Lates Links

November 21, 2007 at 10:41 am | Posted in Jackie Manuel | Leave a comment

Well, that was impressive. Sounded that way anyways. We were down 8-4 or something and then two minutes later the game was over. Wayne Ellington is off to a terrific start and he is showing the ability to get to the basket. North Carolina won’t play another game in the Smith Center until December 19th. Old Dominion in the LVI (still no link) is next and they have beaten both South Carolina State and Iona in Norfolk. They also gave Clemson a bit of a scare before the Tigers pulled away in the second half. The Monarchs lost their three best players from last season and have really struggled offensively. They are well coached and appear to be a good defensive team but surely don’t have enough firepower to hang with us. They do have a decent Fin who should be fun to watch. Assuming we show up to play on Friday night (Saturday morning) we’ll play Louisville or BYU in the title game on Saturday (10:30 pm EST). Many are assuming it will be a UNC-Louisville showdown and that remains likely. That said, BYU is pretty good team that has won every game by more than 20 and they’ll be in their time zone. If it is Louisville then a big key will be taking care of the ball. From the Basketball Prospectus Louisville preview:

The Cardinals turned the ball over just 17 percent of the time in conference play, while their opponents coughed it up on 23 percent of their trips. That imbalance in turnovers was one of the largest in the country last year.


Turnover Margin, 2007
Conference games only: ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, SEC




                      Opponent TO percentage
                     Minus Team TO percentage
Mississippi                    +6.9
Louisville                     +6.2
Seton Hall                     +5.2
Clemson                        +5.0
Texas Tech                     +4.7

Granted the other teams in that chart aren’t exactly A-list. The difference is that Louisville last year combined ball-control with talent in a way that perhaps no other team has since Illinois in 2005. Take away this imbalance in turnovers and the Cardinals were merely good, a solid above-.500 team. For all their undeniable talent, it was their mere ability to hold on to the ball, and their determination to take it away from the other team, that carried them to a 12-4 record in the Big East. That bodes very well for the Cards’ future.


Of course, that was written before the Cardinals suffered a devastating injury last weekend. Louisville still has plenty of talent, but let’s hope Roy is packing a Cougar scouting report just in case.


On Saturday, North Carolina will host Dook. The Blue Devils are coming off a devastating Super Bowl loss and Ted Roof might need a win to save his job. Assuming he wants to save his job, that is. If I were Nicky Saban I might say that keeping the Dook football coaching job is like remaining Prime Minister of Iraq or something. I would not say that though. I’m not an enormous f8cktard. Obviously, Dook is not very good at gridiron and anything other than a win will be very very disappointing. Hopefully the Hillside boy will be fired up. The game is on at 3:30 and will be broadcast by ESPNU. Carolina is favored by 14.


Football Outsider’s latest playoff odds were posted. Arizona in the playoffs? This afternoon we’ll find out who will be in Auswitzerland next summer. Hopefully not England. Unbelievable in a totally predictable way. Have a lovely Thanksgiving everyone. GO HEELS!


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