Ever since the open era of the NCAA Tournament began there has been much concern about the necessity of conference tournaments. Much like a football conference championship, the even provides an opportunity for the league’s best teams to lose, exhaust themselves, and risk injury. Rarely do the top 3 or 4 teams in the regular season affect their NCAA Tournament seeding considerably, so the event focuses on bubble teams and their chance to impress the selection committee one last time.
Some argue that the event, therefore, is not good for the league, and carries little weight. The fact is, however, that as expansion rendered leagues unable to set equitable regular season schedules, conference tournaments mean more than they ever have.
Consider this matrix:
This matrix shows the number of times each opponent played the other top 5 teams in the league. As you can see, UNC is the only team in the Top 5 that had to play the other 4 twice. UVA only had to play one team twice, and was able to feast on the Clemsons and Virginia Techs of the world.
So, in a league where days off and tiebreakers are determined by a single game, the lopsided schedule presents an arbitrary value to teams that supersedes the action on the court. We have to have the conference tournament to determine the champion because with an unbalanced schedule, it is the only way to determine a true champion.
Reflecting on this regular season, the Heels found themselves in the position of being in few close games, and losing the majority of them. (Note: All but one of these games came before the lineup conversion.
@FSU – Up 3pts with 0:16 remaining
VT – OT game that was nailbiter from 15:00 onward
@UVA – Down 3pts with 2:26 remaining
MIA – Down 3pts with 4:00 remaining
@NCS – Down 5pts with 0:30 remaining
@DUK – Down 3pts with 0:37 remaining
A few possessions here and there could have made this 2-4 record swing the other way and we are talking about being a 3-seed. We should have been prepared for the Texas game. That was a 4-point game with 7:30 remaining.
To be honest, I think this small lineup we saw in February, with more experience, turns 4 or 5 of those 7 games into wins. In fact, they probably would have been UP by a handful of possessions at those specific points in time.
The old saying in basketball is that it all looks great when shots go in, and for the Heels lately, the shots have definitely been going in. UNC has shot greater than 33% from behind the 3-point arc in all but one game since the Duke game. Therefore it is no surprise that the Heels have scored at least 0.94 points per possession in all but one game since then, too.
What was that one game of poor shooting? At Georgia Tech. UNC shot 38% from the field, 30% from behind the arc, and only scored 0.88 points per possession. Still, though, that’s a scoring efficiency margin that just barely ranks below the medium for this season. What won that game? great defense. Georgia Tech scored 0.70 points per possession and turned the ball over on 23% of possessions.
Shots have, indeed, fallen, though the success of this team in March will really lie in their ability to find some other way to win on that night when shots are not falling. In this stretch since the Duke game, UNC has taken 37% of their shots from behind the arc, well above their rising season average of 30.7%.
Roy Williams has harped on rebounding, and he is correct in pointing this out as a weakness of this guard-oriented lineup. Since the Duke game UNC has gotten more possessions than their opponent on only one occasion. It is truly a live by the 3…die by the 3 team at this point.
For this reason it is imperative that the Heels develop a penetration game. Marcus Paige showed against Maryland’s full court zone press that his ball handling is below average for point guards, however his penetration would be respected. The Heels could also turn to Dexter Strickland (a great finisher) for penetration as well as PJ Hairston (a weak finisher). As teams play us for the penetration it will open McAdoo or a perimeter shooter for an open shot.
Unfortunately most of our 3-point shots have come from perimeter passes. While these have fallen at a rate as I as any in UNC’s history, this streak will not continue and UNC will need to turn to another method to score. Wouldn’t it be great if UNC had 6 more weeks to iron out these offensive details? This is why the late move to the 4-around-1 lineup still remains a problem for the Heels. While Roy Williams deserves praise for breaking from his usual offensive form, this team is still quite immature offensively, and they honestly need a few hundred more minutes of game time to be the best team they can be. There is a ceiling for this squad, however it is probably too late to extend the potential of what this team can do.
