Sunday, February 28, 2016
Notes From Carmichael 1.9 and 1.10
1.9 - NC State, Feb 21. We watched an incredibly janky video feed of Carolina "at" State a few weeks ago. (While they renovate Reynolds Coliseum, the Wolfpack are playing their home games in a Raleigh high school gym, and the tape looked exactly like a junior AV club production of a sporting event.) In retrospect, it was just as well the contrast was fuzzy and the camera didn't always track correctly. State crushed the Heels 78-49, completely dismantling them in the second half. We were hopeful a rematch at home might turn the tables, but despite Steph cranking out 30 points and 13 rebounds and Des and Jamie each scoring 13, the Wolfpack overwhelmed Carolina again. They out-shot us 43.8% to 32.1% from the field and killed us on the glass at both ends. Besides Steph's bonkers outing, the one other flashing moment of brightness in the gloom came from 'Dea, who made one of the most freakishly athletic plays I've seen all season. She went airborne to block a shot in the paint, came down for a fraction of an instant, and then somehow sprang right back up again to block a second attempt. I mean, she didn't even need to bend her knees on the second block, she just pinged off the floor like it was a trampoline. It was incredible. That lady is a goddess, y'all.
1.10 - Duke, February 28. It was Senior Day today, and the reality of not watching 'Dea and Erika next season hit me hard during the pregame ceremony. (It got a little dusty in Carmichael for a second, is all I'm saying.) It was also Sylvia Hatchell's 64th birthday, and it pains me to say she did not have a happy one. I don't even really want to write about it. Duke has had a fairly mediocre season, but they are huge and athletic and they shot the holy hell out of the ball today. The first half, and particularly the second quarter, was nearly flawless for the Blue Devils. They moved the ball, forced turnovers, essentially doubled the Heels' FG%, and went 7-14 from deep. By contrast, Carolina couldn't buy a bucket or a stop all afternoon. The game was over at halftime and the indignity only worsened as the margin blew out down the stretch. The game, and the season, came to an end 93-57. It was a rough year.
There's still the ACC Tournament, and a chance to maybe tilt the scales of that aforementioned 4-12 conference record back to a more favorable ratio. We'll be watching. Go Heels.