Tag:North Carolina
Posted on: February 7, 2012 12:57 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 2:21 pm

Tuesday poll, here we go

By Matt Norlander

You know what to do. Here we are again, voting on the outcomes of games. The results will air on "Courtside with Seth Davis" Wednesday night at 7 p.m. ET, as well as "Inside College Basketball," which goes live at 11 p.m. ET later that night. Both shows, of course, are on the CBS Sports Network.

Want more of us? Or more interaction with hoops fans? We suggest you like the Eye On College Basketball Facebook page. And if that's not enough, CBSSports.com has your roundball fix tended to thanks to our daily newsletter.
Posted on: February 6, 2012 4:19 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2012 4:20 pm

Coach K calls UNC most talented team in nation

By Jeff Goodman

College basketball is down and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski doesn't disagree. 

"The only thing that might change it is what the NBA does," Coach K said on SiriusXM's Inside College Basketball on Monday afternoon. "We're slaves to what the NBA does with the early-entry. If they ever put that in on a two-year basis, you'll see more dominant teams." 

Coach K knows this year's Duke team wouldn't be a Top 10 outfit five or 10 years ago. The Blue Devils are 19-4 overall and 6-2 in ACC play, which is still impressive, but that says as much about the national landscape as anything else. 

"This is not a juggernaut," K said about his current group. "We have a good team."

"The landscape of college basketball is that if you're old and a little more above the talent level of the so-called mid-majors," he added. "You've got a chance to win the whole thing. That wasn't the formula before." 

Krzyzewski knew, heading into the season, it wasn't going to be easy after losing veterans Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler and No. 1 overall pick Kyrie Irving. 

Everyone -- The Plumlee Brothers, Seth Curry, Andre Dawkins and Ryan Kelly - were all thrust into new roles. But as much as anything, K said that the lack of consistent effort and energy has been the primary cause for concern - along with consistency on the defensive end. 

He's also had a difficult time finding a high-level point guard on his team. The Seth Curry experiment didn't last, Tyler Thornton isn't quite up to par for what surrounds him and Quinn Cook is still a freshman who missed last season with a torn ACL. 

Now comes a matchup in Chapel Hill with North Carolina on Wednesday night, one that could determine whether the Blue Devils have any shot of winning the ACC regular-season title. 

"They're an offensive juggernaut," Krzyzewski said. "They have the best frontline is college basketball." 

That's a completely different debate (I'm siding with Kentucky on this one), but Coach K continued with another strong statement moments after touting Tyler Zeller as the potential ACC Player of the Year. 

"I think they are by far the most talented team in the country," he said. "Maybe not by far, but they are the most talented team -- especially offensively. And they've been playing together for two years. We'll have a tough game against them. Hopefully we'll play well, learn and have a chance to beat them at the end." 

Posted on: January 27, 2012 12:10 pm

Podcast: Pat Forde makes his podcast debut

By Matt Norlander

I'm humbled to bring on, for the first time, Yahoo Sports national college columnist Pat Forde. He's freed himself from the shackles of covering college football, mostly, and so he can now fully indulge in our sport. Glad to have him and today's pod is a breeze of a listen. We swap new-job stories, apologize to Frank Haith and get a sneak peek at the best late-night places to go in New Orleans.

If you aren't already, give him a follow on Twitter.

Here's what we hit on:
  • From the beginning: How Pat covers hoops in the season -- football season. We also get into his job switch from ESPN.com to Yahoo Sports, and how he celebrated the move.
  • 6:52: The sport lacking that national conversation, those outstanding stars and having some transcendence right now. Normally this has been the case the past 12 years in college hoops, but we hoped/expected for more this year.
  • 11:30: I remember the night Frank Haith was hired at Missouri. I also remember Pat ordering a round of drinks -- for himself. Now the Tigers are really good and Pat wants to say he's sorry.
  • 17:40: Moving on to Indiana, most specifically, if the Hoosiers have put their best basketball behind them this season.
  • 20:29: Pat's one of the few national guys, along with Parrish, to have seen Murray State in person. He shares his impressions and brings up why they're similar to Indiana State, the same Indiana State that made the 1979 national championship game. Of course, there is no Larry Bird here.
  • 24:20: Right now a lot of low- and mid-major teams that are undefeated in conference and seem to be setting themselves up to have very, very strong years in league play. I think this means we'll have a minimum of three non-BCS teams in the Sweet 16 this year, probably more.
  • 28:15: Pat's got quite a few recommendations for places to go in New Orleans for the Final Four. Yes, I'm already excited.

Again, I thank you for taking the time to listen to the podcast--whenever you can. I ask that you, if you like what we're doing here, encourage like-minded hoopheads to subscribe in Tunes as well. Guests like Jay Bilas, Seth Davis, they're the guys who make me sound better and make the podcast worthwhile. The other guys? Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman, they really make it entertaining, and of course you can count on our trio show each Wednesday. The RSS feed is another way to keep the podcasts coming to you ASAP. We've got a Zune download link as well.

