Tag:North Carolina
Posted on: March 12, 2010 12:16 am
Edited on: March 12, 2010 1:17 am

Thursday Night Wrap-up

Thomas Beisner

12:00 pm

After what already seems to be four to five weeks of conference tournaments in our rear view mirror, Selection Sunday is now coming up on the horizon and things are starting to sort themselves out a bit.  On Thursday, some teams were relegated to the bubble and prayers (Memphis) while some teams continued their post-season hoops hopes (Notre Dame).  With 27 games on the docket for Friday, including the Patriot League Championship, answers are certain to be headed the way of all college basketball fans.  Before we get started, though, let's look back at what turned out to be a big-time Thursday in the world of college basktball.

Will the Onuaku injury affect seeding? - Perhaps the biggest story on Thursday (besides Syracuse's loss) was the injury suffered by Syracuse big man Arinze Onuaku which, depending on who you talk to, is either major or minor. Onuaku will have an MRI on Friday and the results will be available….probably after the seeding is announced. Especially if it’s serious. Regardless of what the injury turns out to be, you’d have to assume the Orange is fairly safe with their #1 seed. What they need to be more concerned about, however, is how a team that is now essentially only six-deep is going to respond in a two games in three days tournament setting.

The Big Names are Done - It was really only a matter of time until they all bid adieu to this year’s college basketball season, but a trio of big name programs finally had the final nail placed in their post-season coffin on Thursday. North Carolina jumped out to a double-digit lead against Georgia Tech and then came out in the second half looking all North Carolina-like and gave the game away. Tom Crean’s Indiana Revival, still sputtering along in year two, took a thumping at the hands of mighty Northwestern while Arizona’s run of 25 straight NCAA tourney appearances came to an end (after two years of undeserved bids) against another traditional power on life support, UCLA. They say things are going to get better. I say at least they didn’t give up like UConn. I am worried about Sean Miller, though. The losses seem to be taking their toll and he’s gone from looking like a sober Billy Gillispie to Texas A&M Billy Gillispie. That’s not a good trend.

If a tree falls in the Staples Center, does it make a sound? - The national media wrote the Pac-10 off a long, long time ago. Surprisingly, the Pac-10 fans apparently have done the same. Outside of the Salt Lake City's Megaplex 12 during the premiere of I Got the Hookup, it’s possible that no venue has ever been so empty for such a fan-friendly event.  I watched Oregon and Washington’s overtime affair Wednesday night (a great game) while feeding my son and the Staples Center appeared to have about only 7-8 people more than my couch. When UCLA plays in their home city and can’t get fans, you know it’s bad. However, the Pac-10 tournament did introduce me to Rebecca Haarlow, so it can’t be all bad, right?

Coaching redemption in C-USA - With John Calipari gone from Memphis, the national spotlight has dimmed significantly on the only official conference of the United States. UTEP seized the opportunity and grabbed the regular season title with a 15-1 record, but it’s a couple of underdog coaches that are making the most of their chances. Seventh-seeded Houston coach Tom Penders is being reported as a dead man walking whose employment only lasts as long as his team’s season. After an upset of second-seeded Memphis, it lasts another day. His semifinal opponent, Southern Miss, is coached by another recognizable name trying to make the most of his situation. Larry Eustachy, the disgraced former Iowa State coach, has made steady improvements in his sixth season in Hattiesberg and brought home his 20th win in an upset of UAB (and their former big name coach Mike Davis). By Friday evening, one of these two maligned coaches will be one win away from going dancing.

Jimmer! - Obviously wanting to prove that Montana's Anthony Johnson isn't the only guy out west who can fill it up, BYU junior Jimmer Fredette poured in a Mountain West tournament record 45 points in a win over TCU.  Fredette, who had been battling strep throat, mono, a stomach virus, typhoid fever, the mumps, pink eye, an ingrown toenail and Osgood Schlatter's disease, returned to the lineup with a bang, though I feel his 45 points are cheapened a bit by 23 made free throws.  Anthony Johnson wouldn't do that.  But, I do respect The Jimmer for his honesty displayed in this interview, perhaps the most honest in college basketball history (fast forward to 3:45).

Frankengody has returned - If you’ve watched Luke Harangody’s basketball career the past 27 years, you knew he was going to come back and play at least one more game. He just wouldn’t go out like that. But, give Harangody credit for not only coming back, but for being an impact player despite his injury and sparking his team to three wins now and, dare I say, the NCAA tournament. The Irish will get a shot at West Virginia Friday and Harangody will look to come off the bench and lead his team in scoring for the third straight game. Plus, he’s the only person besides my wife who can get only two haircuts in 12 months and be perfectly fine with hit. That deserves some respect.

The Almosts - Oh, how close they came. Air Force and LSU, winners of a combined three conference games, pushed a pair of highly ranked teams to the brink. LSU gave Bruce Pearl and Tennessee all they could handle before fading down the stretch and Air Force lost a heartbreaker to New Mexico, 75-69. I wish we could say some inspiring things to both teams but there’s nothing left to say. Except maybe to just clean out their lockers. You don’t want this season lingering any longer than it has to.

