Tag:North Carolina
Posted on: November 12, 2011 9:51 am

Photo album: Carrier Classic

By Matt Norlander

It shows you how great last night was, when you consider the fact the game was a stinker. But no one seemed to care about that. The incredible views and television production and -- most importantly -- massive nod and acknowledgment to our country's veterans were the takeaways from Friday night. (Here's Parrish's take.)

The photos? So great. I sent an hour hunting through the three major photo dens at Associated Press, Getty Images and US PRESSWIRE. I could've loaded this post with about 30 photos, but I went with the 16 most notable I saw. I the fifth-to-last one may be my favorite.

Photos: AP, US PRESSWIRE, Getty Images
Posted on: November 11, 2011 9:46 pm
Edited on: November 11, 2011 9:54 pm

UNC rolls in special game on special night

By Gary Parrish

USS CARL VINSON -- An official had just made another questionable call, North Carolina had just taken a double-digit lead, and Tom Izzo, who was happily signing autographs for military personnel five minutes before tip, was now in midseason form and fuming.

"Stop helping them!" Izzo yelled. "They don't need any help!"

In other words, they're the top-ranked Tar Heels.

They'll be fine on their own.

And they were -- proof being Friday's eventual 67-55 victory over Michigan State in what was the most unique basketball game most of us have ever witnessed. It was played aboard the USS Carl Vinson with President Barack Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama seated at midcourt, and with a host of celebrities (Brooklyn Decker, Pam Anderson), former Tar Heels (James Worthy, Tyler Hansbrough) and former Spartans (Magic Johnson, Shannon Brown) sprinkled throughout the massive aircraft carrier.

Was it a perfect night?


The court was slippery.

And it got really cold during the second half.

But strictly in terms of pageantry and patriotism, I can't imagine you can do better than watching two high-profile programs and Hall of Fame coaches participate in a basketball game on Veteran's Day atop the ship that buried Osama bin Laden's body, while the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean and American flags flap in a typical November breeze. It really was special and beautiful. Cold. But special and beautiful.

"It's the neatest thing," UNC coach Roy Williams said, "that I've ever been a part of."
Posted on: November 10, 2011 1:04 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2011 1:06 pm

Time-lapse vid of Carrier Classic transformation

By Matt Norlander

I feel the need, the need for speed-themed videos.

Time-lapse mini films have become instant viral feed in the past 12 months. There are plenty of really great ones out there, but over time, there's a diminishing-returns factor to them. No matter, I was wondering how the metamorphosis of a 60,000-ton ship into a basketball venue would take place. Someone was smart enough to perch a camera a few hundred feet above the USS Carl Vinson and document to slow-but-speedy transformation.

Lots of cranes, forklifts, the usual. The day/night turnover is also fun. The court looks a little more blasé than I'd expected, but this is a game taking place to honor our military, so it's appropriate to go straight-laced.


Posted on: November 9, 2011 12:38 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2011 12:54 pm

Here's how the USS Carl Vinson will look

By Gary Parrish

The Carrier Classic is just a little more than 48 hours away.

I'm going.

I can't wait.

And that's rare for me because, in my jaded eyes, most basketball games are, at this point in my career, just basketball games -- 40-minute contests that come and go. Somebody plays well. One coach messes up. A kid hits a big shot. Whatever. I watch. I write. I forget about it shortly thereafter with few exceptions. But this is different. I'm genuinely anxious to get to San Diego and board the USS Carl Vinson. It's the same carrier that was used to bury Osama bin Laden's body at sea earlier this year. On it I'll watch two Hall of Fame coaches and the nation's top-ranked team. President Obama will be there, too.

Simply put, this is pretty neat.

But, I must say, it's really not as complicated as some seem to think.

I've gotten lots of questions about this game from friends over the past few weeks, and some are dumbfounded by how this will work. Among the things I've been asked is whether they can put stands on an aircraft carrier. My reply: "They put aircrafts on aircraft carriers! Yes, they can probably put some bleachers on there, too." And in the spirit of clearing things up, let me tell you that no players are going to fall into the Pacific Ocean chasing a loose ball. And the game won't be rained out, either. If it rains -- and there's only a 10 percent chance of rain, according to weather.com -- the contest will simply be moved inside of a hangar that is also on the aircraft carrier. Not sure why this is so hard to understand, but aircraft carriers are massive; this one has a flightdeck area that spans 4.5 acres. Again, they land planes -- lots and lots of planes -- on these things. Putting a couple of basketball courts -- one outside and another inside -- really isn't that big of a deal.

