Monday, February 4, 2008

Charmed in Raleigh, Lawson and Wednesday, Single(tary) win


It's hard to say a team with a losing league record is living a charmed life, but State fans have to admit, a lot of fortune has broken their way this year. It started with a very improbably win against Villanova and the last second foul call. Then there was Miami and Gavin Grants last second interception, and now a rebound slam at the buzzer by Big Ben. You'd like to say Sidney Lowe can really coach in the close ones, and maybe he can, but these kinds of things sometimes have a way of evening out. Let's hope this is just the breaks we were owed from years ago, and not fickle fortune that will bite us later in the year.

Ty Lawson went down with a high ankle sprain Sunday, putting his play for Wednesday's game hosting Duke in question. It looked bad and you have to think he won't be a factor. That is a real disappointment for most of us, hoping to see two powerhouses battle Wednesday. With Quentin Thomas running the point, Carolina had to go to OT to beat FSU yesterday. That isn't a knock against Q, but he's not Lawson. Of course, how many times have we seen a team down a key guy come out and blow away their rival, who maybe gets a little too relaxed because of a missing star.

The 2 biggest surprises of the year, maybe besides NC State going from top 20 pre-season pick to hoping to play themselves onto the bubble, has to be in the state of Virginia. Virginia Tech beat rival UVA in OT yesterday to stand alone in 3rd place. It is so easy to forget about Seth's team up there. They don't get enough TV yet, and they are frankly, stuck out in the middle of nowhere. And you've got to feel a little bad for Sean Singletary. He wasn't ready for the NBA, and needed to come back, but you sure thought they'd be better at this point in the year than 1-6 with sole possession of last place in the league.

Back to Wednesday. Duke visits Carolina at 9pm. For those who didn't know, Dick Vitale has missed most of this basketball season. I heard him early in the year and thought he just didn't sound quite right. Turns out he had lesions on his vocal cords. He's had surgery, and a long silent period, but is coming back for this game. We won't see him in this area, as we get Raycom, but welcome back Dick.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean that these things have a way of evening out, but under that theory there should be a lot of good luck in a vault somewhere waiting for the Pack to use it...

Ken White said...

Not sure. Some would say 1983 used up enough a lifetime.

David Fix said...

You could also look at the close finishes this way... In '83 Sid learned that you just had to be close down the stretch. If the game is within a possession or two at the end, you can make your own breaks to win it. Against Miami, it was JJ being in position to get the rebound and hit the follow shot, followed by Gavin being in the right place at the right time to get the steal and teh layup... Against FSU, it was JJ's rebounding and block... against Wake it was Big Ben's out and out hustle to get the rebound and dunk...

Pretty soon a team gets confident they can pull out a close one and doesn't freak out down the stretch like Herb's teams used to do.

Ken White said...

I feel a bit better about state, but we sure need Costner to find his game.

Anonymous said...

I like Dave's take on the close finishes and the contrast to Herb's teams.

A couple of those games in the 83 NCAA run were unbelievable, but we had some bad luck that year too. Damn sure had our share in the 9 years prior to it. I hate to hear about the lucky Pack championship. A well disciplined, superbly coached senior team took out a dominant Houston squad. State deserved to be in the game, was tied and caught a big break on the final shot. Not so many people rag the heels about Fred Brown's gift to Worthy or Chris Weber's timeout. State beat Wake Sunday at home. One of our bigs slammed in a rebound. If it was pscho t in Chapel Hill it's just another day at the office. We should learn to feel more entitled as a school with the basketball history State has.

Ken White said...

Little known fact about the 1983 team is that they played 10 games against teams that were at one time during the year ranked #1 in the country. That is probably a record and will never be broken. I'm pretty sure 10 is right, got it from Peeler's book, which is a much read for any '83 fan.

6 of those would have been Carolina and UVA, one against Houston. Others would have had to be Michigan St., Louisville, and Memphis State.

While it was certainly a miracle to win, the way they won, you'd still have to say they were one of the maybe top 20 teams in the country, it's just the losses without Whitt really gave them a bad record. There are bubble teams, then there are really good teams that find themselves on the bubble.