Over the past couple of years, I've sort of lost my enthusiasm for college basketball. I used to watch every second of every UNC game, and get really worked up about it, but I'm not doing that so much anymore. Last night, however, I watched every second of the Duke-Carolina game, and I got really worked up about it.
Once again, North Carolina lost the game by giving the ball away too many times, and by playing very poorly on free-throw defense. North Carolina committed 23 turnovers compared to only 10 assists. Their season average is 17 turnovers and 20 assists. To give Duke its proper credit, they played amazingly on defense. JJ Redick and freshman DeMarcus Nelson did a really superb job of keeping the 'Heels off their game. You sort of expect that kind of play from Redick, but this kid Nelson was absolutely awe inspiring.
Again, though, the Heels allowed their opponent to be nearly perfect from the charity stripe. Wake Forest was perfect in their defeat of Carolina, and Duke went 21-22. There were guys up there who hadn't connected on a free throw since their sophomore year of high school, and they were hitting them with ease. I've said it before (and of course I was joking) but they really need to do something to prevent this kind of thing. Duke shoots 72.4% from the line for the year, and yet we allowed them to go 95.5%. WFU shoots 69.2%, and we allowed them to go 100%.
All of that aside, what it comes down to is that North Carolina had 18 seconds, the ball, and a chance to win the game. However, they failed to even get off a shot. Felton hesitated too much, as he really could have penetrated the lane, but chose instead to give the ball to May. Bad, bad choice. You're the damn point guard, Ray. You need to handle the ball in a situation like that. Penetrate, draw a foul, take a shot. Something ... Anything. Raymond had a terrible night, and that really has a lot to do with the fact that Duke was playing such terrific defense.
On the plus side, there was Sean May, playing like a freak of nature, coming down with 18 rebounds, 10 of them in the first 12 minutes of the game.
Okay... here comes my criticism of Duke. The kids who go there are supposed to be really intelligent, and the basketball fans there are allegedly really clever in their harassment of visiting teams. I saw one of these geniuses wearing a shirt that says "CAMERON CRAZIE". Hey moron, the singular of "crazies" is "crazy". Try again. Our tv coverage showed a group of these morons with hand-made "Santa Clara" t-shirts. Handmade by Helen Keller with a Sharpie. That really isn't very clever in the first place, and the fact that they were so sloppy sort of takes away from the creativity of it. Spend some of your daddy's money and have some shirts made by a professional, instead of by your frat pledges. This is the game. You should plan this out in advance.
A good example of restaurant quality harassment of rivals is the Ohio State-Michigan football game. Buckeye fans take the time to have shirts screen printed which read "ANN ARBOR IS A WHORE".
That's all I have
Mirah Advisory Committee