Digital Headbutt

A sports blog about stuff…stuff that involves things.

Archive for the ‘NC State’ Category

Tom O’Brien Wants You To Love America

Posted by Mike on October 6, 2008

When I saw this picture on EDSBS, it blew my mind.

1. Football Coach

2. Irishman who graduated from a military academy

3. Golf shirt which you can buy at NOW NOW NOW

4. Team hat which you can also buy at NOW NOW NOW

5. wraparound shades

6. Panoramic reflection of packed football stadium off of said wraparound shades.

7. Prominent American Flag

8. Special Effects

9. Game Face

10. A hundred guys behind him, in full uniform that would look ridiculous anywhere else

If this picture doesn’t embody everything the terrorists need to know about the United States of America, I don’t know what does. Show this to Moqtada Al-Sadr, let him stare at it for 24 hours, and he will tell you where to find Osama bin Laden and how to bring Al-Qaeda to its knees. And he will thank you for it. And then he will leave Iraq to begin a moderately successful career in Bollywood, typecasted as a genie. And then J Leman will be elected president. Because the only man American enough for the job.


Posted in ACC, AMERICA HELL YEAH!!!, College Football, NC State | 1 Comment »

NC State vs. Virginia Tech Live Blog, ACC Tournament 2007

Posted by Mike on March 10, 2007

Today NC State plays Virginia Tech for the right to play my beloved Tar Heels in the final. This game 10 of my attempt to have a live blog of every ACC Tournament game this week, although I’ve had help from the Extrapolater. For a preview of each team, see my ACC Tournament Preview. To see how these teams got her, see yesterday’s live blogs of NC State-Virginia and Virginia Tech-Wake Forest.

The Wolfpack will have a hard time against the Hokies’ experienced backcourt, while VT will have a hard time against freshman forward Brandon Costner and Sidney Lowe’s voodoo blazer. NC State was able to sweep the season series; add the jacket to the mix, and the Hokies could be doomed before this game begins.

3:58 pm: 2-2. Courtney Fells gets the first basket of the game, an easy layup, but Jamon Gordon quickly responds.

4:01 pm: 6-5, VT. A.D. Vassallo is playing well early in the game, hitting two straight shots to give the Hokies the lead.

Both teams seem to be struggling to catch a rhythm early.

4:06 pm: 7-6, NCSU. Gavin grant hits a midrange jumper to give NC State the lead.

4:08 pm: 13-6, NCSU. Every time I see the TV cut to Lowe’s sideline gestures, something good happens to the Wolfpack. Fells and Grant each hit a three after Raycom puts Senor Sid on camera.

His tie is polka dot today. Only he can pull that off.

4:12 pm: 13-10, NCSU. Deron Washington goes up for the emphatic dunk. Virginia Tech fares much better when he’s effective in the paint.

I haven’t heard much from Dowdell or Costner so far today.

4:14 pm: 16-10, NCSU. Atsur hits another three for the Wolfpack. I think they’re 3 of 5 from beyond the arc.

4:15 pm: 18-12, NCSU. Courtney Fells gets an easy basket inside from a great pass by Costner. NC State has shot 70% from the field so far.

4:20 pm: 21-12, NCSU. Dennis Horner drive down the lane, and gets three the hard way. Deron Washington picks up his second foul, and he’s now on the bench.

4:21 pm: It looks like Atsur twisted something, and he’s out of the game. Surprisingly, the Wolfpack offense continues without a hitch. Nieman gets a nice basket off a pass from Horner, and the NC State lead reaches double digits.

Seth Greenberg decides to play Nigel Munson at point guard in Atsur’s absence instead of Dowdell.

4:23 pm: 23-15, NCSU. Munson immediately makes an impact, hitting a three off the backboard. 8:00 left in the first half.

4:27 pm: Atsur heads to the locker room. They can;t afford to have him out long; he’s the most important player to this team. Specifically, he’s their only true point guard.

4:28 pm: 25-17, NCSU. Virginia Tech is so far unable to take advantage of their opponent’s best player being out. They only have two field goals in over six minutes, and they’re both from Vassallo.

4:30 pm: Atsur is back in the game. A good opportunity for the Hokies is laid to waste.

