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  • shwineka 11:54 pm on December 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Buffalo Billiards, , , , , Dean Smith Center, , , , , Larry Drew, , Michigan State, , , , , , , , ,   

    Deja Vu: UNC Handles Michigan State 

    UNC 89, MSU 82

    Box Score

    It’s becoming a common thing. UNC plays Michigan State. UNC wins.

    The Heels have taken their last five meetings with the Spartans, and these aren’t just in the Big 10-ACC Challenge games. I recall an April day in 2005. A hot Spartan team was in the Final Four making some noise and ready to take down the No. 1-seeded Tar Heels. Or wait was that 2009?

    Anyway, for all the things that Tom Izzo does well, he can’t seem to figure out his Carolina conundrum. And honestly, who didn’t think Tuesday was going to be his night?

    A completely different UNC team showed up in the Smith Center than I’ve seen this year. The froshs and sophs played like upperclassmen right from the tip-off, with UNC jumping out to an early lead. It had to feel sickening for MSU fans, a horrible case of deja vu. Us DC-based Rafters bloggers sat with a decent contingent of UNC fans at Buffalo Billiards. A great idea emerged. Anyone not privileged enough to live in Chapel Hill, like our esteemed colleague Benn, should tweet us to meet up in the DC area for game viewings. We like to go out. If we go out anyway, we’ll make sure to say where we’re going.

    Hey, we might even put your picture on the internets.

    Before I get all hot and bothered thinking about tweet ups:

    Takeaways:

    • The recruiting class of 2008 came out of its shell. LD and Easy Ed both notched career highs in points (18 and 22 respectively). LD hit some clutch shots and had a 2-to-1 assist to turnover ratio in 27 minutes. Davis was his normal smooth self. You must watch this guy on Ustream sometime. Just follow him on twitter and he’ll notify when he’s getting on. If you want to know why we love him so much that will tell you everything.
    • If there’s only 5 seconds left in a half, who gets the rock? Answer: Dexter Strickland. Strickland hit his second buzzer beater of the year at the end of the first half, sinking a trey.
    • Will Graves is a starter, but he logs bench minutes. He’s getting about the same run time as Strickland, John Henson and Tyler Zeller. Gut tells me that once Roy is more comfortable with Henson or Strickland they’ll get the start. (And after last night I gotta be leaning towards Strickland)
    • Back to Dex. Strickland had zero turnovers while logging some significant minutes at point. And as Luke Winn reminds us, he is a converted shooting guard. Got to be happy with that.
    • Are the Wears twins? …………or clones? Travis – 2 pts, 3 rebs in 6 minutes; David – 2 pts, 2 rebs in 7 minutes

    Superlatives

    • Players of the Game: Larry Drew and Ed Davis –  see above
    • Lookin’ Fierce Award: Roy Williams
    • John Henson, if there was an award for throwing the ball between your legs to save it from going out, we’d give it to you. I don’t think even the Rafters has an award for that.
     
    • Zach Evans 12:46 pm on December 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      With all due respect to Henson, maybe the award should be the “Don’t Save the Ball Underneath the Other Basket” Award. As impressive as it looked, it did lead to an easy MSU basket.

      I guess I’m just never satisfied.

  • hiphopobserver 12:30 pm on December 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Michigan State, , , , ,   

    Roy Williams Tie Tracker: Michigan State 

    One thing all UNC fans have come to know, love and expect of Roy Williams is his fashionable selection of ties, most often courtesy of Chapel Hill outfitter Alexander Julian. The same man who put the argyle on the side of the basketball uniform is still turning heads with  what he’s putting around Ol’ Roy’s neck. So, here at The Rafters we decided to pay homage to the best accesory in college hoops, if not the entire sporting world, and document every tie Roy Williams wears this season.

    Can we talk about the big win last night, or what? UNC looked great last night against Izzo and MSU. Know who else looked good? Roy Williams going business casual in the sling.

    I’m assuming to make up for the lack of flavor the tie added Roy went with a Carolina blue tweed shirt that has some cross hatching and forms some plaid patterns across the shirt. I like it. Subtle yet still stood out. Much better than the all-white shirt that was left after Roy took off his tie last game. If you were wondering, the ribbon on Roy is for AIDs as December is world AIDs month.

    Also, in case you needed to know, the shirt, like Roy’s ties, is from Julian’s. Cool fact, in the middle of each plaid square is a hidden Carolina icon. Nice touch of school spirit by the designer. You can some what make out the icon at Julian’s website where you can also buy the shirt for $175. Hey, no one ever said looking good was easy.

    Here’s this years stats:

    Game 1: Florida International, W 88-72 – Small paisley in aqua and dark blue with pocket square

    Game 2: North Carolina Central, W 89-42 – Large paisley in Carolina and navy blue and gold with pocket square

    Game 3: Valparaiso, W 88-77 – Large paisley-ish in gold, navy, brown and Carolina with pocket square

    Game 4: Ohio State, W 77-73 – Diagonal white stripes over light blue back with pocket square

    Game 5: Syracuse, L 87-71 – Large paisley in Carolina and navy blue with pocket square

    Game 6: Gardner-Webb, W 93-72 – Blue and white dotted with pocket square

    Game 7: Nevada, W 80-73 – Carolina blue and white diagonal stripes with no jacket or pocket square, removed tie in first half, black arm sling

    Game 8: Michigan State, W 89-82 – No tie, Carolina blue plaid shirt with no jacket or pocket square, black arm sling, AIDs ribbon

    [Photos by N&O’s Robert Willett]

    http://www.twitter.com/RoysTieTracker

    Facebook Fan Page

     
  • hiphopobserver 2:10 pm on December 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Michigan State, ,   

    Seth Davis picks UNC to beat Michigan State in ACC/Big Ten Challenge 

    Seth Davis just put up his predictions for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge over at SI.com and has UNC with the win over MSU. He also has the ACC prevailing 6 games to 5. Bold prediction, I’m not as comfortable saying that after watching some of the others in the ACC play this year.

