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Finals Thoughts on UNC-Duke I

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A few more items before focusing on Miami.

  • For all the talk we hear about the superiority of Mike Krzyzewski over Roy Williams in the coaching department, this game marked the 2nd straight UNC-Duke contest Roy got the best of K.  The Tar Heel players made it clear that it was Roy's adjustments at halftime to the spacing on offense that created the lanes for Ty Lawson to literally drive the team to victory.  Yes the players needed to execute but Roy made some moves to get them in position to win.
  • According to Ty Lawson in his postgame interview on ESPN, Mike Copeland threw a chair in the locker room and was one of the more vocal players at halftime.  Tyler Hansbrough uncharacteristically made his presence felt as well.  I am not sure how much help Copeland can be on the floor but as a senior if he can be the guy who fires the starters up off the court that might be as important as any basket or rebound.
  • Much has been made of the conditions inside Cameron last night.  With the seventy degree weather in the area and 9000 fans packing the arena two hours prior to the game, the place was a sauna.  It reminded me of the game in 1998 UNC lost at Duke because the heat/humidity did a thin Tar Heel roster in.  This had a similar feel to it.  The Heels looked tired and flat during the first half Blue Devil run that eventually staked an eight point halftime lead.  The problem for Duke is they expended a great deal of energy getting to that point.  In the 2nd half, the Heels were fresher but more importantly because the game was at UNC's favored pace even if both teams were tired, the Heels would have been better equipped to play at that point.  The other issue was the humidity creating a slick floor which hurt both teams but during the Heels 14-0 seem to damage Duke's chances more.  It is easy to say Duke should do more to make the building cooler but given basketball is played in the winter you have to wonder how many games like this you end up having per season and is that worth retrofitting the facility to make it cooler.  It did not cost Duke the game because UNC had to play in the same conditions.  However I am not sure it helped matters either.
  • Due credit has been given to Tyler Hansbrough and Danny Green for finishing their college careers 4-0 at Cameron.  The fact Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington and Deon Thompson are 3-0 is not too shabby either.
  • What are the odds that Tyler Hansbrough would make another three late in the 2nd half near the end of the shot clock to extend a Tar Heel lead at Cameron and pretty much seal the deal?
  • It will be interesting to see how much the Heels take from this game in terms of opening the floor up more for Lawson in future games.  Granted matchups dictate how the offense works from one game to the next but don't be surprised if Lawson is given the opportunity again to take control of a game.
  • UNC has now won six of eight versus Duke since losing their first three against the Devils upon Roy Williams return.  The results on the court and the clear edge the Heels seem to be enjoying off the court in recruiting makes it clear that the Heels have once again assumed the position of top program in North Carolina and the ACC.