4:32 pm: 25-21, NCSU. The Wolfpack will need to do a better job of getting defensive rebounds and controlling the ball. They can’t allow Virginia Tech to get twice as many opportunities as them.

4:36 pm: 28-21, NCSU. With two minutes left, Gavin Grant gets an old-fashioned three, off another Atsur feed.

I have been simply shocked by Dowdell’s subpar performance. Is it that Atsur is the only point guard in the ACC capable of giving him such fits? If so, he’s even better than I thought. And I’ve watched him, like, forever!

4:39 pm: 31-21, NCSU. Horner hits another three for the Wolfpack, and they lead by 10.

I didn’t know snowboarder Shaun White played college basketball!

4:40 pm: Zabian Dowdell finally gets on the board as time expires in the first half. NC State leads, 31-25 at halftime. It’s painfully obvious that NC State is giving Virginia Tech fits, but I still can’t figure out why. Maybe it’s because their forwards are effective from anywhere on the court. Maybe it’s because Engin Atsur matches up well against Zabian Dowdell. Maybe it’s because the Wolfpack slow the game to a halt, while able to keep a high shooting percentage. Regardless of what it is, Dowdell needs to be more effective, especially on offense, for Virginia Tech to win in the second half.

4:51 pm: dcydell asks whether any ACC at-large teams in right now will be left out of the tourney. I say no, but Georgia Tech and Florida State are definitely rooting against them. But while I think Florida State should be in, their tournament bid was likely done for no matter what happens from this point on.

4:58 pm: The second half begins. Washington promptly picks up his third foul.

5:00 pm: 31-26, NCSU. The Hokies are only 3 of 8 on free throws. If they made them all, the game would be tied.

Neither team has shot well to start the game. Just as I type that, Gordon gets a nice layup, and Virginia Tech is within three.

5:04 pm: 33-28, NCSU. Costner gets an easy layup. I haven;t heard much from him in the first half. He’ll need to be a big factor for the Pack to win.

Apparently Atsur is still hurt. Other players will need to pick up the slack.

5:05 pm: 35-33, NCSU. Costner is starting to heat up, but Vasallo and Collins each get easy shots, Vassallo a three and Collins a dunk, and the Hokies are now within two.

5:07 pm: Things are not going well for NC State in the second half. Costner now has three fouls and seems to have pulled a muscle. The already thin lineup could be in serious trouble down the stretch.

5:11 pm: Deron Washington is now out with four fouls. The Hokies may have to dig deep into their own bench.

5:12 pm: 35-35. Washington’s replacement, Lewis Witcher, ties the game with a putback. The Wolfpack can’t afford to continue letting VT dominate the boards.

5:14 pm: 40-35, NCSU. Just as it looks like Va. Tech has the momentum, Neiman hits a three, and Grant goes coast to coast for a layup.

5:15 pm: 40-36, NCSU. Zabian Dowdell misses a free throw. That may not be a big deal to you, but I watched him in person in the Dean Dome making 17 of 19 free throws in our loss to the Hokies. After that miss, I’m ecstatic.

5:17 pm: 40-38, NCSU. Dowdell hits a tough shot inside to bring the deficit down to two.

Gordon joins Washington on the bench. NC State needs to take advantage of this.

5:21 pm: 42-38, NCSU. The game’s two most awkward moments, back-to-back:

  1. Tom Pyzsdjkafansamanski’s interview with Rodney Monroe. Out of place and very slightly gay.
  2. More of Sidney Lowe’s sideline gestures. I think he winked at a girl across the court in the front row.

Costner gets his fourth foul.

5:25 pm: 44-39, NCSU, 10:00 left. Ben McCauley gets a tough basket inside for his first points of the game.

5:26 pm: 46-39, NCSU. Horner’s free throws bring the lead back to 7.

Washington (4 fouls) is back in the game.

5:28 pm: 46-43, NCSU. The Wolfpack forwards need to box out. They’re keeping the Hokies in this game because they’re getting all of the rebounds.

5:29 pm: 46-45, NCSU. Dowdell hits a mid-range jumper to reduce the difference to one. They still haven’t had the lead since early in the first half.

