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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Taylor Branch: UNC coaches won't let their players talk to me

Posted By on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 10:43 AM

File photo by Jeremy M. LangeUNC's Horned Dorset sheep mascotSONJA HAYNES STONE CENTER/ CHAPEL HILL—A packed house crammed the Sonja Haynes Stone Center Theater at UNC last night for a panel discussion titled “Big-Time Sports: What Needs to Change?” Moderated by Will Blythe, author of the irreverent chronicle of the Duke-UNC basketball rivalry To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever, the panelists included former UNC president William Friday, Duke professor and author (most recently of Big-Time Sports in American Universities) Charles Clotfelter and UNC alum and Pulitzer Prize winner Taylor Branch. Branch fundamentally changed the national dialogue about...

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Martin Rennie returns to Carolina for friendly between RailHawks and Whitecaps

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 12:36 AM

Neil MorrisVancouver Whitecaps manager Martin RennieWAKEMED SOCCER PARK/CARY—At first glance, it was like nothing had changed. On Monday, the Carolina RailHawks held a press conference in advance of the team’s opening preseason friendly. Joining master of ceremonies Dean Linke on the dais were the familiar faces of team president Curt Johnson, assistant coach Dewan Bader and, of course, head coach Martin Rennie. The big difference, however, was the Vancouver Whitecaps FC logo now emblazoned on Rennie’s tracksuit. After three years spent helming the RailHawks, Rennie is embarking on his debut season in Major League Soccer as Vancouver’s new gaffer. This...

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Monday, February 27, 2012

ACC releases football slate with biggest local games in October

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 3:56 PM

UNC and Duke each has seven home games while N.C. State hosts six in the ACC football schedule released Monday by the conference. The Wolfpack will play the first game involving a Triangle ACC school on Aug. 31, when it takes on Tennessee at the Georgia Dome as part of the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff. The next day both the Tar Heels and Blue Devils open at home, with UNC facing Elon and Duke taking on Florida International. In a new quirk in the slate no Triangle matchup will end the season, as UNC will be at Duke on Oct. 20 and...

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Duke holds off late rally, wins at UNC for first time in four seasons

Posted By on Sun, Feb 26, 2012 at 6:37 PM

CARMICHAEL ARENA/CHAPEL HILL It’s yet another “Battle of the Blues,” and once again both teams have plenty on the line. Photo courtesy Duke athleticsDuke guard Chelsea GrayNo. 7 Duke (23-4, 14-1) has already clinched the top seed for the ACC Tournament beginning on Thursday, while UNC (19-9, 9-6) is still trying to hold its probable spot in the NCAA Tournament. Duke will be favored, having won the previous meeting in a 96-56 rout on Feb. 6 at Cameron Indoor Stadium, but in her four seasons as the Blue Devils’ head coach Joanne P. McCallie has never won in Chapel Hill....

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Duke men's basketball survives Virginia Tech in overtime: The will to win

Posted By on Sun, Feb 26, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Photo by Al DragoDuke guard Tyler Thornton in action at Cameron Indoor Stadium earlier this season. CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/ DURHAM—On ESPN at approximately 10:53 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, last night—about 8 1/2 hours after Duke sealed its 70-65, overtime win against Virginia Tech—Syracuse finished fending off a second-half comeback by the hungry but overmatched Connecticut Huskies and prevailed. Analyst/screamer Dick Vitale started talking about "the will to win"—Syracuse's, that is. That's what the best teams have: the will to win. For all we know, Vitale was at Cameron Indoor Stadium earlier that day, and slipped into the press room in...

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Tar Heel crockpot burns just hot enough to escape UVa

Posted By on Sat, Feb 25, 2012 at 7:40 PM

File photo by Arianna HoffmannZeller's steady interior scoring bailed out the Heels ESPN — Virginia features one of the ACC’s more formidable teams, but fans understandably struggle to muster excitement when the Cavaliers line up opposite their beloved squad. UVa used its stifling tempo and tough defense to limit possessions against North Carolina on Saturday afternoon — Virginia ranks No. 337 out of 345 Division I teams in terms of pace — but the Tar Heels managed to eke out a 54-51 slog in Charlottesville. Any conference road victory must be considered significant, and UNC prevailed despite playing far more...

