ACC – Big 10 Challenge Preview Pt. 2

Posted by rtmsf on December 3rd, 2008

So we went 3-2 in our picks last night, which is actually downright terrible when you’re just picking teams straight up.  Duke, Minnesota and BC went pretty much as expected, but we didn’t see the Jack McClinton slap coming, and we’re still having trouble fathoming Illinois blowing a solid lead at home.  Nevertheless, let’s see if we can do better with tonight’s games.  With a 3-3 tie going into tonight, can the Big 10 win at least one road game and hold serve at home to get to the magical six victories?


Wednesday Games (12.03.08)

  • Indiana (4-2) @ Wake Forest (6-0) – 7:15pm (ESPN).  In a normal year, this would have been one of the top three games of the Challenge; but as we’re all aware, Indiana is not having a normal year.  Still, the Hoosiers should take pride in the four wins they’ve gotten, especially their most recent victory over a possible NCAA team in Cornell at home.  Unfortunately for IU, Wake is no Cornell – they’re easily the most athletic team Indiana has faced so far, and their size is astonishing (five regulars are 6’9 or taller).  They have offensive firepower (averaging 86.7 ppg on 51.7% FG) and are playing improved defense this year, holding teams to 64.8 ppg on 34.4% shooting (although we haven’t figure out if that’s a function of length and size or consistent defensive principles).  And did we mention that the Deacs are at home, and are 7-1 in this event?  Put simply, this will get ugly for Indiana tonight, possibly even worse than the Notre Dame debacle two weeks ago (-38 in that one).  The Pick: Wake Forest. 

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Hansbrough – For Your Own Good, Play or Get Out

Posted by rtmsf on December 2nd, 2008

John Stevens is a featured columnist for RTC.  His columns will appear on Tuesdays throughout the season.

Fine.  If it has to be me, then it has to be me.  I don’t mind, I’ll take the heat.  I’ll be the one to bring up the subject that nobody else wants or has the stones to bring up.

I’m calling him out.

I don’t know what Tyler Hansbrough’s plans are for this Wednesday, but they had better involve showing up at Ford Field in Detroit at around 9pm.  In uniform.  Ankles taped.  Ready to play, a self-proclaimed 100% healthy.


Or, they better involve not just a DNP, but a long-term hiatus from basketball.

Now, I know that, in college basketball circles, saying anything negative about Tyler Hansbrough is just the worst thing you can do.  To know that he has an injury but still demand that he get out onto the floor and actually play basketball paints me as unfeeling, a heathen — possibly even a heretic, given the public perception of Hansbrough, his head coach Roy Williams, and the entire UNC basketball program which has gotten to the point to where the image surrounding all of them can only be described as, well…almost HOLY, for some reason.  I might as well go tell a bunch of little kids that I hate puppies or a roomful of girls that I can’t stand weddings.

I don’t care.  I’ll be the one to suggest that there’s an ugly truth behind the false beauty.  I’m going to point at the emperor and call him naked.  Someone has to say it, and I’m volunteering, because it’s best for college basketball – and for Tyler Hansbrough – that he and his handlers make a decision on his status once and for all.

I say “he” because that’s who the play-versus-sit decision evidently falls to before every game.  Since the season began, we’ve heard that Hansbrough is the one who determines whether he’s well enough to go or not.  We’ve heard nothing about team physicians or their opinions.  We’ve seen Ol’ Roy (expectedly so, since it’s what you’re supposed to do) talk about how Tyler’s just rip-roarin’ to play and how they basically need to use chains to keep the guy on the bench…but the decision to play or not has still been Hansbrough’s.  The only thing close to an exception has been their last game against UNC-Asheville where we were told that Hansbrough was “held out,” though it wasn’t specifically stated who did the holding.

Acceptable Reasons to Sit Out

Acceptable Reason to Sit Out

That in mind, let’s look at Tyler’s season so far.

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Checking in on the… ACC

Posted by rtmsf on December 1st, 2008

Zach Smith of Old Gold & Blog and DeaconsIllustrated is the RTC correspondent for the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).

Power Rankings (Record):

  1. North Carolina (7-0)
  2. Duke (7-0)
  3. Wake Forest (6-0)
  4. Miami (4-1)
  5. Clemson (7-0)
  6. Maryland (4-2)
  7. Boston College (4-2)
  8. Florida State (7-0)
  9. Georgia Tech (4-0)
  10. Virginia Tech (4-2)
  11. NC State (4-0)
  12. Virginia (3-2)

Thanksgiving Tournament Wrap-up

Not surprisingly, the North Carolina Tar Heels took care of business in the EA Sports Maui Invitational. Their impressive 102-87 victory over Notre Dame in the championship game was a good indication of just how impressive this North Carolina team can be. Tyler Hansbrough impressed with 34 points while Ty Lawson contributed 22 points and 11 assists. The Tar Heels are proving early that they are practically unbeatable when at their best.

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