Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Vitale: Duke-UNC best rivalry

Hall of Fame ESPN TV analyst Dick Vitale used to take his two daughters out of school so they could attend Duke-North Carolina games with them.

Vitale figured they would learn more at the games than in the classroom. He would tell his girls that all the students in the crowd at the Smith Center or Cameron Indoor Stadium had to be high achievers to gain admission to their respective schools.

“We used it as a motivational to say, ‘Hey, if you want to be part of a great environment like this, you’ve got to study. You’ve got to achieve,’ ” Vitale said. “And fortunately, both of the girls took after their mother intellectually and physically.”

His daughters, Terri and Sherri, apparently got the message. Both went on to play tennis at Notre Dame. And on Wednesday, Vitale will bring his two 6-year-old grandsons to Cameron Indoor Stadium for the game.

On his Sunday podcast on his web site, Vitale discusses his four favorite games among those he has worked in the Duke-North Carolina series. Here’s how he breaks down Wednesday’s game:

On North Carolina: “They would have been unbelievably tough for anybody to beat on the collegiate level if they had their full roster, which included (Tyler) Zeller and (Marcus) Ginyard.

“Because now it takes a scenario, the whole complexion of that team has changed by Ginyard being out. He’s a defensive stopper. He can play any one of three people on the perimeter, point, second guard and small forward, and give you that defensive stopper. (Danny) Green then becomes the best sixth man in America. He gives you instant offensive productivity.”

“. . .You look at their bench production, they’re getting no offensive bench production at all. I mean, really. North Carolina’s bench has been really negated by that injury.”

On Duke: “I think anytime you can bring in the kind of people they bring in off the bench, like (Lance) Thomas, like (Greg) Paulus, who started the other day and scored 18 in that win (over Miami), which was a gut-check win. That was a gut-check win. If there was ever a definition to define what this Duke team is all about, it was in that game.”

On the pressure both teams face: “Both of these programs have set a standard that is so high that to me, on a regular basis, they’re like the New York Yankees of baseball. The Yankees can win 95 games, and the Yankees can win their division year in and year out, as they did with Joe Torre, but unless they were able to stand tall and put the gold trophy in the show room and the showcase at Yankee Stadium, being the World Series or world champs, it was seen as a failure by many.

“And Duke and North Carolina are running into that same cycle. That unless they win it all, and unless they’re national champs, there are people out there that would label it, ‘Oh, really? No big deal. What did they do? They won 25 games? So what.’ I think that’s a sad state that’s been created.”

On the rivalry: “These clubs this year, I think it’s going to be a heck of a basketball game. But I still think there’s no doubt to me. . .it’s the greatest rivalry of them all. You can talk Michigan-Ohio State football, Alabama-Auburn football, there is nothing like the passion and the emotion, the excitement that is generated in the Duke-North Carolina battle.”

- Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

He better hope Laitner is not in the crowd. At least I would not want my 6 year old around him.

Anonymous said...

This "we don't have Ginyard" whining really needs to stop. He's never been more than a role player. I'm sorry, but 3.5 rebounds/game does not qualify you as a "stopper".

Anonymous said...

If duke wins, i can't wait to hear unc fans with their "if we had ginyard we would have won by 20" crap.

"Plus if our 9th man graves was playing and roy didn't have a cold we would have won by 47" blah blah blah. if carowhina loses it's their own fault.

Anonymous said...

But at least if Roy loses he will not blame it on his bad back and pin the loss on his assistant coaches.

Anonymous said...

So let me get this right... He took his kids out of school to show them the importance of going to school and working hard to get into a good school? That sounds strange. I mean, it obviously worked for them, but that doesn't really make any sense.

Anonymous said...

This is why the rivalry is so good, neither side is willing to concede anything to the other. As far a the comment about "Ginyard whining" and referencing his rebounds per game as evidence that he's not a defensive stopper. I have only one comment, you're a moron, you obviously didn't attend Duke because if you did you'd at least be better informed. Of course he's a role player, stupid, that's his role and UNC is hurting because they have no one else who can fill that role. I'm a UNC fan but if Duke wins there will be no excuses, both teams will lay it on the line in this game like no other that is played all year long. GO HEELS!!!

Anonymous said...

Cameron Indoor Stadium: Who's House? Heels House!

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't a "stopper" like Ginyard have more than 9 blocks in his CAREER? Just wondering.

He also turns the ball over more than he takes it away. Career high 1.1 steals. I'm with 10:06 am. What does he "stop" exactly?? A Heels rally?

Anonymous said...

wait...scheyer has over twice as many career blocks as ginyard? .......bwahahahahahahahaha

Anonymous said...

Being a stopper as absolutely nothing to do with rebounds or blocks. It is solely the ability to completely shut down the other team's best play, meaning he's not getting many shots and the ones he is getting are not clean looks. Comment all you want, but you guys might want to educate yourself on the game before you make fun.