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Hoop Cheese weekend special: The not-in-Hollywood edition

Posted By on Sat, Feb 25, 2012 at 12:45 PM

You know how people say, "It's five o'clock somewhere"? Well, it's in that sense that we say it's a big weekend somewhere. Maybe in Los Angeles, for example? But there are a lot of bouncing balls to chase before we bunk down in front of our teevees Sunday night. Mike Potter tells us that the women's teams have had their post-season fates signed, sealed and delivered, but for one small matter. And Adam Sobsey is, at this very moment (12:19 p.m.) gawking at the stars and tweeting like mad from courtside at Cameron. Wave to him if you turn on...

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Duke holds off Miami rally to grab top seed in ACC Tourney

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 10:30 PM

CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM Duke plays its toughest conference opponent at home all season tonight, and there is plenty on the line this time. Photo courtesy Duke athleticsDuke center Eilzabeth WilliamsThe No. 7 Blue Devils (22-4, 13-1) will take on No. 5 Miami (24-3, 13-1) and even though both teams will have a regular-season game remaining, because of the tie-breaker the winner will have the top seed in next week’s ACC Tournament in Greensboro. Miami is coached by Duke alumna Katie Meier, who has built the Hurricanes into a national power in her seven seasons at the helm. The one thing...

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kendall Marshall Unlimited: Tar Heels repel rival Wolfpack, 86-74

Posted By on Wed, Feb 22, 2012 at 9:42 AM

File photo by Arianna HoffmannRBC CENTER/RALEIGH—The controversies entering the North Carolina-N.C. State rematch were already the stuff of catchphrases: “Hess-gate”; “Rivals”; “Duke debacle.” During pregame festivities, State AD Debbie Yow scored a public relations coup by escorting Tom Gugliotta and Chris Corchiani—two days removed from being ejected as spectators from the arena that’s decorated with their retired jersey numbers—and the rest of the 1988-89 N.C. State basketball team to midcourt to accept the “inaugural Wolfpack Unlimited Award,” a prize literally, well, two days in the making. The Pack partisans roared their support for “Googs and Corch,” and they chanted Yow’s...

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Heels remain perfect against Tigers at home, eye rematch with Wolfpack

Posted By on Sun, Feb 19, 2012 at 8:49 PM

File photo by Arianna HoffmannBullock is Carolina's most complete wing performer DEAN SMITH CENTER/CHAPEL HILL — Give credit to the Tar Heels: After suffering that devastating setback against Duke — and people around here can't stop talking about it — Carolina has won three consecutive games and remains tied atop ACC standings. Clemson tried to win in Chapel Hill for the 56th time, and for the 56th time it failed. Apart from a sluggish stretch during the second half, the Heels handled the Tigers fairly easily yesterday afternoon and pulled away for the final 74-52 margin. Carolina finally has begun...

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Ruffin-Pratt, Rolle spark Tar Heels to win over Wolfpack

Posted By on Sun, Feb 19, 2012 at 5:14 PM

CARMICHAEL ARENA/CHAPEL HILL UNC hosts archrival N.C. State in the Tar Heels’ annual Play 4 Kay game, and there’s an odd visual effect as the contest starts. Photo courtesy UNC athleticsUNC wing Tierra Ruffin-PrattUNC (18-8, 8-5 ACC) is in all pink, while the Wolfpack (15-12, 4-9) is wearing its standard home whites with pink shoes. The Tar Heels are unranked this week for the first time this season, and need to win this one both for a shot to get back in and also to begin nailing down a spot in the NCAA Tournament. (The first and second rounds will...

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What a Hess: Old-timers Corchiani and Gugliotta get kicked out as Florida State tames Wolfpack

Posted By on Sun, Feb 19, 2012 at 8:30 AM

www.statsheet.comKarl HessRBC CENTER/RALEIGH—Excuse (n.): 1. a plea in defense of or explanation for some action or behavior; apology2. a release from obligation, duty, etc.3. something that excuses; extenuating or justifying factor4. a pretended reason for conduct; pretext Cause (n.): 1. anything producing an effect or result2. a person or thing acting voluntarily or involuntarily as the agent that brings about an effect or result3. a reason, motive, or ground for some action, feeling, etc.: esp., sufficient reason Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc....

