End of an Era: Maryland’s Last Trip Down Tobacco Road Brings Back Old Memories

Posted by Brad Jenkins (@bradjenk) on February 18th, 2014

Saturday night’s Maryland loss at Duke closes a historic chapter in ACC basketball history. It marks the Terrapins’ last visit as an ACC member to the Triangle area, long considered the heart of the conference (just ask Gary Williams). That game, a two-point loss in Cameron Indoor Stadium, seems like an appropriate last act in a long-running drama that has been playing since the formation of the ACC in 1953. Duke’s victory had many of the same elements that these games have had for years — specifically, a hard-fought, passionate contest with questionable officiating that ultimately resulted in another frustrating loss for the Terps.

The 1974 Maryland-N.C. State ACC Championship Game Sparked Changes to NCAA Tourney. (photo courtesy of CNN Sports Illustrated and Sports Then and Now)

The 1974 Maryland-N.C. State ACC Championship Game Sparked Changes To The NCAA Tourney.
(CNN/Sports Illustrated)

Maryland fans have long expressed the feeling that their team just couldn’t get a fair shake on Tobacco Road. Check out this game recap from a 1974 Maryland-N.C. State game in Raleigh. Near the end of the article, Terrapins’ head coach Lefty Driesell is quoted as follows: “My complaint is the charging calls against us,” Driesell said. “I’m not saying the calls were wrong but it’s only called that way in this part of the country.” He is certainly not alone in thinking that Maryland was at a distinct disadvantage when playing conference games in the Tar Heel State, whether they were on a rivals’ home courts or in the frequent ACC Tournaments held in Greensboro or Charlotte. As Maryland prepares to join the Big Ten next season, let’s take a look at some of the other memories that Maryland will be leaving behind.

Maryland was a charter member when the ACC formed prior to the 1953-54 basketball season. Although the Terrapins captured an ACC title in 1958, it wasn’t until the fiery Driesell arrived prior to the 1969-70 campaign that Maryland basketball became nationally relevant. At the time, North Carolina and N.C. State were the top programs in the league, but Maryland quickly joined them and produced some classic games that had a major influence on the rising popularity of the sport. In 1973, the ACC and its TV broadcast partner, C.D. Chesley, decided to go big with the N.C. State – Maryland game in College Park as a prelude for sports fans to the NFL’s Super Bowl Sunday showcase event. The 87-85 win for David Thompson‘s Wolfpack in front of a nationally-televised audience was a highly entertaining game that helped push the reputation of the ACC as the best and most exciting hoops conference in the country.

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Tobacco Road Rivalry Morphs into Friendly Bond in Los Angeles

Posted by Chris Kehoe on February 14th, 2014

Both Ryan Kelly and Kendall Marshall were highly regarded prospects coming out of their respective high schools in the south — Marshall from Bishop O’Connell in Northern Virginia and Kelly from Ravenscroft Academy in the heart of ACC country, North Carolina. Marshall was the pure, pass-first point guard who at 6’4” could see over the top of most defenders, and Kelly was a 6’11” reed thin stretch-four. Both chose to play in the ACC, but at different programs that happened to be a part of one of the biggest rivalries in all of sports. Marshall went to North Carolina, where he bid his time behind Larry Drew until he set an UNC single-season record with 351 assists and won the Bob Cousy Award his sophomore season at Chapel Hill. While Marshall was breaking records in his first two seasons as a Tar Heel, Kelly had a longer and more arduous route to prominence as a Blue Devil in Durham. Kelly really emerged as a junior and senior, where he began to average over 25 minutes per game and double figure points. He clearly became an integral part of Duke’s interior defense as well, not rebounding extremely well for his size but being a great help defender, communicator and rim protector alongside Miles and Mason Plumlee. His defining moment came in his return from injury in a 36-point performance versus a loaded ACC champion Miami (FL) team at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Kendall Marshall & Ryan Kelly cheer on the Lakers bench (lostlettermen.com)

Kendall Marshall & Ryan Kelly cheer on the Lakers bench (lostlettermen.com)

Unfortunately during their collegiate careers, both Kelly and Marshall suffered through rough injuries, Kelly with a recurring foot problem that caused him to miss a good stretch of games and Marshall’s fractured wrist which took him out of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. But even after his wrist injury, Marshall declared for the NBA Draft and was taken in the late lottery at 13 by the Phoenix Suns, one pick before UNC teammate John Henson. A product of a crowded backcourt of Goran Dragic, Shannon Brown, Sebastian Telfair and even Jared Dudley, Marshall struggled to find consistent playing time. But, Marshall also lacked the ability to create for himself, score in isolation, or shoot from the perimeter. His size was a huge benefit at the next level but his lack of elite athleticism had people worried if he would ever make it in the NBA.

