Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Blog Divided

363 days out of the year, John and I get along great. But it's about time we came clean about something. While we both love the Steelers, we fall on opposite sides of another heated rivalry. Possibly one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports.

Yes, I'll admit it, I am a Duke fan. I have been ever since I started watching college basketball at a young age. The first college game I ever watched was the Final Four game where Christian Laettner hit "the shot" against Kentucky. Can you blame a toddler for being amazed by that shot and deciding to be a Duke fan? Well, if so, then I can take your criticism. I've been a Duke fan for nearly 20 years, and I'm not about to change my mind now.

John, on the other hand, is a Carolina fan.

Carolina has owned Duke recently, and if Duke plays like they did this past week against Clemson and Miami, they are going to get killed. Duke has been settling for outside shots, have absolutely no inside presence, and have been sloppy in their ball-handling.

Carolina on the other hand, has been on a hot streak since falling to Wake Forest. Carolina has had to deal with some injuries, namely defensive standout Marcus Ginyard and freshman Tyler Zeller. However, Carolina boasts last year's National Player of the Year Tyler Hansbrough and a stellar point guard in Ty Lawson that can slice and dice with the best of them.

Carolina has won 5 of the last 7 meetings, including 3 in a row at Cameron. Duke's offense just isn't clicking right now and Carolina is on a roll. As much as it pains me as a Duke fan to say this, I think Carolina is going to win.

Ian's Prediction: UNC 78-72

John's Prediction: UNC 87-74

Compounding Duke's recent struggles is the fact that the Tar Heels have really ratcheted up their defense recently, as well as started making their free throws. This game will be much closer than my predicted score would lead you to believe.

1 comment:

Badmon3333 said...

Ohhhh no. Duke is not the team for a fan of the Workingman's Squad, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now, I'll grant you, Carolina may not be, either, but I tend to frame this argument in terms of the NBA.

Kryzeszewski is a great coach, no question, and it's great that so many of his players graduate, blah blah blah. But when you really boil it down - and in spite of that NCAA commercial about "we're all majoring in something other than sports" - just about every college hoops player wants to go pro.

UNC is an NBA factory. Jordan, Worthy, Jamison, Perkins, May, Felton, Hansbrough, you can just go on and on and on. Dean Smith had a fantastic program AND was coaching players not just for college but for the pros. Coach K has his players play his game, and it might be successful at the college level, but you can almost count the big-time Duke pros on two hands.

And you can try to argue that UNC has a better talent pool to work with, and that might be true. But I'd argue that Coach K has just figured out how to succeed with a team of primarily white kids (AND how to do it without resorting to gimmicky shit like the Princeton Back-Door Cut, that only works for about a year).

Some of Duke's best players (Hurley, Wojo) ended up on the bench next to Coach K. And yeah, they might SAY it's what they wanted all along, but I doubt it.

Let's go 'Heels.