Say Hello To My Little Friends

I’ll have a longer post this afternoon on the weekend games, but I thought I’d post some links to vids of Chris Paul’s love tap to Julius Hodge’s jewels.
I don’t really know the folks who are hosting these vids, or I’d give them credit.
In each case, it’s fairly obvious that Paul tried to cheapshot Hodge and just about as obvious that he was trying to get him in the balls. The best a Paul apologist could do is say that he was just trying to hit him in the midsection, not necessarily the nuts. Not much of a defense though, is it?
I didn’t see this happen live, as I only caught the last ten minutes of that game. I did wonder why State fans were booing Paul so loudly. Now I know why. He deserved it. I hope Prosser suspends him for Wake’s next game.

The Dave Sez All-ACC Teams

Last week, I gave you the nominees. Now, it’s time for the awards.
Early in this season, I thought it would be one of the toughest seasons ever to pick the all-conference teams. The league is just loaded with top-quality players! As the season went on, things shook around a bit and actually became pretty obvious. The first five really shouldn’t be up for much debate. I think the good arguments will be over the other teams and the POY and FOY awards.
So, without further ado, here we go.

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Conflict Of Interest?

Gregg Doyel has an interesting article up today about referee Rick Hartzell and his dual role as college basketball referee and Athletic Director of NCAA team Northern Iowa. (Hat tip to Tar Heel March for the link)
Now, to me the issue is pretty plain. While I don’t think Hartzell would cheat because of his position, the NCAA should disallow this. There’s just no way that it makes sense to allow officials at a university to referee games between other schools at the same level. The article even gives an example of Hartzell reffing a game involving a team in his own conference. Can you imagine Lee Fowler officiating a Duke – Carolina game?

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End Of Days

Let’s take a quick lookee lookee at the remaining conference games, shall we?
Tue 3/1/05 VA.TECH @ CLEMSON Littlejohn, Clemson 7:00 PM RSN
This one almost certainly closed the door on the Hokie’s opportunity for an at-large bid. I think the symmetry of how the game ended was beautiful. In their first meeting, Clemson had the ball at the end of the game only to have it stolen by Carlos Dixon and taken in for the game-winning layup. That’s a rare and heartbreaking way to lose a game. Last night, the Tigers turned the tables, doing the exact same thing to Tech.
Wed 3/2/05 GA.TECH @ WAKE Lawrence Joel, Winston-Salem 7:00 PM ESPN
I think the Jackets are probably in already, but a win here would wrap it up for certain. Conversely, if Wake wins this one and their game at State (see below), their #1 seed is assured.
Wed 3/2/05 NC STATE @ VIRGINIA U-Hall, Charlottesville 9:00 PM RSN
This game has no real meaning for UVA other than senior day. I guess it’s coach day too, huh? Think Pete Gillen’s parents will be there?
I think NC State needs two more wins this season. This needs to be one and they’ll probably need another in the ACC tourney.
Thu 3/3/05 MIAMI @ DUKE Cameron Indoor, Durham 7:00 PM ESPN
Yawn. Yes, Miami could earn a bid with a win here, but then the world would come to an abrupt end, so what’s the point?
Thu 3/3/05 FLA.STATE @ N.CAROLINA Smith Center, Chapel Hill 9:00 PM RJ
Did you know that Yellowstone Park is the location of the world’s largest active volcano?
Sat 3/5/05 CLEMSON @ GA.TECH Alexander Mem., Atlanta 1:30 PM RJ
Clemson is headed to the NIT for their first postseason appearance since 1999. Man, remember the days when an NCAA bid was just assumed for them every year? Yeah, me neither.
The Yellow Jackets can’t afford to drop this one, so John Swofford ought to go David Stern on the refs for this game. Clemson can NOT pull off the upset here!
Sat 3/5/05 MARYLAND @ VA.TECH Cassell Col., Blacksburg 4:00 PM RJ
The turtles sure are testing that tortoise and the hare thing, huh? They probably should have gone ahead and sprinted across the line when they had the chance, but now they have to finish strong in a place that’s been surprisingly difficult. This is not a gimme for them and Virginia Tech still has an outside shot.
In some ways, this is the best remaining game on the schedule. Never thought I’d write that about a late-season Maryland – Virginia Tech game, but there you go.
Sun 3/6/05 VIRGINIA @ FLA.STATE Leon County C.C., Tallahassee 2:00 PM RJ
Set your TIVO!!
Sun 3/6/05 DUKE @ N.CAROLINA Smith Center, Chapel Hill 4:00 PM CBS
A #1 seed is in the offing here. At least, for Carolina it is. Win this game, and they will get a top NCAA seed regardless of what happens in the ACC tournament. Lose and they still might get one, but you’ll hear every talking head in the country bring up the fact that they’ve lost all three games against Wake and Duke.
Duke could get a #1 with a win in Chapel Hill and a run to the ACC finals. They might have to win the tourney depending on how other top teams do in their conference tourneys.
Sun 3/6/05 WAKE @ NC STATE RBC Center, Raleigh 8:00 PM FSN
Here is NC State’s big chance. This is their last guaranteed opportunity for a good, marketable win. Who would be surprised to see State lose in Charlottesville and then win this one?
For Wake, as I mentioned, a win here gets them a #1, assuming they also handle G-Tech. Lose one of those games and they’ll need a run to the ACC tourney finals.

