Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Duke-Wake tops 5 ACC games to remember

After Duke defeated Wake Forest 101-91 on Sunday at Cameron Indoor Stadium, Charlotte Observer colleague Ron Green Jr. confessed that he was glad he made the drive up from Charlotte for the game.

The intensity of both teams – and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski – was incredible. The crowd was good, and for the most part the play on offense was at an extremely high level.

Suffice to say, it was much better basketball than Ron had seen on recent trips to Atlanta to see N.C. State and Wake Forest play an awful Georgia Tech team.

I’ve been fortunate to see far more good games in person than Ron this season, and Wake Forest-Duke is at the top of the list. Here are my top five:

5. N.C. State 84, Miami 81, OT: After Farnold Degand fouled out, backup point guard Julius Mays came off the bench and promptly hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to win for the Wolfpack. The quality of play wasn’t fantastic because Miami had played an overtime game two nights earlier, but both teams were extremely competitive, and N.C. State saved itself from a 1-7 ACC start.

4. Wake Forest 70, Duke 68: The first meeting between these two teams had some controversy, as forward Gerald Henderson was called for traveling after grabbing a rebound when officials should have called a foul on the Deacons in the final seconds. Wake Forest got the ball underneath the basket instead, and L.D. Williams passed to James Johnson after a Duke defensive mix-up for the winning layup just before time expired.

3. Marquette 68, N.C. State 65: N.C. State nearly pulled off its biggest nonconference win of the season, but Marquette demonstrated why it’s one of the best teams in the Big East and the nation. Dominic James came off a ball screen and pulled up for a winning 3-pointer with four-tenths of a second left as his boyhood hero, former Duke player Jay Williams, provided TV analysis at courtside.

2. North Carolina 101, Duke 87: Duke was fantastic on offense while building a 52-44 halftime lead. Ty Lawson was better in the second half, scoring 21 of his 25 points after halftime while being taunted by the Duke students to move the Tar Heels into sole possession of first place in the ACC.
The heat was almost unbearable, the crowd was deafening and Tyler Hansbrough and Danny Green finished their careers having played in four wins at Cameron.

1. Duke 101, Wake Forest 91: At one point in the second half, Wake Forest scored on 13 of 14 possessions, drawing within two points after trailing by 22 with 14 minutes elapsed in the game.
But with a career-high 35 points, Duke’s Gerald Henderson had perhaps his best game ever. And the Blue Devils won a game they simply couldn’t afford to lose. – Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

How can you say Wake should have been called with a foul at the end of the first duke game. The wake player was on the floor, which is not a foul. Yes, unfortunate for Duke but I don't think you can call a foul there.

Anonymous said...

if a player is not in a legal defensive position and it does not allow an air-born player to land and assume his position on the floor, the defensive player can be whistled for a foul. It states essentially this in the NCAA officiating rule book. I saw some upsset Duke fans post it and it said something very close to what I just said. Irregardless, it wasn't called and wake won, so it's irrelevant now.

Anonymous said...

Note to Wake: if you want to be taken seriously as an "elite" team, you have to stop storming the court. You're not a mid-major Cindarella.

It's embarrassing that a that a former #1 team's fans have done it TWICE this year.

Tell me the last time Duke or UNC fans did that...