5:30 pm: 48-45, NCSU. Just as the Hokies have momentum, Fells hits a jumpshot and Costner steals the ball in the paint.

Gavin Grant, what the hell kind of a shot was that? George Gervin is rolling in his grave.

Wait…George Gervin’s alive? I knew that, you dips—! Now shut up and get me some coffee!

5:32 pm: 48-48, 7:00 left. Vassallo takes advantage of Grant’s huge gaffe and hits a three to tie.

NC State’s FG percentage is way down from the first half.

5:36 pm: 52-48, NCSU, 6:00 left. McCauley give the Wolfpack the lead back, and Fells hits a jumper to bring the lead to four.

If this game is going to come down to free throws, NC State is going to win. Everyone on their team is a good shooter. Grant shoots two more to make it 54-48, NCSU.

5:39 pm: Virginia Tech has blown two one-and-ones. That’s going to haunt them in the end.

I’m able to get the feeds of both ESPN and Raycom. I’m actually going to choose Raycom; their analyst have more in-depth knowledge of the ACC.

5:41 pm: 56-50, NCSU. The Hokies score, but McCauley is finally getting some touches inside in the second half. Three and a half minutes to go. Virginia Tech will need to make a move now if they want to win this game.

5:47 pm: Less than three minutes left, and Virginia Tech misses all three of their one-and-one trips to the free throw line.

5:48 pm: Gavin Grant however, does not miss his free throws, and NC State leads 58-50.

5:49 pm: 58-52, NCSU. Coleman Collins gets the putback for the Hokies, and Grant turns the ball over. However, Virginia Tech can’t take advantage on their next possession. With less than two minutes left, time is running out.

5:50 pm: 61-52, NCSU, 1:30 left. Fells hits another three at the perfect time, and NC State may have put the game away, up nine with less than 90 seconds to go.

5:52 pm: 61-56, NCSU, 1:10 left. Virginia Tech, why won’t you die?!? Washington goes in the lane and hits an inside shot, and then steals the ball on the inbound pass, where he’s fouled and hits his free throws.

5:54 pm: 63-59, NCSU, :58 left. McCauley hits two free throws, but Washington hits another shot, this time a three.

If Virginia Tech loses this game, it will be because of their failures at the free throw line. They were 3 for 8 in the first half and were 0-for their 1+1 bonus fouls.

5:57 pm: NC State can’t get the ball inbounds, and are forced to use the game’s last timeout.

5:58 pm: NC State goes to the free throw line again. More importantly, Washington fouls out. Fells is one of two. 64-59, NCSU.

5:59 pm: 64-61, NCSU, :43 left. Dowdell makes a great pass to Witcher, who dunks it in and cuts the lead to three.

6:00 pm: 66-63, NCSU, :34 left. Grant hits his free throws, but Dowdell gets a quick basket to bring the lead back to three.

A.D. Vassallo fouls out. That’s huge.

6:02 pm: 68-63, NCSU, :26 left. NC State hits their free throws, the Hokies miss, Costner rebounds, and Dowdell fouls out. It looks like NC State is going to win, now up 70-63 with :20 left and three VT starters disqualified.

6:07 pm: It’s official: Sidney Lowe has the voodoo jacket. NC State wins 72-64, and they will go n=on to play my beloved Tar Heels tomorrow in the ACC championship game. Frankly, I’m not looking forward to playing the Wolfpack, and at-large teams are definitely rooting for the Tar Heels on Sunday. The Wolfpack have played three straight days with a thin bench, so they may not have enough in the tank to beat the Tar Heels. Still, with that jacket, all bets are off. All I can say is, Roy had better neutralize him by breaking out a Carolina blue jacket.

I ‘ll be back tomorrow to live blog the final on Tar Heel Mania.

Posted in ACC, ACC Tournament, Championship, College Basketball, NC State, NCAA, Sidney Lowe, Tar Heel posts, Virginia Tech, VT | 5 Comments »

Virginia vs NC State Live Blog

Posted by Eric Angevine on March 9, 2007

I’m going to begin with a little pimp image I whipped up for tonight’s game:


You thought Sid was the only pimp in this game? You obviously haven’t met Cav Man.

We get Nessler and Dykes as our announcers tonight.

