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Saturday, February 28, 2009

ACC Bubble Watch

Posted By on Sat, Feb 28, 2009 at 3:08 PM

With only two weekends and three games remaining in the regular season, it's time to begin looking at which teams have already done enough to punch a dance card for March, which still have some work left to do and which need a miracle four-game run in the ACC tournament to continue their dancing beyond this year's ACC tournament site, Atlanta. Locks North Carolina (24-3, 10-3 ACC, RPI: 3, SOS: 19) The Tar Heels practically came into the season with their ticket punched -- if that is even possible. The Heels are currently slated to be a No. 1 seed...

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Trees see the Forest to 85-78 victory over Wolfpack

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2009 at 11:20 PM

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 TV/RAYCOM - N.C. State hung around...and hung around Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum Thursday night. But, in the end, the Wolfpack could not overcome a stellar night by Wake Forest sophomore forward James Johnson as the Demon Deacons avenged their Feb. 11 loss in Raleigh with a 85-78 victory. Johnson scored a career-high 28 points and grabbed 18 rebounds to pace the 13th-ranked Demon Deacons, who improved to 21-5 on the season (yet only 8-5 in conference play). Ishmael Smith came off the bench with a season-high 18 points, and center Chas McFarland...

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Jokinen, Ward lead 'Canes over Sabres in SO

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2009 at 11:00 PM

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 --> RBC CENTER/ RALEIGH—A charged, playoff-like atmosphere, a 2-1 decision, excellent goaltending at both ends, Buffalo fans being escorted away from the game…it was just like old times at the RBC Center. Cam Ward stopped 36 shots and the Hurricanes walked away with the extra point as a result of Jussi Jokinen’s shootout brilliance. The ‘Canes needed to win this one in regulation to jump ahead of Buffalo in the standings, but instead pulled into a tie for eighth place. During the regular season, games played act as the first tie-breaker, and Buffalo...

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UNC seniors top Miami 90-76

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2009 at 10:21 PM

SMITH CENTER/CHAPEL HILL -- The No. 9 North Carolina Tar Heels survived a late Miami push to win 90-76 on senior night. UNC's Rashanda McCants contributed 21 points and routinely slashed to the bucket for easy scores while Cetera DeGraffenreid piled in a career-high 23 points and grabbed seven boards.   "She was actually sick at halftime in the locker room throwing up," head coach Sylvia Hatchell said.  ...

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Halftime Update: Miami at UNC

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2009 at 7:56 PM

SMITH CENTER/CHAPEL HILL -- North Carolina senior Rashanda McCants started senior night on a tear, scoring 11 points in the first half and pushing the Tar Heels to a 46-34 halftime lead against the Miami Hurricanes Thursday.   Three different seniors scored early for UNC's first six points after being honored prior to tip-off.  The No. 9 North Carolina Tar Heels trailed 17-15 nearly  halfway through the first half after numerous turnovers and allowing Miami to shoot wide open jumpers in transition, forcing head coach Sylvia Hatchell to burn a timeout -- a Roy Williams no-no.   Hatchell and Williams'...

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Stokes, McClellan dropped from RailHawks roster

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2009 at 7:46 PM

Defender David Stokes and goalkeeper Chris McClellan, both two-year veterans of the RailHawks, are no longer on the roster. As recently as yesterday, both players were still listed as part of the team lineup. McClellan played every minute of every league game last year, and recorded six clean sheets. Here's his stat line, copied from the USL Web site: # Name Pos  GKGP   GAA   GKM   GA   GKW   GKL   GKT   SO   Saves   SHFC  0 McClellan, Chris GK 30 1.433 2700 43 9 11 10 6 109 258                            ...

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Dan Antoniuk signs with Chicago indoor team

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2009 at 12:24 AM

The last remaining major question mark from last year's RailHawks squad has been forward Dan Antoniuk. Now it seems he signed very recently with the Chicago Storm of the four-team Xtreme Soccer League.   According to this news item of Feb. 20, 2009, Antoniuk joined the team for that day's game against the Detroit Ignition and was expected to suit up as soon as he passed the physical. The Storm is two-thirds of the way through its season, which ends April 5.  The 6-foot-3 bruiser played for the ’Hawks last year after a fine 2007 with the Atlanta Silverbacks in...

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

RailHawks add Scottish defender Paul Ritchie to roster

Posted By on Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 6:48 PM

Coach Martin Rennie won't have the only Scottish brogue at WakeMed this summer. Today, management announced the signing of 33-year-old defender Paul Ritchie to the lineup. Ritchie, who last played professionally two seasons ago, is a veteran of both the Scottish and English Premier Leagues, playing for Manchester City, Derby County and Portsmouth in the latter (he also played for Bolton during a period when that club played in the Championship). According to his wikipedia bio, Ritchie's career heyday appears to have been with his first club, Heart of Midlothian of Edinburgh, Scotland, for whom he made 133 appearances...

