You can cut the tension in my house with a knife…and I am the only one watching the game here. Any game that is potentially the end of the season carries all the weight in the world or so it seems. I am expecting a tough game in every respect. According to Adam Gold at 850 the Buzz, Reyshawn Terry will start along with the same lineup we have seen for most of the season except the Georgia Tech and Arizona games.
Update: Terry will start, along with the usual suspects, Ellington, Hansbrough, Wright and Lawson. Southern Cal will go with what amounts to a 4-guard line up with Lodrick Stewart, Daniel Hackett, Gabe Pruitt, Nick Young and Taj Gibson as the only true interior defender. That means that Brandan Wright will be allowed to operate over a smaller player, logically, Nick Young. However, Young is a spectacular individual defender, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he played well against Wright. I do think we’ll see a whole lot of pressure on the perimeter from USC, and this also puts 4 guys on the floor that can knock down the long ball. Young, Stewart and Pruitt are the most dangerous from long range and watch out for Dwight Lewis off the bench.
So with that away with go with live blogging after the jump.
9:06 PM: Vandy-G’town
9:07 PM: Two great games in progress. I am watching Vanderbilt-Georetown which is tied at 51 at eight minute mark. Florida leads Butler by one near the end of that one.
9:10 PM: Butler-Florida
9:11 PM: Wow…Butler is now down three and just missed two FTs. This could be where Florida shuts the door and they may have now up five…switching me back to Vandy-G’town just in time for Hibbert’s fourth foul with five minutes left.
9:14 PM: [UNNAMED ANALYST]: “Ewing telegraphs the pass” Yeah, that seems to be a 25 year old problem for the Hoyas in the NCAA Tournament.
9:15 PM: Wow…Hibbert just committed an extremely stupid foul for his fifth…and CBS leaves the game to go over to Butler-Florida which is not really close now since the Gators will probably survive with a six point lead with 35 seconds left.
9:17 PM: Joakim Noah looks like a girl….there I said it.
9:21 PM: G’town just need to play perimeter defense because Vandy has ZERO offensive presence inside 10 feet.
9:23 PM: Some funny dribbling on the part of Georgetown there. Hoyas up two with 1:50 left.
9:25 PM: 1 of 2 FTs for Vandy. I am going to lose it if UNC comes out tonight and misses a ton of FTs.
9:30 PM: Vandy up by one. John Thompson III is smarter than his dad, he calls the timeout instead of letting his team come down and try to win it.
9:31 PM: Obviously UNC will be on the court after 10 PM.
9:34 PM: Dang it Vandy! What can you say, they had Green double teamed and he still hit the game winner. Of course I also think they are far less fearsome having watched them play a team which had nothing on the interior.
9:34 PM: 30 minutes should put the game tip for UNC-USC around 10:05 PM.
9:40 PM: Apparently Green traveled on the game winner which probably explains how he was able to work his way to a good shot. Looks like Green established his right foot and then lifted it and planted with the left foot as he went up for the shot. Lifting the pivot foot is a travel under, so basically the Commodores just got royally hosed.
10:00 PM: Six minutes to tip. Oregon up five on UNLV early.
10:05 PM: Okay…Ginyard will start and Terry will be available off the bench. That makes me REALLY nervous.
10:06 PM: Tipoff!!!!
10:07 PM: USC’s defensive plan early on is to triple team Hansbrough.
10:09 PM: Not a good start. Ugly shooting early and USC is doing what they want on offense. My take is even if USC slows us down, if we can defend them it will not matter.
10:11 PM: Even though he hit it, I do not like that Hansbrough has two shots from out there.
10:13 PM: The shooting is a huge concern. That three was wide open for Lawson and he missed everything.
10:18 PM: I feel like I am watching the Arizona game in the 1997 Final Four…that is not a good sign.
10:19 PM: CBS has microphones next to someone who is really annoying me. They seem to be Heels fans but I wish they could block them out.
10:21 PM: Okay, when Green taking a 15 footer is the offensive option we end up with that is not a good sign either.
10:22 PM: Ice cold. Down 11. I have seen this movie before and it usually ends with me breaking something.
10:24 PM: Crap…two fouls on Tyler after Green’s layup rimmed out. UNC felt like they were starting to roll a little there.
10:27 PM: Terry is in and Wright cannot guard Young.
10:28 PM: Yes, Terry! I don’t care if they have to pump him full of fluids in the locker room, they need him on the court.
10:29 PM: Here is my problem. USC is not necessarily lighting it up..they are beating UNC’s defense period. I am trying to calm myself by remembering that UNC had the same trouble with Villanova two years ago.
10:30 PM: Young has two fouls so that evens it out somewhat though Young can probably keep himself cleaner.
10:31 PM: USC is doing what Gonzaga did…they are covering Hansbrough almost before he even has the ball and somehow are making it difficult for him to get position or even kick the ball out to an open shooter. UNC down four at the under eight timeout.
10:36 PM: Lawson with two fouls and he has a tendency to get in foul trouble quick. UNC down two. Thomas is on which is a total crapshoot.