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Tomorrow night’s Duke game will be the focus of the nation. Duke has looked the part of a 1-seed this week with the return of mobile big forward Ryan Kelly. UNC essentially started its season at the beginning of February. The key matchup will be Ryan Kelly and his defender. Kelly is strongest on the perimeter, but is slow. Who will guard Kelly? Many in the media go with Bullock because of this reaching height, however I think Hairston would be more effective on Kelly. I think Kelly will have a bit of an off shooting night, anyway, so I would like to nudge Duke into putting Kelly on PJ Hairston. This is a delicious mismatch that I think could lead to a 25-point Hairston performance.
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Many in the media have said that Roy trumped the Inside Carolina message board posters by inserting Hairston for a big man and not Dexter. Some did call for that, but not HOOPla! Check out the links from this page. You’ll see that I called for this lineup on 11/21, 12/19, and 1/10. I’ll especially point out this passage from November 21, 2012:
"I’d try more 4-around-1 with Paige/Dex/Hairston/Bullock/McAdoo."
But you know what? I was wrong. It seems that the best lineup for UNC is actually Paige/McDonald/Hairston/Bullock/McAdoo. According to Adrian Atkinson (@freeportkid), that McDonald lineup is leading ACC opponents 57-20 in the 21.5 minutes they’ve played together.
What happens when McDonald is in the game for Dexter? Obviously we haven’t seen a big sample size to know, but from what I’ve gathered, we are better on both sides of the ball. McDonald is a more efficient scorer than Strickland (especially from the left side of the court), and his presence as a shooter completely shuts down opponents’ intentions of double-teaming anyone. Defensively Strickland has gotten much public praise, however he really is just an average defender, mainly due to his short arms. McDonald has better reach and is harder to get around.
Keep an eye on this lineup, but don’t expect Roy to notice how well it has been playing until some time in May.
Congratulations to PJ Hairston who, along with NCSU’s Scott Wood, was named ACC Co-Player of the Week. There are a couple of problems, though:
1) What a bunch of wimps! "Co-" stands for "Cop Out". Pick ONE, media!
2) Scott Wood had a good week, but consider this:
Wood: 31pts, 83mins (.37 pts/min) – vs #8, #12 Green: 51pts, 77mins (.66) – vs #3, #4 Hairston: 52pts, 63mins (.83) – vs. #2, #3
Wood only scored 9 pts in the game against Clemson. He scored 3 of them on the last-second shot. He only had 9 rebounds all week. Green had 5. Hairston had 15.
Scott Wood had an excellent week, don’t get me wrong. He hit some clutch baskets, however his team might not have needed them if he were scoring at a PJ Hairston rate, now would they have? They might not have needed those shots if Wood played a lick of defense, either.
Come on! PJ Hairston solely deserved that award this week. He scored at a rate 25% faster than the nation’s leading scorer, for goodness’ sake.
This season for the Heels has been an adventure, to say the least. The young team has played well against bad teams, but just can’t seem to get over the hump and win a game it isn’t supposed to win. Wednesday night’s game at Duke was a radically different game than we’ve seen, though the result with about what we expected.
Roy Williams made a major shakeup with his offense by playing four-around-one all night, adding guard PJ Hairston in the mix at the expense of a big man. For the first time in many weeks we found the Heels off to an early lead and keeping it! The addition of Hairston stretched Duke’s defense and opened many easy scoring opportunities that the Heels haven’t seen all season. Late in the first half UNC found itself with a 10 point lead of the #2 team in the nation.
From that point on the UNC offense sputtered, at times severely. The Heels began taking ill-advised shots, and wasted numerous possessions until 5 minutes remained in the game when the Heels found themselves down by 8.
Overall UNC finished scoring only 0.75 points per possession, worse than their performance against Miami. Their paltry shooting of 38% wouldn’t have beaten many teams even in the ACC. The defense was great, and held Duke to only 0.88 points per possession with 20.5 percentage loss of ball. Against teams with only one good post player, Roy Williams absolutely should start this small lineup.
