Saturday, March 15, 2008

Tense half ends in tie

After getting whistled for a foul against North Carolina's Ty Lawson nine seconds before halftime, Virginia Tech forward A.D. Vassallo came to the sideline and picked up a pen.

On the notebook belonging to a writer from the Lynchburg News & Advance, Vassallo penned his own protest: "A.D. Not foul."

It was a light moment in an otherwise intense first half that ended in a 38-38 tie. Tyler Hansbrough scored 16 points but Vassallo countered with 11 as the Hokies led for much of the half.

The biggest problem with the first half was the floor. There was some dust buildup on the ACC tournament logo at midcourt, which caused North Carolina's Michael Copeland to slip. The logo is swept at every timeout, but it begs the question of whether it's worthwhile to have logos on the court if players are going to slip on them.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski in particular has been vocal in the past about the unnecessary injury threat logos pose. Perhaps it's time for an NCAA committee to come up with (gasp) another rule.

By the way, North Carolina coaching legend Dean Smith's Carolina blue suit coat was stunning when the ACC legends were introduced at halftime. With the arena full of North Carolina fans, Smith received a thunderous (and appropriate ovation in his home state. -- Ken Tysiac