Observations From The RBC Center

Spending Sunday afternoon watching two NCAA Tournament games in person is not a bad way to pass the time.

  • This was my first time ever attending NCAA Tournament games in basketball.  And I agree with the folks I was at the game with.  The NCAA puts on a fairly bland presentation.  From the covering up of half the signs in the building to running NCAA promotional videos on the scoreboard at halftime and between games instead of, I don’t know, showing us the games from other regions.
  • I had another friend at the game and he was sitting in a section occupied by a few Wolfpack club members.  He said they were happy Davidson won and a UNC loss would make the day perfect saying it would be an “all red day” if Arkansas won.  Classy attitude on their part.  Then again they were probably really pissed off to see so much Carolina blue occupying their building and the fact we did the TAR! HEELS! chant during the game.
  • The Razorback mascot is ugly as sin.
  • I have said this before from my visits to the Dean Dome but Roy is fun to watch as he coaches.  He is very animated.
  • Speaking of coaches after the team introductions Roy walked down to midcourt in front of the scorer’s table to shake John Pelphrey’s hand and when he got there, Pelphrey had not come over so he kept walking until he was almost to the Arkansas bench.  Roy got the attention of a Razorback assistant who told Pelphrey.  The Razorback coach was engrossed in diagramming a play for his team that he did not realize or forgot.  He quickly ran over and shook Roy’s hand.
  • The Davidson-Georgetown game was an incredible contest and I would not be surprised if complaints about teams playing close to home gets some traction.  Davidson enjoyed loud and boisterous support from the Davidson contingent present and most of the UNC fans who probably were more interested in hating Georgetown than loving Davidson.  Still it was a huge plus for Davidson to have that kind of support.
  • Stephen Curry is a complete freak and somewhere Seth Greenberg spent most of the 2nd half banging his head against a concrete wall.  I thought Davidson was toast but the Hoyas went cold and Curry heated up.  Not only did Curry hit shots but he made some passes that made me think he was throwing the ball away or taking a bad shot.
  • We spotted Patrick Ewing sitting on the other side and at halftime he was seen talking to Pat Riley.  Perhaps the Miami Heat are interested in Roy Hibbert for the draft?  Anyway, at one point Ewing fiddled with his chair as though he broke it somehow.
  • The Davidson players got a nice ovation when they emerged from the locker room during the UNC game.  At that point the UNC pep band played Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” which has become a theme song for Davidson.
  • Watching the Georgetown fan section when it appeared Davidson was going to win was entertaining as they basically stood there starting forward wondering where the heck their huge lead against a #10 seed went.
  • The NCAA logo on the floor drew Roy’s ire after players kept slipping on it.  What I do not understand is why it needs to be so large.  Is covering up what ever logo that is originally on the floor that important?  You have NCAA at different spots on the floor and it is not like we do not know this is the NCAA Tournament.  I am beginning to think that the NCAA actually believes leaving the original logo there takes away from the neutrality of the court somehow.  That must be the same reasoning involved in covering up one of the two RBC Center logos on the court.

37 Responses to Observations From The RBC Center

  1. william says:

    I have been wondering all week-end about the all the empty seats at these various pods. I have never been to the RBC Center but the pictures on television make it look like once you are there you are stuck there as there is not a lot to do in the area, unlike in Charlotte, whose arena is downtown. Do you think it is because fans don’t want to wait around for the other games? I definitely would not have wanted to miss the first game, which was amazing.

  2. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Possibly. Getting to RBC is a tough deal because it is where it is and extraction from there is time consuming. We parked five walking minutes away at an office building and did not have to pay the $10 parking fee. That also made leaving easier since we were not further from the main road that takes you away from the area. Since it sits right next to Carter Finley and beyond that the NC Fairgrounds there is really nothing to do there. There is only one thing to do when you arrive there and that is go to the games unlike Charlotte where I assume you could show up downtown, go eat somewhere near the arena, maybe at a place showing the game and then head over with that game in the 2nd half or something. We did both games which was great but you also saw a lot people come in during the 2nd half of the D-G game which ended up pushing the UNC start back 20 minutes so it was a full house by the time the game hit the home stretch.