Why was the offense so bad? For one thing, the team hasn’t played this guard-centric style for very many minutes at all this season. While we only saw limited disruptive substitutions, the starting five, which each played over 30 minutes, aren’t used to what the others will do in this situation, and the play sets are different than they are used to. The team was also not very patient. Strickland, Paige, McAdoo, and Hairston were all guilty of taking “whatever” shots without giving the offense a chance to move the defense. Patience would come with playing together more, but it also is a result of the coaching.
The other problem that still remains is the play of the Heels’ starting backcourt. Paige and Strickland have combined for 34% shooting in league games and were only 41% last night. While the experiment of playing 4 guards worked well for at least half of the game against Duke, the number of minutes logged with the Paige/Strickland backcourt should be examined. Paige played 30 minutes at PG and Strickland played 10 minutes at that position.
The problems I outlined above (about patience) are symptomatic of a young point guard problem, and it would behoove the coach to play Paige less and Strickland more at the PG position if he wants this team to reach its potential.
We saw some good things last night that we haven’t seen before. The remaining feature five very winnable games and two home games against NCSU and Duke. Hopefully the coaching staff will continue to experiment with the lineups, because even though the offense still struggled, the moves Roy Williams made were a step in the right direction.
I have a friend I met in college and each winter when I run into her, we get on to the topic of UNC basketball. Her assessment every year is that the team is “inconsistent”. Whether it was an 8-20 year (2002) or a National Championship year (2005, 2009), she has said “they are inconsistent”. Obviously I was shocked when I recently saw her and she didn’t say this year’s UNC team is inconsistent. What? This team is the very definition of inconsistent!
Take a look at the table below. It shows the opponent with their offensive efficiency (ACC) rank and their defensive efficiency (ACC) rank. The next column shows UNC’s points per possession (Smith method), and the following column shows the opponent’s points per possession. For each game I have noted how UNC played on offense and defense. See a trend? I sure don’t.
bad offense, fair defense
bad offense, soso defense
good offense, bad defense
bad offense, good defense
Ga. Tech (12,6)
bad offense, good defense
@NCSU ( 2,8)
good offense, bad defense
good offense, soso defense
bad offense, good defense
should be an big win
note: underlined items went against the expected
If anything is consistent, is is that the Heels’ performance can best be predicted by the opponent’s ACC ranking. Against Wake Forest, the #11 offensive and #10 defensive team, UNC should have a good offensive and defensive night. In 8 games (16 elements), only 3 of the elements have been astray from the opponent’s typical league performance average, so at least the Heels aren’t so erratic that they could be world beaters one night and lose to the Little Sisters of the Poor the next night.
In a sense this team has beaten the bad teams and lost to the good teams in ACC play. That, after all, is “consistent”. However the team’s play surely hasn’t been, when you break it down. Some nights the offense is to blame, some nights the defense is to blame. With, essentially, a Freshman Point Guard and rookies rotating at Center, inconsistency is to be expected. With so many losses to the NBA, we knew that the Heels would have some bumps in the road. However is this team playing the way they could?
It is clear that the intent was to use Marcus Paige as the starter and use transfer Luke Davis as a backup. When both seemed shakier than expected, it was clear that a more experienced player needed to be bringing up the ball more. That man is Dexter Strickland, who has done a very sound job at managing the position during the minutes he has played it. This is the position for which he should have been groomed two years ago.
It is also clear that the coaches intended to use Dexter Strickland as the primary SG with Reggie Bullock playing the 3 position (essentially another 2). Coaches worked with Strickland’s horrendous shooting form all summer. The result? Strickland went from 0-2 behind the arc to 4-20 this season. His pop up jump shot from 15-20’ is equally horrendous. So, it is clear that the dream of Strickland developing into Shammond Williams has been brutally shattered. What now?
With freshmen in at Center and Point Guard, and a Shooting Guard who can’t shoot, the Heels are starting every game with only two scoring threats in the game: Bullock and McAdoo. No surprise the Heels have started with a deficit in nearly every game.
