Friday, March 13, 2009

You put the No. 1 seed in, you knock the No. 8 seed out

Well, I'm supposed to be court-side at the ACC tournament in Atlanta, Ga., but I'm not. So instead of bringing you anything cool, I'm just gonna regurgitate the stuff all of you have already seen. North Carolina's win wasn't pretty, but I didn't expect it to be in the team's first game without Ty Lawson. I heard an interesting fact on the radio here in Virginia. No team in NCAA history has ever lost the first game of its conference tournament and gone on to win the NCAA championship. Also, today marked the first time in ACC history that the tourney did not feature the conference player of the year.

UNC did itself some good on both of those fronts. I thought before the tournament started that the best decision for the Tar Heels was to sit Lawson. There are various theories regarding conference tournaments as necessary warm-ups to the big dance, but the way I look at it is that if you haven't figured it out in the first 30 games, then you just ain't going to. Resting Lawson gives the back-up guys a chance to get into a rhythm and Lawson an extra week of rest. In theory, I would argue that you have to consider even sitting Lawson to open the NCAA tourney if that foot is still iffy. You're not going to lose to the No. 16 seed. And if you think that you can get through Round 2, then all of the sudden he's had a whole extra week to rest, and should give the team a huge confidence boost heading down the stretch. But Roy knows (and gets paid) a heckuva lot more than I do, so I'll leave such decisions to him.

I didn't really care who won the Va. Tech/Miami match-up on Thursday, although I was disappointed to see Jack McClinton struggle the way he did. He's been a huge asset to the ACC both on the court and off, evidenced by the Skip Prosser Award he won for being a scholar athlete. I would have to think that he'll wind up in the NBA, but you wish a guy like that would get a shot to make some noise in the next round.

For now, it's Boston College entering the second half up 29-22 on Duke. The Blue Devils are the biggest flop since Vlade Divac. Not sure I'm going to give this game much more of my time...

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