Friday, March 27, 2009

Star Wars: Only Heels can save ACC universe

After Duke's pathetic limp to the exit on Thursday night, John Swofford deployed the droids to Memphis with an urgent message for Roy Williams.

Indeed this is the ACC's most desperate hour and UNC's the only hope.

Two scenarios that seem to be unfolding:

1) The Big East builds the Death Star

Will the grin ever leave ACC critic and departing Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese's face if the Big East takes all four spots in the Final Four?

The East Regional is guaranted for the Big East, with either Pitt or Villanova headed to Detroit.

UConn dominated again on Thursday in the West Regional, dispatching Purdue. The Huskies have to beat upstart Missouri — the Tigers are Big 12 champs but still upstarts in this heavyweight tournament — to return to the Final Four for the first time since 2004.

Louisville, the No. 1 seed in the Midwest, has 12th-seeded Arizona — the highest/lowest seed left in the field — and the Kansas-Michigan State survivor in its way of a date in Detroit.

Syracuse, the No. 3 seed in the South, has the toughest path, but given how well the Orange is playing — and how well the conference is playing – it would be foolish to think Jim Boeheim couldn't pull off consecutive wins over Oklahoma and UNC.

With the right combination of wins, the Big East — and it's 14-2 in the NCAA Tournament — could have Louisville-UConn on one side of the bracket and Pitt (or Nova)-Syracuse on the other.

The conference sent three teams to the Final Four in 1985 (with Villanova beating Georgetown in the final) but there has never been an all-conference Final Four.

2) Luke Skywalker (UNC) blows up the Death Star

The Tar Heels need to win four more games to win the national title. It's possible three of those will have to be against Big East teams.

With the right combo, UNC's looking at Syracuse in the regional final; Pitt/Nova in the Final Four and UConn/Louisville in the title game.

Would the smile ever leave Swofford's face if his team beat three straight Big East teams and won the title as the outsider in a three-team Big East Final Four?

Or, of course, the Missouri student with the Perfect Bracket could be right and Mizzou could win it all.


JAT said...

Let's cut to the chase --

How would you rank ACC coaches as a group?

Would they be in the top three of conferences? The top five?

The ACC now has K and Roy as top-flight coaches. That’s it.

I say the ACC is at the bottom of the major conferences. More here.

Anonymous said...

"Duke's pathetic limp to the exit..."

Funny, Observer. When UNC got blasted by KU last year, I didn't hear that the Heels were pathetic (which they were), but instead that Kansas was a great team that had what it took to win it all.

Here's to the Tarhole Journalism School, guys.