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Posted on: January 23, 2012 12:39 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 12:57 pm

North Carolina's new backup point: Stilman White

By Jeff Goodman

Stilman White. 

Yes, Stilman White. That's who Roy Williams will give first crack at getting Dexter Strickland's minutes as Kendall Marshall's backup point guard. 

Strickland tore his ACL last week and is done for the season -- which essentially means that the Tar Heels don't have a backup point guard. This could be critical at some point in the NCAA tournament if the Tar Heels -- the preseason favorites -- are to cut down the nets in New Orleans. 

"We're going to try and give Stilman time there," Williams said on Monday. "We'll see how that works out." 

White is a mid-major recruit from Wilmington, N.C., that has logged a grand total of 65 minutes thus far in his UNC career. 

Losing Strickand is costly in two primary areas: He's the team's top perimeter defender and also only legit backup floor leader. Williams said he'll move Reggie Bullock into the starting lineup in place of Strickland, which should help offensively -- especially in terms of spacing. 

"Reggie deserves it," Williams said.

However, while Bullock has improved significantly on the defensive end, he's still no Strickland. Williams said that Strickland averaged about three minutes per half in spelling Marshall at the point.  

The alternative isn't pretty: It's Harrison Barnes, Bullock or P.J. Hairston. 

"It's a big-time loss," Williams said of losing Strickland. 

One that isn't getting nearly enough attention. 

Posted on: January 20, 2012 7:51 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2012 7:57 pm

Dexter Strickland done for season with torn ACL

By Jeff Borzello

North Carolina took a big blow to its championship hopes on Friday when the Tar Heels announced that starting guard Dexter Strickland was done for the season with a torn ACL.

Strickland suffered the injury in Thursday’s win over Virginia Tech, when he planted going up for a shot early in the second half (pictured to the right). After the game, he said he didn’t think anything popped but it was sore. North Carolina said his knee would be looked at when they returned to Chapel Hill.

Strickland, a 6-foot-3 junior from New Jersey, is the team’s best perimeter defender and the Tar Heels’ backup point guard to Kendall Marshall. He was averaging 7.5 points and 2.1 assists, shooting 57 percent from the field.

He is the second North Carolina guard to be lost for the season. Over the summer, junior Leslie McDonald tore his ACL and will miss the entire campaign. McDonald recently decided he would take a redshirt this season.

Without Strickland, North Carolina will have to rely heavily on the duo of Reggie Bullock and P.J. Hairston. Both are more prolific scorers than Strickland, and are the two best shooters in the backcourt, but the Tar Heels will miss Strickland’s defense and ball-handling ability.

Photo: US Presswire

Posted on: January 18, 2012 10:02 am

Podcast: Burning down the house

By Matt Norlander

The hump day pod has the normal dynamic duo of Parrish and Goodman on again, but this one's different from others in that, we're not as jump-to-different-topic-minded. The discussion is very conversational, and we sort of get to stretch out on a few big, mainstream points in hoops right now.

Goodman did this from the terminal of an airport, but fortunately the intercom system doesn't interject too much. He also did this on about 13 hours of sleep in four days. Trooper, that guy.

Speaking of troopers, the police -- well, just get to listening to the podcast to find out.

  • From the beginning: Watch out. You might get what you're after ... Gary's house almost burned down. So that's going to take a few minutes.
  • 8:25: Baylor-Kansas, though we're 36 hours removed, gets first dibs on hoops topics. This is an elongated discussion that goes a few different places. "I'm not sold on this Baylor team being a Final Four-caliber team," Goodman says.
  • 20:22: Thought we discussed UNC plenty on the Monday podcast with Borzello, Goodman in particular wanted his chance to address everything regarding "soft" North Carolina right now. Again, we hit a number of tentacles on this beast.
  • 31:41: The conversation shift to Syracuse, who deserves some of our time, no doubt. We get into them. I think they're going to the Final Four, barring something pretty shocking. My confidence is that high.

Continued thanks from me to you for keep coming back and listening. Please: spread the word. Hoops season is ramping up, and I'd love more hate mail. Spread this page and the iTunes subscription link to anyone you'd think would like this sort of think. We post three times per week, with the Wednesday show being a low-rent sitcom wannabe of a half hour, thanks to CBSSports.com national writers Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman Skyping in their opinions. The RSS feed is another way to keep the podcasts coming to you ASAP. We've got a Zune download link as well.

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Posted on: January 14, 2012 5:09 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2012 5:17 pm

Guess who loses on the road? Almost everybody

By Gary Parrish

My colleague Jeff Borzello wrote earlier about the difficulty of winning away games because he knew we were about to start a Saturday featuring nine ranked teams playing unranked teams on the road, and we all knew at least one of them (and probably more) would take a loss.

How'd we know, you ask?

Because it happens every weekend.

