Has the hype regarding the finish to the North Carolina versus Duke game gone a bit overboard? It is as if that was the first time a 3-point shot in the closing seconds won a game for a team, or the first time anyone ever came back from 10 points behind to win. The game did demonstrate that both of these squads have serious deficiencies that will probably prevent them from a deep run in the NCAA tournament. I'm not sure I have ever seen worse on the ball defense from a Duke team. Andre Dawkins is Duke's version of Mike Jones and Quinn Cook could barely guard a folding chair. For UNC Kendall Marshall has never played good defense and without Dexter Strickland they don't have anyone to place on a dangerous shooter. It is too bad Tyler Zeller has turned into the goat because his play was the only thing keeping the Tarheels close in the 1st half. For the game he thoroughly dominated the Plumlee brothers and controlled the low post. With a seven point lead and two minutes to go both Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall turned the ball over but little blame was given to either of them. Not surprising that in a battle of coaching wits that K would best Roy Williams. Not sure what Williams was thinking switching Zeller on a basic high screen it wasn't as if Rivers had not already made 5 3-point shots prior to that. Another thing this game showed was that North Carolina's bench is a serious weak sport for this squad.
We going to see if N.C. State's 7-3 record is a bit of a fraud very soon (I think it is). Their next three opponents: Duke, Florida State and North Carolina. Lucky for them two out of the three are at home.
I am surprised that Jim Larranaga has gotten Miami playing at this level so quickly. Their 6-3 mark in conference play is also a bit misleading but they did have a signature win against Duke at Cameron. As with the Wolfpack things get a little more difficult with two games against FSU, a home game against North Carolina and road contests against Maryland and N.C. State. They should probably find their level at 9-7 and in the NIT.
Perhaps it was a surprise that FSU was upset by Boston College the other night but anytime Leonard Hamilton gets off the bus the opponent has a chance.
In other news former Maryland football head-coach-in-waiting James Franklin really put his foot in his mouth when complaining about some players who had changed their minds after giving a verbal non-binding commitment to Vanderbilt. Without naming names he questioned their character and honor. Given the climate in college recruiting "de-commits" are always a factor and it seems silly to attack a kid over an honest change of heart. As long as they are a man about it and don't have their mother call to tell the coaching staff they changed their mind, yes Terrence Ross I am talking about you, then coaches shouldn't whine about it. New North Carolina coach Larry Fedora must have spit out his morning coffee after reading Franklin's self serving comments. Fedora recruited QB Patton Robinette who was in the midst of student orientation for an early enrollment at Chapel Hill before he hopped in a car bound for Vanderbilt. You can read Fedora's scathing comments regarding Franklin's hypocrisy in the Atlanta Journal. Maybe Franklin's misstep is just the result of a coach who is a little in over his head going up against the sharks in the SEC.