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Sometimes You Just Have to Respond

In almost two years of blogging this site, I have been very good about taking the high road most of the time. I have my moments where I take on the occasional media columnist for writing something I disagree but when it comes to rival blogs I tend to back off taking another blogger to task for criticizing UNC. StateFansNation is one blog in particular that writes some anti-UNC stuff from time to time and I generally ignore it because that's their thing and their readers seem to quite enjoy it. However, last night during the live blog we were paid a visit in the comments section by the author of the Duke-Redick blog complaining about Tyler Hansbrough "flopping" to get charges. Granted, the rich hypocrisy of a blog with extols the "virtues" of J.J. Redick and Duke whining about flopping is something usually reserved for politics. At the time I simply deleted the comment stating that I preferred the live blog be a "Duke free zone" during the game. This morning however, the same blog linked to my "Blood, Sweat and Tears" photo and made some snide remark and then proceeded to "analyze" the game in a fairly obnoxious manner. So against my better judgment and at the risk of affording this guy's blog traffic from my site with likely exceeds his I have decided to respond to this post.

5- The Matchup That Never Was - Every blog, newspaper article, that I’ve read in the past few days regarding Hansbrough and Henderson, you would have thought they were bringing their gloves to the basketball court. The Tarheel fan base tried to desperately make a mountain out of a mole hill and failed miserably. Why? Because they are scared to face the truth. What is the truth? Henderson called Hansbrough and apologized for the foul. Hansbrough accepted that apology. Then they proceeded to play pickup games against each other and together! UNC tried to make it appear like World War III, when in fact, it wasn’t even close to it.

He links the post on my site called "College Basketball Armageddon 2008, Part 1" and implies that I tried to make it appear like it was WWIII based on The Foul last season. If the author of D-R had bothered to read back on my blog he would know I have been referring to the Duke-UNC game as College Basketball Armageddon since THF started. Why? Because Armageddon is defined as the ultimate battle between good and evil. Also, anytime Duke and UNC plays it is like WWIII. That is what makes it such a great rivalry.

4- Lawson - What a joke. UNC fans are coming out of the woodwork making up excuses about Lawson not playing. What that really tells me is that your team sucks just because one player is out. If Duke loses Nelson, Scheyer, Henderson..whoever, we would still win. Duke can talk crap about not having a big man to match up against Hansbrough but we don’t. We didn’t recruit one and it appears we don’t need one. Everyone is bitching about Lawson’s ankle. What happens when you shut down Lawson when he plays? Maryland is what happens. Clemson is what happens. Georgia Tech is what happens. They didn’t lose them all but when you’re team is so heavily dependent upon one guard, its time for your team to re-evaluate your offensive strategy. Enough excuses already. I’m sick of your crying.

First of all, what did you expect genius? This is what fans do. I am sure the next time Duke loses a game I can line up any number of Blue Devils fans making excuses for the loss. For my part, I was pretty clear on Tuesday that making excuses based on Lawson was not going to fly and while I firmly believe having Lawson in the game changes the dynamics, it is foolish to speculate anything beyond that. Of course this guy illustrates his general ignorance of UNC games this season citing the Clemson, Maryland and Georgia Tech games as evidence of what happens when you shutdown Lawson. Obviously he did not watch any of those games, because the reason UNC struggled versus GT and MD was one of the main reasons that had trouble with Duke and that was Wayne Ellington being MIA. Against Clemson, Wayne Ellington showed up huge but Tyler Hansbrough was effectively locked down. The only issue Lawson had in all three of those games was turnovers and not playing great defense against the opposing point. By no means was he shut down. Other players in those games were but on the offensive end Lawson did what he needed to do. As for UNC's dependency on him, everyone has that problem and while Duke happens to be built with a group of players who all basically do the same thing they are not immune either. In one respect Duke could stand to lose one player and compensate for it to some extent but it is downright foolish to believe that if Duke lost on of it's starters they would not be diminished in some way otherwise those guys would not be starters. I would also point out that Demarcus Nelson strikes me as pretty dang important to Duke since last night they did not score in stretches when he was out. I can name several teams that would have issues if they lose one particular guy including the other three title contenders UCLA, Memphis and Kansas. Teams are built with different players performing different functions on the court that when blended together forms a winning unit. This is not rocket science and I seem to recall the 2005 UNC team being dependent on Raymond Felton playing about 36 mins a game to be effective on offense. I also seem to recall them winning a national title that season using that offensive strategy. The bottom line is for me it is not an excuse but simply a fact that UNC is not the same team without Lawson on the floor. That is not to say it changes the outcome of the game last night, it is merely stating what we know is true.

3- Flopper of the Game Award - As stated in my previous post, how does a a 6?9? 250 pound Center managed to draw 3 offensive fouls (almost 4) in the first half from gaurds that are half his size? For all the bullshit Paulus puts up with about flopping, I have news for you. Hansbrough really took the cake the first half with his fake flops. What a joke you UNC fans are.

BAWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!! Oh geez. Oh that's funny. A Duke fan complaining about another team's player flopping to get foul calls. You really cannot make this stuff up.

2- On to Duke - Why They Won - Duke won because they executed their game plan from start to finish the entire night. Drive and dish, drive and dish. Three, Three, and Three again. When you have a balanced team that can drain three pointers from everywhere its no surprise this game plan worked out just like it has all season. Whats so great about the drive and kick out is that Henderson or Nelson might just throw down when they drive. Any team has no choice but to collapse and stop the ball only to be beaten by a kick out and three pointer from down town.

This is true but I think the defense Duke played had as much to do with as their ability to execute the offense which UNC did a piss poor job of stopping. And all I will say about the dish and kick is yes it is effective and obviously it game UNC problems last night but sooner or later those shots are not going to fall. Granted with so many guys who can shoot it from out there, the odds of everyone being off is somewhat longer than it is for UNC who only has 2-3 guys capable of shooting threes but you might think the lack of an inside presence is not an issue. I say that remains to be seen.

1- The number one reason we won last night - We’re Just Better Than You - period!

On this night you were. See you on March 8th.