  3. Steve says:

    That 4 point scare we got from Davidson in Nov. had been put in a little context.

  4. william says:

    I wish I had recorded the Davidson game. By the time, I realized it was a classic, it was too late, as I was trying to watch four games at once, all pretty good on DirecTv.

    As a basketball fan in general, I am thrilled for Davidson. Davidson, to my knowledge was the first integrated basketball team in North Carolina, one year ahead of Carolina, with Mike Malloy in 1967 and came so close twice to getting to the Final four. I went to a lot of their games growing up, just as a fan, both to see them and UNCC at the old (and still standing) Charlotte Coliseum–maybe it is just the Charlotte Coliseum again–which had a ton of atmosphere and no bad seats. They had a guard in the late 70’s named John Gerdy who could shoot lights out, similar to Curry, but little else back then.

    They may actually succeed now in building the program into a Gonzaga with all this exposure.

  5. Alpha Wolf says:

    [A Wolfpack Club member] said they were happy Davidson won and a UNC loss would make the day perfect saying it would be an “all red day” if Arkansas won. Classy attitude on their part.

    Now then, be honest: how many of you Tar Heel fans were happy when Duke lost Saturday? At the least, I’m sure their loss didn’t spoil your dinner that night.

    Then again they were probably really pissed off to see so much Carolina blue occupying their building and the fact we did the TAR! HEELS! chant during the game.

    Didn’t bother me one bit. It’s not the first time Carolina has played in Raleigh in the NCAA (they played in Reynolds once) and it won’t be the last. Besides, if State had a top four seed themselves (like that will happen soon, pah) they could not have played in Raleigh anyway. (see No, It Didn’t Bother Me

    Sure, it probably scorched the shorts of some Wolfpack fans, but bottom line is that Carolina earned the right to play there and given that it’s from one side of the Triangle to the other for the game, it’d be crazy to expect anything else.

  6. Tar Heel Fan says:

    I know…just keeping it real. 😉

    One question since you are a State guy, I was in section 335 and below us to the right there was a section where people could sit and watch TVs. Is that a normal part of the RBC Center setup and who gets access to those televisions?

  7. Santiago says:

    “The Razorback mascot is ugly as sin”

    He/she’s also a pretty uninspiring mascot, or at least he was during the Arkansas-Indiana game. IMO GT’s “Buzz” is the best mascot in the ACC, but Rameses isn’t far behind. They are both animated the whole game and have a very entertaining repertoire. “Big Red” in comparison was a huge bore (pardon the pun). All he did was walk around (didn’t even strut) and point to the cheerleaders. Is there such a thing as a “wine and cheese” mascot?

    Also, after seeing (and hearing) some of the Arkansas faithful at the Friday game, let it never be said that SUNC fans are rednecks.

  8. Johnny says:

    I would bet those were press seats with the TVs. I used to work in sports media and there is a similar set-up in most NBA arenas for the press.

    Also, check out Luke Winn’s breakdown of the Wazzu defense: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/si_blogs/ncaa_tourney/2008/2008/03/xs-and-os-wazzus-pack-line-defense.html

  9. C. Michael says:

    According to a post on IC, the logos will be removed from here on out. Obviously, all message board posts need to be taken with a ginormous grain of salt, but, if true, this would be quite a mea culpa for the NCAA…

  10. Alpha Wolf says:

    THF – that’s the thick-carpet high dollar club level and I think it is the “Lexus” area that the Hurricanes use. Seats in the 200 level of the RBC are the most expensive in the arena, except for seats on the glass in hockey.

    Then again, there are seats downstairs under the overhanging upper deck at CFS that have TVs overhead, but I think that’s because they can’t see the scoreboard.

  11. Tar Heel Fan says:

    These TVs were embedded in a long curved narrow tables and there were three rows of them. You could sit at the table and watch the TV. This was at NCSU bench end of the arena.

