So, this game rated a visit from the College Game Day folks and (shudder) Dick Vitale. Good to see Huber Davis back in the Dean Dome. He was one of my favorite players in the late 80s/early 90s. I think it will be a fairly entertaining game. Georgia Tech is second in the conference in points per game behind UNC which means it should be a track meet and GT has more depth than any team UNC has played all season. Live blogging after the jump.
8:24 PM Watching College Game Day and Reece Davis just called him Tyler Hasborough. Grrrr!!! Reece you are on notice.
8:29 PM I think we have finally figured out that LSU really is not that good...especially without Tyrus Thomas.
8:30 PM Tubby Smith is a dead man walking in Lexington, they lost to Vanderbilt today.
8:34 PM Digger Phelps thinks GT can beat UNC by using a mix of the Gonzaga and VT defensive efforts. I think the only way that matters is if GT also comes out and shoots the lights out early.
8:35 PM Jay Bilas says you need to get UNC out of the transition game. Obviously he does not agree with Oliver Purnell who probably still thinks you can run with UNC and beat them.
8:36 PM Maybe I have missed something but they have shown highlights from today's game and somehow not shown the Duke-NC State game...not that I mind and I am glad Dick Vitale has left the set just in the case they do.
8:41 PM Clemson must have felt pretty good to force over 20 turnovers and actually win the game by 20.
8:42 PM Duke has improved in it's last three games!!! Duke has also played three teams with a combined record of 28-26 and 3-12 in the ACC
8:44 PM Reece asks who will challenge UNC in the ACC: Hubert: GT, Digger: VT and Jay Bilas: "No one." The way he said that was so matter of fact and humorous.
8:48 PM The Butch Davis PR Tour continues!!!
8:51 PM Interesting take on Terry since there was a lot noise last week about Terry being concerned about his draft position and taking care of his family.
8:58 PM GT has a 14 game losing streak on the road. I would think they need to break that if they want to finish in the top four in the ACC.
8:59 PM Digger is on notice now for mispronouncing Tyler's name.
9:00 PM Mike Patrick. Oh. Yeah. Of course I imagine he gets most of the big games since he lost his NFL gig to Mike Tirico. Honestly Dick Vitale is such a dweeb.
9:02 PM UNC starting lineup is the same as it has been since Ohio State. The only reason Terry keeps his starting job is most likely because he tends to play some good defense.
9:03 PM Tip!!!
9:04 PM GT comes out man to man and I am not real sure why they did not give the ball to Hansbrough from the start.
9:05 PM What a pass from Lawson to Ellington!!! Threaded it between two defenders and I would have to say that Ellington's speed is deceptive.
9:07 PM UNC out with some great defensive intensity early here. Forced a bad shot after running the shot clock down and then got an offensive foul. UNC now up 7-2 on the Terry three.
9:08 PM Hansbrough need to learn how to hit that 10-15 foot jumper. It would really add a dimenstion to his game.
9:09 PM Timeout GT. That is some serious vision by Lawson finding Hansbrough for the dunk after dribbling underneath the backboard. So far UNC is clicking on both ends and GT is a little tenative.
9:11 PM GT turning it over once a minute at this point.
9:12 PM GT is basically getting one shot and that is it. Nice defense for UNC and when they do give up a shot, it tends to be a bad shot(or miracle shot like the last one) and UNC is well positioned for the rebound.
9:13 PM BTW, apparently they play the NCAA Women's Tournament in March and it will be on ESPN. In case you just happen to wander on to ESPN tonight to watch this game and did not know when it was or who was showing it.
9:16 PM Dick Vitale called Duke a good team....whatever dude. UNC running with most of the Blue Team right now and GT is pushing the ball inside for a couple of baskets.
9:19 PM Nice start for Thomas who can either be really good or downright awful at times.
9:20 PM Okay this crew is a little lax on defense and having trouble running the offense. GT has closed to within two.
9:21 PM Wow. Terry has 10 so far? There is just no way of knowing when he will step up for a big game on offense or be invisible.
9:23 PM Ginyard seems to have a problem with committing offensive fouls. He is a great defender but he really needs to work on not being a liability on the offensive end.
9:24 PM Hansbrough forces a travel because he basically moved into the guys jersey.
9:26 PM Ginyard went to the floor not Green...not that Mike Patrick seems to care.
9:27 PM Now that is what I had in mind when I said Ginyard should not be an offensive liability.
9:29 PM Heels are doing a better job with the passing in the half court. Passes are very crisp and they seem to be "popping" the ball. I think that must have been a point of emphasis after the 22 turnovers against Clemson.
9:32 PM Wes Miller hits his one three pointer for the game. UNC up 27-20.
9:34 PM Now I have seen a five second count and a three second violation in the same game. That is pretty rare. UNC has the perimeter game cooking which cannot be good sign for the Jackets.
9:34 PM ALERT: First Duke reference from Dick Vitale. 16-3 and their schedule has not been really that strong.
