Tough

March 25, 2007 at 7:47 pm | Posted in Basketball, Jackie Manuel | 4 Comments

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That one hurts….oh…does it hurt. It’s a (not) funny game. We played well for about 7 minutes on Friday night and were victorious. We played well for about 30 this afternoon and were eliminated. After 10+ beers it is pretty difficult to be reasonable or reflective, but I’ll give it a shot in the hope that the heartache will begin to heal.

Georgetown is a very good basketball team. Most basketball teams would have faded this afternoon. North Carolina made everything difficult for them. The first 10 minutes of the second half was some of the best basketball we’ve played all season. The back door cuts have always caused our aggressive defense problems, but we really shut that down. They had to work extremely hard for every shot. Obviously the papers and blogs will all point to North Carolina’s shot selection and/or failure to make more than one field goal in the last 14 minutes, but that was no accident. The Hoyas did a great job switching to zone and hoping that we would settle for permieter shots and when we missed (every f*cking time) they were tremendous on the boards.

Hopefully Tudor and the local hacks won’t write some nonsense about ironic depth or our lack of toughness. I honestly feel really good about how hard we played tonight. Everything had to go perfectly for Georgetown to pull that game out. If any of those questionable shots go down, if any of their tough ones don’t, if any of those calls go the other way…North Carolina is in the Final Four. The 2006-07 Tar Heels were a very tough basketball team. Unfortunately, so were Georgetown.

A painful glance at the box score will point the finger at Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, and Reyshawn Terry. The three combined for a woeful 8-33. The freshman guards may take the brunt of the criticism too with only 10 points, 6 assists, and 6 turnovers. Did they take bad shots? No doubt, and clearly those stats explain some of what happened. Still, Rey has made a lot of those shots in the last three weeks. I thought for sure one of those Lawson jumpers would go down, and Wayne had a great look at the end of regulation. To beat a team like G-town you have to get a bit of luck, and as mentioned earlier there was nothing lucky about the Heels’ last 9 minutes and overtime.

I hate that we went out like that, but I sure hope that tomorrow it will be easier to remember how young and spectacular this basketball team was. We beat Dook twice, won the league, won the league tourney, advanced to the Elite 8, and went out giving it all to a team that shot 58% to our 35%. A pretty solid season, and a pretty solid future.

Also? F*CK Billy Packer.

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4 Comments »

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  1. Great points. I have tried to tell other Tar Heel fans complaining about a “collapse” that if they want to see a real “collapse”, take a look at the 2005 team against Illinois. They blew a 15 point lead and then Felton came down and took a questionable 3-pointer, but it swished. Illinois then missed about five or six three’s at the end and we held on to win and nobody talks about the worst collapse in Carolina history, because we won.

    Tonight we know how Illinois felt at the end of that game, even though they had made a bunch earlier, they couldn’t get one to go down at the end. We had several good looks but they wouldn’t go down.

    In 1993, Donald Williams couldn’t buy a 3pointer in the ACC finals and we lost and then he couldn’t miss in the tournament and we won. The next 2 years, he reverted to form and was pretty average. There are so many good teams that it takes both skill and luck. Indeed, the last 3 teams to make it to the Final Four with 1 loss or fewer, all lost. (1991 UNLV, 1999 Duke, 2005 Illinois).

  2. Short of winning the National Championship(or the NIT, whoopee!), your season is gonna end on a loss. I’m glad the Heels went down playing pretty good basketball. They didn’t play this well every game this season, and it would have been much more frustrating and disappointing to see a repeat of one of lesser performances. Ellington got a good look. Shot didn’t fall.

    Jackie Blue:
    http://www.myspace.com/roscoesrule

  3. Boy am I going to miss Wes Miller. With any luck in 20 years, he’ll be taking his own team to the final four.

  4. […] This is good news, but the article discusses the ill-advised shot selection in last year’s Elite Eight. Wayne […]


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