I took a lot of ribbing last night as my beloved Duke Blue Devils trailed the Irish of Notre Dame throughout the entire semi-final game. At the half, Duke trailed by 15 but chipped away at the huge Notre Dame lead. Duke got within 4 but never overcame the deficit. ND Coach Mike Brey refused to double-cover Jahlil Okafor and chose instead to foul him. Watching him try to make a free throw at the charity stripe was painful to watch. Last night’s loss by Duke could imperil their No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
While the “all-Tobacco Road” championship will not happen tonight, I have to root for the Tarheels against the Irish. The Heels are riding high after defeating No.1 seed Virginia.
Tipoff is at 8:30 PM ET and the game will air on ESPN. The Tarheels are 24-10 this season averaging 77.8 points and shooting 47.3 percent while defensively they are allowing 67.8 points. The Irish are 28-5 averaging 78.6 points and shooting 50.9 percent. They’re allowing their opponents to score 65.2 points.
As you can see, the stats for both teams are fairly equal, but for the very first time in Carolina’s history, the Heels defeated two higher seeds—No. 4 Louisville and No. 1 Virginia in the ACC Tournament. During the regular season there were obvious problems on both ends of the court for Carolina in terms of finishing off teams. I don’t want to be an ACC chest-thumper but…the ACC is one of the toughest conferences in the country.
Notre Dame, in all their years in the Big East Tournament, never made it to the final and they haven’t advanced past the first weekend in the NCAA Tournament since 2003, in fact, they haven’t even won a tournament game in four years. So, I’m going to boldly predict a win for the team I only ever root for when Duke is not playing. I hope Carolina ruins St. Patrick’s Day for Notre Dame’s leprechaun mascot.
Oh, and their shoes are ugly.
And since no basketball post would be complete without some pom-poms, check out these lovely Tarheels cheerleaders.