  12. WaynesWorld says:

    I was also there. Have been to the NCAA Tourney in other cities, I must say the “stranded” nature of the RBC center is really a big negative. You really felt isolated at the fairgrounds, and I feel for the people who flew in and expected a little nightlife. To RBC’s credit, they did allow you to come and go on the same parking pass. RBC really missed the ball by not setting up more TV’s so we could catch other games (the only TV’s I could find were at the “Locker Room”), and it would have been nice if they could have used that huge neon sign ring to show the scores of other games. Overall, RBC center gets a C- as a venue.

    The NCAA Logo on the floor is that size for TV. If you watch games on TV you’ll notice the logo doesnt appear so huge – it is all an illusion. They had to make it so big so it didn’t look tiny on TV. But talk about stupid. Its not like we forgot it was the NCAA. Show a little respect for the home court. Hopefully the NCAA will change this stupid policy per Roy’s dadgum request.

    Other things I noticed:
    – The Mount St. Mary’s kids (i.e. the students, not the players) were a complete disgrace. Completely drunk, throwing trash everywhere – the opposite of classy. Of course, you expect students to get a little rowdy, and fine – but these kids were classless. I’ve heard reports elsewhere of their disgraceful behavior, what I saw in the flesh was bad enough.

    – I appreciated padded seats all throughout the arena.

    – Except for the last 5 minutes, the Davidson-Georgetown game felt like it lasted an eternity. Watching Georgetown play is as exciting as watching paint dry. Stephan Curry, however, what a talent!

  13. Tar Heel Fan says:

    The folks I was with told me about the MSM students and when they walked back to the car after the games that night the number of beer cans strewn around was incredible. It was apparent that the tourney was an excuse for a road trip and party.

  14. william says:

    I can tell you that Roy Williams probably knows a little about tort law. After seeing Hansbrough slip and having Williams and Packer bring it to the attentionof a national audience, the NCAA was looking at major liability exposure had someone gotten hurt.

  15. william says:

    Kansas and Duke, from 1991, on ESPN Classic today. Boy, did Roy look young. This is one of those games, like Michigan-UNC in 1993, where it is hard to even understand how Kansas is competitive with Duke, given that Duke has all these famous names like Hurley, Laettner, Hill, and even McCafferty, who went on to greater fame in the SEC at Vanderbilt, while Kansas has no one but Antawn’s older, less successful brother.

  16. william says:

    Ken Pomeroy predicts that Washington State University will hold the Tar Heels in check:

    1) North Carolina 108, (9) Arkansas 77 [67]

    I would look up the last time a team has scored 100 points in three consecutive tournament games, but since the Tar Heels get Washington State on Thursday, that information won’t be necessary. In its first two games, Carolina has made 72 of 104 two-point attempts and Surry Wood had played seven minutes. Enough said.

  17. william says:

    OK, any of you guys who want the 1993 title game: it is on ESPN Classic at 4:00 PM today. Not much notice, but it’s the best I can do. If you are home or have a way to set your Tivo, have at it.

  18. C. Michael says:


    I would venture to say it’s never happened. The obvious choice would be LMU, but in 1990 they didn’t do it consecutively: 111, 149, 62, and then 101 in a loss to UNLV.

  19. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Nope in 1990 LMU, playing for Hank Gathers ran Michigan out in the 2nd round and then in the Sweet Sixteen played Alabama. I remember watching that game. Bama walked the ball up the court on every possession and proceeded to run as much of the 45 second clock as they could. It was the first time all season LMU had been held to that few points.

  20. C. Michael says:

    Yeah, I hated ‘Bama for that. I’ll be the first to admit that from 1988-1990, I may have been a bigger fan of LMU than I was UNC. I remember being absolutely devastated when Hank Gathers died.

  21. Tar Heel Fan says:


    Do you remember the 1990 game when they played Chris Jackson/Shaq and LSU? LSU won in OT 148-141

  22. Alpha Wolf says:

    Ken Pomeroy predicts that Washington State University will hold the Tar Heels in check

    I imagine you Tar Heel fans won’t care if you only score 50 in the next game as long as the other team only scores 48.

