Wednesday night’s instant classic in Durham resulted in bragging rights for Dookies until the teams meet again in a couple of weeks in Chapel Hill. Not only that, it means the rest of us are left with the insufferable whining of a select subset of Tarheel fans who think their HOF coach has lost his edge. Thankfully, there are national writers who, armed with a broader perspective and at least an average level of intelligence, are able to bring some semblance of reality back to the conversation. Here’s Chris Chase, writing for USA Today’s FTW:

Since returning to Carolina, after losing that title game with Kansas, Roy Williams has been the better basketball coach than Mike Krzyzewski. And not even the craziest at Cameron could say otherwise.

Chase certainly cites some interesting stats to support his assertion1. I don’t necessarily buy into his particular choice of statistics to compare the two almost equally great coaches. Coach K has a knock-out resume even outside of college basketball and Roy has the distinction of establishing substantial success at two different institutions, a not insignificant accomplishment even though he left Kansas without having won a title. But their respective personalities almost perfectly embody their programs2 in ways that, despite budding coaching trees, will be difficult to replace.

I think the subtext of Chase’s point is this – if you’re a Carolina fan and you’re cooing that it’s time for Roy to go, you’re off your rocker. The game hasn’t passed him by, he is a great coach and I don’t see any of that changing significantly before Roy decides for himself when it’s time to hang it up, no matter how near or far away that day is. Just cherish every game, season and ounce of success you have left with Roy because there’s no guarantee that there’s another Roy waiting in the wings to save whatever disastrous succession plan you’ve drawn up on a napkin.

  1. However, when referencing the coaches’ respective ACC records since Roy returned to Chapel Hill, Chase weirdly excludes Roy’s first year, correctly highlighting that Roy was coaching his predecessor’s players. Okay, but did Roy just roll the ball out for them and say “go play”? No. and pointing that out undermines any attempt to credit Roy with winning the national title the very next year with thos very same players.  ↩
  2. Coach K because he practically built Duke’s program, making it in his own image; and Roy because Roy is basically the perfect successor to Dean Smith – equal parts adaptable to the modern game and aww shucks good ol’ ball coach – though it took UNC a few revolutions around the earth and to Kansas and back to get him.  ↩

UNC vs Duke: Part 1

It has been a while since we have updated this space, but its been a busy winter and the snow, well, that is my excuse anyway. Speaking of using snow as an excuse to bail on a commitment, I give you your 2013/2014 Duke Blue Devils! While canceling the game was the right a call at the time, I question how it got to that point, but that is black ice over 15/501 at this point…I kid, I kid. Anyway, no better way to kick off the first of two (potentially three) brutal nights for me than chronicle it here for thedustin to read (and JohnnyH if he knew about the site).

Before we begin, I thought it would be fun to give you my three most memorable UNC-Duke moments…

1. Jerry Stackhouse Under the Basket Tomahawk!
(Just for fun, remember when he fought now coach of the Suns, Jeff Hornacek?

2. Marvin Williams Put Back to Beat Duke in 2005 on the way to the National Championship!
(Underated was the 9 point comeback with less than three to play. People forget May was unstoppable the last month of that season.)

3. Matt Doherty gets up in Chris Collins’ grill!
(This is great for so many reason, A) I took my father to the game, B) the elbow by Dahntay Jones is a reminder of what a dirty player he was, C) Doherty unhinged because he probably knew he was done at UNC, D) a mediocre UNC team pulled out the win and represented one of only two wins over Duke while I was at UNC)

There are so many more moments to choose from and every UNC fan has their favorites, but it’s time to see if tonight’s game adds to the legend. Given that it’s UNC-Duke, the odds are likely it will.

9:02 – In the opening montage some guy just painted a picture of the rivalry while narrating…gotta love Raycom!

9:03 – Brando and Bonner, I am sure there is a joke in there. I am bummed we don’t get Billas since ESPN is blacked out. (Note – it was not blacked out as I would discover later)

9:05 – Had to put the dog upstairs because he freaks out when I watch UNC games and you can only imagine how it is when Duke is involved.

9:07 – Over/under on “8 miles” mentions? I set the number at 3.5

9:09 – Do yourself a favor and follow @DaggumRoy

9:10 – Seems like a good time to JUMP AROUND!

9:11 – McDonald with a big game sure would be nice.

9:12 – A Duke player on their back…huge surprise. Tokoto may be the worst FT shooter I have ever seen.

9:14 – Meeks really needs to work on that lift, he would be borderline unstoppable if he could get could jump higher than my father.

9:17 – Paige splitting the screen is a thing of beauty.

9:18 – PlumThree sighting!

9:22 – Ugh! 2 on Brice. This could get ugly.

9:25 – Not good if Hood and Cook are going to make their threes.

9:27 – That foul was not on Hood – Parker should have 2

9:29 – HUBERT!

9:31 – Oh, I got it now, the hand checking is illegal if you are wearing white tonight. Much clearer now.

9:39 – Honestly, can we just get rid of the charge/block call.

9:41 – I like how they just showed Hood’s 3 pt % as 5th all time at Duke, he has had such a prestigious career.

9:46 – Free Throws…ugh

10:01 – Well, down 7 isn’t terrible considering Carolina has played like crap. Hopefully we have a patented 2nd Half Paige run in store.

10:08 – I may switch to the ESPN broadcast to shake up the mojo

10:10 – Ahhh! Huge mistake, I switch over and they have Boehiem on.

10:31 – And I’m Back! My son had a night terror, I assume he was dreaming about Tokoto free throws. In other news, not much has changed.

10:33 – Really feel like UNC just needs to play hard and keep it close. The officiating is terrible.

10:38 – What a terrible pass by McDonald.

10:43 – Tokoto has improved so much (we will ignore the pass to Hubert in transition). If he cuts his TO down and works on his FTs he could be an All-ACC caliber player.

10:49 – And Roy’s watch comes off….

10:51 – Really terrible officiating on both ends tonight. Hopefully the last 5 minutes won’t be decided by a zebra…

10:53 – Thank you again ESPN for reminding us this is just the aperitif for the new rivalry.

10:56 – Marcus Paige is good at basketball..very good.

11:02 – I am glad it worked in UNC’s favor, but that was a terrible call on Parker, just terrible.

11:08 – Free Throws and Marcus Paige is a man!

11:10 – thlhfdsjhfjkdksljfdsjkldsja;kjfadkl;jfklsjd

11:13 – Carolina Ball!!!!!!

11:14 – Such a great job by Roy tonight, the little things. Putting Meeks in at the end to be able to throw the inbounds deep. Solid job.

11:16 – You just can’t say enough about this team.

That’s all folks. What a masterclass by Roy. This team fights and fights. It’s always a good day to be a Tar Heel, some days are just a touch more special.