Monday, February 14, 2005

20 Wins ... Finally

When the Tarheels beat UConn yesterday, it was their first 20-win season in four years (Four years? God, that's a long time -- and I was reminded of those dark days Saturday night when I watched part of the UCLA-UA game and saw Brian Morrison promptly have a pass ricochet of his hands and go out of bounds. That brought back a flood of memories). After halftime, the game wasn't particularly exciting -- even given the fact that both Jackie Manuel and David Noel were sick and Melvin Scott and Reyshawn Terry got more playing time as a result. Still, UConn might be the biggest, most physical team UNC has played all season and the fact that the game was never really in question despite the Huskies having close to 20 blocks (to UNC's 1) is pretty impressive.

I also enjoyed watching the Duke/Maryland game Saturday night. It's funny how this team struggles when they don't get the same calls they get at Cameron. In fact, things got so bad, Duke played the overtime with Randolph, Williams, Melchionni and Ewing on the bench because of foul trouble. That left J.J. Redick, Sean Dockery, DeMarcus Nelson, and two white guys who hadn't seen the floor since senior year of high school to try and pull out a victory.
"Foul trouble was our problem, not bench depth," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said.
Actually, I think there's some correlation between foul trouble and bench depth, but I also thought that Jay Williams would be a great pro, so what do I know. Either way, it's always good to see Duke lose. Oh yeah, one more thing: when Nik Caner-Medley isn't the goofiest guy on the floor -- by about four or five guys -- that says a lot about Duke's program. Solid.

Well, the Pro Bowl has come and gone and the best news coming out of Hawaii isn't that Hines Ward scored two TD's, or that the Bus is 50/50 on his return next season, but instead that no one got hurt. I'm not going to say that the Pro Bowl is the worst professional all-star game (I think they're all pretty awful), but I'm always a bit concerned when Hines Ward is playing special teams and throwing his body around like a rag doll.

Which reminds me ...

If Cowher were smart, he should have played all the Patriots Pro Bowlers for the entire game. Let Tom Brady try his hand at defensive tackle; let Adam Vinatieri return a few kickoffs, or play linebacker, and let's see what Tedy Bruschi can do running a crossing pattern. I mean, why not? What's the worst that can happen? Just a thought.