It went down to the wire, again, but Florida State booted the Lawson-less Heels out of the ACC semifinals, 73-70.Â UNC, despite not having Ty Lawson, and despite Danny Green's mental vacation, still almost won.Â It was pretty impressive that they were still right there.
But FSU did win, and the win sets up some issues for Duke Sunday.Â In Cameron, the 'Noles just pounded Duke, injuring three players.Â Their size presents a lot of problems, not least of all Solomon Alabi, who has really wowed Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe, who thinks he could be the next great big man.
Bob Ryan, incidentally, the columnist for the Boston Globe, thinks UNC might have gone undefeated if Marcus Ginyard had been healthy.
Far be it from us to argue that people be consistent, but on Saturday, John Feinstein wrote this admiring column about Maryland and Gary Williams. And for Sunday, they're a mediocrity?Â Oh, we get it - someone else wrote this blurb on the sports page: "Maryland and comparative schools from major conferences on the NCAA tournament bubble are likely to get the benefit of the doubt over mid-majors." Tuck that under the headline "Mediocrity Wins Again," and confusion is understandable.
Obviously the title game still has to be played.Â But now attention starts to turn to who will actually get bids.Â From here, we'd think it's Duke, UNC, Wake, Florida State, Clemson, B.C. and Maryland.Â Â Really, the only questionable one is Maryland, and we think they made their case.
Left to wonder what went wrong are Frank Haith and Seth Greenberg.Â Left to fend off angry fans and appease A.D.'s are Paul Hewitt, Dave Leitao, and Sidney Lowe.Â All three have had some level of pressure, but none are likely to get fired.Â In Hewitt's case, he has a great recruiting class coming in with Derrick Favors the headliner.Â Virginia has already said Leitao will be back.Â And while State fans are sick of mediocrity, they can't get rid of Sidney Lowe just yet.Â For one thing, they had trouble replacing Herb Sendek, as coaches were wary of fending off both Duke and UNC and then the fans as well.
The desire to punish someone has or will turn to A.D. Lee Fowler, but fans would do well to remember that not only have they chased off a successful coach in Herb Sendek, but also Fowler's predecessor, Todd Turner.Â If we recall correctly, and we may not, since it's not our school, but Turner was replaced by Les Robinson, and then Robinson by Fowler.Â And Turner came in to replace Valvano, who replaced State's long-time A.D., whose name we can't recall.
Turner, you may recall, was similarly despised and left despite doing a good job in a very tough situation.Â But if you accept the argument that Fowler isn't very good - and we basically do - who was the last competent A.D. they had?
Robinson was not really a modern A.D., but he wasn't really expected to be, either. The only two guys they've had who are really trained for the contemporary environment are Turner, who left for Vandy, and Fowler, who started out there.
For whatever that's worth.
State fans want to do well; everyone does.Â But there seems to be this idea that all they have to do is to fire someone and things will get better. Well one way or another, they've gotten rid of Les Robinson, Todd Turner, Herb Sendek, Chuck Amato, and now Sidney Lowe and Lee Fowler are under some fan pressure.
We understand the frustration.Â We've had Duke football to think about for 20 years or so.Â Longer, really.Â And a lot of Duke fans were really frustrated with former A.D. Joe Alleva - and some people in the department, truth be told.
Just running people off won't help anything.Â Who's going to come to State if coaches were reluctant to go through what Herb Sendek went through - and then if they do it to one of their own?Â You'd have to think the same goes for A.D.'s as well. We don't have the answer or anything, but creating endless hostility can't work for anyone.
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