UNC beats Duke at Duke (and it doesn't matter one way or the other): I went into last night's UNC-Duke game thinking that, for whatever reason, this year's game didn't have the juice of previous years.
Maybe it was because UNC isn't as dominant in the ACC this season as its ranking might suggest. And certainly because Duke isn't particularly great this year.
The game turned out to be mildly interesting, after all: Despite home-court advantage and an early lead, Duke's inferior talent finally caught up with them and UNC pulled off the win.
I'm not sure it legitimizes UNC as much as people might be saying this morning, because Duke is now merely a .500 ACC team. Winning at Cameron would seem to be big, but if
I know Duke is young, but there are a
Speaking of young, I think UNC is a year away -- if everyone sticks around, which they won't -- from being a real national title contender. Right now, I don't think UNC could beat
By the way, I walked away without changing my overall impression: This year, Duke-UNC just isn't that special. And I suspect that the rivalry has always been overrated: Unless they are meeting in the NCAA Tournament, college basketball's playoff system has always mitigated rivalries.
I'm not disputing that it's a huge, wonderful rivalry. I'm just saying that they never truly play for ultimate stakes. (No, the ACC regular-season and/or conference-tournament title don't count, when both teams are locks for the NCAA Tournament.)
It's not like either UNC or Duke isn't making the NCAA Tournament field with a loss to the other. Compare that to, say,
College basketball's playoff system is the best in sports (there is nothing even close), but except for helping to determine who makes the tournament field, it diminishes the regular season. Including UNC-Duke, which is supposed to be the best rivalry in the sport.
National Signing Day:
No, wait: USC came out No. 1 in the Scout.com rankings.
Hold on: Which rankings to believe? Let's use CSTV's Tom Lemming as the tie-breaker: He has
Ah: It doesn't really matter anyway. The proof is in the number of national titles five years from now.
College Hoops Parity Watch:
John Amaechi Comes Out: Yes, it's a big deal, if only because he's the first NBA player to ever do it -- the NBA's hyper-heterosexual player culture (which, mind-bogglingly, has both homophobic AND racist undercurrents) makes the NFL's uber-manliness culture seem forgiving.
With the book release still a week away, the story is going to get burnt out, but that shouldn't diminish its overall impact. Over/under on the number of awkward blog references to "Not that there's anything wrong with that": 500.
UPDATE: You must read this post by TrueHoop's Henry Abbott. What he said. (Oh, and here's a smart post about it from FreeDarko. Sorry for the delay. I'm catching up on my blog-reading and RSS-feeding.)
More NBA: The Celtics' losing streak reaches 16, and you have to legitimately question if they're even trying anymore or if they are simply (and intentionally) playing for Lottery position. (Guess what: Neither Oden nor Durant will make this team THAT much better.)
Meanwhile, Chris Bosh scored 41 in a Raptors win over the Magic. And the Spurs clobbered the Wizards – let's all agree that Antawn Jamison was obviously pretty damn valuable.
Cowboys interview Jim Caldwell: But it looks like Wade Phillips is a new front-runner (via ProFootballTalk) because ol' Norv doesn't want heir apparent Jason Garrett to be his offensive coordinator.
Now, I'm quite sure that Garrett is as unready to be an offensive coordinator as he is to be a full-on head coach, but you don't actually tell that to Jerry Jones -- who wants Garrett to coach his team... if not now, then eventually.
UPDATE: Looks like Wade Phillips WILL be the new coach. I'll put the over-under on 2 seasons. I have no doubt he is a seat-warmer for Jason Garrett.
They love the NFL in
(Is covering that game in person the biggest sports-media boondoggle of 2007? In any other year? Perhaps. But this year, it's a distant No. 2, behind the undeniable No. 1 of covering the NBA All-Star Game in
Note: I'll be offline all morning, so you might not see your comments posted until later today. I recognize that using comment moderation is annoying and breaks up the flow of any discussion about the topics above. I'm still figuring out how we're going to move forward on that. Thanks for your patience.