The other #1 seeds take the floor Friday - On Thursday, Syracuse fell to Georgetown and Kansas got a good little push from Texas Tech. On Friday, the presumed other two top seeds, Kentucky and Duke, take the floor and try to get used to their dancing shoes. Duke will square off with Virginia, a team that once lead the conference and snapped a nine-game losing streak Thursday, in a game where they’ll be heavily favored. With West Virginia still in contention for a Big East title, the Dukies might have to win the ACC tournament to keep their top seed. Meanwhile, John Calipari will lead his troops against Alabama in his first ever SEC tournament game. The Cats beat the Tide on February 9 and shouldn’t encounter much trouble. However, they then will likely face Tennessee and Vanderbilt in loseable games. Their #1 footing is more solid than Duke’s, but it's important that the young Cats get comfortable in the post-season tournament setting before embarking on the what is shaping up to be a journey full of very high expectations.

Friday’s Games to Watch

Illinois vs. Wisconsin 2:00 pm
*Lehigh vs. Lafayette 4:45 pm
Texas A&M vs. Kansas 7:00 pm
Georgetown vs. Marquette 7:00 pm
Notre Dame vs. West Virginia 9:00 pm
San Diego State vs. New Mexico 9:00 pm
Baylor vs. Kansas State 9:30 pm

* denotes championship game

Posted on: March 11, 2010 10:11 pm

Open stinkin' letter

John Wilkinson

Hi Folks, 

It's me, Roy. 

Well, I'm not one for chit-chat so I'll just get right to it, we stink. We stink somethin' awful. Shoot, I remember one time back when I was a boy, and we put some kind of a carcass, I think it was an opossum, and hid it under the seat of my buddy's truck where it stayed for a good five weeks. That was some daggum stink right there, but even that is nothin' compared to the stench comin' from this locker room. 

16-16? Where in tarnation did it all go wrong? 

My masseuse thinks I'm stressed, well heck-fire I am stressed. I'm sure I'll wake up with some For Sale signs in my yard. That's fine. I'll just take 'em all down, but not before I remove both of my championship rings. 

Look, I'm not one to get all emotional or nothin', but I'm still just tryin' to adjust to life after Tyler. I miss him. I'd be a duggumed liar if I said otherwise. Boy, I remember this time last year, cuttin' down the nets with Tyler and those kids, it was sweeter than the first sip of an ice-cold Coke-Cola on a muggy mountain afternoon. 

Well, I suppose I gotta sweat it out for the gosh-dagged NIT now. I tell ya, I hurt for my kids. I feel like I've failed to instill in them the Carolina Way. It's time to roll up the sleeves and get to work, daggumit. I'm strappin' on my tool belt folks, ol' Roy aint stayin' down for long, I tell ya that right now. 

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 25, 2010 3:08 am
Edited on: March 9, 2010 7:53 pm

Final Dean Dome thoughts

By Thomas Beisner

8:00 AM

1.  Where have all the Tar Heel fans gone?
- I know North Carolina is struggling.  I know it was a rainy Wednesday night.  I know the very sexy ACC Swimming and Diving Championships were going on next door.  Still, the crowd at the Dean Dome was not what I expected from one of the most storied programs of all-time.  What we originally thought would end up being a late-arriving crowd turned out to be a never-arriving crowd, leaving the storied building to be a cavernous, empty shell of a basketball arena against the Seminoles.  The Carolina fans we spoke with said that it was a little worse than usual, but that it seemed to be pretty typical of what they were seeing late in this disappointing season.  Fair weather fans are nothing new to college sports.  I'm just shocked to see an apparently apathetic attitude strike Chapel Hill.  Definitely not what we expected.

2.  The Dean Dome is dangerous - Though I was worried the community troughs in the bathrooms would mean I'd walk in on someone with their pants around their ankles while they enjoyed a mid-game tinkle, it turned out to be the last of my architectural concerns.  The seats in the lower level of the dome are designed to recline a bit, adding a bit of comfort not seen at many basketball arenas.  However, those same reclining seats also present a serious threat to your shins and knees because as soon as someone sits down, that seatback comes rocketing into your shins and pins you in place.  North Carolina:  the only school where the fans might be more injured than the team.  Of course, no one was in the arena, so everytime it happened, we just moved and talked to someone else.

3.  A strange Jordan tribute - As we mentioned earlier, UNC came out sporting special edition silver and white Jordan brand jersies.  Sure, it makes more sense for Carolina to do it than Georgetown and California (who will also take part in the tribute), but it seems a little odd that these schools are not honoring Jordan's on-court accomplishments.  The jersies are a tribute to the 25th anniversary of Jordan's  shoe launch.  Luckily for UNC players, I saw a Michael Jordan Nissan dealership in Durham, so maybe they'll get to celebrate that anniversary soon.  Or maybe Charlie Sheen can stop by next week and be honored for his underwear commercials with Jordan.