9:38 PM Mario West is a heck of a defender. First he steals the ball from Lawson in the middle of his dribble and just now he almost blocks Wright's dunk attempt clean, but ended up fouling him.
9:41 PM UNC is up 11 largely on the strength of five three pointers in the first half. Kind of opposite from what the conventional wisdom was.
9:43 PM Ellington needs to be a little more selective with his shot.
9:44 PM Another high turnover game for UNC so far with 10. GT also has 10 11. UNC has done a better job of scoring off that.
9:47 PM Okay, I am pretty sure Vitale is full of it with his "UNC is my #1 team, I think they will be the team to beat at the end of year" routine. He has been effusive about Florida, as have so many other people.
9:49 PM I hate it when you use a timeout to set a play and then do not get a shot off. That is bad execution. Of course Terry got the steal and almost hit the jumper. UNC 34 GT 23 at the half.
9:50 PM Roy!!! Erin Andrews faired better with Roy than Bonnie Bernstein did. Classic Roy: "We need to stop stepping on the stupid line. You learn that out on the playground where the out of bounds is at"
Once again it is a matter of UNC taking care of the ball. The difference between GT and Clemson is that CU scored more points of the TOs than GT has. However, giving the ball up means you lose an offensive opportunity. So far UNC has the perimeter game going at 5-8 from beyond the arc while Hansbrough and Wright have been extremely quiet with seven points total, six of them belonging to Hansbrough. One of the standard operating motifs for UNC has been to come out in the second stanza and feed the post for the first five to seven possession. Let's see if that is indeed the case.
10:07 PM I just realized that these 9 PM starts are killing me.
10:08 PM Yep. Ball goes into Hansbrough on the first possession.
10:09 PM The UNC defense has been so good. Forced a shot clock violation.
10:10 PM That did not take long. FT calls timeout after one UNC basket to extend the lead to 13. Obviously Paul Hewitt is seeing something which borders on disastrous for the Jackets' prospect of rallying in this game.
10:13 PM Wright better get busy or this will be the first game as a Tar Heel he will not see double figures in points. Of course he has played 18 games he is probably due a bad game.
10:15 PM What's up with all of the Pat Summit love tonight. It is getting embarrassing.
10:16 PM I have to ask as Hansbrough puts UNC up 15 with a dunk. Have they reinforced the backboards in the Dean Dome? Hansbrough just does such violence when he dunks a ball I would think they did something to make sure he did not break the rim.
10:18 PM Terry Francona's daughter, well, looks like a softball player. I think we also see how the recruting pecking order works with the football and basketball recruits getting floor seats and other sports, regardless of the fact a World Series winning manager is the father, sit in the up the way a bit.
10:20 PM I wonder how Francona's daughter(s) have ended up at UNC. Of course this inspires Vitale to tale about baseball which is a line of discussion I think should be avoided at all costs given the announcer in question.
10:23 PM UNC holding the best three point shooting team in the conference to less than 30%.
10:27 PM GT could get back into this, it is not like UNC is running an effecient offense at this point.
10:29 PM Okay, that was a horrible entry pass from Lawson. There was nothing there and he tried to force it to Hansbrough. UNC up 16.
10:34 PM This is one of the more balanced offensive attacks UNC has had this season. They have done well inside and out while also playing good defense.
10:35 PM That was a killer pass by Thomas to Wright for the dunk.
10:36 PM Now we are going to talk about the NFL? Bill Cowher to NC State talk? I do not know of any other sport I watch where I hear the announcers wander off and talk about other sports the way Vitale and Patrick do.
10:38 PM The turnover situation appears to be better in the second half. The play has been less sloppy but the offense has had some moments where execution has been an issue.
10:40 PM Second Duke reference of the evening. Vitale has been tame in that respect.
10:41 PM Geez...that was a nasty dunk from Terry and also got fouled and Terry has apparently been taking free throw shooting lessons from Brandan Wright.
10:43 PM Tyler Hansbrough is able to do what Terry and Lawson couldn't do and that was hit some free throws.
10:45 PM Another intentional foul on GT? Ah..Dickey basically wrapped his arm around Hansbrough's neck and wrestles him to the ground. That will sure set off lots of "Hansbrough gets favorable calls" threads at Pack Pride.
10:46 PM I wonder if it possible to get Terry to play like this every time out. He has been a beast tonight.
10:48 PM Wayne Ellington has never seen a shot he does not like to take. Danny Green on the other hand only shoots when needed and usually hits it.
10:49 PM How is it Hansbrough can be 12-13 from the FT line but not have a decent jumper in that range? UNC now up 26 with four minutes to go.
10:53 PM Another turnover from stepping on the end line. At least this time it was a case of not being able to stop your momentum.
10:57 PM I wonder what would have happened had Hansbrough not been fouled there since he had the ball cocked back so far.
10:58 PM You think Mike Patrick misses his NFL job?
10:59 PM Garbage time. This is UNC's 1900th win in basketball.
11:01 PM The dissappointment for the lack of $1 biscuits at Bojangles is palatable.
11:02 PM UNC 77 GT 61 and it honestly was not that close.