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Syracuse Can Wait Its Turn: Duke vs. UNC is Still the ACC’s Elite Rivalry

Posted by Chris Kehoe on February 12th, 2014

With Syracuse off to one of the hottest starts in program history and sporting a record Carrier Dome crowd versus Duke, the whispers regarding new rivalries in the ACC grew louder than ever. The Orange were bringing the second winningest coach in college basketball leading a blue-blooded program accustomed to postseason success, and therefore expectations have remained high. Syracuse had hyped the game against Duke for some time, littering the entire town with ‘Beat Duke’ signs and creating orange shirts with the same logo, even getting the Vice President to don one. So much emphasis was placed on this singular match-up and Syracuse’s desire for a new “natural” rival that 75 years of insurmountable ACC history got temporarily swept under the rug.

Next Stop: Prime Time

It’s About That Time Again

Arguably the greatest rivalry in all of sports, Carolina versus Duke holds a special place in college basketball lore. While they may not always be on even footing or both in the Top 25, they always get after it and manage to consistently pull together wild finishes for fans in attendance. While Syracuse is a great team and program, and Jim Boeheim and Coach K are great friends, the history just isn’t there between the two East Coast teams. The Tobacco Road rivalry has brewed for over eight decades, since their first encounter in January of 1920, and has accumulated amazing finishes, chippy brawls and tense instances, iconic moments, and tremendous players that are embedded in multiple generations’ memories of college basketball. And while Duke and UNC fans may abhor each other, they still recognize that they are meant for each other, and it is in both of their interests for the two teams to remain relevant and successful.

While Syracuse and Duke shared one instant classic in upstate New York, the magic that has transpired in Durham and Chapel Hill has a certain sizzle to it, not so easily replicated. While North Carolina has had somewhat of a down year this season — at least in terms of their standards — marred with off-the-court issues and the loss of a star player, they have come on as of late, winning five in a row. Duke has maintained a Top 25 ranking this entire season but snapped one impressive streak of top 10 placement in the polls, after dropping games to Notre Dame and Clemson. There are a lot of intriguing matchups in the first game between the Tar Heels and Blue Devils, starting at point guard with Marcus Paige and what is increasingly becoming Rasheed Sulaimon, both large and lanky guards. The forwards are where most of the real stars come out, Duke with Rodney Hood, Jabari Parker, and Amile Jefferson while UNC counters with James McAdoo, Brice Johnson, and J.P. Tokoto. A lot of elite athletes and future professionals will be butting heads under the spotlight tonight in Chapel Hill and college basketball as a whole will be better for it.

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Renewing The Rivalry: Previewing Duke vs. North Carolina

Posted by Brad Jenkins & Lathan Wells on February 12th, 2014

After the first week and a half of ACC conference play, Duke and North Carolina were struggling with a combined 1-5 record and fans had to wonder if the ACC’s two flagship programs were headed for disaster. Just four weeks later, these are two of the hottest teams around. The Blue Devils and Tar Heels are a combined 13-2 over that stretch, with the only losses for Duke at Syracuse and at UNC at Virginia. Of course that means that we could be in for another Duke vs. North Carolina classic in Chapel Hill tonight (9:00 PM ET – ESPN). In many ways this game should resemble most of their contests – intense, fast-paced, with several swings of momentum. Also as usual, it looks like it will be a match-up of Duke’s quickness and three-point marksmanship versus North Carolina’s size and inside power. Duke will look to extend an odd trend where the Blue Devils have won the last seven times the team’s first meeting of the year is at the Smith Center, and the road team has won 11 of the last 20 regular season meetings.

Roy Williams and Coach K bring contrasting squads together tonight in renewing their rivalry (credit: gettysports)

Roy Williams and Coach K bring contrasting squads together tonight in renewing their rivalry (credit: gettysports)

Let’s take a closer look at some of the key questions for tonight’s game, as RTC’s Brad Jenkins and Lathan Wells go back and forth on what each team needs to do to win.

