Thursday, March 15, 2007

VCU vs. Duke: First Half impressions

It's just before tip, I'm in my seat and it seems like everybody from the VCU campus is in there's, too. About 500 VCU fans are sitting right acrooss from me. Game time.... Paulus with a 3, Henderson is fouled first time he touches the ball. Both of those 2 need big games to handle VCU's 3 guard attack. Wow, a big slam by Henderson ties the game 5-5. Big jam by McRoberts now, and VCU is missing a lot of outside J's. They can't stay with Duke if that stays constant. Here's my thing -- they're quicker than Duke, some screen and rolls would open things up for the Rams. Another big alley oop to McRoberts. Duke's rolling, out to a 16-5 lead and it looks like I'll be home on Sunday. Noticing the refs hair, if you're watching the game, he makes Jimmy Johnson's hair seem lively. Ashley the intern just remarked that VCU can't make a basket. It's 18-7, so I'd have to agree. I'm going into my Billy Packer mode -- just harp on one point. VCU's not playing well. At the halfway point of the first half, it's Duke 22, VCU 10. McRoberts just went coast to coast. You know he's done that this season. Did VCU watch any tape? Okay I'm out of Billy Packer mode. Duke's up 9. Maynor, the kid who singlehandedly beat George Mason in the CAA finals hits a floater. If he can wake up, maybe this game won't be as boring in the second half, because if it stays at this pace, Duke will not only win but win by 18 or more. Jesse Pellot-Rosa just nailed a 3. It's back to a 6-point game. Rams showing life. I'm giddy only because no one likes a blowout. Duke's in the bonus, but Paulus misses the front end of a 1-1. There's 6 minutes left in the half. VCU has to keep their hands to themselves the rest of the half. Free throws could push the Devils advantage back above double digits before the break. Maynor fouled makes both -- 3 point game. VCU has clawed back into the game thanks to a stagnant offense and some ugly possesions for the Devils. McRoberts got the ball poked away from behind and there was a phantom foul called. About 75 percent of the building started booing -- so much for this being a pro-Duke crowd. Everyone not wearing a Duke sweatshirt is rooting against the Devils -- Butler fans, ODU fans... Pocius slam AND 1. The first "refs you suck chant of the night"... good times. Under 4 min TV timeout, Duke is up 35-29. Unfortunately I cannot complete the statement that coach K just called the ref, but he called him... well I'll leave it out so they won't pull my blog out, but it's funny to the folks on press row and within earshot. Just trust me. B.A Walker just nailed a 3 making it a 3-point game. The crowd breaks out a V-C-U chant and the Madness has arived. Jamal Shuler just tied it up with a 3 and the building just went berserk. 3 seconds on the clock in the half, shot clock running down, Paulus a desperate 3 pt attempt... poor foul call. Official checks the replay monitor... Paulus makes 1, misses, 1 makes 1. It's Duke 40-38. The inbound play is tipped away with 2.4 seconds left. Coach K yelling at the refs... I mean classic. The half ends with a turnover, and K leaves the court and one of the refs says don't talk to me. It's 40-38 at the half, and we've got a game!

-Terry Brooks

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