NC State vs. Duke Live Blog, ACC Tournament 2007
Posted by Mike on March 8, 2007
First off, I would like to welcome the readers of Awful Announcing for coming to tonight’s live blog. Tonight, Duke plays NC State in game 3 of my attempt to live blog the entire ACC Tournament this week. For a preview of each team, see my ACC Tournament Preview. Gerald Henderson’s suspension will hurt the Devils, but they have won plenty of games without much contribution from him, so I’m not too worried for them. I think the game will come down to whether or not Sidney Lowe breaks out the red suit. If he does, they’ll have a good chance of winning. If he doesn’t they’ll get run out of the building. It’s that simple. The Wolfpack just play better when he wears that thing.
6:58 pm: UPSET WATCH: Cal 37, UCLA 25, Halftime.
7:03 pm: Well, it looks like I will, for once, be spared from Billy Packer, as this game will only be on ESPN2. Tonight’s announcers: Brad Nessler and Jimmy Dykes. Imagine the double entendres we could use if Dykes and Packer were an announcing team.
7:06 pm: YES! YES! Sidney Lowe has the Red Jacket! This is going to be good.
7:07 pm: It looks like the Dookies are trying to establish control of the paint early. Whomever wins will need good rebounding.
7:08 pm: 2-2. Ben McCauley hits the first basket of the game, a mid-range jumper from the baseline.
7:09 pm: 4-2, Dook. McRoberts receives the alley-oop from Demarcus Nelson. He might be a better passer than Paulus. That wasn’t a complement. Paulus has struggled that much.
7:11 pm: 4-4. I’m surprised that NC State’s first two baskets have been inside, when they are a primarily outside team. They can’t win a trench battle; they need to spread Duke’s defense out so they can keep them honest.
7:12 pm: 6-6. Costner gets the easy basket As McRoberts picks up his second foul in four minutes. The first one was an offensive foul.
You know what? forget what I just said. NC State now needs to attack the paint.
7:16 pm: 6-6. Zoubek and Lance Thomas are in for the Devils, and Dook promptly turns it over.
7:17 pm: 10-6, NCSU. Courtney Fells gets two straight baskets, the last a breakaway dunk off a steal.
7:18 pm: 12-10, NCSU. Duke is having a hard time stopping NC State’s passing. Paulus is doing what he can to keep them in it.
7:19 pm: Zoubek now has two fouls. This is not good for their frontcourt.
7:20 pm: 14-12, NCSU. Costner gets another easy basket inside, as NC State continues to pass the ball extremely well.
7:23 pm: Who the hell decided that ancient Greeks and Romans should have British accents? Why not Greek and Italian accents? That makes much more sense.
7:25 pm: NC State is shooting 70% in this game so far. If only they can get a shot off. They’re starting to get sloppy and turn the ball over.
7:26 pm: 18-14, Dook. Paulus is playing well tonight . He now has 7 points, including a three to give Dook the lead, and a great assist to Jon Scheyer, who hit another three. God, I hate it when I see a little white guy in a Dook uniform draining threes left and right.
7;29 pm: 18-16, Dook. Costner gets another basket inside, this time off an offensive rebound. Brad Nessler has been pounding it into my head, but it’s true: offensive rebounds are really important toward winning.
7:30 pm: 21-18, Dook. Just as NC State gets the game back to a tie, Scheyer immediately drains another three. But a third Dookie, Nelson, picks up his second foul. This can spell big trouble in the second half.
7:34 pm: 21-21. Gavin Grant gets three the really, really hard way: he makes his first free throw, misses the second, the Wolfpack get the offensive rebound, pass it back to Fells, and he ‘s blocked, but gets the ball back and makes the layup.
7:36 pm: 23-21, NCSU. Brad and Jimmy, I don’t want to hear about your dinner last night. Seriously. Costner scores again.
7:38 pm: 24-23, Dook. Who the hell is Pocius?
7:39 pm: 30-23, Dook. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Nothing gets my blood boiling more that skinny white guys in Duke uniforms making it rain threes. Even Jimmy Dykes pointed it out.
7:41 pm: RPI stands for Rat Poop Ingestion.
7:46 pm: 32-25, Dook. Costner finally ends the Wolfpack drought. He now has 12 and is the only reason NC State is in the game.
7:47 pm: 34-25, Dook. Don’t tell me that the Dookies are going to win because a guy who plays 6.7 minutes a game decides to suddenly play out of his mind. I’m talking to you, Martynas Pocius, the latest guy Coach K has inserted a computer chip implant into. Trust me, he does his all the time. How else can you explain Lee Melchionni?
7:51 pm: Costner gets the final basket of the half to bring the Wolfpack to within five. At halftime, Duke leads, 34-29. NC State is very competitive when they’re able to set up their offense with good passes. They will be able to keep it close of win if they can continue to pass efficiently, keep Duke in foul trouble and keep them from raining threes.
7:56 pm: UPSET WATCH: Cal 61, UCLA 61, end of regulation.
8:07 pm: 37-31, Dook. McCauley gets a nice basket inside for NC State, their 26th point in the paint, but Scheyer hits another three as my blood is steaming right now.
8:09 pm: 37-34, Dook. Engin Atsur finally drains a three, the Wolfpack’s first of the game.
8:10 pm: 40-36, Dook. Paulus hits another three. Ugh. At least McCauley is making McRoberts look like a defensive idiot.
8:11 pm: 40-39, Dook. Atsur hits another three. Where did this come from?
8:12 pm: 41-41. Courtney Fells ties the game with a tough shot inside, tying the game and reminding of his existence. I hadn’t heard from him since about 24 minutes left in the first half.