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Hoop Cheese: Are ACC referees really that bad; superior underdog mentalities and more

Posted By on Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 8:11 PM

File photo by George A. Hoffman Jr.Referees who were not involved in N.C. State's loss to Duke Thursday night. It's been about 21 hours since the valiant dreams of the N.C. State Wolfpack were snuffed out pitilessly by referees under the spell of the legendary charm of Michael William Krzyzewski. Honestly, we're still sifting through the rubble here at Triangle Offense. Our friend, co-worker and co-spectator Bob Geary is usually too busy with real journalism and tracking the movements of redistricted Democrats to tell us the awesome things he knows about basketball, but even he had to send a note...

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Duke men's basketball overcomes 20-point second-half deficit, beats N.C. State

Posted By on Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 6:00 AM

CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/ DURHAM—One of two things is the case: either there is so much to say about last night's game between Duke and N.C. State that it is almost impossible to know where to begin, or on the contrary there is little that needs to be said at all. I assume that the vast majority of you reading this saw the game. Extremes tell their own story. As Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski summed up, the Wolfpack thoroughly outplayed Duke for 29 minutes, and Duke thoroughly outplayed the Wolfpack for 11. Really all of the things that needed to...

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wilson, Miami hold off tough Wolfpack on Beach Night

Posted By on Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Photo by Chris BairdMyisha Goodwin-Coleman handles the ball as Miami's Stefanie Yderstrom defends.REYNOLDS COLISEUM/RALEIGH The best way for N.C. State to look at this one is as an opportunity. It’s a big opportunity for a team that needs to generate a lot of positive attention to get on the board for an NCAA at-large berth. State (15-11, 4-8 ACC) will be a solid underdog against No. 6 Miami (22-3, 11-1), which is chasing Duke for the ACC championship and still has a shot a No. 1 seed in an NCAA regional. Miami, coach by Duke alumna Katie Meier, won the...

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Jason Garey of Carolina RailHawks talks about leaving Major League Soccer in search of a fresh start in NASL

Posted By on Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Gazing out a hospitality suite at WakeMed Soccer Park, Jason Garey suddenly stops mid-sentence. “I remember scoring two goals on that goal down there,” he says, gesturing towards the south end of the main stadium. “Just being here is funny.” It wasn’t just any two goals, of course, but the two goals in 15 seconds that Garey scored for the University of Maryland during the semifinals of the 2005 College Cup against Southern Methodist University. As a forward for the Terrapins, who went on to win the national title, Garey was the biggest name on a star-studded roster that...

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Heels continue to suffer hangover but notch another road win

Posted By on Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 10:55 PM

Despite errant shooting, UNC (mostly) keeps winning ESPN — Tar Heels players aren’t smiling that much these days, but can you blame them? Still shocked by the events that transpired against Duke last week, UNC once again appeared despondent early in a road test at Miami. But in the second half Harrison Barnes reprised his role from last spring, bringing the team back from an eight-point deficit to overtake the Hurricanes 73-64. He scored 23 points and added six rebounds and two assists, and he rediscovered his three-point stroke by burying 3-for-7 for deep. This performance did not constitute a...

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Balanced effort leads Duke past Hokies but Jackson injures knee

Posted By on Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Photo by Chris BairdRicha Jackson drives for a layup as Brittni Montgomery, left, and Alyssa Fenyn follow the play.CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM Duke looks to stay perfect in ACC action tonight with a game against 11th place Virginia Tech, and all indications are that that won’t be a difficult task. The Blue Devils (21-3, 12-0 ACC) haven’t lost to anyone ranked lower than No. 8 nationally and the only home loss was to No. 2 Connecticut. The Hokies (7-18, 3-9) are coming off a four-point home loss Monday night that assured lowly Boston College won’t finish with a winless conference record....

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

"We don't sit!": Duke men's basketball beats Maryland

Posted By on Sun, Feb 12, 2012 at 6:43 PM

"PRICE AS PROSPERO" (2010) by Mark RedfieldCAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/ DURHAM—Duke shot 32 percent in the first half against Maryland yesterday, turned the ball over eight times, and missed almost half of its free throws. Maryland's Terrell Stoglin put up 11 points, halfway to his Atlantic Coast Conference-leading average (22), shot five free throws and hung two fouls on Duke's Tyler Thornton, who is Duke's best defensive guard and had drawn the assignment of covering Stoglin. Despite those first-half shortcomings, Duke went to the locker room leading the Terrapins, 32-29—a world apart from the 14-point halftime deficit they dug themselves at...