Brad Jenkins: Given North Carolina’s lack of perimeter depth and the fact that Duke is second in the country in three point shooting (42.0%), featuring six different players who have made at least 20 threes this season, how can the Tar Heels keep the Blue Devils from shooting them right out of their own gym tonight?

Lathan Wells: North Carolina’s perimeter defense has been impressive in conference play, and it really starts with J.P. Tokoto and Marcus Paige.  Tokoto often draws the team’s best or most versatile perimeter threat, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him shadowing Rodney Hood in this contest. Paige will be tasked with guarding whoever is at the point, presumably Quinn Cook. The Tar Heels have done a good job of rotating to and closing out on shooters, but foul trouble would doom their ability to combat the multitude of outside options Duke will run at them. The backcourt starters will have to play a lot of minutes to keep Duke’s long-range attempts heavily contested. While North Carolina is trying to figure out how to stymie Duke’s perimeter game, how are the Blue Devils going to slow down a reinvigorated James Michael McAdoo?

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Trick or Treat: The Big East Schedule Edition

Posted by Todd Keryc on October 31st, 2013

In a little more than a week, the 2013-14 college basketball season will begin. Before it does, let’s take a closer look at the Big East schedule using today’s holiday to break it down.

TRICK: Non-Conference Play Will Mean More to Big East Teams This Season: You may have heard by now that a few prominent teams left the Big East this offseason. Of the top 10 teams from last year, six of them have left for other conferences. That includes two Final Four teams and five NCAA Tournament teams, with UConn’s APR issues being the reason for their exclusion, not their performance on the court. The departure of these perennial powerhouses means Big East teams will be missing important opportunities this year to register key wins against highly-ranked opponents. This puts added pressure on them to schedule serious non-conference games and to make those outings count, rather than relying on league play later on. Georgetown took note and did something smart, scheduling Michigan State for a neutral site game on February 1 in New York. They also have big non-conference games early against Oregon in South Korea and on the road at Kansas.

Thompson Got the Memo on Non-Conference Scheduling This Year

Thompson Got the Memo on Non-Conference Scheduling This Year

TREAT: A Chance to See A Couple of Old School Big East Rivalries: While most Big East fans were heartbroken when some of the league’s biggest names walked away, there is still the chance to see a couple of old match-ups unfold in non-conference play. Next week, Boston College visits Providence in their annual New England meeting, a rivalry that continued even when BC left for the ACC in 2005. On December 8, fans of New Jersey basketball will see their two premiere programs meet again as Seton Hall heads to Rutgers. The two biggest match-ups for Big East fans both involve old friend Syracuse. The Orange returns to its downstate home, Madison Square Garden, to take on longtime rival St. John’s on December 15. Then, on December 28, Syracuse is at home and will take on familiar foe Villanova.

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Oregon Basketball and The Season of New: The End of the Beginning

Posted by Rockne Roll on January 6th, 2013

Welcome to Oregon Basketball and The Season of New, a weekly Pac-12 microsite column from Rockne Roll (@raroll). His column will focus on the various issues facing college basketball through the prism of the Oregon Ducks, a program ostensibly on the rise with top-notch facilities and coaching but still subject to many of the same problems suffered by many of the other high-major programs around the country.

“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” -Winston Churchill

At the beginning of college basketball every year, it’s a circus; 340-plus teams criss-crossing the country to play each other, as well as games by Division I squads against their less heralded colleagues from the lower levels of the hoops hierarchy. There are regular season tournaments, featured games like ESPN’s ACC/Big Ten challenge, and (as previously discussed in this column) mid-majors going on the road and getting shellacked by power conference schools to make a few bucks. Buried somewhere in this mix for the big schools are a couple of games that serve as a real test of a squad’s development and capabilities.

Photo by Rockne Andrew Roll

The Ducks Have Been a Pleasant Surprise This Season(Photo by Rockne Andrew Roll)