  23. william says:

    Well, Alpha Wolf, maybe. As long as we are efficent on defense! That should please all the stats guys who claim that they are indifferent between offense and defense. God, if I ever have to watch another 51-49 battle between UCLA and anybody, I might have to actually get a life and stop watching so much basketball. Maybe we need a shot clock rule to speed up the game…. Oh wait, we already have one, but it doesn’t mean you have to use every single, solitary, fudging last second on it…..

  24. C. Michael says:

    Certainly do. That game still ranks as my #1, non-UNC title game, game…

    Amazing to think that Shaq was only 17 at the time!

  25. Tar Heel alum and fan says:

    I live in Washington state and all the sports talk radio is about is how the Cougs’ defense will slow UNC to a crawl, its guards will hit a lot of threes and if they can keep the Heels close they’ll make a game of it. I think it will be closer than Arkansas but predict UNC will pull away in the second half.

  26. 52BigGameJames says:

    I’ve got a feeling we’re going to see full-court pressure like we haven’t seen from Roy’s boys on Thursday night. If the “Cougs” can’t handle it, they’ll be dictating tempo from the back-court.

  27. Tar Heel alum and fan says:

    WSU also plays with a chip on its shoulder. WSU and the University of Washington are bitter rivals and UW fans for years have ridiculed Washington State for always choking in big games: they even have a name for that, to wit: “Couging it.” This year the UW did not even make the NIT so Wassu is getting its revenge (just as long as that doesn’t extend to UNC I’m OK with that).

  28. 52BigGameJames says:

    what are their guards like?

  29. Russell says:

    “I’ve got a feeling we’re going to see full-court pressure like we haven’t seen from Roy’s boys on Thursday night. – 52

    Interesting. I had a kind of premonition today about the WSU game where Heels came out, played usual first possession, then went unrelentingly to a full-court press…

  30. Russell says:

    From “Court Vision” blog linked to Pomeroy’s site-

    Derrick Low, Washington State
    During his four years for the Cougars, Low has developed into a terrific outside bomber. But 6’2″ guards with that low of an assist rate don’t make it in the Association.

    Kyle Weaver, Washington State
    Weaver is another four-year player for the Cougars. He has a well-rounded floor game and an inconsistent shot. He’s long enough to be a factor defensively but needs to get stronger. Should get drafted.

  31. Tar Heel alum and fan says:

    Their guards seem pretty rugged and tough defenders. A couple of them shoot 3’s well. In the games I watched they appeared to do most of the scoring. I think the Heels should challenge those guards and drive to the basket; maybe pick up some fouls on them After Weaver, Low, and Rochestie, the Cougars are thin at guard.

  32. Russell says:

    Hope you’re right, alum. Problem is, WSU’s defense is especially designed to prevent the dribble drive. Check out “Johnny’s” link from post above.

  33. TxTarheel says:

    Maybe this game will be comparable to a typical NC State game back when Sendek / Hodges were there. IE, very methodical on offense with the intention of using 25 seconds, at minimum, each trip & limiting UNC’s fast break opps. Anything in the 60s gives them a shot

    I don’t see UNC going full-court pressure, just not convinced it works well enough

  34. 52BigGameJames says:

    if their guards don’t handle the (premonition) press, they won’t have to worry about preventing “dribble-drive”…”friendo”!

    Heels as Javier:

  35. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Roy does not tend to like full court press so I doubt we see it too…Then again most of thought we would not see Roy switch on all screens versus Duke but he used that look on defense.

  36. Nothin Could be Finer says:

    They couldn’t handle UCLA’s Collison, so I figure Lawson will be too much for the Cougs. And maybe UNC needs to attack inside – Stanford’s Brook Lopez dropped 30 on them in the Pac 10 tounament.

  37. 52BigGameJames says:

    not saying they’ll use it the whole game, but I don’t think Roy will let them dictate tempo either, and that’s how you counter a slow-down.

    LM never dreamed Dean would run with them either.

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