Saturday, March 15, 2008

Yes, the Tar Heels really do care about ACC title

Tyler Hansbrough has made a lot of big shots in his career.

But I've never seen him react the way he did Saturday after his 15-foot baseline jumper with eighth-tenths of a second remaining gave North Carolina a 68-66 win over Virginia Tech in the ACC semifinals.

Hansbrough pumped his fists in jubilation and relief as he high-stepped out to midcourt. A lot of people thought the Tar Heels (31-2) didn't care much about the ACC tournament because they are in such good shape for the NCAA tournament.

But Hansbrough's celebration showed otherwise.

Meanwhile, it's only natural to feel compassion for Virginia Tech (19-13), which is on the NCAA tournament bubble and also lost by a single point at Clemson last weekend in a heartbreaker.

I've seen a lot of teams give their all against super-talented North Carolina and Duke teams over the years. But I'm not sure I've seen a team play harder than the Hokies did Saturday.

(And by the way, Deron Washington's alley-oop dunk over Danny Green was one of the most highlight-worthy plays in college basketball all season.)

It's amazing what Seth Greenberg has done with this team, which counts so heavily on freshmen.

We'll see if compassion -- and the Hokies' credentials -- are enough to get the Hokies into the NCAA tournament. -- Ken Tysiac


Not So Hokie said...

Great basketball game. Tarhells are a good team, not great, but good. Virginia Tech deserves an at-large bid. Let's see if those with the power to make it happen...make it happen. Such a young team with this much talent and composure. Very exciting for the next few years. GO HOKIES!!!

Matt Privett said...

Greenberg is doing a great job at VT. I'm a Heels fan and they play us so hard (this year's regular season matchup notwithstanding). With such a young team now they will be a force to be reckoned with for the next few years. Now if the bottom half of this league can get it's act together so the ACC will start getting 7 and 8 bids again.

That said, I've never enjoyed watching a player more than I have Psycho T. He plays so hard all the time. He made so many big plays down the stretch - the rebound and put back of Ellington's missed FT, knocking the ball away on VT's breakaway, getting the rebound on VT's final shot, and then putting in the game winner. Just awesome.

Anonymous said...

Screw VA Tech. They should have never been on the same court with such a storied program. Maybe they can meet UNCC in the NIT.

Dan Angell said...

The Hokies belong in the tournament, and they proved that today. Va. Tech is for real, and the last poster's arrogance is another reason why Carolina fans are despised by many. Today, the Hokies were every bit as good as the Heels.

Anonymous said...

How do you know anon at 5:03 is a tarheel fan? And why'd did he have to dis UNCC?

Charles said...

Just the same arrogance displayed by the VA Tech football program. Look in the mirror.

David McKnight said...

After his game-winning shot for North Carolina with less than a second left in Saturday's semifinal game with Virginia Tech, native Missourian Tyler Hansbrough showed off the fanciest galloping steps since the last Pony Express took off out of Independence, Mo., for the West Coast.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but Hansbrough's prancing after that shot was one of the dorkiest, most awkward things I've seen in sports all year.

Just for that, Beasley is my POY.