They rightly point out that the back court of Reynolds and Singletary will be the key for UVA. They have the uncanny ability to cover for one another. If the opponent shuts one down, the other picks up the slack. A great duo to take into the NCAAs. I sometimes worry that Singletary plays a bit out of control and tries to do what’s flashy instead of what’s right, but it’s hard to argue with his success so far. But we all know the Big Dance is different.

OK, my video is now frozen on a graphic of Arkansas and Vanderbilt logos. That’s not going to get it done, ESPN.

OK, switching to my local channel we get the tip and UVA controls. Jason Cain, moustache maestro, hits a long two – he’s usually inside

19:06 left in the first. Singletary drills another deep two.

NC State has missed their firs ttwo shots. Singletary gets it inside, but the Wolfpack swats it.

Ohhh, there’s the big red suit. Very pimp, but it won’t help you, Sid.

4-0 Virginia.

Cain goes inside and hits again, it’s 6-0 for UVA.

Mike says he’s watching Martin & Gminski, and I’ve switched to them as well.

We go into a timeout with UVA up 8-0 after Singletary takes it all the way in traffic.

There’s your ACC coach of the year.

Soroye rejects a shot and the Cavs rush on the other end and miss.

Gavin Grant finally gets State on the board after backing into the paint.

8-2 UVA

Cain misses an inside shot. 

A ridiculously long three on either end of the court and we take a break (maybe it’s time to settle the kids down).

Mike points out that Jason Cain is a bit pimpalicious, and I have to agree, just on the strength of the porn moustache alone.

Scott Prsayzyaoswanski is our sideline reporter, and he points out that UVA swept State this year.  Let’s make it three, fellas.

Two free throws from Fells to make it 8-4.

UVA is not waiting for the good shot.  But I guess they want to run early and put the Wolfpack to bed.

Grant hits one and State is getting close.

8-6 UVA

Another crap shot from the Cavs.

McCauley is fouled by Soroye, and has a shot to tie this game.

McC misses and we’re stuck at 8-6.  Reynolds makes a great move and misses in close again.  Amazing.

Cain rebounds McCauley’s miss and Singletary slows things down.  Petinella gets it inside and finally finishes one.

Fells goes baseline and misses, but State gets it back.

10-6 UVa and neither team is shooting particularly well – both below 50 percent.

Atsur gets two at the charity stripe and hits both.  Turkey.

Petenella hits again and it’s 12-8 for UVA.

The game so far has gone the way of the bigs as Cain pounds in another one.

Yikes, almost erased half of my work.  OK it’s 10:32 left and 14-11 in favor of UVA.

Reynolds gets swatted, but apparently walked even before that.

Fells scores to cut the UVA lead to 1.

Joseph scores for UVA to bring it back up to a three point lead.

Costner scores, and it’s 16 all.  The pace is picking up!

Sidney looks like a crimson cannonball on the sideline.

Diane misses and the rebound sails out of bounds and back to Virginia.

tie up and NC State gets the ball.

Atsur puts a three in and it’s 19-18 for State for their first lead.

Reynolds answers with a deuce.

The pace is up, that’s supposed to be in Virginia’s favor.  But they’re behind.

Singletary to Diane for a big three!

8:00 left and it’s 21-19 Virginia.

Singletary hits a shot that barely ruffles the twine – 23 to 19 Cavs.

Costner travels and we go to TV timeout with UVA still up four.

7:00 left in the first and we’re back.  Mikalauskis muscles it in for UVA and it’s 25-19 after a 9-0 run for UVa.

Singletary takes the steal and gets fouled on the way to the basket.  Not often you see a guy make something out of a 1-on-2 break.

27-19 Cavaliers

6:00 left.

Mikalaluskis is altering shots inside, but NC State gets a couple of free throws out of the posession and picks up a point.

Wow, so that’s what the arena looks like with people in it!  Not to many left at the end of the Wake/GTech game I blogged last night.

I do miss JPJ in a game like this.  There are plenty of Cav fans at this game, but you can barely hear them.  They rock JPJ.

4:34 left and it’s 27-20 for Virginia.

Reynolds gts in the lane and misses, but gets a second chance.

29-22 UVA until Tucker hits a three and makes it a ten point lead.

