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Thursday, February 14, 2013

No "North Carolina Comeback" for Tar Heels as Duke steals a win

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 10:20 AM

File photo by Al DragoTyler Thornton, in action during the 2011-12 seasonCAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM—The war of attrition played out in two distinct parts in tonight’s Tobacco Road clash between the No. 2 Duke Blue Devils and the UNC Tar Heels (16-8, 6-5). In the first half, Roy Williams’ boys looked sharp, and played aggresively on the defensive end, causing three Duke turnovers in the first two minutes and harassing Duke’s Mason Plumlee in the paint. Dexter Strickland penetrated himself into a couple of tender layups, while P.J. Hairston out-muscled and out-jumped everyone on Duke’s squad, attracting attention and creating extra...

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

C.B. Claiborne on being Duke's first black basketball player

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Duke PhotographyC.B. Claiborne dunks during a game against Maryland. At this time, Maryland was also one of the few schools open to black players.This year, Duke University commemorates "50 Years of Black Students at Duke University"—a nine-month celebration that includes lectures, receptions, panel discussions and the compiling of archival material. In 1963, Duke completed one of its last stages of desegregation when five African-American enrolled as undergraduates. Two years later, in 1965, Claudius B. Claiborne made the hour-and-a-half drive down from his Danville, Va. hometown to Durham and became the first African-American to play for the Duke University men’s basketball...

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Canes gel on the road to lead division

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 7:27 AM

FOX SPORTS CAROLINAS (TV)—Remember grumbling about the Hurricanes a couple weeks ago? In a word, they were middling. They'd win one and then lose one, very Jekyll and Hyde. It turns out that they just needed a little trip. Photo by Chris BairdEric Staal is among the league scoring leaders after Carolina's 4-1-1 road trip.The Canes completed their season-high six-game road trip last night in New Jersey with a flourish of muscle and skill, dumping the conference-leading Devils 4-2. Carolina's 4-1-1 trip pushes then to the top of their division at the quarter turn of the lockout-shortened season, as the...

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Gray hits career high as Duke blows past Maryland

Posted By on Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 11:30 PM

CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM It may be Duke’s toughest assignment at home this season. Photo courtesy Duke athleticsDuke guard Chelsea GrayTonight in an ESPN “Big Monday” game, the No. 5 Blue Devils (21-1, 11-0 ACC) will take on No. 7 Maryland (19-3, 10-1) in a must-win contest for first place in the conference. And of course adding extra fuel to the fire is that Maryland, which for some reason considers Duke its biggest rival in the ACC, has announced its departure for the Big Ten (sic). This one is competitive until the final media timeout, with Duke pulling away down the...

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NASL releases 2013 Fall Season schedule - In with the Cosmos, out with the Islanders

Posted By on Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 6:48 PM

Today, the North American Soccer League (NASL) released their 2013 Fall Season schedule, which will open Saturday, August 3 after a month-long break that begins following the last round of Spring Season games on July 4. The 56-match Fall Season will conclude Saturday, November 2 with a full slate of matches involving all eight NASL clubs. The winner of the Fall Season will face the winner of the Spring Season in the one-game NASL Soccer Bowl. The two most significant developments are the arrival of the revamped New York Cosmos and the absence of the Puerto Rico Islanders. The Cosmos...

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Balanced effort gives Wolfpack easy win over Clemson, evens record

Posted By on Sun, Feb 10, 2013 at 7:19 PM

REYNOLDS COLISEUM/RALEIGH N.C. State has gotten on a positive roll of late, and if the Wolfpack is thinking about post-season play that needs to continue today. Photo courtesy NCSU athleticsNCSU forward Lakeesa DanielThe opponent is Clemson (6-16, 2-9), which is sitting in last place in the ACC. Kellie Harper’s Wolfpack (11-12, 3-8) has won three of its last four games, and its only home loss to an unranked team was to Michigan State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge back on Nov. 29. The Wolfpack is looking to get back to .500 for the first time in three weeks. This one...

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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Six minutes of displeasure: UNC crumbles at Miami

Posted By on Sat, Feb 9, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Those Carolina fans who decided to watch the UNC/Miami game while washing dishes, doing the laundry, knitting or just about anything else chose well. After winning several recent games versus inferior opponents at least somewhat impressively, the Tar Heels reverted to form when they stepped up the competition this afternoon and sewed up a loss in just a few minutes. Miami soared to a quick 9-0 lead and never experienced a single moment of stress, whipping the Heels 81-67. The Hurricanes put Carolina in a clown suit during the second half, clearly not taking their opponent seriously while tossing lobs...