Oregon played such a game earlier this week, ending its non-conference slate against Nevada at home. The Wolf Pack were just such a team; they went 13-1 against last year’s WAC and made the NIT quarterfinals before losing to Stanford. They pressured the Ducks defensively and scored 20 points off Oregon’s 20 turnovers. But Oregon’s defense held Nevada to 13 percent shooting from downtown and just 14 first half points for a final score of 56-43. Singler went on the podium after the game and personally took credit for the turnover problem. “We had been really trying to limit out turnovers, and most of them, it was on me.” The box score agreed; Singler coughed it up seven times during the match. “I’ve got to clean it up a lot, be stronger with the ball. We’re going to need to pick it up once Pac-12 starts.” But even beyond just the turnovers, Oregon’s ball movement wasn’t working, and without good ball movement, Oregon’s offense grinds to a halt. “Offensively, the ball movement just wasn’t there. We’ve got a lot of work to do. I thought we’d gotten some things worked out with out ball movement,” explained head coach Dana Altman. But one of the differences in this year’s Oregon squad is its defense. The Ducks are currently sporting their lowest field goal percentage defense in six years, and regularly force their opponents deep into shot clocks. “We had a couple times we had some great possessions. Our rotations were really good, out adjustments were really good. For the most part, our defense was pretty good.”

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Big East M5: 12.06.12 Edition

Posted by Dan Lyons on December 6th, 2012

  1. Teams that wear various shades of orange from ‘T’ states should probably quit scheduling Georgetown. In their last two games, the Hoyas gave up a combined 77 points against Tennessee and Texas. Georgetown is still finding its way on offense, but the young Hoyas have bought into what John Thompson III is selling on the defensive end. Georgetown is currently 21st in the country in giving up 56.1 points per game, and while Texas and Tennessee are far from world-beaters this season, holding any major conference team to 40 points is impressive. The Hoyas will need to get some of their other guys to step up as a scorer, as forward Otto Porter can’t afford to carry the whole load when the Big East rolls around, but Georgetown looks to be a dangerous team going forward.
  2. The Syracuse bandwagon is filling up quickly this season, but don’t expect Jim Boeheim to hop into the driver’s seat anytime soon. During his press conference following Syracuse’s win over Eastern Michigan, Boeheim went on a long, unprovoked diatribe about the expectations surrounding his team in the early season. Syracuse fans have been relatively spoiled by unprecedented regular season success – the Orange are 97-16 since the beginning of the 2009-10 season, and take up real estate in the top five of the polls on a regular basis. Boeheim doesn’t appreciate the attitude that these non-conference games are all automatic wins for his team, and he used the press conference to express this sentiment: “Anybody that we play can come in here and beat us. To just assume that we’re going to win games is the most arrogant thing that I have ever seen in my life. It’s nothing but arrogance. And I don’t like arrogance. And I don’t like arrogant people.”
  3. The Cincinnati Bearcats have flown under the radar so far this year as one of the quietest really good teams in the country. Cincy entered the year with perhaps the highest expectations the program has had in years, and have not disappointed yet. After a 7-0 start, the Bearcats find themselves at #11 in the latest AP poll. They have yet to play a real juggernaut of an opponent, but wins over Iowa State, Oregon, and Alabama all look very good on the resume. The Bearcats are getting tremendous production from their three top backcourt players Sean Kilpatrick (19.9 PPG), Cashmere Wright (15.3 PPG), and JaQuon Parker (10.9 PPG), who are each shooting over 40% from beyond the arc. The Bearcats are currently 11th in the country scoring 82.7 points per game, and could end up being one of the most fun teams to watch in the Big East this season.
  4. Many Big East squads are involved in intense rivalries, but some, like Providence-Rhode Island, slide a bit under the radar despite being quite heated. John Rooke of GoLocalProvSports has penned a great piece about the 123-or-125 game series (depending on whom you believe) over the years. Through various events like the creation of the Big East, which saw Rhody left out, to the recruitment of Sly Williams, the PC-URI game continues to grow in magnitude. It may not have the national panache of a Syracuse-Georgetown or a Cincinnati-Xavier, but to diehards in the ‘Ocean State,’ it means just as much.
  5. You’re too much sometimes, internet. As you may have noticed, a nasty rumor about Jay Wright made its way through various message boards and the Twittersphere earlier this week. The good news is that the entire sordid situation appears to be completely false. The bad news is that Jay Wright, who as a neutral observer seems to be one of the classier guys in the sport, had his name dragged through the mud for no reason other than someone was bored on the internet. We’re all so lucky to have this incredible shared space for discourse on things like college basketball, let’s not sully it by buying into and spreading inflammatory rumors.
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SEC Caters to Fans and Ensures Rivals Will Play Twice A Year

Posted by EJacoby on June 5th, 2012

Scheduling controversies have been prevalent in the news recently, most notably involving Kentucky, Indiana, and their inability to continue a classic rivalry. Supporters of both schools are upset about the (currently) canceled tradition, and rightfully so. So the fact that the SEC announced Monday that it plans to establish permanent basketball rivalries to play twice a year is a positive development in giving fans the matchups they really want to see. Even as the conference expands to 14 teams next season, top combatants (Kentucky-Florida, Auburn-Alabama to name a few) will still see each other two times every year. As part of an 18-game conference schedule, teams will also play four other opponents who will rotate in a three-year cycle twice per year, and play the eight remaining teams once per season. There are pros and cons to this new scheduling format, but the league deserves praise for its progressive decision to focus on key rivalries.