8:13 pm: Yet another reason why the ACC Tournament in Tampa was a bad idea: in Tampa, the tournament is one of the big events in the area (along with Spring Training, and most of the things associated with such a large metro area). In Greensboro, the Tournament is the one and only event, and can thus receive its appropriate spotlight. Moving the tournament isn’t just bad for the ACC, it’s bad for Greensboro.
8:16 pm: UPSET WATCH: Cal wins over UCLA, 73-69 (OT).
8:17 pm: 43-42, Dook. Just as NC State takes the lead, McRoberts gets an easy layup inside.
8:20 pm: 45-44, Dook. The Wolfpack and Dookies exchange baskets, and then McRoberts makes a really dumb play. After making a great steal, he was about to either make a layup or draw a foul. Instead, he throws it out of bounds to his bench. I just laughed and cheered when I saw it. Is schadenfreude a sin?
8:21 pm: 47-45, NCSU. Atsur hits another three! He’s on fire in the second half. The Wolfpack are two completely different teams with and without him in the lineup.
8:26 pm: 47-47. NC State has to stop turning the ball over, especially in these crucial situations. One thing I’ll say about McRoberts, he’s good at stripping the ball on defense.
8:28 pm: Sidney Lowe’s voodoo red jacket, don’t fail us now!
8:30 pm: 49-47, NCSU. Unbelievable. Atsur scores again, giving NC State the lead. The Wolfpack are now 7-8 on field goals. Which reminds me, what has Costner been up to in the second half?
8:31 pm: 49-49. Exactly when did McRoberts finally decide to be a post-up player?
8:33 pm: Uh-oh. Atsur is on the bench with some sort of cramp, and the Wolfpack are already making bad decisions in his absence.
8:35 pm: 51-49, Dook. Uh, Josh, that was a gret play, but there’s an unwritten rule: in the second half, you must have scored at least 15 points or contributed to at least 25 before you can start showboating. Costner finally scores in the second half and ties it at 51.
8:38 pm: 56-53, Dook. Oh crap. Paulus hits another wide open three.
8:43 pm: 60-54, Dook. The Dookies’ set pieces are really starting to work against the Pack.
8:44 pm: Just as it looks like McRoberts is starting to play well, he commits his fifth turnover, a travel.
8:45 pm: 60-58, Dook. Costner is finally a factor in the second half. He now has 20. Where are Courtney Fells and Gavin Grant? They came up huge in the UNC game, but they’re nearly non-factors tonight.
8:47 pm: 62-62. Right now the go-to guy is McCauley. He and Costner having a field day posting up on McRoberts after great passes by Atsur.
8:49 pm: 64-62, NCSU, 3:10 left. McCauley makes an insane behind the back pass to Atsur, who makes an unbelievably tough shot that goes in off the backboard. The Wolf pack force Duke’s 18th turnover and leads to an easy Gavin Grant layup. 66-62, NCSU.
8:51 pm: 66-65, NCSU, 2:50 left. Coach K calls a timeout, and and Duke immediately gets a basket to stop the momentum. Who didn’t see that coming a mile away?
8:56 pm: 66-65, NCSU, 2:11 left. NC State is going to the line, but the big play was McCauley getting the offensive rebound.
8:57 pm: 68-67, Dook, 1:50 left. Are you kidding me? Are you f—ing kidding me? The Wolfpack are about to get beat by Martinys f—ing Pocius?
8:59 pm: 70-68, NCSU, 1:00 left. What a HUGE play by Engin Atsur! What an unbelievable shot! And NC State has the lead with less than a minute left! WHOOOOOOO!!!
In case you’re just tuning in, I’m a Tar Heels fan. It is thus my obligation to cheer for anyone playing Duke as if they were the Tar Heels.
9:01 pm: 70-70, :40 left. Again Duke calls a timeout, and again they get a basket within ten seconds, this time a tough layup by Nelson to tie it. WHY WON’T YOU DIE?!?
9:04 pm: 70-70, :03 left. NC State has two good looks at the winning shot, but they can’t convert. Still, they have the ball with 3 seconds left. The worst that can happen is overtime at this point.
9:06 pm: With the game on the line, the ball goes to…Courtney Fells? Is that the play they drew up? Atsur tries to tip in the miss, but to no avail. it’s 70-70, and we’re going to overtime.
9:17 pm: 82-76, NCSU. You’re not going to believe it, but something happened to my computer, and WordPress deleted all that I wrote about overtime. What you must know is that Costner started the scoring by converting a three point play, and since then McRoberts and McCauley have dictated the scoring for each team. In particular, McCauley has done an excellent job of playing in the post, and he fouled out Nelson.
9:20 pm: 85-80, NCSU, :13 left, OT. Pocius converts a three point play, but it seems too little, too late, as NC State hits enough of their free throws enough to seemingly put it out of reach.
9:22 pm: 85-80, NCSU, :05 left, OT. Paulus misses his running shot, NC State rebounds, and this game is pretty much over.
9:23 pm: YES! YES! YYYEEEESSSSS!!! NC State wins, 85-80!!! WHOOOOOO!!!!!
NC State played out of their minds, especially when it mattered most. In overtime, even though they had three key players with four fouls, they managed to stay out of trouble while still playing effectively. Brandon Costner has an unbelievable game, scoring 29 points, keeping the game within reach in the second half, while Atsur kept it in reach in the second half, and McCauley helped to put it out of reach in overtime. They deserve a lot of the credit, but we all know it has to be Sindey Lowe’s voodoo red jacket.
I can’t believe that I’ve been able to cover three such exciting games in one day. But that’s why I love the ACC Tournament. I hope tonight’s final game, Georgia Tech vs. Wake Forest, will be as exciting. The Extrapolater will be blogging that one. I’m exhausted. I”l be back tomorrow at noon to liveblog UNC vs FSU on Tar Heel Mania.