NC State 83 UNC 79

Honestly this was just par for the course on my day. I had a project going in the yard to assemble a storage shed and let’s just say that went about as well as the Heels day across town from me. With about 10 minues to go in the game I abandoned by project(out of sheer fatigue) with half the roof missing and UNC trailing to the Pack only to come and watch the rest of it on TV. In the end UNC was also left with half their roof missing and NC State had themselves a huge win.

Now, it is not that UNC played that badly, on the contrary they could have gotten by with the effort except for two things: (1) NC State controlled the tempo which disrupted the flow of the game for UNC’s offense and (2) NC State shot the lights out to the tune of 60%. Some of that was UNC defense and some of it was the kind of offense NC State ran which pulled Hansbrough and Wright away from the basket too much. NC State was also fired up, for obvious reasons for this could be the biggest win they record all season.

What does loss really mean? I would be foolish to say that it does not hurt. UNC falls back to second place with BC winning today. In regards to the that it also removes the margin of error on winning the regular season. Aside from that it adds another pressure to the Duke game since the last think you want at this point is a two game losing streak. I also think it could impact seeding in the NCAA Tournament but that could very well be mitigated by whatever NC State does from this point on. If the Pack continues to roll then this loss looks far less problematic and already is when you consider this team beat Virginia Tech in Blacksburg on Wednesday night.

I said in the preview that this was a textbook trap game and UNC just did not adjust to the way NC State was playing them. This is the Tar Heel youth coming to bear and it has some of the lunatic fringe in Tar Heel nation screaming that this means UNC will not win the national title. My own take is that winning the title has to do with what happens in the NCAA Tournament not what happened today. I figured there was a bad loss in the offing and I am not totally suprised that it was this one. There have been some to question whether UNC has heart enough to win the title and again I did not see a lack of heart today or desire for that matter. I think UNC was looking past a team that could not seem to miss and executed their gameplan to perfection. If the loss at Virgina Tech taught us anything it was that Roy can get the team refocused. I expect nothing less here.

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11 Responses to NC State 83 UNC 79

  1. metrowolf says:

    First things first: I’m a State grad.

    I understand some of the Tar Heel faithful are gnashing their teeth. As much as you would like to, you can’t beat State every time we play. Historically speaking you guys are way ahead but something happened tonight. UNC’s overconfidence, combined with State’s recent win at VT, gave us a leg up tonight.

    Okay, that aside is this the end of the Heels season (to say nothing of yet another shot at the national title)? Are you nuts?! Only if you convince yourselves it is. I fully expect Ol’ Roy to remind the team of a few things in no uncertain terms. Whereupon you’ll get fired up to clean Duke’s clock.

    One more thing. Before you get into serious self-flagellation, take a good long look at your roster. Most other teams in the country would gladly kick their first string to the curb to play the Heels bench.

    Good luck with the rest of your season (except when State plays at Chez Dean). And please flog Duke like Miami was a warm-up.

  2. Andy says:

    This could have been a lot worse; State did one hell of a job controlling the temp. The key to running that type of “tempo-based” offense is hitting shots, which they did. And you have to give credt where credit is due. State executed their game plan perfectly.
    One thing that encouraged me was how well Lawson played. He’ no Raymond Felton (yet), but I think he’s grooming himself into someone who can control the team if/when Hansbrough or Wright are in foul trouble or are taken away from the game.
    Of course I would have loved for us to beat State, but it’s not like we lost to Florida State or Wake Forest. I think the Heels were looking past Raleigh to Durham on Wednesday night, and it hurt them.

  3. william says:

    Carolina has been exposed.

    They are too soft, play without passion and lack outside shooters who can create their own shot. As deep as they are, only the strangely listless Brandan Wright would have been talented enough to start on the 2005 team; neither Lawson nor Ellington is as good as Felton and McCants were.

    With the exception of Hansborough, they just are not mean enough and there has been scant improvement among the team’s three other sophmores. Carolina’s 2005 team had been through the ringer and truly seen the worst side of things. When McCants was out for four tough games and when things got grim in the Duke and Villanova games, and when Illinois made a furious comeback in front of mostly Illini fans in St. Louis, that team could buckle down and muddle through and do what it needed to win ugly.
    Last year’s team made up for lack of depth and talent by uniting into a ferocious unit that ripped through the ACC’s second half like a buzzsaw, far exceeding any reasonable expectations.

    This pampered group prances around like a herd of show ponies, constantly looking over at Williams with an expression that says, “Coach, do something. This team isn’t afraid of us.” Three times this team has experienced adversity and three times it has crumbled, while making superficial comebacks that hid the true depth of the loss in question.