Roy Williams has usually introduced PJ Hairston 4-6 minutes into the game. While Hairston hasn’t matured enough to let the game come him (he’s a chucker), Hairston has unfairly played many minutes as either the sole scoring threat or one of two threats on the court.
Leslie McDonald, a player who has struggled against decent teams, missed several games, however this tightened the rotation and game fans and coaches alike a chance to see Hairston settle into more minutes. With Hairston’s concussion, however, the UNC offense still struggles to find a mix with three scoring threats. Scoring 0.82 points per possession against VT, the league’s worst defensive team, is not a good sign for the future without PJ Hairston. In fact, in the minutes of the BC game before Hairston entered and the minutes after his injury, the Heels were –5 against the Sagarin #124 team.
The UNC frontcourt has struggled mightily as well. While the backcourt has had its issues, at least we have a good idea of what needs to be done there. In the frontcourt, the coaches intended to pair supposed NBA Lottery pick James Michael McAdoo with the inexperienced Hubert, Johnson, and James.
The inexperienced trio is a 3-headed monster. Hubert is a decent defensive player, Johnson is an effective, quick scorer and good rebounder, and James is a strong, physical force and good rebounder with a Brendan Haywood-like body. Unfortunately every other aspect of the game has been terrible for these three. Thus, it has been easy for teams to focus on and shut down McAdoo. The situation is so bad that it is arguable that Jackson Simmons is the second best player in the UNC frontcourt. Simmons may be a great guy, but if he’s one of the best players on the team, the guys have a lot of work to do.
The inability to find a solid second frontcourt player has forced the team to try James Michael McAdoo as a bad-to-the-basket player, which he is not. Finally in the VT game we saw McAdoo get the ball 15-18’ from the basket and try to get the ball by his slower defender. This is a winning strategy, and a change that shouldn’t go unnoticed when writing coaching report cards.
As inconsistent and disappointing as this team has been, they find themselves tied for 3rd place in the ACC at the halfway point in the conference season. Roy Williams’ reputation is that he is “stubborn”, however that isn’t the word I would use. He absolutely has made changes with this team. He has moved Dexter Strickland over to playing more time at PG. He’s pulled McAdoo out from the basket a bit. During the Boston College game it looked as if he finally recognized that PJ Hairston is at least the team’s third best player, and deserved longer stretches of playing time
How this team does is directly related to the return of PJ Hairston. Concussions are variable, and the program needs to consider Hairston’s long term health above all.
That said, the number one problem with this team is that we haven’t seen enough minutes with UNC’s best three players, together. When PJ Hairston is on the floor with Bullock and McAdoo, Hairston’s game changes. He no longer tries to chuck it every time he gets the ball. He gets more patient on offense and tries to attack the basket more. It is a better offense of geometric proportions. I’ll go out and say it: With this trio healthy and playing significant minutes, UNC is arguably the ACC’s most dangerous team come March. Imagine this kind of rotation:
4/5: McAdoo and two or three other big men (by now the coaching staff should start settling in with only 2 or 3 other big men, and let the other 3 or 2 sit more and be ready in case of injury. My vote: Start Johnson and rotate James in. Use Hubert only against teams with excellent big men).
2/3: Hairston/Bullock – Tokoto and Strickland rotate in.
1: Paige/Strickland – playing about equal minutes
This is a dangerous team, my friends. However if Hairston does not get healthy soon, it means more minutes for McDonald. McDonald is not a versatile player. He is a good long range bomber from the left side of the court against bad teams. However he has shown no excellence outside of this. He and Dexter Strickland, when in at 2/3, should be used as cutters.
Tokoto is a player that still is actively improving, however. I like his mid-range game, and he is so athletic, teams will certainly play him for the drive, leaving him open.
Strickland should be red-lighted from ANY shots outside of 15 feet. Shots such as those pictured are still regularly showing up in his game, for some unknown reason. They all are missed and rebounded by the defense; that’s called a turnover. If Luke Davis enters the game and turns it over as much as Strickland effectively does, he gets pulled. The fun and games of playing Strickland as a shooting guard are over, and every game he is allowed to do this, is another game headed toward an NIT trip. There is no excuse to allow this to keep happening.
