Thoughts on the Eve of the ACC Championship

Additional thoughts on the UNC win and other stuff.

  • I hate to sound like a broken record but you really cannot say enough about how this team handles adversity late in the game clock.  Perhaps some of my more seasoned readers have better examples but I do not recall a UNC team being in this many tight games and pulling them all out save one.  Once again UNC was down in the 2nd half, rallied and executed on both ends in the final two minutes to win the game.  I would rather they win more comfortably but the way it has gone this season I am numb to the possibility of losing regardless of the circumstances.  It has become so commonplace for this team to pull wins out of some deep orifice that it is expected at this point.
  • Tyler Hansbrough’s game winner was created by his hustle.  Again, not wanting to sound like a broken record but if you watch that play, Hansbrough is at the free throw line when the shot goes up and he sprints down, works past a group of players fighting for the rebound, grabs the ball and shoots the jumper to give UNC the lead.  The shot was the easiest part of the sequence.  Hustle made that play happen and without him being so tenacious in going after the ball UNC goes to OT and who knows what happens there.
  • And yes, the celebration from Hansbrough was downright ugly.
  • Roy said in his postgame press conference that he agreed with the referee’s call to give Wayne Ellington a technical and was disappointed that it happened.  He also said Ellington would be doing some extra “conditioning” while his teammates watched next week.  Roy did point out that despite the mistake, Ellington hit some big shots to keep UNC in the game but the behavior that garnered the technical was not something he wanted to see.  It is interesting to note that Dean Smith would have put Ellington on the bench for getting the T.  Roy left him in the game, mainly because they needed him in the game.
  • With Tennessee losing in the SEC Semifinals and Duke losing to Clemson, it would appear that the NCAA #1 seeds are pretty well locked up.  UCLA will be #1 in the West, Memphis in the South, the winner of Kansas-Texas in the Midwest and UNC in the East.  In terms of seeding the game on Sunday has no bearing except in how UNC will be seeded among the top four.  As it stands right now, the Heels would be the #1 overall seed which allegedly will offer better matchups since the teams a overall #1 would see are usually the weakest in their seed group.  Not that it matters because upsets usually render such matchups meaningless.

15 Responses to Thoughts on the Eve of the ACC Championship

  1. Jim U. says:

    Hansbrough did look kinda goofy in that celebration. Can’t blame him really, ’cause that’s how I felt on the inside 🙂

  2. Matt says:

    I think the more interesting question regarding the brackets, as it pertains to the ACC, is whether or not Duke’s loss drops them out of a 2 seed and perhaps sends them out of the Raleigh pod.

    I hope Clemson continues to play this well (except for tomorrow). And here’s hoping Virginia Tech gets a bid (although Temple’s victory today can’t help).

  3. (1) I can’t imagine a 9-7 ACC team, with an additional ACC tournament win, that took the #1 team in the country to within a second of overtime, could possibly be left out of the Big Dance. It would be a travesty.

    (2) I thought Tyler’s celebration was one of the most pure expressions of joyful exuberance I have ever seen. And it was beautiful.

    (3) I don’t know if Dean would have sat Ellington after the T or not. I do know that I agree with Roy leaving him in there, and I also agree in him disciplining him in practice later. Frankly, I think the refs earned half of that technical by letting emotions get so high with some of the junk they let go on uncalled in the second half.

    (4) Fantastic day of ACC basketball. Here’s hoping tomorrow is blissful and boring.

  4. Adam in Chicago says:

    My biggest concern is that Clemson just might do the unthinkable…hit freethrows. If they continue to play like they did today, they could go deep in the NCAAs. Here’s hoping they do considering the ACC’s abyssmal showing last year. That is, so long as they lose tomorrow.

    Oh yeah, I love it when dook loses.

  5. Tar Heel Fan says:


    IIRC, Dean had a rule that if you got a T, then you had to sit. I think it was a cooling off thing more than a punishment.

  6. TxTarheel says:

    More interesting hoops taking place tonight. Props to Georgia for winning 2 games in less than 12 hours…PITT has been handling the Hoyas tonight in the 2nd half and several players for Gtown have 4 fouls. Assume this holds could perhaps knock Georgetown down from proposed # 2 in the East. PITT by 7 with under 5 min to play

    I could see Duke as # 2 but seeded out West perhaps, given their loss today either them or Tennessee is making that trip

  7. 52BigGameJames says:

    Pitt is a damn good team–I hope they’re in someone else’s bracket. With those two outstanding guards, they remind me a little of some recent Arizona teams.

  8. TxTarheel says:

    had the same thought, with a healthy roster they present a tough out in the NCAA. good guard play, Blair & Young are formidable in the paint. That block by Sam Young in the last 2 minutes was impressive…”no Mr Hibbert you may not pass go!”

  9. Johnny says:

    Joe Lunardi has Duke as a 3 seed in the West behind UCLA and Wisconsin. UNC has Georgetown, Xavier and UCONN as 2-4 seeds.

  10. Russell says:

    If Clemson wins today (not a big shocker), the Committee might decide to put the Heels as #1 in the South. If so, perhaps a blessing in disguise unless they also put G’town as #2 in that bracket.

    If UNC is to win today, they will have to bring their A game AND from the git-go and forgo their usual MO of spotting the opposing team 10 or more points before showing up. Ginyard said that at some point in a game you have to draw a line in the sand. Mr. Ginyard, that line is drawn at the point of tip-off….every game. Your expressed approach is a bedrock problem with this squad.

    It is obvious that Lawson is more severely hampered by injuries than has been admitted. His last shot was crap shot selection – he’s definitely not on his personal offensive game. As a result this is not the caliber team that continued the season after the significant loss of Frazor . Heels stock is down in my portfolio for final four teams.

    At this point, my heart is with Tyler Hansbrough as much if not more than with this year’s edition.

    Go Heels, and Go BIG FROM THE TIP!

  11. 52BigGameJames says:

    some good points Russ, but we are 31 and 2, which counts for something, especially considering the injuries. If Ty can somehow re-emerge, Deon becomes slightly more than the weak-link, and Green & Ginyard come to play, we definitely have a good shot at FF.

  12. Jonathan Starsmore says:

    THF: Roy really couldn’t have sat Ellington following the technical foul even if he wanted to. As you’ll recall, the T came following a foul on Washington that put Ellington on the line for a one-and-one, so Roy couldn’t take Ellington out of the game right after the T (he still had to shoot his FTs). If Ellington had made both FTs, then Roy could practice the Dean mantra and sit Ellington for getting a tech, but Wayne missed the front end, so there was no opportunity for a dead-ball substitution. By the time there finally was a dead ball situation, a couple of minutes had already elapsed and there was no longer any point in sitting Ellington to cool him off for the technical.

    Go Heels!

  13. Russell says:

    52 @ 12:38pm-
    You nor anyone else will probably ever read this since history has moved on, but my view is that 32 and 2 is not as good as 34 and 0. And the 2 losses contain the secret ingredient lessons to achieving a 34-0 record.

  14. william says:

    I read it, Russell, and I don’t know what it means. The media love a perfect record and when the team is worthy, like Indiana in 1976 or Carolin in 1957, it is an amazing achievement. On the other hand, UNLV in 1991 almost went undefeated and even though they were a great team, it was against a woeful list of opposition. If this is just part of that boring argument about whether lossess are productive, then I give up because that whole argument makes little sense to me, unless a coach has almost no influence over his players and needs a loss to corral them.

  15. 52BigGameJames says:

    gotta ask: have you ever coached anything Russell?

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