UNC Asking What Just Happened
February 25, 2016
Myself, and Tar Heel basketball fans, have had a week now to digest how in the world did the Heels lose at home to Duke.
This is what we knew going into the heated rivalry.
Duke, supposedly, is in a “rebuilding stage.” They do have a star in Brandon Ingram and a rising star in Grayson Allen. Amil Jefferson is also an above-average ACC player. But he went down to an injury and was not available when the Blue Devils staged their comeback win. And everyone knows Duke does not have any depth on the bench.
And what a comeback it was.
The game belonged to North Carolina. Pure and simple. The Heels dominated play and looked like the better team for the first 35 minutes of the contest. But they could not get their lead into double-digits. Duke just hung around and waited for something good to happen.
So what happened? How did a tired, exhausted and overworked Duke team beat UNC? I have to chalk it up to great coaching by K, amazing effort, and shut-down defense down the stretch en-route to a 74-73 victory.
Duke beat UNC with only 5 players. It’s true. Only 5 Duke players scored and most of them played well over 30 minutes.
Derryck Thornton & Coach Mike Krzyzewski
This not only proves Duke has no bench and relies heavily on their starting 5, but it displays how a well coached team can succeed with even one of their most important players in foul trouble, Marshall Plumlee.
I don’t know if coaching played a part in how the final stages of the game played out. I do know Duke forced UNC to result to jump shots instead of feeding the hot hand of the night, Brice Johnson. Brice didn’t touch the ball for 8 minutes in the second half, something that left many fans perplexed. Meanwhile, the Blue Devils did whatever they wanted on offense late.
Throughout the game, you see a refined and effective UNC that just seemed to crumble in the hands of Duke the last five minutes. I have to attribute some of it to coaching. And to how Duke can work tirelessly for 40 minutes.
UNC fans have to worry some. This game also reflected most of UNC’s current season. They come out strong and responsive with big leads, only to lose them in the last minutes and have to work even harder to maintain it. UNC shows signs of the No. 1 preseason team, but fails to show consistency.
Heels coach Roy Williams took a great deal of heat after the game. He faced a barrage of questions regarding how his team failed to find Johnson down the stretch. He was asked why he chose to not call a time out during his team’s final possession. Williams was even asked about his future in Chapel Hill. He answered them all with class. Personally, I think UNC will be fine when the calendar hits March. And you better not count Duke out in tourney play. Though it is hard to win game after game in a tournament setting with just five guys. Evidence of that is Duke came back over the weekend and lost to Louisville.
No matter what your take of last week’s game was, it was another classic.
Goodell Has To Be Considered Overpaid
We learned last week that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is making over $34 million dollars a year.
Is he worth it you ask? I guess the NFL owners think he is.
But I doubt if the public believes so.
Goodell’s tenure as commissioner has been mired by numerous off the field scandals including alleged domestic violence incidents involving the likes of Greg Hardy, Ray Rice, and Johnny Manziel, among others.
Most happy fella, Roger Goodell
The league has been criticized and forced to settle out of court with former players over the rise and handling of concussions, among other issues. There was the Adrian Peterson saga and who can forget Deflate-Gate. And all the rule changes. Does anyone really know what a catch is anymore?
Despite the on and off-field turmoil that the NFL has faced, the league has never been more profitable. Business Insider points out, under Goodell’s watch, the NFL split $7.2 billion in revenue in 2015.
Goodell took a lot of heat last year. But when you are making well over $500 K a week, you know he is enjoying life.