Even as the SEC Expands, Kentucky and Florida Will Still Play Twice a Year (USA TODAY photo)

The establishment of ‘permanent rivals’ is something the Big East failed to explore when it expanded to 16 teams a while ago, leaving its members to play three random teams twice per year as part of its 18-game schedule. As a result, old school rivalries like Georgetown-Syracuse have diminished. Instead of securing a home-and-home series against the Orange, the Hoyas had to travel to ‘Cuse last season and never got a rematch after suffering a painful overtime defeat. The SEC won’t have that problem going forward. Starting immediately in 2012-13, permanent rivals will see each other twice a year, guaranteed. The rivalry pairings are:

  • Kentucky-Florida
  • Tennessee-Vanderbilt
  • Auburn-Alabama
  • Mississippi State-Ole Miss
  • South Carolina-Georgia
  • LSU-Texas A&M
  • Arkansas-Missouri

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Calipari Pushes ‘Nontraditional’ Scheduling Agenda, A Loss For Everyone Involved

Posted by EJacoby on May 8th, 2012

By now, you’ve heard that two of college basketball’s traditional powerhouses have decided to end their annual tradition of playing each other. Kentucky and Indiana have combined for 13 national championships, are two of the strongest and historic programs in basketball history, and could easily both be ranked in the top five to begin next season. Last year they played in two classic games that included some of the best moments of the entire season. Yet, at the height of the rivalry in many years, the schools could not come to an agreement on how to continue their games. While fans on both sides continue to voice their displeasure (synopsis: IU says “convenient”; UK says “trust in Cal”) , the Kentucky coach has now explained his side of the story. Feeling emboldened by his newly-minted national championship, John Calipari wrote an extended blog post over the weekend about his scheduling needs and why they contradict with the purpose of the UK-IU rivalry. While Calipari should be praised for his direct communication with fans and refreshing transparency, his actual argument doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. He states that his primary focus is to best prepare his team for the NCAA Tournament, but in his new “nontraditional” approach he’s stripping his players of valuable competition and fans of exciting matchups to look forward to. Calipari stresses that UK is a players-first program, but the agenda that he’s pushing doesn’t actually seem more beneficial for the players, and it’s not good for college basketball fans, either.

Coach Calipari Directed a Message to UK Fans About Kentucky's Scheduling Tactics (ESPN Photo)

Calipari’s post reinforces the idea that his scheduling desires are motivated by what’s best for his team during each individual season. He says that Kentucky is “going through things that no other program in the history of college basketball has gone through. No other program is losing five or six players a year.” While this is technically true, it’s not logical to give up long-term scheduling deals with other schools just because his team will look different every year. The fact that his team does in fact look different each season (presumably filled with blue-chippers as long as he’s around) would instead lead us to believe that he needs to challenge his teams right away in order to prepare the Wildcats for the rigors of March. Kentucky may still have won the title last season if it hadn’t played a challenging non-conference schedule, but early games against Kansas (neutral), Louisville (home), North Carolina (home), and Indiana (road) seemed to help speed up the learning curve of his precocious freshmen.

No head coach, including Calipari, wants to lose non-conference games. Losing those games can severely impact the RPI, which – as flawed of a measure as we all know it to be – is still the underlying metric that the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee uses to compare and contrast teams. For years fans around the country (with UK fans especially vocal) have decried the “Coach K Method” of scheduling, questioning why Duke rarely challenges itself in the non-conference season to play true road games in an opponent’s building. There’s truth to the criticism – outside of the ACC/Big Ten mandate, Duke might play one other “road” game each season, usually confined to the Duke-friendly alumni corridor of the Mid-Atlantic from DC (Georgetown) through Philadelphia (Temple) to New York (St. John’s). These look like hostile road trips on paper, but plenty of Duke fans who live nearby scoop up tickets to support the Blue Devils, making those games more neutral than you might think. Duke then fills the rest of its non-conference schedule with other neutral site games against teams it should beat and home games against solid mid-majors like Belmont and Davidson, earning wins and good RPI juice in the process.