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Dean Smith and the Pluralist Commonwealth vision

Posted By on Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 11:10 AM

File photo by Jeremy M. LangeA view of Franklin Street from 2009Note: Thursday evening I was a participant in a panel on scale, place, and community hosted by the McConnell Center at the ACC's newest outpost, the University of Louisville. This blog is an excerpt from remarks at the talk, which begin with a reflection on the role of UNC basketball in sustaining a sense of community in Chapel Hill. Thank you for the opportunity to be here this evening and to the University of Louisville for inviting us. The question of human scale, and related questions of place and...

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Duke's convincing win over N.C. State is so much sweeter than revenge: 98-85

Posted By on Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 9:54 AM

CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/ DURHAM—The first time these two teams played, N.C. State (16-8, 5-6) had gone nine consecutive games without a loss. Coming into tonight’s game against No. 4 Duke (21-2,8-2), the Wolfpack had lost four of its last six games. They walked in Cameron Indoor Stadium with considerably less mojo than they had at home and without their crafty-passing point guard, Lorenzo Brown. The Blue Devils, on the other hand, were still missing one of their senior captains, Ryan Kelly; and had to go without the reserve power of Josh Hairston, due to an infected cut in his arm...

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tar Heels win six out of seven, but are they truly off the NCAA Tournament bubble?

Posted By on Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 9:02 AM

UNC Athletic CommunicationsUNC will showcase fancy new threads on SaturdayNo. That’s the answer to the question above. North Carolina, despite its recent winning streak and reasonably impressive 16-6 overall (6-3 ACC) record, still faces NIT jeopardy. The Tar Heels have avoided losing to any bad teams during conference play, but they’ve also failed to defeat any good ones. They’ve dropped all three contests against the upper-tier ACC squads they’ve encountered: Miami, N.C. State and Virginia. Given that the Heels mostly performed poorly during the non-conference schedule, they’ll need to notch one or two eye-catching wins to solidify a place in...

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Duke romps over host Tar Heels to delay Hatchell's 900th

Posted By on Sun, Feb 3, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Photo by Chris BairdDuke's Chelsea Gray holds the ball as UNC's Tierra Ruffin-Pratt defends.CARMICHAEL ARENA/CHAPEL HILL It’s definitely the Big Game around here — at least for the next five-ish hours until the actual Super Bowl starts. With No. 11 UNC hosting No. 5 Duke in a battle for first place in the ACC with all kinds of ranking and post-season implications, it’s the Triangle’s most important women’s basketball game of the season. And oh, Tar Heel coach Sylvia Hatchell will look for her 900th career victory against her team’s bitterest rival. Hatchell is 31-31 against Duke, while Blue Devil...

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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Heels outslug Hokies in forgettable Saturday tilt

Posted By on Sat, Feb 2, 2013 at 2:27 PM

From the outset, this was one of those games that carried meaning for North Carolina only if the Tar Heels lost. Even without P.J. Hairston, oddsmakers installed UNC as a 15-point favorite at home versus Virginia Tech. But Carolina brushed up against a potentially catastrophic defeat, saved by Marcus Paige's key overtime jump shots and James Michael McAdoo's strong overall play to outlast the Hokies 72-60. The Heels appeared to have the game in hand late during regulation, but Paige and McAdoo committed consecutive turnovers and Tech missed a game-winning shot at the buzzer. UNC regained its composure during the...

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Postcards from Duke's two-game road-stretch

Posted By on Sat, Feb 2, 2013 at 7:08 AM

hikingviking/ Creative CommonsYou would have never guessed it, but Wednesday night’s Duke/ Wake Forest game was, in fact, Duke’s toughest game of the year. The Demon Deacons—led by Travis McKie and Devin Thomas—never lost control of the game, but lost absolute control of Mason Plumlee, who put up a career-high 32-points. The game was close the entire time, and most of it was comprised of the Blue Devils sticking to a plan to spoil Plumlee with in-the-paint service. It worked, and Plumlee repayed the team on the defensive end by coming up with a couple of big blocks for Duke....

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Friday, February 1, 2013

ESPN gigs shouldn't be safety net for coaches who cheat

Posted By on Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Tennessee Journalist/Creative CommonsBruce Pearl in 2009You can't blame ESPN, a principal promoter and profiteer of college basketball, for wanting to hire studio hosts and game commentators who are knowledgeable, opinionated and bring strong personality to the table. Bruce Pearl, the former Tennessee coach who can often be found opposite former Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg in the studio and on occasion in the color commentator's seat courtside, certainly fits that bill. I have but two questions about this arrangement. First, why is ESPN providing a safety net to coaches who have been shown to violate major NCAA rules and to...

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