Ranked teams lose to unranked teams on the road with great regularity. It's as much a part of the sport as recruiting scandals and Dick Vitale. And though I realize everybody knows this and basicaly accepts it as a fact of life, I do wonder if most fans truly understand just how difficult it is to win away games.

The proof is in the details.

Consider that the four Final Four participants (Connecticut, Butler, Kentucky and VCU) combined to go 23-24 in true road games last season, and that the 2010 national champion (Duke) finished 5-5 in true road games. Translation: Even the best often struggle away from home, and only elite power-conference schools (North Carolina in 2009 comes to mind) regularly avoid the upsets most cannot.

So fans of No. 18 Kansas State can be upset with that loss at unranked Oklahoma. And fans of No. 13 Michigan can be upset with that loss at unranked Iowa. And fans of No. 7 Michigan State can be upset with that loss at unranked Northwestern. And fans of No. 3 North Carolina can be upset with that loss at unranked Florida State (especially since it was so lopsided). They're all losses and fans hate to lose. So I understand. But the reality is that these types of losses, in this sport, just kinda happen. Sometimes, sure, they represent a sign that a team might be as overrated as the cliched chant suggests. But in most cases, honestly, it's just the price you pay for going on the road.
Posted on: January 14, 2012 4:46 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2012 4:53 pm

FSU delivers epic, dominating home upset of UNC

By Matt Norlander

This was about as grand of a that-came-out-of-nowhere blowout as you could expect in college basketball. Indeed, Florida State was at home, but home games cannot account for curb-stompings like this, not when FSU’s best prior win to this was against Virginia Tech earlier this week — and Tech isn’t a tournament team. You want the next-best in line on FSU’s resume? I’ll let you pick. UMass, Loyola Marymount, Auburn.

Deividas Dulkys had the game of his life in what could amount to one of the most surprising results of this season. (AP)

Yeah, that’s what Leonard Hamilton’s group had proven so far this season. Then the ’Noles came out and power-washed North Carolina to death, 90-57. As of this post's publishing, there are still co-eds cluttered about the floor at the Donald L. Tucker Center after the monsoon of a court-storm. Few had Florida State winning. Not even Tim Tebow had FSU by 33 points.

Florida State, which is offensively challenged in a lot of ways, averages 70 points per game, or at least it did before today. It went against so many of the terrible, slow, frustrating offensive principles it's played badly for up until now. So many facets to this beatdown weren’t foreseeable. In fact, I think it will go down as one of the five most surprising results of the season — because I don’t think UNC loses another game by double digits the rest of the way and I'm still not sure, come mid-March, FSU is an NCAA tournament team.

Among the game's best/surprising storylines, consider the biggest performance, which came from FSU senior guard Deividas Dulkys, who (averaging six points per game) was playing some of the worst basketball of his career heading into this one. He was 5-for-29 from deep in his last nine games. He scored 32 points in that run. He had 32 today! He was 8-of-10 from 3-point range and paced Florida State to an offensive performance that, sorry, won’t be duplicated this season by the Seminoles.  

A great job overall by Hamilton’s club, who in one game immediately altered its reputation, earning yet another huge win on its home floor. In the past five years, FSU’s had five wins against highly ranked teams in Tallahassee. They certainly know how to get up for the biggest games.

But they’d never been so good against a team so “great” before. God, I still can’t believe the quit I saw in North Carolina. I tried to lead with FSU because when you beat the third-ranked team at home, I think so much credit should go to the team that whoops and doesn't let up. FSU has ways to go to solidify itself in the at-large discussion, but you can’t knock on the door any harder to get into that room than the way FSU did today.

But UNC's the bigger story nationally, naturally. Its lack of toughness and abundance of carelessness was the most glaring factor to this game. For all the surprise and trend-bucking that took place, North Carolina’s lack of will was, forget out of character, it was out of species. The Heels didn’t fight back. How many loose-ball battles did FSU win? At least 10 by my unofficial eye count. UNC merely trailed by eight at the half, then decided to slow their chase once Florida State had a few more shots fall and took a few more rebounds and turned them into points.

There will be some controversy due to Roy Williams getting all of his coaches and players who were on the bench into the locker room with about 15 seconds remaining, but that's not what we should be discussing. First of all, the idea was Hamilton's, so the incoming rush of warm, teenage bodies didn't pin down UNC's team for 10 minutes. Secondly, Williams is a smart, smart man. He really is. He's one of the best at distracting the discussion from a team loss to something more trivial. When UNC got pounced by UNLV in November, the conversation was as much about Williams' anger over UNC fans selling their seats behind the bench as it was about the Heels taking an early surprising loss.

Let's not make it about that. Let's make it about a team seen as a title-contender getting outscored by 33 points. Championship-winning teams do not get beat by 33 points. Right now, UNC isn't a championship team. It wants to be one, it can be one, but it looked unlike anything I'd seen before from a Williams-coached team this afternoon.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com