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N.C. Central to join MEAC?

Posted By on Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 5:17 PM

According to the Herald-Sun, NCCU, which botched its move to Division I last year (read Jaymes Powell's account in the Indy here) and found itself a pariah among the majors, adrift without a conference, will be reconsidered for membership in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference next year. Hopefully, the move—if it transpires—will lend the program the legitimacy and recruiting clout it needs. This season, the Eagles are 2-25, and 0-18 on the road.  However, the article's sources are officials from NCCU, not MEAC. N.C. Central plays the final home game of the season this Friday, Feb. 28, at 7:30 p.m....

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Weekend Wrap-Up: A Four-Factor Review

Posted By on Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 3:26 PM

One of the Triangle’s teams was involved in a big match-up this weekend, and another’s match-up turned out to be more important than it initially seemed because of the outcome. Let’s see what the four factors tell us about both Duke and Carolina’s performances, and what we can expect from them going forward. First, I’ll look at the upset in College Park. There is one of the four factors that is definitely the most important of them all, and the Tar Heels really hammered that point home on Saturday. Shooting can make up for a lackluster performance across the other...

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Recession to Cause Price Drop?

Posted By on Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Even with UNC's unsightly stumble at Maryland on Saturday (the Heels squandered an easy win via one of the worst endgames I've seen a supposedly elite team play), the ACC regular season title is still theirs to win. They can even lose another game as long as it isn't at home on Senior Day against Duke, and will still finish first via tiebreakers. Barring a total Tar Heel meltdown over the next couple of weeks, at this point we're reduced to watching the rabble play musical chairs with slots 2-6 (more or less) and waiting it out until sweaty-palmed tournament...

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Tar Heels collapse at Maryland

Posted By on Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 2:23 AM

TV/ABC — Carolina's run of good fortune finally ended. The Tar Heels, recently prone to long defensive lapses, had the mistiming to play poorly on both ends of the court in a disastrous second half that cost them a 16-point lead — and ultimately the game — on Saturday at Maryland. The Terps battled to send the game into overtime and ultimately prevailed 85-82....

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Channeling 'Phoenix Suns,' Duke out-shoots Wake Forest, 101-91

Posted By on Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 2:00 AM

CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM - As Gerald Henderson and Jon Scheyer left the court in the final minute of No. 9 Duke's demonstrative victory over No. 8 Wake Forest, they received bear hugs from their coaches for having the offensive games of their careers. The two juniors combined for 65 points (Henderson had a career-high 35, Scheyer a career-high 30), propelling Duke past Wake Forest in an unusually high-scoring shootout at Cameron Indoor. Wake, who shot 60 percent from the field, battled back from a 22-point deficit in a turnover-ridden first half, and were within two points when Scheyer leaned in...

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'Canes have found their man in Conboy

Posted By on Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 1:34 AM

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 --> Dear Carolina Hurricanes, Please, do not send Tim Conboy back down to the minors, even if you start getting injured players back. This is for your own good. Yours sincerely, Triangle Offense. The Hurricanes summoned Conboy from the Albany River Rats on Thursday before the team’s game against the New York Islanders. All three of the games since then have been wins. Of course, all three games were against teams outside of the playoff picture, but here are some more facts for your consideration. A statistician for the team’s website compiled...

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Robber barons: Duke leads Wake by 11 at half

Posted By on Sun, Feb 22, 2009 at 8:55 PM

Gerald Henderson has 18 points, including several dunks off steals, and freshman PG Elliot Williams has four steals, including three in a row off inbounds passes. Follow our tweets here....

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Cullen's hatter gives 'Canes first win over Avs in team history

Posted By on Sun, Feb 22, 2009 at 6:38 PM

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 --> RBC CENTER/ RALEIGH—In over a decade of existence and 13 games, the Hurricanes have never bested the Avalanche at home or away. In one of the team’s most inconsistent seasons on record, it finally managed to defeat Colorado, 5-2, and win its third in a row. Matt Cullen scored his first career hat trick and the ‘Canes crawled within one point of the 8-seed, at least temporarily. The game was pegged as Military Appreciation Night and a large display of helicopters and armored cars were on display outside of the RBC Center...

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Balanced Pack attack smites Cavaliers

Posted By on Sun, Feb 22, 2009 at 12:46 AM

RBC CENTER/RALEIGH Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 – Aside from the fact that two N.C. State players claimed Bad Boys II as their all-time favorite movie during a Jumbotron vignette that played during N.C. State's 72-67 win over Virginia in Raleigh, the game's most shocking statistic of the night might also be, ironically, the team's most gratifying one: Brandon Costner, zero points. It is the first game this season the Pack's points leader has gone scoreless. But, the fact that N.C. State (15-10, 5-7 ACC) was able to pull out its third win in the past four games, and...