Why does Red Lobster always look so much better on TV than it really is?

3:32 left and the graphic says Singletary has 1o.

Singletary nails the trey and gets the foul as well!

Four point play makes it 36-22.

Nice ball movement from UVA but Reynolds gets called for the pushoff as he heads for the basket.

Then McCauley returns the favor, so no harm.

McCauley scores to cut the lead to ten.

1:41 left and Diane misses a three.  Then Tucker misses one.  Clank Clank.

Costner – clank.

Diane finally breaks the drought to make it 38-26 UVa.

Great, my phone rang.  We go into half 40-26 UVA.


Second half starts with UVA in control again.  Grant scores on a steal and break.

State gets in the paint again and Grant scores it.  UVA lead is down to 10.

Diane steps back to shoot the three and the bulge is back to 13.

18:27 left in the second.

Petinella comes in while State is shooting free throws.  Cain travels and we’re back to an NC State posession.

Costner scores to cap an 8-3 run for State.  43-34 for UVA.

Cain gets his third foul and has to hit the bench.

Fells scores and howls at the roof.  State is scratching their way back into this one.

17:36 left in the second half.  43-37 for UVA but the Pack are on an 11-3 run.

Nice feed to Grant and he gets an easy two.  Uva is letting this slip away as they shoot too early in the posession again.

Adrian Joseph scores – three!

46-39 Cavs

The wake guys are coming in the building, and they look more alert than I feel today.  Of course, they didn’t have to go to work the next morning.  On the flipside, I sat on my butt and live-blogged the game while they actually played it.

15:02 left, and we’re at 48-39.

Grant fouls and he has three.

Diane takes a horrible shot on the inbounds pass that misses everything.

Sick spin move from Singletary – the shot doesn’t go in, but he’s fouled.

UVA breaks fifty points on the next free throw, but Costner gets a nasty dunk on the other end!

50-41 with 13:45 left and Singletary gets his third and has to sit.  Leitao puts Reynolds back in in spite of his foul trouble.  He obviously isn’t going to leave this team without a rudder no matter what the dangers. 

Mikilauskus scores, looking a bit like an animated potato dumpling.

52-49 for UVA and McCauley gets a steal and a chance to really put the fear in UVA.

Nothing doing.  Ball going back Virginia’s way.  Another bad shot – not enough movement without the ball for UVA and not enough patience.

Fells misses everything on a three attempt.  The crowd must not be very pro-Virginia, because nobody roasted him for that.

11:00 left and the time out may have cooled the torrid pace NC State was putting up.  Four players have three fouls for UVA.

The Cavaliers seem really disjointed in their posessions right now – they need to reestablish flow.  All of the momentum is going State’s way, and the score is now tied at 52.

The Wolfpack are playing good D – UVA cannot get into a rhythm at all.  Cain is pulled into an offensive foul, McCauley takes the ball down and scores to put NC State up 2.

My four year old son is now doing play by play, and he’s pretty good.  “A guy in white is throwing the ball and a red guy tries to get it.”

State hits another three and this is officially a huge run.

57-52 with 8 left to play.

UVA’s foul trouble is going to make it very difficult to put the team Leitao wants on the floor.

Mik scores to halt the run, but McCauley hits another three.

60-54 State.

6:52 left and another ill-advised three clangs away for Virginia.

Horrible shots, none falling.

What an incredible turnaround.  The Red Jacket is for realz.

UVA finally works the ball inside to the moose Mikalauskis.  He pump fakes and draws the foul.

Not a good foul shooter.  It’s 62-57 State.

Reynolds pushes it on the break and gets to shoot free throws as a reward.

Atsur had a nice move to get inside and scores 64-59 with 3:42 left, and UVA is not playing well enough right now.  They need to run some offense and not play Gillen-ball.

Reynolds is taking free throws and gets the lead down to three.

64-61 State.

They trade buckets, but UVA looks out of control while State looks deliberate.

67-63 Wolfpack.

2:59 left.  Time out to yell at some people.

State throws the ball away and Reynolds cans a loooong three. The lead is one.

Nice strip by the Cavs, but Cain gets called for the foul in the scrum and he’s out of the game.  Time to go deliver pizzas to a horny housewife.

