as anything, that's why they rarely play ACC teams, Clemson excluded.
FSU could whine more than they do, but they got a decent coach and he's getting results that should be raising some eyebrows: beat Iowa, lost to Florida by one, beat Miami. UNC is
coming up on the 22nd, which looks like a really interesting game
suddenly. FSU will probably go into that game at 6-1 and could give UNC
some trouble. Matt "knock on Wood" Doherty can't take that game
lightly, because FSU is suddenly tough.
the way, have you noticed how often Doherty says "knock on wood?" It's
like a Vitale-ism! Hey Matt! Save some for me! You've got great hair, a
beautiful wife, and a perfect job! Leave somethin' for Dickie V, baby!
continues to find out that making it to the top ain't easy, leave alone staying
struggled a bit before putting away neighborhood patsy George Washington.
Check this out - GW outrebounded the Terps 38-28, and 19-9 offensively.
That's meliorated somewhat because the team shot 55%. But the backcourt
took half the total shots. That's not the entire backcourt, that's Steve
Blake and Drew Nicholas. Perhaps the earlier criticisms about a weak
inside game are proving to be correct.
Of course, after the football conference championships, the talk is of where the ACC is going. The ACC's BCS representative this year is Florida State (9-4), who will be sacrificed to Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. North Carolina State (10-3) gets to play on January 1, in the Gator Bowl against Notre Dame. Maryland (10-3) gets Tennessee in the Peach Bowl. Georgia Tech (7-5) will meet Fresno State in the Silicon Valley "Classic." Wake Forest (6-6) becomes the first ACC team with six losses to get a bowl invitation, to play Oregon in the Seattle Bowl. Virginia (8-4) plays West Virginia in Charlotte in a new bowl game named after its sponsor. Clemson (7-5) rounds out the ACC's bowl schedule, playing Texas Tech in the Tangerine Bowl. Only Duke and North Carolina stay home for the holidays.