Don't believe me?

Click this link to checkout the setup, courtesy of USA Today.

It looks pretty cool.

I'll be Tweeting from there soon enough.

Graphic via USA Today
Posted on: November 7, 2011 11:32 am
Edited on: November 7, 2011 11:39 am

Naismith Preseason Top 50 - Early Edition

By Jeff Goodman

The Naismith Preseason List will be released this afternoon, but CBSSports.com has obtained a bootleg copy of it (OK, not really - but that sounds cool).

Anyway, the major difference between the Naismith and the Wooden (and why I prefer the Naismith) is that it includes freshmen.

There were seven frosh on the Preseason list: Three from Kentucky (Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague), Brad Beal (Florida), Andre Drummond (UConn), Quincy Miller (Baylor) and Austin Rivers (Duke).

Two teams - North Carolina and Kentucky - have four players on the list. UConn, Ohio State and Vandy each have a trio.

Here is the complete list:


Tim Abromaitis, F, Sr., Notre Dame
Harrison Barnes, F, Soph., North Carolina
Will Barton, G, Soph., Memphis
Brad Beal, G, Fr., Florida
William Buford, G, Sr., Ohio State
Aaron Craft, G, Soph., Ohio State
Anthony Davis, F, Fr., Kentucky
Marcus Denmon, G, Sr., Missouri
Andre Drummond, C, Fr., UConn
Festus Ezeli, C, Sr., Vanderbilt
Ashton Gibbs, G, Sr., Pittsburgh
Michael Glover, F, Sr., Iona
Drew Gordon, F, Sr., New Mexico
Draymond Green, F, Sr., Michigan State
JaMychal Green, F, Sr., Alabama
Tim Hardaway Jr., G, Soph., Michigan
Elias Harris, F, Jr., Gonzaga
John Henson, F, Jr., North Carolina
Tu Holloway, G, Sr., Xavier
Robbie Hummel, F, Sr., Purdue
Joe Jackson, G, Soph., Memphis
John Jenkins, G, Soph., Vanderbilt
Orlando Johnson, G, Sr., UC Santa Barbara
Darius Johnson-Odom, G, Sr., Marquette
Perry Jones III, F, Soph., Baylor
Terrence Jones, F, Soph., Kentucky
Kevin Jones, F, Sr., West Virginia
Kris Joseph, F, Sr., Syracuse
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, F, Fr., Kentucky
Jeremy Lamb, G, Soph., UConn
Kendall Marshall, G, Soph., North Carolina
Ray McCallum, G, Soph., Detroit
Doug McDermott, F, Soph., Creighton
Khris Middleton, F, Jr., Texas A&M
Quincy Miller, F, Fr., Baylor
Reeves Nelson, F, Jr., UCLA
Andrew Nicholson, F, Sr., St. Bonaventure
Alex Oriakhi, C, Jr., UConn
Austin Rivers, G, Fr., Duke
Thomas Robinson, F, Jr., Kansas
Terrence Ross, G, Soph., Washington
John Shurna, F, Sr., Northwestern
Peyton Siva, G, Jr., Louisville
Josh Smith, C, Soph., UCLA
Jared Sullinger, C, Soph., Ohio State
Jordan Taylor, G, Sr., Wisconsin
Jeffery Taylor, G/F, Sr., Vanderbilt
Marquis Teague, G, Fr., Kentucky
Patric Young, C, Soph., Florida
Tyler Zeller, F, Sr., North Carolina
Posted on: November 4, 2011 11:27 am

So this is what the Carrier Classic winner gets

By Matt Norlander

Was anyone really clamoring for a trophy to go along with the spectacle of the Carrier Classic?

Like it or not -- um, not is the verdict over here -- that hideous piece of hardware is going back to either East Lansing or Chapel Hill. Now, the cool part about the trophy is, it's made out of the same metal and wood that go into building an aircraft carrier. So that's a nice touch.

I guess it's equally as tasteful as it is ugly. I built prettier-looking things with Lego when I was 5. Don't get wrong here, I totally appreciate the craftsmanship, hard-working people and passion that went into this thing.

But what came out has the same amount of appeal as seeing Draymond Green in a bathing suit.