McCauley is shooting two foul shots and pushes the NC State lead to two.

Under two minutes and Diane gets called for a foul on the drive.  It looked like a block at first, but they call it a charge on Diane.

68-66 with 1:50 left.

Pack gets it inside for another easy two.

Singletary misses again.  It’s like he doesn’t know there’s enough time left to wait for the good shot.

Three for State – this one may be unsalvageable for the Cavs.

73-66 Wolfpack with under a minute to play.  NC State made some amazing adjustments at halftime on both ends of the floor.  UVA started to look rushed.  So much for the “State wants a game in the 50’s” bromide.  They’ve thrived on the speed game while Virginia has looked discombobulated and hurried.

All I can say is Fear the Jacket, Mike.

Costner (20 pts) and Singletary are players of the game.

Lowe is pissed as someone fouls Singletary on the wild three-point attempt.  Dumb foul, but it isn’t going to matter.

77-71 NC State.

Lord, put us out of our misery already, the bloody game is lost, quit fouling.

A team in red always makes a run in the ACC tournament.  Usually it’s Maryland, but this is NC State’s year.

Mike- Just to let you know, I won’t be live-blogging the Virginia game tomorrow.  Har de har har.

Man, there are some mega-hot State fans getting some camera time.

79-71 is our final, and NC State will watch the next game to see who they play.  Will it be the higher seed advancing in Virginia Tech, or will this end of the bracket dissolve completely with a Wake Forest win?  Hang around and Mike will tell you.

I’m going to bed at a reasonable hour tonight.

Posted in ACC Tournament, AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Basketball, NC State, UVA | 3 Comments »

Florida St. vs. UNC Live Blog, ACC Tournament 2007

Posted by Mike on March 9, 2007

This is just to let you know that today I’m going to live North Carolina vs. Florida State at noon today on Tar Heel Mania as game 5 of my attempt to have a live blog of every ACC Tournament game. Yesterday was one of the most exciting days, if not the most exciting day I’ve seen at the ACC Tournament as far as I can remember. That probably means that today’s games are going to be a bunch of blowouts, but I’m hopeful that today’s matchups will be very entertaining and exciting. Except, of course, for this game. I hope Carolina blows Florida State out the sky.

Posted in ACC, ACC Tournament, Al Thornton, Basketball, BC, Billy Packer, Boston College, Championship, Clemson, Coach K, College Basketball, Digital Headbutt, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Gerald Henderson, Maryland, Miami, NC State, NCAA, North Carolina, Overtime, Photo Finish, Tar Heel posts, Tar Heels, UNC, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest | Leave a Comment »

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.

Posted in ACC, ACC Tournament, AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Basketball, Coach K, College Basketball, Duke, NC State, NCAA, Sidney Lowe | 1 Comment »

ACC Tournament Preview: Seriously, Tampa? Was Wilkesboro, NC Not Available?

Posted by Mike on March 8, 2007

I’m going to post a live blog of every ACC Tournament game this week, including UNC games on Tar Heel Mania. has an excellent bracket that updated constantly (requires flash), but before action starts today in Tampa, and I can’t believe it’s in Tampa, it would be useful to quickly preview each team and what to look for.


By the way: yes, that is a Simpsons interpretation of the ACC. And no, I don’t appreciate being Krusty the Clown, but it could be worse. I could be Mayor Adam West.

#12. Miami (4-12): After the early departure of their best player of 2006, point guard Guillermo Diaz, the Hurricanes were not expected to do much damage in the ACC. Still, losing four of their best players due to injury did not do anything to help matters. With those players healthy, they could be 8 or 9 deep, but as of now they can only play with six players, the only one of whom is a significant threat is undersized guard Jack McClinton. I would be shocked if they were to make it past today and their first opponent, Maryland.

UPDATE: Miami upsets Maryland 67-62.

#11. Wake Forest (5-11): Last year the Deacons were in a similar position, near the bottom of the ACC. Still, they had the talent (the only missing piece was Chris Paul) and the experience to make it to the Semifinals of the tourney before bowing out to the #1 seed Dookies. This year their strength is in their depth. They have 13 underclassmen playing alongside projected NBA center Kyle Visser. If Wake has any chance of winning, the offense must go through him. This is a deep team, but they lack experience, and that could be poison in a tournament like this.

