Saturday, March 24, 2007

North Carolina Squeaks by USC

All I have to say is Jesus--If my heart didn't stop against Michigan State it certainly did while playing the USC Trojans tonight. Carolina played what had to be one of the worst games ever from the first half till about the ten minute mark of the second half. Then all of a sudden the light clicked on in the attic and my boys were back to playing at what they do best. Run and gun. The Heels wore the Trojans down so effectively that USC was scoreless for eight whole minutes, allowing UNC to chip away at a sixteen point deficit to tie the game. After that it seemed to be smooth sailing as UNC jumped to ten points up with twenty seconds left. How did they do it? At this point I would have to look at the game tapes because honestly Carolina should have lost this game. I'm not one to believe in superstition but at that ten minute mark I brought my wife into the room to finish watching the game--I call her my secret weapon--and damn if she didn't prove to be that. Almost as soon as she walked into the room USC gets an offensive foul and Carolina scores almost immediately after. From there on in it didn't stop. Tamar looks at me like I was crazy--she says to me "What, Carolina looks like their playing great what do you need me for?" Yeah, well from now on she's watching every game until Carolina is out of this contest. I'm a believer. The final score was Carolina 74 – USC 64.In the first half Carolina was certainly out of sync, they couldn't shoot the ball and as my father put it--Two Grandmas with walking chairs could have easily scored lay-ups on this pitiful defense. Tyler Hansborough or "Psycho T" was 0 for something like 8. He had two points going into the half. Yes the same Tyler Hansborough, "Psycho T" who scored twenty points in just the first half against Michigan State last week. Something was obviously bothering him and I will say that USC was very good at stopping him defensively and for out banging him for boards. USC's Taj Gibson was incredible how he hacked UNC's defense to shreds almost the entire game. It was only in the last ten minutes of the game where he got his fourth foul and had to sit on the bench when Carolina finally was able to turn on the juice make effective defensive stops and make that incredible run. Even though I credit the absence of Taj Gibson for the start of our run--it was of course the incredible talent of this ball club between Brandon Wright and Ty Lawson running up and down the court and wearing down the Trojans effectively stomping on their hope for an Elite 8 appearance. Carolina plays again on Sunday against a very big and imposing Georgetown. Between Coach Thompson III and Patrick Ewing JR. this could be a very memorable Best of 8 series. Let's just hope that UNC comes out on top.

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