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While UNC’s opponents have largely been from the top half of the league, they have really only played in one tough away venue (NCSU). The second half certainly has its challenges, too. At Miami, at Duke, at Georgia Tech, at Clemson, and at Maryland. The Heels that showed up against Virginia Tech on Saturday will lose all 5 of those away games. At home they face Wake, UVA, NCSU, FSU, and Duke. I think UNC will win 4 of those 5. So without Hairston, this team will go 4-6, and finish 9-9 in the ACC, 18-12 overall, with probably 3 tournament wins required to get into the NCAA tournament.
There is a lot of basketball to be played, and anything can happen. The ACC isn’t good, but there are still plenty of solid opponents ahead where UNC can start building a tournament resume. With a healthy Hairston this team can very reasonably go 8-2 down the stretch. That would put them at 13-5. With a win or two in the ACC Tournament, a seeding of 4, 5, or 6 in the NCAA tournament is not beyond reality.
The Heels are #27 in the Sagarin ratings, and a stretch like that would likely get them in the #10-#20 range. Plenty of ranked teams now already have 5 or 6 losses, so this season is wide open.
The Tar Heels finished the 2012 campaign with a Final 8 appearance, a mythical ACC Regular Season Championship, and a 32-6 record. It was a year that almost every school in America envies, yet this will go down as one of the big letdown seasons of UNC history. The current group of starters leaving stands as one of the least accomplished group of talented recruits in UNC lore.
UNC entered the season as the #1 team in America, and one that should have only been challenged for the title by Kentucky’s group of Freshmen. However there were cracks in the team from the start; the most important of all being outside shooting. Shooting was not a strength in that ‘11 group of Heels that missed the Final Four by a couple of possessions. The group, largely unchanged, entered the season with the same question marks.
Harrison Barnes took about half of his Freshman season to start feeling comfortable, and hit big shots when the team needed them in most games down the stretch. So I wasn’t as concerned about the 3 spot as I was with the 2 spot. Dexter Strickland shot 46% from the field and 25% from “3” in 2011. While he is arguably the best fast-break player in Carolina history, he is a terrible shooter. His form is bad, he doesn’t jump straight up, and his shot selection isn’t good. He is a good defender and gave the team quickness, however in order to be a top shelf kind of team, there has to be a good outside shooting threat at the 2 position.
I really like Strickland’s attitude, however it wasn’t a time of panic, obviously, when Strickland had a season-ending injury on January 19. This would give ample time for Reggie Bullock to become comfortable in close games and improve his defense. Bullock, unlike Strickland, is a quality shooter that could make defending the Heels a monumentally complex task. From the point of Strickland’s injury onward Bullock shot 42% from the field, and 38% from beyond the arc. (64% of Bullock’s shots were from “3”). This is shooting that would earn Bullock Top 3 honors in shooting in the conference.
As a whole, the Heels were an excellent offensive team, however the most underwritten story about this group is that they were the best defensive team at UNC in the Roy Williams tenure. As outlined in another post, this team wasn’t flashy with their defense. They didn’t force turnovers very frequently, however they forced teams into taking very difficult shots. This is ultimately the goal on defense, and no other team in recently memory challenged as well as this one did.
The defensive skill was a good surprise. Unfortunately the bad surprise was an injury bug that no Tar Heel team in the last 3 decades has seen. A wrist injury in the first post-season game to John Henson forced him to miss several games, and upon return, he played tentatively in the interior on both ends of the floor.
More importantly, however, was the season-ending injury to Kendall Marshall in the R32 game against an unreasonably physical Creighton team. With Marshall’s backup (Strickland) out, the Heels were left to rely on a Freshman who had only totaled 137 minutes of playing time. This was too much to ask against good teams, and while the Heels played Kansas evenly for about 37 minutes, the team’s Achilles’ Heel from the start, outside shooting, wasn’t good enough against Kansas.
