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A Few Notes on UNC-Virginia Tech

Not much to say about the game that hasn't already been said, although tomorrw's game with Forida State looks to be heartburn-worthy, but two things about the coverage jumped out at me.

First of all, a lot of the reporting seems to start with comments like this:

It took 24 hours, but the ACC Tournament started.

These sort of remarks shortchange those first twenty-four hours, where a top-twenty went down in a bigger upset than we would have seen if Virginia Tech overcame UNC, and a hotseat coach won his first tournament game in three years. Just because it was competing with two tournaments already in their quarterfinals (Bigs East and Twelve) and the stands were half empty for Thursday night games at a site far removed from the schools without the top four teams in attendance (shocker!) didn't make for a poor evening of basketball. This wasn't the Les Robinson invitational, and if you really loathe the Thursday games, feel free to make the case to the ACC that they should be played earlier in the week on home floors. Otherwise, enjoy the games in front of you.

(Eliminating the Thursday games will never, ever, happen by the way. ACC Tournament tickets are a huge donor draw for ACC schools, and denying them to four schools a year would cause an absolute meltdown. Note the convoluted arrangements that went into bringing the three Big East schools into the fold, with them getting a smaller initial allotment of tickets that is only now beginning to equalize.)

Secondly, the fouls. Although I didn't see the game, relying instead on a hilarious stream of updates from a Duke fan, I'm going to go out on a limb and say the refs weren't being slipped stacks of cash in Carolina blue wrappers. Why? Because Seth Greenberg's comments aside, Virginia Tech of the course of the conference season has been fouling at a respectable pace. They're sixth in the ACC in sending their opponents to the line (Georgia Tech is the worst, followed by Florida State and Boston College. All teams that are young or slow, like the Hokies.).  Put them on the floor with a quick UNC team with more talent and the fewest fouls in the league, and yes, the margin is going to be tilted. And yet for every bad call in one direction, there's a rebuttal in the other direction. Fouls didn't cost you a game, a very large man with who was once Player of the Year did.