The College Basketball Closer is written by the gang at Storming The Floor.
Partisans of other teams might want to argue that their rivalries are at least as good as Carolina/Duke. If a complete break with reality has occurred, those imaginary people might even claim theirs is better. But I'm here to tell you that this blue on blue crime, perpetrated twice each season, is the mountaintop in college basketball.
The hype will drive a fan crazy, but there's no denying that this rivalry has a national flavor. It's similar to the Boston vs. New York battle we have in baseball (and, grudgingly, in football), in that it has partisans thousands of miles from its epicenter, and those partisans truly believe that their backing of one team somehow parallels their outlook on life. I won't try to parse out what that means for you, personally, but the bible on this subject is Will Blythe's book "To Hate Like This Is to be Happy Forever", which is well worth your time.
So which is it for you? Do you favor the Deputy-dawg-talkin', post-game-cryin', Psycho-T-bug-eyed glarin', wine-and-cheese-Dean Domers? Or are the last-name-consonant-hogging, credit-card-pushing, endless-supply-of-annoying-white-jump-shooters, floppin', carpetbaggin' Cameron Crazies more your style?
Courtesy of the Ralston-Purina End Zone Cam. Florida 82 - Tennessee 104. Nick Calathes looks so much like Billy Donovan that a blood test might be in order. In other news, I've decided that the latest basketball-playing Brian Williams (UT-6'10"/270) needs his own unique nickname. I'm kind of partial to "Flapjack" Williams, myself. In game-related news, Lofton and the Smiths locked down the perimeter and ran the baby Gators out of the gym, notching the century mark again. Flapjacks for everyone!!!!
Redbirds Be Needing Purple Drank. Drake 73 - Illinois State 70. This one has to be killing Tim Jankovich. The Illinois State coach had his team ahead of the MVC darling Bulldogs for 30 minutes, only to watch it all slip away. Emmenecker (Drake) and Dom Johnson (
Ill State) dropped eight dimes apiece, which is enough change to buy a nice soft drink for after the game. Drake star Josh Young was sleepwalking in the first half - seventeen of his eighteen points came in the second stanza.
Tonight's BIG Game
Nothing really catches my eye. Maybe we should all just plan on watching "Moment of Truth" and give college hoops a rest for an evening. Deal?
All right, all right already.
Duke (19-1) at North Carolina (21-1). Those numbers in parentheses are what make this series far and away the best rivalry in college basketball. Very rarely in recent years has this matchup had anything other than national implications (we're looking at you, Matt Doherty), and the schools are within hog-chasin' distance of one another, too (No, I will not explain what the hell I mean by that). Love Dickie V or hate him, this was the perfect game for his return to the booth. Roy Williams is playing Patriot games with Ty Lawson's injured foot, having him participate in practices in the afternoon and then proclaiming him doubtful for the contest every evening. I'll tell you one thing. I'll almost be disappointed if there isn't a little blood on the floor tonight.