Early in the second half of Wednesday night’s Duke-Carolina slugfest, I had a splitting headache (from yelling at the TV, I think, but I have no professional medical training), grabbed the bottle of Advil, and said to my wife, “If they lose this game, I may have to go for a long, long walk outside.”
Yeah, I was stressing. Yeah, I take these games a little too seriously.
But the Advil helped the headache. And what really helped was that, finally, my Blue Devils hit some outside shots, played some great D, and came away with an absolutely vital 64-54 win.
If you care not a whit about college basketball or the greatest rivalry in sports, you may as well skip to something inspiring, at the end of this post.
But I need to get some of this out, because that was an awesome, awesome victory, only Duke’s second in the last eight against the Chapel Hill boys.
Some thoughts on the game:
— UNC is bad. Really, really bad. And I don’t say that like I’m just trying to put down Duke’s hated rival. I mean, they’re just not any good. I’ve seen the Heels four or five times this season, and with the exception of the win over Michigan State in December, they’ve looked terrible each time. Larry Drew is not a good point guard. Ed Davis is talented but soft. Will Graves disappeared for long stretches. Really, this team isn’t worthy of being in the Tournament.
— That said, they played really hard Wednesday. That was one of the ugliest Duke-Carolina games you’ll see, but it was pretty damn intense.
— Can’t believe how badly Duke shot the ball for most of the game. They had 3 two-point FGs in the first half. THREE! Fortunately, Jon Scheyer wouldn’t let them lose. He hit two enormous 3-pointers in the final minutes, including the dagger that gave Duke the 9-point lead. He’s moving up into my pantheon of all-time Duke greats; needs to lead this team to a Final Four to cement his place in Duke lore, though.
–Lance Thomas better not be out long with that knee injury. He’s a fantastic defender, and if Duke loses him, well, not good.
— Very encouraged by Mason Plumlee. Kid stepped up big-time in the second half, and he may need to play a lot more if Thomas is out. That reverse dunk was sweet.
OK, enough rambling. It wasn’t pretty, but wins over Carolina don’t need to be. It was a beautiful game, and a beautiful win. I’m a happy man tonight.
**OK, here’s a small example of what some newspapers are now doing so well, transforming great print stories into wonderful video and photo stories. My old friend Erin Coker at the Glens Falls Post-Star has done several of these, and I think this was his best. It’s a 5-minute piece on a high school wrestler, who despite epilepsy and Asperger’s Disease, made the varsity team.
Enjoy.Vodpod videos no longer available.