4.  To the woman who gave me a bag of chips:  Thank you.  I was hungry.

5.  The forgotten Jordan - After Roy Williams' press conference, the road trip crew congregated again on press row and soaked in the history hanging from the rafters of the Dean Dome.  Between all the national championship banners and the retired players, you can tell that you were in a place of great historical significance.  But, our eyes were all drawn to one retired jersey hanging in the back row of what seemed to be hundreds of retired jersies.  Sitting in the back, there was a #8 Jordan jersey, which of course made us laugh about how much that guy had to hate Michael Jordan for coming to UNC.  However, a quick Google search actually provided us with an interesting story that none of us were aware of.  The #8 jersey belonged to Jim Jordan, who earned All-American honors in 1945 and 1946 as a Tar Heel.  Certainly an impressive career, but it's not all that's on Jim Jordan's resume.  In 1946, he transferred to the University of Kentucky where he played on the 1948 national championship team...and somehow received his master's from Eastern Kentucky in the same year.  Jim Jordan, you might not have a shiny cool jersey for the Heels to wear, but you just earned infinite respect for the "random trivia" points you just gave us.

All in all, the Dean Dome wasn't what we expected.  It was definitely a cool stop and it was neat to see all it's history.  But, on that Wednesday night, that's exactly what it seemed to be.  History.

Morehead, we're on our way.  Get ready.
Posted on: February 24, 2010 4:06 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2010 7:55 pm

Tar Heels to get dolled up for CBS Road Trip crew

By Thomas Beisner

4:00 pm

As we continue to fight Mother Nature's wrath (and potentially brace for the worst yet this weekend), anticipation continues to grow as the road trip crew gets set to visit the Dean Dome tonight.  Coming off of trips to Kansas and Kentucky, history is the word on everyone's minds and Chapel Hill shouldn't disappoint. 

The powers that be at UNC were also so moved that they've declared tonight a Michael Jordan appreciation night of sorts and will sport special white and silver Jordan brand jersies for their shakedown with Florida State....according to John Henson's Twitter account.  You can see the uniforms (and, conveniently enough, buy them) here.  I don't see mysel running out to get one but, in rivalry fairness, they're not as hideous as Duke's subtle graphic uniforms that have been putting the "Jersey" in jersey for a few years now.

UNC, we see your generous move of pomp and circumstance and it is appreciated.  Much like you'll see us.  Hiding in a laundry hamper after the game trying to steal one.  Though, that probably won't be as appreciated.

Chapel Hill, let's do this.

Posted on: February 24, 2010 12:54 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2010 12:58 pm

FAQ: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

By C.M. Tomlin

1:00 PM

As the CBS College Basektball Road Trip continues to criss-cross all over the country, taking in as many games as possible, the journey takes the crew from town to town and city to city. While in many of these places, much like the A-Team, we meet people who need our help defeating greedy businessmen or avenging wrongs, we also have tried our best to get to know these oft-famous spots on the map and bring the information back to you. You’re welcome, Mr. and Mrs. America, for Frequently Asked Questions Chapel Hill, the home of the University of North Carolina.

Where is Chapel Hill?

Chapel Hill is located in North Carolina and is the home of the very large University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a school which claims to be the oldest state-supported university in the United States.

 What’s the University of North Carolina like?

It is the home of the UNC Tarheels men’s basketball team, one of the most storied teams in college basketball history, among other major sports programs.

Yes, I know of their basketball team. They were coached by that Dean guy.

Yes. Dean Smith.

Right. I love it when he played a drunk guy and sang with Frank Sinatra. That was hilarious.

That was Dean Martin. Dean Smith coached at UNC from 1966 to 1997 and is a Basketball Hall of Fame inductee. He led the Tarheels to two national titles and eleven final fours.

Isn’t Chapel Hill close to Duke University?

You’re right. In fact, Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh are the North Carolina cities which make up what’s known as Research Triangle.

Yeah, I know about that. That’s where airplanes disappear.

No, it’s not. It’s an area of research and development centers for many major corporations, including Verizon, Microsoft and AT&T. 

What’s a Tarheel?

No one’s quite sure where the name Tarheel come from, but it’s believed that it is a product of the fact that tar and turpentine come from North Carolina’s sprawling pine forests.

And pinecones too.

Yes, probably pinecones too.

Where is Chapel Hill located?

Chapel Hill is located very near the center of the state, in Orange County.

You’re a liar. Orange County is in California.

There is also an Orange County in North Carolina.

Oh. Is there anything to do in Chapel Hill?

Yes, Chapel Hill is known as the home of many popular bands, including Southern Culture on the Skids, Ben Folds Five and Archers of Loaf. It was also named “America’s Foodiest Small Town” by Bon Apetit magazine, which is another way of saying there are a lot of people in Chapel Hill with whom it probably sucks to get stuck talking to at parties.

Where do the Tarheels play basketball?

Great question. The Tarheels play at the Dean Smith Center, also known as the “Dean Dome.”

“Dean Dome.” That’s funny. It sounds like a doorbell.

Yes, kind of.

Sounds like a pretty nice place to visit. Maybe I’ll check it out.

You really should. It’s quite an interesting college town.

I am not flying over that triangle though. So you can forget it.

Duly noted.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com