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N.C. State 83, UNC 79

Face it. If you're outrebounded by the worst rebounding team in the league, you're going to lose the game. If your opponent shoots 13 for 17 in the second half, you're going to lose the game. Hell, if you're UNC and the pace is slow enough your opponent only takes 17 shots the entire second half, you're more likely than not going to lose the game.

UNC lost the game.

It was a loss they deserved, and if I have to look on the bright side I can only hope this will unleash a meaner, more focused team on Duke Wednesday. While I don't think the team is soft, they do lose focus on occassion and fail to step up. The less of that that happens, the better. Tar Heel Fan has an interesting post on leadership adressing some of these problems.

Tangent 1: At least my day wasn't as bad as some. I did my taxes during the game, and at least I came out on the plus side of that ledger. I figure if UNC is going to lose games like that, the least the government can do is pay me for my anguish. As it stands, I just get anonymous State fan comments.

Tangent 2: A conversation as the game ended:

Illini Roommate: Don't storm the court. I hate it when fans storm the court over every little thing.

(I don't understand his aversion to court-storming. I'm all for it.)

Me: To be fair, they haven't beaten UNC in three years.
Illini Roommate: That's not a very long time.
Me: Yeah, but it's a rivalry. And they've never beaten Roy Williams. And UNC is pretty good this year.

Graphic appears on the screen: N.C. State breaks six games losing streak to North Carolina

Illini Roommate: Six games really isn't all that impressive.

I considered whether to explain the whole Herb Sendek saga, complete with Matt Doherety interlude and armchair psychoanalyzing of the Wolfpack fan mind. Decide instead to let the conversation drop. Proceed to put conversation on the internet, telling N.C. State fans that Illinois fans think your overreacting. Go bug their blogs for awhile.

Tangent 3: Since I've used the Dean Smith "I don't want to talk about it" cartoon twice now this year - and will continue to do so, as I find it amusing even if no one else does - I may as well explain the origin. It was a Daily Tar Heel cartoon by Brad Christensen from Dean Smith's last season in 1997. The Heels opened up conference play with three straight losses, all by ten points or more. The season didn't turn around until the next game, when UNC came back from a 56-47 deficit with two minutes to play, to beat N.C. State 59-56. The full comic is below the cut.