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ATB: Fantastic Final Four – Buckeyes Squash the Orange, Carolina Misses Marshall, and an All-Kentucky Dream Game

Posted by EJacoby on March 26th, 2012

This Weekend’s Lede. The Final Four is set and ready for action with some of the biggest storylines in years. There were no Cinderella stories on this second weekend, as the Elite Eight was comprised of all powerhouse teams that have been the class of college basketball all season. This week will feature numerous awesome back-stories and matchups to look forward to in New Orleans, but first we’ll break down exactly what happened over the weekend that’s led us to the remaining four teams in the Big Dance. Without further ado, here’s how it went…

Your Watercooler Moment. Russ Smith Runs Wild For #4 Louisville as Unlikely Hero

Russ Smith Sparked Louisville to a Comeback and a Final Four Berth (C. Hanewickel, US Presswire)

The top players in the NCAA Tournament proved their worth over the weekend for their heavyweight teams, but the one team that lacks that superstar performer made for the best story of the weekend. Louisville was a slight underdog against #7-seed Florida in the West Regional Final and the Cardinals trailed by eight points at halftime by surrendering far too many open threes to the Gators. But Rick Pitino’s team stayed within striking distance throughout the second half before perhaps the most enigmatic, up-and-down performer in college hoops picked the perfect time to have his best game. Russ Smith, Louisville’s super-sub that provides instant energy, came off the bench to score a game-high 19 points, 13 of which came in the second half. Smith often leaves coaches and fans scratching their heads with his decision-making, but his no-fear mentality was the difference in this game. Making aggressive moves to the basket and taking big shots late, Smith came up huge for his team in its biggest spot of the season. He finished with 19 points, five rebounds, two assists (and four turnovers), and hit two consecutive shots with his team down by six points to cut the Florida lead to one. From there, Louisville closed out the game and sent the Big East Tournament champions to the Final Four.

Also Worth Chatting About. Late-Game Defense Allows #2 Kansas To Defeat #1 UNC

The Jayhawks defeated #1 North Carolina in the Midwest Regional Final by 13 points, but this was one of the most entertaining and close games of the entire NCAA Tournament. The teams were deadlocked 47-47 at halftime in a high-scoring affair, but the defense took over in this game’s second half. Kansas allowed 63.6% shooting in the first half but it was a completely different story after that. The Jayhawks gave up just 22.6% to UNC in the second frame and did not let the Tar Heels score again after a Harrison Barnes free throw cut a Kansas lead to 68-67 with 3:58 to play. Bill Self implemented a surprising ‘triangle and two’ defense that completely threw off UNC offensively, especially limiting what the Heels could do in the paint. Jeff Withey was unable to repeat his 10-block performance from the Sweet Sixteen, but he and Thomas Robinson got the best of Tyler Zeller and John Henson in scoring and rebounding inside. Combine that with the fact that Tyshawn Taylor had an incredible game going up against Stilman White, and Kansas was too tough for a Kendall Marshall-less Carolina team to overcome. There was not enough offense from UNC when it needed it, but Kansas’ terrific defensive effort was a big reason for that.

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Through The Lens: Rivalry

Posted by rtmsf on February 9th, 2012

Welcome to Through the Lens, an RTC photo tour through the game of college basketball.

This week’s topic: Rivalry.

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You Would Have if You Could Have???

Posted by rtmsf on September 19th, 2007

We appreciate great intercollegiate smack, even if it’s focused on the gridiron.

Which is why when we saw that USC had placed an incredibly defiant billboard stating “You Would Have if You Could Have” in the heart of Westwood (mere blocks from UCLA), we had to rise and applaud the Men of Troy’s brashness.

USC Billboard

Of course, UCLA might respond with its own billboard in several ways. Here are some quick thoughts:

  • “13-9. Dec. 2, 2006.”
  • “Even your billboards move to Westwood.”
  • “All your TimFloyd are belong to us.”
  • “UCLA grad: Kareem; USC Grad: OJ” (w/ pics of course)
  • “USC: University of South Central”

We’re sure our LA-area readers can come up with better ones (all three of them).

(major h/t to Lion in Oil for this find)

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