College Basketball by the Tweets: A B1G/ACC Tie, UNC Plays Jekyll and Hyde…

Posted by David Harten on December 5th, 2013

bythetweets

So can anyone figure North Carolina out? Seriously, that’s a question. In the past four games, the Tar Heels have done what can only be deciphered as playing up (or down) to their competition, losing to Belmont at home before beating defending national champion Louisville, then losing to UAB before taking down the No. 1 team in the nation, Michigan State, on Wednesday night. So please, someone explain what makes this team act the way it acts. The Tar Heels’ tussle with the Spartans highlighted the two-day Big Ten/ACC Challenge, with the two conferences tying at 6-6 for the second consecutive year. When it was all over, the national focus was less on the tie and more on the fact that the Tar Heels have two wins over top five teams and two losses to unranked bubble teams.

Speaking of disappointing Michigan State performances, does anyone remember that Garrick Sherman spent the beginning of his career with the Spartans? Well, he’s at Notre Dame now, which everyone probably knows after the five-overtime thriller against Louisville last year, of which he didn’t play a minute of until the first overtime and still finished with 17 points. He’s proven a capable scorer as a fifth-year senior, putting up an event-high 29 points in a 98-93 Irish loss at Iowa. Read the rest of this entry »

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ACC M5: 11.27.12 Edition

Posted by KCarpenter on November 27th, 2012

  1. Raleigh News & Observer: With the ACC/Big Ten Challenge about to tip off tonight and North Carolina preparing to take on top-ranked Indiana, the Tar Heels got some bad news before flying to Bloomington — P.J. Hairston is suffering from a knee sprain and will not travel with the team. Hairston has emerged as the most dangerous man off the bench, playing an athletic inside-out game. Additionally, according to Roy Williams, Hairston has been the only effective small power forward in the experimental small line-up that North Carolina used to surprising effect in Maui. With a road victory against Indiana already a long shot, the absence of Hairston from the lineup will only grow the odds even longer.
  2. Fayetteville Observer: Speaking of missing players, North Carolina State will no longer have the services of Belgian big man Thomas de Thaey when the Wolfpack faces Michigan tonight. The sophomore is returning home to be closer to his father, who has been battling cancer. Considering Mark Gottfried’s apparent fondness for short rotations, it was likely that de Thaey wouldn’t have seen too much playing time on the court at any rate. Given his father’s illness, returning home seems like an easy decision and one that I’m sure the Wolfpack program, fans, and, well, everyone, will readily and gladly support.
  3. Washington Post: Of course, the subplot of Maryland effectively getting a practice conference game against Big Ten foe Northwestern is a juicy story in the context of the big story of realignment, but this game offers up another intriguing storyline: Maryland’s performance on the road. Under Mark Turgeon, the Terps have won only a single true road game, eking out a two-point win at Clemson last February. This match-up against Northwestern is the team’s only true road game before the beginning of conference play, and if Maryland can get the win, it will be a nice symbolic victory that should help give the team confidence before the beginning of ACC play.
  4. Tallahassee Democrat: While Florida State versus Minnesota doesn’t exactly have the glitzy names of some of the other match-ups going on tonight, this game is a big opportunity for two very good teams. The Golden Gophers and Trevor Mbakwe will look to punish the Seminoles on the glass, but Leonard Hamilton has his team ready and excited to take down another higher-ranked foe. Though Minnesota expects to have a marked advantage in rebounding, the turnover trouble that has plagued the Gophers is likely an enticing opening for a Florida State team that thrives on applying defensive pressure.
  5. Real GM: Dan Hanner does it again, this time putting together some interesting historical data to see which coaches thrive during different parts of the season. Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski is the headliner with a penchant for early season dominance that impresses year after year, but a number of other ACC coaches show up in his numbers. Virginia’s Tony Bennett also has his team ready to play in the early part of the season, but Hanner’s research also points to a few ACC coaches whose teams are consistently better at the end of the season rather than the beginning. This list includes Roy Williams (UNC), Mark Gottfried (NCSU), and Leonard Hamilton (FSU).
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