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Georgia Tech wins the battle of the 22s as Tar Heels drop 3rd straight

Posted By on Sun, Feb 12, 2012 at 5:58 PM

CARMICHAEL ARENA/CHAPEL HILL UNC faces yet another must-win game to hold its spot in the Top 25, and again it’s not an easy assignment. Photo courtesy UNC athleticsUNC forward Laura BroomfieldThe No. 22 Tar Heels (17-4, 7-4 ACC) will face No. 22 Georgia Tech (17-4, 7-4), UNC trying to break a two-game losing streak that happened on the road against teams ranked in the nation’s top half-dozen. No typos there. The rankings and records are the same. This contest is the first between same-ranked teams by The Associated Press in women’s basketball since Jan. 14, 2003, when No. 14 Mississippi...

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Wounded Heels channel heartbreak to top UVa

Posted By on Sat, Feb 11, 2012 at 11:55 PM

File photo by Arianna HoffmannMcAdoo's progress gives UNC hope off the bench DEAN SMITH CENTER/CHAPEL HILL — Anyone at the game on Saturday afternoon easily could detect the despondency exhibited by the Tar Heels. Just three days after the Duke-authored collapse that will live in infamy — and eternally on ESPN — Carolina hosted Virginia and failed to open the competition with its customary joy. (When John Henson is bummed, you know something is wrong.) But the Heels persevered through a turbulent first half and raced past the Cavaliers in the second, simply overwhelming one of the most plodding clubs...

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Hoop Cheese: The Duke-UNC fallout, and why did NC State get left out of the realignment fun?

Posted By on Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Photo by Al DragoDid someone in Durham get news about the Facebook IPO?This week's Hoop Cheese edition has so many words in it, not even Austin Rivers could say them while scoring 29 points in a hostile gym. You may have heard there was a Duke-UNC basketball game in Chapel Hill. That one came down to a buzzer-beater. There was one in Durham, too, on Monday. There was no need to beat the buzzer in that one, as the Duke women hammered Sylvia Hatchell's Tar Heels 96-56. Mike Potter gives us the lay of the land, the high ground of...

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Wolfpack takes care of business against underdog Longwood

Posted By on Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 10:05 PM

REYNOLDS COLISEUM/RALEIGH It’s not uncommon for high-level college basketball teams to schedule a “firewall” game in February, an all-but-guaranteed win over a lesser visiting team just in case there’s a need to end a losing streak. N.C. State’s is tonight. Photo courtesy NCSU athleticsState guard Erica DonovanThe 14-10 Wolfpack, which has lost two straight and four of its last five, will host Longwood (5-20), which is thanking its stars it’s in its final season as an NCAA independent. The Lancers will join three other Western Virginia schools in the Big South next season. Duke alumna Wanisha Smith is a Longwood...

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Rivers of blood doom Tar Heels to founder, choke and drown

Posted By on Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 11:32 AM

File photo by Al DragoRivers suddenly possesses an immense legacy DEAN SMITH CENTER/CHAPEL HILL — No snotty freshman can sashay into the illustrious Dean Dome and hand North Carolina its severed head in thrilling, soul-usurping fashion, right? Well, not until last night. Capping a legendary comeback that revived his team from a 10-point deficit with under three minutes to play, Austin Rivers swished a three-pointer as time expired to vaporize the Smith Center crowd and give Duke what likely will be remembered as its best win in the rivalry’s history. How did this happen? Because I’m on the UNC beat,...

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The enigmatic Gale Agbossoumonde talks about his soccer odyssey and why he joined the Carolina RailHawks

Posted By on Tue, Feb 7, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Neil MorrisIt does not take long to glimpse the sundry sides of Gale Agbossoumonde. With a hulking frame and renown to match, it’s easy to forget that he is still just 20 years old. Shy yet fun-loving, one moment he’s struggling to stifle laughter during a photo shoot. The next, he’s dissecting the different traits endemic to fan bases throughout European football, speaking with the sort of acuity often exhibited by child prodigies. Even at his young age, Agbossoumonde has already enjoyed and endured enough experiences to fill a lifetime. From fleeing his war-torn native Togo, where his father died...

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