10:37 PM: We may have to jump on Wright’s back here. Tied at 26 on the Ellington jumper.
10:39 PM: Green goes from hero to goat in about 2.3 seconds. You cannot make lazy passes with these guys, they are way too quick. Back down four.
10:40 PM: Reyshawn Terry!!!! Sick or not, he has showed up to play in this Tournament. UNC down one with the ball, under four minutes timeout.
10:42 PM: Thrown Items Count: 1. I threw the UNC hat I was wearing across the room when Green threw the ball away and the gave up the three point play.
10:50 PM: UNC has played horribly in the first and final three minutes of his half. I can only assume Lawson will see the floor the entire second half because Frasor is worthless versus these quicker guards. Terry was good for a while but you could tell his legs left him pretty quickly. Roy calls timeout with 0.8 to try and get some kind of shot.
10:54 PM: Ellington got an open look and the three rimmed out. That about covers the half. UNC could have used that to make it only a six point deficit. I really fear that UNC will come out flat to begin the second stanza and find themselves down 15. Hansbrough has been neutralized and Lawson cannot outclass the other guards with his speed. UNC down nine. G’town was down eight. OSU was down 17. We shall see if UNC can get it going like those teams did.
10:58 PM: CBS is really harping on the Green travel that was not called against Vanderbilt.
11:14 PM: 2nd half and down 11.
11:15 PM: Unless UNC can assert an interior game with Hansbrough, the season will be over in about an hour.
11:16 PM: I see no sign of this changing. USC now up 13 with the ball. UNC is not showing any inclination or ability versus the USC defense to come back.. Now down 16.
11:18 PM: This is how you beat UNC. If Hansbrough does not touch the ball on the post, the offense is worthless unless we turn into a great perimeter shooting team which we are not and never have been. The outside shooting is complimentary to the primary offensive weapons of Hansbrough and Wright. Hansbrough has to touch the ball to either make a shot or get fouled.
11:20 PM: Hansbrough having the ball also creates foul trouble for the other team and really weakens their defense. UNC is just off, partly because if USC defense, partly because this seems to be what happens.
11:24 PM: The guys playing Rameses was hit by a car! That is awful!
11:25 PM: Within 10 but needing lots of stops.
11:26 PM: I swear take Green out, he is giving us nothing but stupid plays! Good, Terry is in.
11:28 PM: I was really hoping USC would get on a scoring drought there and get us back down to about two possessions.
11:29 PM: The game is starting to flow more UNC’s way, we need to make plays though.
11:30 PM: USC has foul trouble. With 11 minutes to go and an eight point deficit I think UNC needs to rattle off a good run to really pressure USC psychologically. USC needs to feel threatened and see how they respond to it.
11:35 PM: Thompson should not be option #1 on the post, it should be Hansbrough.
11:36 PM: Nice play by Ginyard! Chance to get it down to five…..and he does.
11:38 PM: Missed layup!!!!
11:39 PM: Wright cuts it to three and USC wants to talk about it!
11:40 PM: Much is being made of Gibson being out but if he has four fouls how much good can he be on defense?
11:42 PM: USC starting to feel the heat….Ginyard doing the little stuff….UNC within one!
11:43 PM: I swear! Take Green out…I like Green and I think he will give us two more great years but tonight he keeps stepping in it.
11:46 PM: UNC leads!!!! Green with a little redepmption and UNC has it going on now!
11:47 PM: Ah…the UNC depth in full effect. UNC by three and the ball.
11:48 PM: Wright is a beast! 15-0 run by UNC…unbelievable.
11:49 PM: UNC by six and I need to pace.
11:52 PM: It is amazing to see USC’s legs go out from under them. I did not think the depth would be a factor but Lawson is now outclassing them with his speed and UNC is now up seven under four minutes to go.
11:53 PM: I am speechless with this run. I really did not think USC would run out of gas like that and how huge have Wright and Ginyard been? Green sparked the big lead with the steal and follow at the other end which effectively redeemed him from the previous gaffes. This is UNC’s game to lose and if Tyler can drop these FTs UNC will be up nine with three minutes left and a tired team on the other side.
11:57 PM: Holy cow! [UNNAMED ANALYST] just said he did not think Green traveled in the Vandy game. He really has gone around the bend.
11:58 PM: UNC up six now, under three minutes.
11:59 PM: Well the only good from that is they ran 35 seconds off. USC misses, UNC now needs to hit FTs when USC starts fouling them.
12:00 AM: Happy Saturday to you! Let me go back to [UNNAMED ANALYST] a minute. How can you look at that and think Green did not travel? He is insane or he just wants to disagree with everyone else.
12:01 AM: Oregon will beat UNLV.its t
12:02 AM: That may be the game. Gibson called for an illegal screen and Tim Floyd just got a technical foul. Wow, Floyd pulled a Bobby Knight…sort of…he threw some papers on the court about two feet from the coaches box. Green hits two FTs and UNC now up eight with 40 seconds left. Ginyard at the line on a HUGE night for him. UNC now up 10.
12:06 AM: Wright does his part to dispel the classless accusations leveled against UNC. UNC on to the Elite Eight!