While most people understood the die that had been cast when Marshall went down, there was hope that this group could still get to its first (with the exception of Zeller) Final Four. What was difficult to watch was the play of Harrison Barnes down the stretch. Barnes, the nation’s 2009 Mr. Basketball coming out of high school, came in as the most heralded recruit in UNC history. Barnes was so highly regarded that he would have been a lottery pick by the NBA straight out of high school if direct entry were allowed. Barnes picked UNC because of his desire to get a Business degree, and keenly spoke recently about NBA players needing to be mindful of their “brand” as marketable products.
While players have bad games, and even bad stretches, it is extremely disappointing that this caliber of recruit play so ordinarily for more than half of his career at UNC. Nobody will argue that Barnes had a very slow start last season, however people may not realize just how poorly Barnes played since February 1. Before that date Barnes shot 49% (FG) and 45% (FG3). Since that point Barnes shot 39% (FG) and 28% (FG3).
Barnes was a player in this period that had no first step and absolutely no elevation. This led to overcompensated or underpowered shots. Without Marshall on the floor, Barnes forced shots and made repeated bad decisions with the ball.
What happened around February 1 that was so important to Barnes’ game? Barnes rolled an ankle at Wake Forest. While he and the program said Barnes was 100%, it was obvious he was not.
So, UNC returned all of its starting five from a team that missed the Final Four by a hair last season, however when it came test time for this team, Zeller was the only one of them standing. For UNC to repeat its accomplishments with so many injuries is an impressive feat.
However Tar Heel fans will always wonder what would have happened… With a fully healthy squad, would the Heels have had the outside shooting they needed to win it all? Without Strickland, would the Heels have done it? How about with a healthy Marshall? Could the Heels overcome Kansas or even a well-oiled Kentucky team? It’s hard to confidently say “Yes”. This squad was only 8-5 vs. the Top 50. Despite being the Vegas’ favorite, this squad might not have gotten it done anyway in the single-elimination tournament. Better, healthier UNC teams have certainly stumbled along the way.
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I completely agree with Coach Smith that players aren’t different than any other student in that they approach college with job placement in mind. If the NBA wants to hire a player before their maximum time allotted to play has expired, then the player would be foolish to not take the opportunity. A financial planner I know sat down and figured that in order for a 50 year-old to be financially independent and live a nice lifestyle in Raleigh, they need to have at least $6 million invested to spin off enough passive income to pay bills and have realistic, enjoyable experiences. The top 5 picks in the lottery will get that amount, guaranteed, in their first two years of play. The Top 23 draft picks will get at least halfway there in just 3 years.
So, it is tough to blame Marshall, Henson, and Barnes for joining Zeller in the NBA Draft this season, but damn! That’s a lot to lose, isn’t it?
If these players leave (they all are currently eligible to return) they definitely were more hungry for money than they were for championships. I don’t blame them for that given how hard it is for the typical American to get up and go to work for more than 11,000 days of their lives. However, just be honest and don’t tell us you are “coming back to win a championship”. If you are serious about winning it as an 18 year old, you can’t be much less serious as a 19 year old.
Zeller won a championship in 2009 with another group and has no option but to leave. However this great cluster of Barnes, Marshall, and Henson is choosing to walk away with their accomplishments as the final story in their chapter in Tar Heel history.
Just what did this group accomplish? They finished First in the ACC Regular Season in both seasons. This allowed them to get an advantage in the ACC Tournament by virtue of a better seeding. In the NCAA Tournament both teams were able to reach the Final 8 and were a handful of possessions away from getting to the Final Four, but so was Cincinnati in 1993, right? The reason for missing the Final Four is irrelevant. This group will forever be evaluated by their post-season accomplishments.
So that’s it. The group won a lot of regular season games and got the furthest of any ACC team in the NCAA Tournament both years, however in UNC Basketball history, these are fairly ordinary accomplishments.
