If you are a basketball fan, last night you were treated to a spectacular basketball game when the North Carolina Tarheels played the Duke Blue Devils. Duke took it 74-73 and the game was every bit that close as the Heels missed several opportunities to take the game.
This is the best rivalry in college basketball. It is a guaranteed dramatic struggle. There is no rivalry that has been as consistently excellent as these two teams.
Last night, the rivalry was made even better.
This year, the Tarheels beat the Blue Devils twice but those wins have to be asterisked because Zion Williamson did not play in those two games. [OK, injuries and staying healthy ARE part of the game and you have to play with the team who shows up and laces up. Fair point.]
This game Zion Williams came with a full strength performance of 31 points and one of the fiercest dunks ever recorded in the history of collegiate basketball.
This is guy is amazing.
Duke starts a lot of freshmen. Coach K has come to grips with building teams around “one-and-done” players who will not stay long enough to graduate.
These Duke athletes are some of the best to ever play the game. Ever.
Roy Williams builds his teams around players who may never play in the NBA or who will not be leaving early.
This is a difference in style and strategy that translates into two competitive programs and teams, but with a different view of things. There is more than one way to skin a cat.
Your Big Red Car thinks the Heels lost the game because the Heels Coach Roy Williams failed to call a time out and organize things when the Heels had the ball at the end of the game and were behind by a single point.
When the Heels did try to win it, they took a poorly selected three point attempt. Still, it had a chance to go in and we would be singing a different song if it had. It certainly could have.
The Heels, usually a good shooting team, went 4/27 on three point shots.
In spite of this, both teams could have won this game. When you win by a single point, every shot and every free throw was a game winner. But, if you shoot 15% from beyond the arc, you are likely to lose.
Now, let’s get onto the National Championship.