UPDATE: Wake Forest beats Ga. Tech 114-112 (2OT).

#10. NC State (5-11): This team is truly an enigma. Certainly they have played better in the return of point guard Engin Atsur from injury, and they have beaten UNC and swept Virginia Tech and Wake Forest this season. The Wolfpack have also stunk it up against everyone else this season. They seem to be underachievers at their core, but this tournament could be the place to showcase their talent. NC State plays with only 7 players, but all of them can hit the 3-pointer. Their strength will be using the three to lure the opposing defense away from the paint, allowing for lanes to drive inside and get easy layups. But their most important asset is coach Sidney Lowe, or more specifically, his red blazer. If he wears it, the Pack can make a deep run. If he doesn’t, Duke is running them out of the building tonight.

UPDATE: NC State beats Duke 85-80 (OT).

#9. Florida State (7-9): Now on to the teams that have a legitimate chance of winning. This Florida State team is really confusing. They are good enough to have beaten Florida, Virginia Tech and Duke at Cameron Indoor, and they may have the most talented player in the ACC in Al Thornton. At the same time, before winning their final two games of the season they had lost their previous five. Granted, all of those opponents were competitive, but the Seminoles cannot afford to have that kind of inconsistency. Perhaps their inconsistency is due to the fact that they have no true point guard. Isaiah Swann and Ralph Mims usually are the guards controlling the ball, but do not play the role of a point guard on the court. Florida State certainly has the capacity to go deep in this tournament, but they may need to commit to a point man and get some consistency in order to do so. To not see Thornton in the Big Dance would be the biggest waste of talent I’ve seen in a while.

UPDATE: Florida State beats Clemson 67-66. 

#8. Clemson (7-9): If there’s one team that’s more enigmatic than FSU, it would likely be Clemson. The Tigers began the year as the last undefeated team at 17-0. It took them 12 more games to reach win #20. At 21-9 in the ACC, at first glance one’s tourney chances would appear safe. In fact, after their first loss I predicted that they would finish 22-8, 8-8, and safe from being left out of the Dance. But their collapse has been nearly epic, highlighted by coming back from 5 points down in less than 10 seconds to tie the game in Cameron Indoor, only to have extra time unjustly left on the clock, and a defensive lapse leading to a Duke win at the buzzer. At that point things really got ugly. They still have the talent they’ve had all year, including what may be still the best sixth man in the conference in K.C. Rivers. Still, they probably don’t have the mindset to make a deep run. If they lose to FSU today, they are almost certainly NIT bound.

#7. Duke (8-8): As a die-hard Tar Heel Maniac, it’s tempting for me to kick the Devils while they’re down now, especially after Henderson is getting suspended for today. But that wouldn’t be fair to this team. Tyler Hansbrough has moved on from the elbow incident, and so should everyone else (at least until the novelty shirt comes out next week at the Shrunken Head Boutique on Franklin Street). Beneath their inexperience and struggle lies a good deal of talent. The big problem is that they have absolutely no senior leadership on this team. With experience, they will certainly be back with a venegance next year, so don’t feel too sorry for the Dookies. Most teams would kill to have their “rebuilding year”. They could make a deep run this week, unless Sidney Lowe brings his red jacket, in which case it’s over for them before it even begins.

#6. Georgia Tech (8-8): Unlike most teams in the ACC this year, Goergia Tech finished the season strong, winning 7 of their last 9 games. However, don’t overlook the fact that 6 of those 7 victories were home games, and their one road win coincided with Florida State’s 5 game losing streak and is their only true road win for the entire season. They aren’t out of the NCAA woods yet by any stretch of the imagination, because the committee is going to notice that and wonder if they’ll struggle out of their friendly confines. This is a very young team, led by potential lottery pick Thaddeus Young and 6-5 point guard Javaris Crittenton, and they are very deep and athletic, which is a huge asset come tournament time. However, they must play their A game today, because if Wake beats them, the Yellow Jackets will have a lot of explaining to do.