    While they may still have too much talent for Duke on Wednesday night, a 20 point win, although satisfying to Carolina fans is not what they need. Duke’s 2005 took a more talented Tar Heel team through a proverbial basketball hell and made that team work for every point in a way that they had never had to before, just getting a mere split took every ounce of effort that the Tar Heels could muster. This team needs a win like that and fast, if it has any hopes of achieving its goals.

    The only problem is that I don’t think that running wind sprints can create a passion to win. Michael Jordan was known to blow up whenever his team lost a scrimmage in practice. You either want it or you don’t. Tyler Hansborough wants it. Does Reyshawn Terry or do any of the other guys? It doesn’t look like it.

  4. Tar Heel Fan says:

    They are also a very young team some of whom are doing this for the first time on the college level. Reference one of more recent posts where I do think this team lacks a true emotional leader to push the team through the tough games. Terry is not that guy and Hansbrough is not vocal enough to really influence the other players.

  5. william says:

    And to be fair in criticism…. I am a huge Roy Williams fan. I buy Coke and I think that he may be a better overall coach than Dean was. However, I did not think that he was coaching to necessarily win this game. The clock management at the end made no sense. State was close to running out of players and Carolina could have fouled early to extend the game and then tried to foul out State players down low. Instead, we let 22 seconds run off the clock each time and then did a ticky-tack foul.

    I know that he will never admit that but he has at times had some bad losses early in the year followed by amazing improvement. Anyone remember Matt Doherty and May, McCants and Felton ripping Kansas in New York in 2003? Roy ended up in the Finals and Carolina lost to Georgetown in the NIT.

    Maybe sometimes you take your losses in the mid-season rather than encourage dissension by disrupting the substitution pattern. He has a very difficult job of managing and massaging some egos. Remember the last Carolina team overloade with talent, back in 1994 and even Dean could not manage the playing time problems.

    Reyshawn expected a big senior year to jump off for the pro’s. I am not good enough to tell you what little things Wes Miller does on defense. He was hugely important to our success last year and I love his hustle and courage, but I think he needs far fewer minutes. If he can’t make 40% from the three point line, then his size and ballhandling problems begin to detract too much. Frasor is not a good enough shooter either, especially given his foot problem. Stepheson is a liability at the foul line. Both Stepheson and Frasor and to a lesser extent, Green and Ginyard will have their time. They have several years, but I am hoping that as we hit the back end of conference play, that Roy moves more towards an 8-10 man rotation from the 10-12 that we have now. I

  6. Lake says:

    This loss STILL stings for me. All we can do is tip our hats to NC State, congratulate them on the huge win for them and their program (I really want this rivalry to be competitive again. For me, State fans > Duke fans every single time. Even if they live in the past far too often.), and stomp the hell out of Duke.

    That being said, I think people are getting really ahead of themselves with this loss. How many other teams would have beaten NC State on that day? I didn’t even watch the game, but the statistics are MIND-blowing for only a four point loss to one of our biggest rivals. I just think that we need to realize how young our team is (primarily Freshmen and Sophmores) and enjoy this ride. We had a boatload of talent and a hell of a good coach after the NC State loss and we still have the same boatload of talent and a hell of a good coach.

    *whew* Glad I got that off my chest. It’ll be interesting to see who will rise to the occasion at Cameron on both teams, especially since Duke and Carolina are coming off of demoralizing losses.

  7. william says:

    Well, Duke is playing mostly to live up to its past at this point. This team has no serious NCAA title aspersions, but they would like to avoid being the first team in over a decade at Duke to fail to win at least 10 games in the ACC. Unless they lose pretty much all of their remaining conference games, Duke should still get in the tournament.

    Carolina, on the other hand, would suffer a monumental blow to its self-esteem should it fail on Wednesday night. Now, not only would the ‘Heels have been “upset” by NC State, but they would have failed to do what both Virginia Tech and FSU accomplished, by beating Duke in Cameron. Should Carolina lose on Wednesday night, I do not expect to see any more swagger this year by UNC, as there will be no more regular season games where the ‘Heels can impress anyone by winning, as they are heavy favorites in all of their other remaining games.. If the ‘Heels choke on Wednesday night, the media will ignore any future 40 point wins at home against Wake Forest as “been there, done that.”

    In summary, I think most of the pressure is on the ‘Heels. They have not shown that they can win consistently on the road and will go in as a heavy favorite that will be derided should they lose.

  8. cal forsyth says:

    Willam hit it on the MOney! Wes Miller should NEVER be on the floor that much unless he’s nailing the 3’s –which he didn’t, and rarely does. As he stays on the floor and takes more shots his percentage drops sharply. I’m sick of “carolina is always kind to seniors” crap. Last year’s team had more heart, and were more fun to watch than this group of show ponies. Yeah the point margins are impressive -but be honest, the ACC sucks right now. This teams is “Soft” I love the STATE fan’s comment that they seemed to look over at Roy with eyes that said, “this team ain’t afraid of us coach, what do we do?” The come backs against VT and NC State are impressive, but if they played, and were coached better, they wouldn’t be in those deficits to begin with.