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Wake Forest at Duke: "Four Factor" preview

Posted By on Sat, Feb 21, 2009 at 9:21 PM

Sunday night, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (20-4, 7-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) visit Cameron Indoor Stadium to play the return trip of the conference home-and-home match up.  The last time these teams met, the Demon Deacons gave the then No. 1 ranked Blue Devils (21-5, 7-4 ACC) their first conference loss on a James Johnson basket with .8 seconds remaining. Both teams have matching 7-4 in conference records, which places them both squarely in the four-way logjam for second place, along with Florida St. and Clemson.  A win here for either team would move them, at least briefly, alone in...

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Coach K solves Paulus-Smith dilemma ... with Williams

Posted By on Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 5:40 PM

In the Indy's basketball preview issue last December, we took a position-by-position look at Duke's roster. Sophomore Nolan Smith had recently replaced senior Greg Paulus as the team's starting point guard, but we noted that Coach Mike Krzyzewski seemed content to keep a rivalry between the two brewing. At the time, Coach K insisted that Paulus would either play "with , or for him." Indeed, following Duke's 27-point loss to Clemson, Paulus replaced Smith in the starting rotation, reclaiming his role as the team's leader--in what would, apparently, be a brief coup d'etat. After squeaking by Miami in overtime, a...

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Fines for broadcasting Williams' f-word? WTF?

Posted By on Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 8:48 PM

WRAL explains why broadcasters likely won't face punitive action for transmitting UNC coach Roy Williams' indiscreet use of a word that has been part of the English lexicon for several centuries. But then, ours is a culture in which CBS was assessed a $550,000 fine by the Federal Communications Commission for unwittingly broadcasting an image of Janet Jackson's nipple. (The fine was tossed out by a federal court last year.)...

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Floodgates open for both teams in UNC victory over Pack

Posted By on Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 6:11 PM

SMITH CENTER/CHAPEL HILL -- You have to hand it to North Carolina. The Tar Heels make the sorts of mistakes in games that should cost them a chance to win, but they enter late February with a sterling 24-2 record and a 10-2 mark within the ACC. On Wednesday night, Carolina allowed N.C. State to shoot 54 percent from the field and a stunning 55 percent (11-20) on three-pointers yet still managed to win comfortably 89-80 in a game that was less competitive than the final margin indicates....

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RailHawks establish African strike force with Bundu signing

Posted By on Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 3:30 PM

The Carolina RailHawks signed yet another of Martin Rennie's old Cleveland City Stars. Officials announced today that Sallieu Bundu, a 2nd-team All-USL-2 selection in 2008, had agreed to terms with the Cary-based team.  The Sierra Leone native is a striker and scored 11 goals last season for the Stars in league and non-league play. In August, he scored the winning goal in the USL-2 championship game. The signing of Bundu, who had already been training with the team, means the RailHawks will have a deadly African duo up top—the other is Hamed Diallo of Ivory Coast, who returns to...

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Team bus of 'Canes' minor league affiliate involved in crash

Posted By on Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 11:44 AM

The Carolina Hurricanes confirmed this morning that a bus carrying players and staff of their minor league affiliate, the Albany River Rats, crashed early this morning. River Rats that Hurricanes fans might recognize, due either to recent call-ups or strong training camp performances, are Bryan Rodney, Brett Carson, Casey Borer, Jakub Petruzalek, and Harrison Reed. Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 --> The bus reportedly slipped due to slippery conditions, hit a guardrail and flipped onto its side around 3 a.m. on the Massachusetts Turnpike in Becket. The team was traveling back from Lowell, Massachusetts, where it lost to the...

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Roy F***in' Williams

Posted By on Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 11:28 AM

I happened to be listening on the radio to the postgame of UNC's win over N.C. State last night, and when UNC head coach Roy Williams was asked why why his team wasn't doing a good job executing a full-court trap defense (and hence rarely using it), Williams responded that "If I knew the answer to that, we wouldn't still be fuckin' stinkin'." At first I wasn't sure I'd heard what I knew I'd heard. These press conferences are broadcast live—as Williams knows—and one isn't prepared for profanity. (I was reminded of the time I saw an owl sitting on...

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What to watch: N.C. State at UNC

Posted By on Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 4:16 PM

N.C. State travels to Chapel Hill to face the No.3 North Carolina Tar Heels who have been on a tear winning their last nine games. The resurgent Wolfpack looks to bolster its post-season resume with a marque win over the conference leader. Here are a few subplots to watch for tonight: The much anticipated return of Tyler Zeller -- will it solidify the only glaring weakness of the Tar Heels or will it mess up team chemistry?  Zeller scored 18 points in his first game as a Tar Heel against Penn, so the success of his return will probably be...

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