Shrinking Bubbles

Today’s update is a bit late, so I’ll keep it a bit brief.
After my rant yesterday on the piss poor effort of the ACC’s middle tier, you should know that I wasn’t surprised at all that Duke won at Georgia Tech. In fact I even picked it.
The game was pretty horrid, but I was fortunate to watch just the good parts. I saw the whole first half, which was actually pretty fun with J.J. Redick and Jarrett Jack trading buckets and then just the last two minutes. The part I missed while putting the kids to bed must have been some Star Jones-ugly basketball. Georgia Tech managed just 22 points in the second half!
The key plays were the two threes that Lee Melchionni hit late and then the two offensive rebounds Duke got. On each of those boards, Tech would have had a chance to tie, but couldn’t get the ball. The second one was particularly egregious. Daniel Ewing had just missed the second of two free throws and Shelden Williams went right around the coniferous Luke Schenscher for the board. Did you know that you can tell which direction is north by looking at which side of Schenscher the moss is growing? It’s true!
Brief tangent here – it drove me nuts to hear Dick Vitale screaming about how Melchionni is a walk-on. I guess Vitale’s trying to show what a hard-worker Melchionni is and what a genius Krzyzewski is for using such an untalented player. The problem of course, is that Melchionni was NOT a walk-on. Not even close. No, he was a non-scholarship player for a year, which is a huge difference. Melchionni was ranked by some recruiting services as a top-100 player in high school. He wanted to go to Duke, but because of that bizarre 5-8 rule, the Blue Devils didn’t have enough scholarships to go around. Since Melchionni is well-off (his dad was head of a Duke alumni group and his sister already attended the school), he paid his own way for a year. He’s now on scholarship.
Very different from a walk-on. Doesn’t mean that Melchionni isn’t a good player or hard worker, but it just annoys me to hear the supposed voice of college basketball get such a basic fact wrong (OK, here is the point where you rightly tell me that Vitale gets nearly everything wrong).
The other game last night was that utterly unexplainable matchup between Wake Forest and Longwood, the worst D-1 school in the country. I understand that it’s sometimes fun to have a chippy late in the season, but that’s ridiculous. A practice would probably have been more useful for the Deacons. All a game like that teaches you is bad habits. Even with the win, the game certainly hurt Wake’s RPI as well, although I guess they are high enough that it doesn’t really matter.
There are some good games this weekend with Maryland hosting Carolina (and you know the Terps are going to continue their weird ways and win that one), Virginia Tech traveling to NC State and Georgia Tech at Miami. At least two schools will probably knock themselves out of NCAA contention.

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