From QuickenLoansCarrierClassic.com, here's the story behind the trophy's genesis.
Created by the Newport News Shipbuilding division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, in Newport News, Va., the trophy is crafted from the same molten pewter that is used in the construction of ships. As a matter of fact, many of the materials and processes used to create the trophy are the exact same materials and processes used to build the very ship on which the game will be played. Let’s think about that for a second. The trophy that will be awarded to the winning team was created in the same manner that the ship they are playing on was.
The award weighs 85 pounds -- or half the volume of Roy Williams. Lifting it over one's head probably requires two spotters and a waiver to be filled out.

Here's a video on how it came to be. The game is one week from today, when the season starts in earnest.

Photo via QuickenLoansCarrierClassic.com

Posted on: October 31, 2011 2:53 pm
Edited on: October 31, 2011 2:59 pm

Which AP voters didn't vote for Barnes?

By Gary Parrish

Vote for an All-American team, you had to do two things:
  1. Put Jared Sullinger on it.
  2. Put Harrison Barnes on it, too.
After that, do whatever you like. Jordan Taylor, Tu Holloway or Kendall Marshall can be your point guard. You can take any combination of Terrence Jones, Anthony Davis, Perry Jones, Thomas Robinson and John Henson as your bigs. You can have John Jenkins or Austin Rivers as your scoring guard. You can use Jeremy Lamb and have two guards, two wings and a big. Anything within those guidelines is reasonable. But omitting Sullinger or Barnes is indefensible.

So guess what happened when the AP released it's All-American team on Monday?

It was revealed that two voters didn't have Barnes on their ballot.

I mean, he's still an AP All-American. (The team is Taylor, Lamb, Barnes, Jones and Sullinger.) But Barnes only received 63 of a possible 65 votes, which means two people who supposedly cover college basketball for a living didn't vote for the most talented player on the nation's most talented team despite the fact that Barnes averaged 24.7 points in the ACC tournament, 21.0 points in the NCAA tournament and 21.5 points over UNC's final 10 games. Yes, he got off to a slow start last season, but that was in his past by mid-February. The 6-foot-8 wing played like a star down the stretch, even got 40 in a win over Clemson, and there's no intelligent way to defend not including him on an All-American ballot.

But I'm willing to listen.

So if you're one of the two AP voters who didn't include Barnes, show yourself.

We'll give you space in this blog to explain the omission.

I wish you luck in advance.

Photo: AP
Posted on: October 28, 2011 7:26 pm
Edited on: October 29, 2011 1:12 pm

The Poll Attacks

By Gary Parrish

There are lots of ways to get in the Eye On College Basketball Blog. You can break a story. Or write something tremendous. But the easiest way is to submit a stupid AP ballot. Scott Wolf from the Los Angeles Daily News is proof.

(It's time to Poll Attack!)

---- Associated Press Preseason Poll Attacks -----

Let me put this simply: Scott Wolf is either joking or dumb.

There's no in between.

Because there's no rational argument to be made for anybody other than North Carolina (or maybe Kentucky) being ranked No. 1 this preseason, and that's just the first of many odd decisions on Wolf's ballot. He has Connecticut No. 1. I like the Huskies. They're talented. But they can't be ranked No. 1 ahead of an experienced and super-talented North Carolina team right now. That's silly. And Kansas at No. 3? Seriously? Kansas might not finish in the top three of the Big 12, and Bill Self is on record stating this team has more question marks than just about any team he's ever coached. Thomas Robinson should be great, and Tyshawn Taylor is solid. But four of the top five scorers from last season are gone, and half of the recruiting class didn't qualify. And yet Scott still has Kansas ranked third -- one spot ahead of North Carolina.

(Note: I texted Self, told him one voter had his team ranked ahead of North Carolina and asked for his thoughts on said voter. "He's nuts," Self replied, and that sums it up pretty well.)

Yes, Scott Wolf has the Tar Heels ranked fourth overall and one spot behind KU. It's nutty and absurd -- even more so than having Connecticut first. How can a team with four possible All-Americans and seven possible pros be ranked fourth? And how can Arizona be ranked sixth? Derrick Williams doesn't play for the the Wildcats anymore, you know? (That's why they were only picked third in the Pac-12's official preseason poll.)

Honestly, the whole thing is a mess from top to bottom.

You can look at it here.

Might be the worst ballot I've ever seen.

And let me be clear: I don't mind ballots that are different because this stuff is subjective, especially in October. But voters ought to be able to defend their choices with some sort of intelligent argument, and there's no way to defend this ballot with an intelligent argument ... unless, of course, the Morris Twins, Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers and Nick Collison are all back on KU's campus, and Self and I just haven't realized it yet.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com