CHAPEL HILL, NC - OK this is my third blog looking ahead to the Carolina game. Enough already?! Hey, this time there’s actually something coming. In about an hour. It’s called tip-off, and if you care to join me I’ll blog some during the game.
I’m in the innards of the Dean Dome as I type, wondering if the car I borrowed from an old friend of mine to drive over here will be in the same shape as I left it. The old friend of mine is a Duke grad, and I noticed as I was walking past the back end, that she’s got a “Duke Alumni” license plate holder thing. Let’s hope nobody gets any crazy ideas walking past it, or I’ll some explaining to do when I get back to her house tonight!
I did notice it’s a little different walking into a game here two hours early than at say Virginia. Fans were lined up out the door as I walked past into the media entrance. I’d expect it to be electric in here today as the fans try to rally their team from two losses in three games (Clemson and C of C). That is, unless Tech can establish the pace, take a lead, and quiet them down.
A tall order, considering Tech has lost its last two road games at Virginia and at Georgia, and had to withstand a serious late push at Charlotte. And Tech has lost its last 12 games at the Dean Dome, dating back to 1996.
I just spoke with a North Carolina writer who emphasized that the Tar Heels will come out in this game and look to pound, pound, pound it inside, after getting embarrassed by Clemson on Wednesday. In that game, post players Deon Thompson and Ed Davis combined for a total of eight points, each scoring 4 points on 2-of-4 shooting. And neither one attempted a free throw. Wow.
So I’d imagine Roy Williams has had a thing or two to say about that in practice the past few days, and that Tech should see a team today dedicated to getting it down low. That’s something Tech could take a lesson or two on as well. And something you’d expect Tech to try to do today too.
It is interesting, at least on paper, how many similarities these teams have, in terms of where their strengths and weaknesses lie.
Without Tyler Zellner coming off the bench today – Carolina’s top reserve in the post is out four to six weeks with a stress fracture in his foot, which was announced on Friday – Carolina will go to the Wear twins. That’s Travis Wear and David Wear, identical twins, who wear mirror-image numbers – Travis is 43, David is 34.
We’ll try to keep it all straight, and keep you informed as we go.