ACC Tourney Live Blog, Day 3
Chronicling the ACC’s best down at the Dome.
by DeMarco Williams
The proverbial hat goes off to the ACC’s young men for yesterday’s overall performances. Three games decided by three points or less anda coming-out party for Maryland have set the bar extremely high for today’s action. Still, with enticing match-ups between UNC and FSU and Maryland and Duke on the rainy afternoon slate, it shouldn’t be hard to duplicate. Let’s see how they do…
Game 9: No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 4 Florida State
-Though the crowd’s about 75/25 in the baby blue’s favor, the Seminoles don’t look the least bit fazed. They come out fired up, 6-2 with 18:45 to go.
-There’s no Ty Lawson again. That means Bobby Frasor has the unenviable task of “guarding” Nole Toney Douglas. Good luck with that. 15:59 to go in the 1st andDouglashasfour. An FSU fan behind me yells “Mismatch!” every time the two are eye-to-eye. Score: 8-8.
-Wayne Ellington with a nice scoop. Larry Drew with the nice no-look to Ed Davis. The Heels with the nice early run. 12-8 with 14:16 to go.
-Ellington sets Davis up for a nice slam but the kid can’t finish. Ouch. FSU’s Ryan Reid and Ellington then go up for a loose ball and there’s a slight collision. Ouch again. Still 12-8.
-Tar Heel Deon Thompson gets the emphatic slam. Haven’t talked about the Cali junior much this week. He’s been out there; just has yet to separate himself from the forward pack. Maybe today will be the day.
-Nole Solomon Alabi is doing a job with Tyler Hansbrough. The latter’s got four, but he’s worked big time for those. Alabi has six. 18-12 Carolina.
-Reid with a clean J. Ellington combats it with one of his own. Reid follows that with a nice put-back. 21-19 UNC with 5:24 to go.
*Wi-Fi goes down…*
-Man, my wi-fi caught the vapors for about 20 minutes there. Sorry, mom. (She’s not the only one reading this, is she?)
-The score was 32-29 Carolina at the half. Now it’s 40-38 Noles, after a flurry of Douglas buckets. He’s got 18.
-The internet is acting crazy… Now, all of a sudden, a set of lights go out in the Dome. It’s not dark or anything, but you can clearly see a difference. The refs are talking about it now. 45-45 with 13:57 to go.
-Douglas with another three. Deividas Dulkys with his own… UNC’s Danny Green would kill for one point.
-There’s a great clash between the opposing fans when one side goes “Tar! Heels!” and the other does the “tomahawk chop.” It’s loud. It’s crazy. It’s March!
-Thompson is playing a solid game. I thought he might today. He’s got 10.
-After a made Ellington free throw, it’s 55-53 FSU with 9:52 to go.
-Alabi just hacked Psycho T for his third foul. I figure he’ll stay pretty physical though.
-FSU’s Derwin Kitchen and Douglas (23 pts) make huge buckets. The atmosphere has turned up a notch this second half. 60-57 Noles.
-Green’s struggles continue. Ball off his leg.
-FSU fan: “Yeeeees! We got a foul call!” after a rare whistle in UNC’s direction. The Heels have five team fouls. The Noles have eight. I’m just sayin’…
-Hey, if there’s one thing I can say about Green it’s that he ain’t lettin’ the cold spell keep him from firing it up. There goes another clank.
-The Tar Heels get the lead down to two and the stands go nuts. The noise has this crazy effect on Toney Douglas though, who demands the ball, shoots it and scores his 25th.
-FSU’s Chris Singleton knocks down a long one. The refs don’t know if it’s a two or three. They discuss. It’s a two.
-Hansbrough (22 pts) picks up his fourth foul. Uh-oh…
-Frasor dribbles. Forgot he was in the game. He’s been pretty insignificant today. He has a decent look but passes it to Ellington. Smart move. Wayne drills it. 66-65 FSU with 3:33 to go.
-Singleton hits another long one. A no-doubt three this time.
-Ellington is having a super Saturday. His season high is 34 against Maryland back on Feb 3. He probably won’t get that, but I’m sure he’s okay with today’s 24-point output.
-Singleton’s done. Five fouls. Seven points. Two rebounds. One spot on the bench.
-Green makes two big free throws! Douglas misses a baseline floater! What is this, Bizarro ACC? 69-69 with 1:03 to go.
-The jumbotron pans to Toney’s bro, Harry Douglas, who knows a thing or three about the Georgia Dome. He’s a sure-handed wideout with the Atlanta Falcons.
-Toney’s fouled. Makes them both, of course. 71-70 FSU.
-Kitchen’s fouled. Makes them both too. 73-70 now. Mere ticks left.
-Doesn’t matter. The Tar Heels can’t capitalize on either of their final two attempts. The Noles are going to the ACC final, 73-70. There goes UNC’s hopes of a No. 1 seed, right? How about Florida State as a solid No. 3 or 4 now?
-Ryan Reid during the post-game interviews: “I thought it was going to come down to free throws and when there was one minute left, I was like we just got to keep making free throws. We were in the bonus, so we just had to keep making free throws. Thank God Toney knocked down two free throws at the end. He is a clutch guy, man. I like that.”