#5. Maryland (10-6): Okay, everyone from this point on in the list is definitely going dancing next week. Of the top teams in the tournament, the Terps definitely have the most momentum, currently riding a 7-game winning streak that includes a home win over North Carolina and a season sweep of the Dookies. A far cry from when they were 17-7, 3-6 in the ACC and on the outside looking in. Their meteoric rise can e explained in many ways. The biggest improvement the have made is in their offense. Players like D.J. Strwaberry, James Gist, and Ikene Ibekwe were already great defenders, but Strawberry now has an offensive game to make him a more complete player, freshman Greivis Vasquez is playing point guard wonderfully, and senior sharpshooter Mike Jones! who? Mike Jones! who? Mike Jones! is finally getting significant PT. What most surprised me is that while most teams would try to slow down the Tar Heels’ fast pace, the Terps had the athleticism to play at our pace and beat us at it. That’s a big reason why I think they can win this tournament.

#4 Boston College (10-6): All of the top four seeds have really struggled to end the season, but none more than Boston College. The loss of Sean Williams, has had a bigger impact than I has expected, but Al Skinner and the Eagles have always capable of doing more with less. BC has been able to keep the ship afloat thanks to great play from sharpshooter Sean Marshall, point guard Sidney Rice and ACC Player of the Year Jared Dudley. They will all need to play exceptionally well if the Eagles want to get past the Terps on Friday. Oh crap. I just jinxed Maryland, didn’t I?

#3 Virginia Tech (10-6): This is a very dangerous team. The Hokies have all of the building blocks necessary to do serious damage in the Big Dance. They have an excellent, cunning coach in Seth Greenberg. They have experienced, talented guards in Zabian Dowdell and Jamon Gordon. And they have a signature win, the distinction of being the only team this year to have defeated the vaunted Tar Heels in Chapel Hill. Still, they have had their inconsistencies. They were swept by NC State, and they lost at home to Clemson with the chance of clinching the ACC’s #1 seed. Which Virginia Tech will we see from this point on? I’m betting on the former.

#2 Virginia (11-5): This team is practically a mirror image of the Hokies. They have one of the nation’s best and most experienced backcourts in Sean Singletary and JR Reynolds. The have one of the coolest customers in the business in coach Dave Leitao. In spite of having one of the easiest ACC schedules, they have had their share of signature wins, including home wins over Duke and Va. Tech. But they have also blown their chance at the #1 seed with inexplicable losses down the stretch to Miami and Wake Forest. Unlike the Hokies, however, I think the struggling team will show up, as they are inconsistent outside of their new home, John Paul Jones Arena.

The Extrapolater has been so kind as to do the live blogs of Virginia games this weekend (well, at least the quarterfinal).

#1 North Carolina (11-5): What can I say about the Tar Heels that I haven’t already said on Tar Heel Mania? But let’s review anyway. UNC is by far the deepest and most talented team in the conference, if not the entire nation. Most teams would kill for a lineup of Deon Thompson, Alex Stepheson, Danny Green, Marcus Ginyard, Wes Miller, Quentin Thomas, and Bobby Frasor. That’s our bench, for Christ’s sake! Tyler Hansbrough and Brandan Wright may be the best frontcourt in the nation, ad frankly, I think Psycho T is going to play even more aggressively after after last week’s incident. We have two major weaknesses, however. The guards are inexperienced, and with the exception of Ellington, they have real trouble shooting the ball well. A team like Virginia Tech beat Carolina because their backcourt practically ran laps around ours. Our second, and perhaps bigger, weakness, is Roy Williams’ (bless his soul) inability make adjustments in the middle of a game, some that Coach K and Seth Greenberg are excellent at doing. If UNC struggles and Roy doesn’t have a backup plan, they could end up going home early. But with the right mindset, I don’t think there’s a single team in the nation that can beat the Tar Heels.

If you’re really curious, you can look here to see how people are predicting the outcome of the ACC Tournament.

My Pick to Win: Do you really have to ask?

Posted in #1, ACC, ACC Tournament, AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Al Thornton, Basketball, BC, Boston College, Championship, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Gerald Henderson, Maryland, Miami, NC State, NCAA, North Carolina, Tar Heel posts, Tar Heels, Tyler Hansbrough, UNC, UVA, Virginia, Virginia Tech, VT | 8 Comments »