While there have been up and down years, every cluster of recruits since the Wolf/Popson/Smith era 25 years ago has made a Final Four trip or been ACC Champions.
If we look at the greatest UNC teams to not win it all, this team doesn’t even scratch the Top 10. Here are the best since 1980 of that crowd:
1984 – Four future NBA All-Stars: Jordan, Perkins, Smith, Daugherty
1995 – Wallace, Stackhouse, Williams, McInnis.
1998 – Carter, Jamison, Haywood.
1994 – Montross, Stackhouse, Wallace, McInnis
2008 – Hansbrough, Lawson, Ellington
1997 – Carter, Jamison, Williams.
2007. Hansbrough, Lawson, Ellington
1987 – Reid, Williams, Fox, Chilcutt.
1986 – Reid, Smith, Chilcutt, Williams, Wolf
1989 – Reid, Fox, Chilcutt
2012 – Zeller, Barnes, Marshall, Henson, McAdoo
That is some pretty tough company for sure and outside of Duke, this group would be one of the five All-Time greatest teams at any other ACC program.
Now, the history book isn’t written on what types of pros these guys will be. Ed Cota was an incredible passer. Dante Calabria was a phenomenal shooter. Donald Williams carried the Heels to a championship. However players like Scott Williams, Pete Chilcutt, Rick Fox, and Brendan Haywood are the ones who got to play in the pros for many years.
We’ll have to wait and see how this group fares in the NBA to really know how much substance was really there…or could it be that this group may have been overhyped given the names on their jerseys…or was it the 4 key injuries to the group’s Starting Five…?
Apparently there are some Wichita State fans who think that UNC’s defense is poor. It is worth noting that this UNC team has held opponents to 0.80 points per possession, which is the lowest average of any Roy Williams-led UNC team.
UNC forces turnovers on 16.0% of opponents possessions, which is the second-worst rate in Roy’s tenure. So, the PPP number is coming because of UNC’s outstanding interior defense. UNC doesn’t force turnovers much, but it you’re going to beat them, you better do it from the outside, because you won’t get it done inside against a healthy UNC frontcourt.
The printable schedules are inverted for optimal black & white printing. They are an outstanding layout of game times. Read left-to-right, the games are in chronological order. Read top-to-bottom, most columns are venue-consistent. Television network assignments are also shown.
Finally, all of the games can be easily added to your Android phone, iPhone, Outlook, Google Calendars and more! Simply visit gogoraleigh’s Calendars tab, and use the links provided in the “2012 NCAA Tourament” line.
John Swofford, the UNC football letterman, entered as the ACC Commissioner with a grand plan for ACC football that began with an enormous expansion of the ACC’s population. The process has completely destroyed the ACC Tournament. This tournament USED to be a hot ticket, even in Atlanta and Landover, however now it is a joke of an event played in front of scores of empty seats.
Expansion cut each school’s ticket allotment by 1/3, so that people from Boston, Miami, and Blacksburg, VA can take the rights to our seats, not show up, and sell tickets on eBay.
The 8 teams, 2/3 of the league, that play today, have NO CHANCE of winning the tournament. Their fans realize it, and they don’t bother to come. With 1/3 of the league eliminated before the first Friday game begins, it’s no wonder that the arena will be full of empty seats on Friday, too. It never USED to be like that. For those of you who say that the increase of NCAA tournament berths has had a greater effect, keep in mind that ALL of the bubble teams, the ones that need this tournament the most, play today, but where are their fans?
The elimination of the double-round robin in the regular season has not only destroyed rivalries, it has made an understanding of all of the players in this event far more difficult. We not longer have two shots at every team where we get to know the Sharone Wrights, Ricky Stokes, Kenny Andersons, and Herman Veals of the world. Of the league’s Top 15 players, three are on the UNC team, and we only played the league’s #4, #6, #8, #11, and #13 players ONCE this season. That’s almost HALF of the remainder of top tier of players! How are we supposed to build value in the product if we never get exposed to it?
It is time for John Swofford’s reign of terror on ACC Basketball to END!