    Yeah, I said “coached” because Roy’s performance was crummy. If he wants to say his players “weren’t real smart” fine. But I never saw DEan Smith just CONCEDE a game down by only 5 with a minute remaining. With fouling and timeouts he could makes 60 seconds feel like an eternity. ROY sat on his ASS and watched it happen –not once in the last 3 possessions did he use a time out to set a play. Each time we inbounded the ball there was nothing smarter than -pass it around and wait for a shot to be open —it was pathetic!! And Roy can lay that one with himself. To have a bench that deep and not be able to tire out a bunch of “so, so’s” that are only 3 deep. If we can’t shoot, then the least we could do is foul! We didn’t even try that!! We can foul out an entire TEAM for crying out loud and still put another on the floor.

    Terry was the only one who did foul out. And hats off to him, he was frustrated and HE WAS TRYING! The rest didn’t want it bad enough! He doesn’t get enough play time the result is his numbers are way down, along with his Elan. He needs to be pampered and played. HEY ROY DID YOU WATCH REYSHAWN LAST YEAR? Your telling me your going to give Wes Miller REyshawn’s minutes? ARE YOU Crazy?! Reyshyawn is floundering b/c he isn’t made to feel important.

    I wonder if we rewrote Roy’s contract, so that a state/duke loss results in a percentage deduction from his pay check, we would have seen him off his damn seat. He could have won this game with last years team. I HATE you apologists. Forget about the 70% shooting. State stinks this year even more than they did last year –AND STATE FANS WILL TELL YOU THAT!!! Roy could have tired them out.!!!

  9. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Wes Miller is on the floor because Wayne Ellington cannot be relied upon to play good defense and Miller can.

    Terry is a head case plus he also had four fouls which was why he was not play a majority of the second half. With Terry if he shows up to play he is great, when he doesn’t he is a liability. And if Terry is not showing up to play because he feels unimportant then it underscores the point that he is a head case. It does not work that way. Roy is not going to babysit anyone’s ego or suffer little tantrums. He is not going to baby someone so they will be motivated to play and neither did Dean Smith. Terry just needs to get his head in the game and the rest will take care of itself.

    Roy’s major mistake on Sat was not pressing NC State into submission the way Tech did last night.

    I also think the leadership issue on the court is still a problem.

    And I am not entirely sure Roy is not still tinkering with the system to figure out the best rotation for March.

  10. cal says:

    Hey Tar heel fan- I don’t know Reyshawn. You say he’s a head case -fine. Roy’s job is to get into his head and make him play to his potential. Just saying he’s a head case, and writing him off is too easy. Roy gets paid TOO MUCH for that. Speaking of head cases, what about McCants. If I was a coach I’d never want him on my team. Yet he was there, Roy worked him in and used his talents -decisively. Its hard to imagine that team without him! agree? So, don’t you want to see the Reyshawn of last year? Instead, I think Roy has too many toys and doesn’t know how to play with all of them. Reyshawn had a dunk over top of a Duke player last night that was -just scary.

    The lack of a 3 point game is going to end this season early. NC state is nowhere in that game on Saturday without it. Duke either. Hansboro got clobbered at State b/c the outside threat isn’t there. Do we just not have that shooter? If so, what do you say about all the hipe over our recruiting?

    Also, I love the win last night, I realy do -but we got beaten the entire game until the last 5 minutes. Think of that. This is a down year for NC state, and very down for Duke. Yet we seemed to be down by 10 the entire game until the last 5 minutes. I think Duke should be really proud, or we should be ashamed. Maybe, both.

    Do you remember last year? A freshman squad lead by one senior -Noel, went into their house, the toughest in the country, ON SENIOR NIGHT and ripped the win right out of their clutches.

    Now, we’ve got the same squad, now experienced, the best freshmen clase ever seen in probably the history of the NCAA and we barely pull out a win? What the hell is going on.? I figured a 20 point dousing of STATe, and a decisive win at Duke even if not by much.

    Who said Roy is a better all around coach, than Dean Smith? Are you crazy?!! Did Dean ever quit! That’s right- Roy quit saturday in Raleigh, and I defy you to demonstrate otherwise. With less than a minute, down by only 5 -we inbounded the ball on 3 consecutive possesions with NOTHING planned, no time out, nothing. They weren’t making their free throws, yet Roy didn’t even use his bench to keep them at the line -and he was sitting when it happened.

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