-Toney Douglas: “We came a long way since the preseason with six new guys coming in. But I think that we’re still hungry. we never end up being satisfied, so we have to keep taking it one game at a time like we have been doing the whole year, and go from there.”
Game 10: No. 7 Maryland vs. No. 3 Duke
-Game time. One quick thing: Coach K is in his 34th year with the Dukies. Woooow.
-Duke’s Gerald Henderson wasn’t hitting much during warm-ups. That continues with him missing his first attempt.
-Experiencing a game at Cameron Indoor is on my sports bucket list. All the chants and synchronized clamoring at the Dome is great. I can only imagine what Durham is like.
-When Maryland’s looking to inboundtheballnear the Duke band, the area starts screaming “Ball! Ball!” as if they’re one of the Terrapin players. Nobody’s gonna fall for it, sure. But it is kinda creative stuff.
-Adrian Bowie, The Terps’ lightning-quick guard, has an early four points. Maryland will need all the help it can get from him. Star Greivis Vasquez won’t be able to do it all. 7-2 Terps early on.
-It’s 12-11 Duke with 12:34 to go in the 1st, but it’s been a pretty blah half.
-Vasquez is doing a lot of aggressive talking towards the refs. He’s gotta cool it. But hey, his coach is the forever fiery Gary Williams.
-Duke’s Nolan Smith is going for his today. Been a fan of the dude since his junior year of high school. Hate how injuries (and Greg Paulus) have kept him off the court more. He’s got five right now. 18-13 Duke with 8:41 to go.
-Vasquez takes his focus off the zebras and puts it on the basket. Sound decision. Drains one. Has seven. 18-16 now. 7:06 before the break.
*Another wi-fi meltdown. Getting. Very. Annoyed.*
-Back now. 32-30 Duke at the midway point.
-The ACC honored some of the past greats during the break of the day’s first game. Folks like Boston College’s Danya Abrams, Georgia Tech’s Brian Oliver and Duke’s Jim Spanarkel were a few of the honorees. Florida State legend Ron King was another. He just walked by me. His suit, a burgundy, Dolemite-inspired number, was quite the site. Here he is wearing one similar.
-Henderson just can’t get it going. Two more misses. He’s 2-for-10 out there.
-Maryland’s legs still look good. They’re challenging shots and getting to loose balls. Maybe they can wear Singler and Co. down over the next 15 minutes. One-point game.
-This guy beside me is driving me crazy. He’s constantly moving in his seat and looking around aimlessly. The game’s over here, dude.
-Scheyer’s fouled from way back. Three shots. There’s one… two… three. 40-34 Duke.
-Bowie blurs down court for a lay-up. It may have taken three seconds. 40-37.
-Nolan Smith makes it a five-point game. 12 minutes to go.
-Terp Dino Gregory tries to follow-up a teammate’s miss withaput-back slam. Comes up just short. Still gets a round of Oooohs from Turtle Nation.
-B.I.G. rebound from Singler. They can’t do anything with it though.
-Another writer just asked for my thoughts on Greivis Vasquez. Hey, what’s not to like? He’s animated. He’s fearless. He’s deceptively quick. He’s got a decent jumpshot.
-Nine minutes left. The Crazies are getting vocal, trying to rally their troops. Henderson feels the love. Drains a long one. 47-41 Devils.
-Scheyer dials long distance. Bang! Could have easily been a four-point play. 50-43 with 7:24 to go.
-The Blue Devil mascot has “Fear the WHAT?” taped across his forehead, clearly mocking UM’s “Fear the Turtle” mantra. I’m with the Devil on this one. Have you EVER cringed because a turtle was nearby. I don’t care if he can hit a 12-footer.
-Scheyer goes in. Scores again. He’s got 19 now. 52-43 Duke with 6:14 remaining. This one might be getting out of hand for Maryland. Fear the pending blowout!
-Duke’s David McClure with the lay-up. Fouled too. Place explodes. He misses the free throw. Semi buzz-kill. Still, the score’s 56-45 Devils.
-The Terps have to keep this close. A big lose might not look so good to any undecideds left on the selection committee- though I do think they’ve already stamped their ticket with yesterday’s win over No. 9 Wake.
-Duke fans call Gerald Henderson “G.” Not really creative there. G’s got just eight today. 57-48 with 2:52 remaining.
-Singler with another board, his 10th. Couple that with 14 points.
-Who is Eric Hayes? Right now, he’s the only reason Maryland’s still got life in this one. Big, big three just then. 61-55 Duke with 47 seconds to go.
-Scheyer’s back at the line. Fan behinds me yells, “Finish it!” He may have with two makes.
-Nolan’s turn at the stripe. Misses the first. Makes the second.
-65-59 after Scheyer’s 1-for-2.
-Hayes does it again. Dude’s got 20.
-Doesn’t matter since the Devils are making their free throws. Smith knocks down two more.
-Hayes doesn’t have any more miracle shots left today. Final: 67-61 Duke.
-So, for tomorrow’s ACC final, we have Florida State (25-8) against these Blue Devils (27-6). The Noles are 0-2 against Duke this year, so expect them to come out absolutely fired up. Should be fun.