Friday, March 16, 2007

First round action from Winston-Salem

Bobby Knight's latest visit to Winston-Salem was short and sweet. While combative and entertaining during his Wednesday press conference, Knight seemed rather subdued during his team's NCAA ouster at the hands of Boston College on Thursday. Especially in the latter stages of the game, the General sat relatively motionless, almost resigned to defeat. For some reason, I was expecting fire and brimstone.

After Michigan State made relatively easy work of Marquette, the Tar Heels took the LJVM Coliseum floor and broke out to a 22-3 lead on Eastern Kentucky. Did I mention the game did not tip off until 10:06pm? The only thing worse than having to work a game that won't end until midnight (and won't allow you to finish interviews, writing, editing & blogging until 4am) is having to endure a blowout. Fortunately, the Colonels came to the Joel with the intention of leaving their mark. Their character was revealed as they whittled a 27 point deficit to four. The Heels collected themselves and eventually ran away with it, but at least it was entertaining. Special kudos to Tyler Hansbrough for delivering big in the second half. The new mask seems to agree with him. Reyshawn Terry was superb playing in front of his hometown crowd. And Marcus Ginyard (who turned an ankle during the game) was a calming influence whose 2nd half defense allowed the Heels to finally open up a large lead....and keep it.

Roy Williams informed the team after the game that his sister passed away Wednesday night following a lengthy illness. While not entirely unexpected, the Heels coach was clearly and understandably shaken. He says the funeral will be on Sunday and that he plans to coach the team Saturday night against Michigan State.

Our condolences and best wishes to the Williams family.

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