Chris Loves Joel

Chris Chase has an article up on the surprising transformation of Lawrence Joel Coliseum into a true homecourt advantage for Wake Forest.
Unfortunately for Chris and other Wake Fans is that it isn’t going to last. It’s a triple wammy – a small school, a private school and an off-campus arena. Things are great now, but Wake won’t always be in the top ten. And if they do somehow manage to stay in the top ten, people will get complacent.
The only way Wake can maintain a great environment at their games is to build their own little Cameron, but that’s pretty unlikely.

Bustin’ Myths With Barry Jacobs

Sports Shack poster pope_ttb_xxx alerted me to this Barry Jacobs article about UNC and Duke. I’ve written before of my love for Jacobs’ work, so you shouldn’t be surprised that I’m linking him up again.
He writes what I’ve been feeling about this Carolina team. They are good, but they aren’t that good. It’s not something I can prove with numbers; it’s purely subjective. They just don’t look great to me. They took some steps that direction in that Maryland game though. If I see them play that way another time or two I might come around. Unfortunately for them, it looks like McCants is still out and may not be coming back.

Failing Grades For State

You’ve probably seen some stories about this by now – the NCAA released their new report on academic performance at member schools. The report uses a complicated standard called the Academic Progress Rate to combine lots of factors into one tidy score. The score is out of 1000 and the NCAA says that 925 is the cutoff for a passing grade. Anything under that risks sanctions like loss of scholarships.
For a good list of links about these numbers and a handy chart of all ACC teams and how they did in the three major men’s sports, check the Georgia Tech Sports Blog. The News & Observer has a similar table, but includes East Carolina and women’s basketball.
The most interesting thing, to me, that you’ll see in these tables is just how poorly NC State performed. It’s embarrassing. (The N&O noticed too).

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Is The ACC Overrated?

David Madurzak has a new college basketball blog (because God knows we need more) and has a nice post comparing the ACC to other major conferences this season. I have to say that I was pretty surprised by his numbers. From what he shows, the ACC has actually had a pretty phenomenal year. It doesn’t seem like it’s been so great because so many teams (Maryland, Virginia, Georgia Tech, NC State and Florida State) have underachieved.
The numbers don’t lie though, and I think David was hoping they’d come out differently. The most interesting stat was that the bottom eight ACC teams have 5-4 record against non-conference Top-25 teams. Pretty impressive.
He also has a nice post about Boston College (which is even more accurate after their spanking last night) and a bunch of NCAA Tournament projection data.