    Here’s what Davis said about the Tar Heels:

    On a neutral court and a 10-game series, I would go with the Spartans. But since the game is in Chapel Hill, I’ll give the edge to the Tar Heels. Michigan State is much stronger on the perimeter, but the Spartans are a short team, and the one thing North Carolina has is a lot of size inside. The big question will be whether the Tar Heels’ defense can hold down Michigan State’s impressive field-goal shooting.

    Prediction:North Carolina 80, Michigan State 76

    I’m hoping for that outcome as well.

     
  • shwineka 4:23 pm on November 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Austin Peay, , Cal State Northridge, , , Cole Aldrich, Connecticut, , Fairleigh Dickinson, Florida Gulf Coast, Georgetown, Greg Monroe, Hofstra, Jay Wright, , , , Kemba Walker, , master of your domain, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Morehead State, Penn State, Pennsylvania, , Purdue, Rider, Storrs, , Tennessee, , Top 10, , Tulane, UConn, , , UNC Greensboro, Villanova, William & Mary   

    Official College Basketball Opening Night 

    2009-ncaa-bracket

    Unless you’re one of the lucky fans whose team is playing in the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer — as per us at The Rafters — then tonight begins the best four and a half months of the year.

    And unless you are a Master of your Domain (DVR), you’re going to have to miss some of the action as many teams are playing at the same time.

    SCHEDULE SNAFU:

    Six Top 10 teams are playing overlapping games tonight. Kentucky (5)– perhaps one of the most anticipated debuts — plays at 6:30 p.m., while Michigan State (2), Villanova (6), Purdue (7) and Duke (8) play at 7 p.m. To top it off, the preseason No. 1 Kansas plays at 8 p.m., further complicating things  for the second half of the 7 o’clockers.

    As an ACC junkie, and Tar Heel alumnus, naturally I’ll be glued to the Duke game “just to see if they lose.” It’s amazing how many Duke games I watch under that pretense. I’ll also watch the first half of the first half of Kentucky, because I desperately want the Calipari experiment to fail.

    But what about during breaks in the despised Durhamites’ matchup?

    Of course, when there are multiple games on, it’s inconceivable that one would watch commercials. Here’s my hierarchy of channel flippage for tonight. (We ordered the college hoops package, so yes, be jealous. Or order it, too!) If No. 1 is at commerical, I proceed down the list until I find a game.

    6:30 p.m.

    1. Kentucky vs. Morehead St.

    7:00 p.m.

    1. Duke vs. UNC Greensboro – For Obvious Reasons
    2. Kentucky vs. Morehead St. – I told you I want him to fail!
    3. Michigan State vs. Florida Gulf Coast – Love Kalin Lucas
    4. Purdue vs. Cal State Northridge – Is it me, or is the Big 10 scary this year?
    5. Villanova vs. Fairleigh Dickinson – Will Jay Wright continue to wear pinstripes for an entire season!?

    7:30 p.m.

    Otherwise same as above:

    5. UConn vs. William and Mary – Down year in Storrs?
    6. Penn State vs. Pennsylvania – Hopefully I won’t make it down this far
    7. Villanova vs. Fairleigh Dickinson – Just not that interested for some reason

    8:00 p.m.

    1. Duke vs. UNC Greensboro – Still anticipating failure!
    2. Kentucky vs. Morehead St. – See above
    3. Kansas vs. Hofstra – Are they really THAT good?
    4. Clemson vs. Presbyterian – ACC with a capital A!
    5. Michican State vs. Florida Gulf Coast – Remember when UNC beat them twice last year?
    6. Purdue vs. Cal State Northridge – Again, I hope I don’t make it down this far.
    7. UConn vs. William and Mary – Kemba Walker is fast

    9:00 p.m. and on

    1. Kansas vs. Hofstra – I will never forgive you, Cole Aldrich
    2. Clemson vs. Presbyterian – Can Trevor Booker carry you guys?
    3. UConn vs. William and Mary – W&M has a nice campus
    4. Georgetown vs. Tulane – Greg Monroe should be beastmode
    5. Tenneessee vs. Austin Peay – It rhymes!
    6. Mississippi State vs. Rider – Blocks, blocks and more blocks
     
  • shwineka 5:24 pm on October 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: December, , Michigan State, Texas, ,   

    New Poll: Heels’ Tough December 

    The Heels have a tough two first weeks of December, where they face National Champion runners up Michigan State, Upstart Kentucky and Big 12 power Texas. Which team will prove to be the mightiest?

    Which team will be the toughest for the Heels in December?
    (polls)

     
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