Your Minnesota Gophers taking on the #8 North Carolina Tar Heels in Puerto Rico. What's more fun that this? So of course I'm gonna write some stuff.
19:36 - Good Gopher defense leads to a UNC turnover. That needs to happen a lot for the Gophers to have a chance here.
19:00 - Another UNC turnover, an airball by Rodney, a missed UNC layup, and a charge on Nolen. This is ugly. Fast-paced, but ugly.
18:03 - Interesting to note that the Heels struggled a bit with Hofstra's zone yesterday - well, as much as you can struggle when you win by 40 - yet the Gophers are going man-to-man here. If it's to negate the size of the Heels it isn't working. Zeller has a jumper and UNC's other bucket is off an offensive board. 4-1 Heels.
17:22 - Ralph hits that 16 footer. I love when he hits that when it's given to him. As long as he doesn't fall in love with it and turn into a Rickert - which was a problem last year - I love his versatility.
16:30 - Heels go with a half-court trap, which leads to a wide open three for Hoff, which he, of course, nails. Bring it, Carolina. Now Justin Knox picks up his second foul, and Zeller has two as well. Excellent. 7-4 Gophers as we go to the under 16 timeout.
15:50 - Tubby goes with an entire second five here, which causes me to ask, "Is Tubby Smith functionally retarded?" Four freshman, including Maverick, and Iverson against North Carolina? This is basically free reign for Carolina to take back the lead.
15:14 - Maverick travels.
15:02 - Henson blows right past Walker and draws a foul. Makes 1 of 2. 7-5 Gophers.
14:47 - Good pass goes right through Iverson's hands to Carolina.
14:14 - Travel on Armelin. This is going swimmingly.
13:19 - Terrible pass by Hollins leads to a dunk by the Heels. 7-7.
13:01 - Walker hookshot hits nothing but back board. Layup by Zeller. 9-7 Carolina. You know what is so retarded? You can actually take one or two starters out and leave three others in the game. You don't actually have to take all five out at a time. So stupid. Does he think he's playing South Dakota? You can't put that lineup out there against Carolina. Luckily most of the starters are now back in.
11:42 - I think Strickland can actually stick with Nolen off the dribble. You don't see that very often.
11:26 - Clear goal tend on a layup by Nolen. No call. Looks like the refs are wearing their Carolina blue t-shirts under their stripes tonight. Announcers don't even mention the goal tend. This is a conspiracy. Just like in that movie Conspiracy Theory.
10:27 - Mbakwe goes over everybody for an offensive board, and is fouled and sent to the line. That should be one of two.
10:27 - Nope, 2-of-2, no rims hit. 13-12 Heels.
9:57 - Ralph from 14 after an o-board. Looking like he's legit
9:13 - Waaaaaaaaay too many offensive rebounds for Carolina. They missed three three-pointers on that possession, and must have nearly double-digit offensive rebounds already. That's gotta stop.
7:38 - Iverson showing his value, and he seems to be the only one who can keep Carolina from getting any offensive rebounds. Still a brick wall on offense. And that 5-second call on Mbakwe is the Gophers' ninth turnover already. Turnovers and allowing offensive rebounds. That's like the arsenic and cyanide of a successful basketball team.
6:03 - Another turnover leads to a Carolina dunk, and it's suddenly 21-16 UNC. Tubby wisely calls timeout, and it's time, right now, to do something good before this turns into a rout.
5:37 - Hollins fouled on a three-pointer. Makes 1. If turnovers and o-boards are arsenic and cyanide, missing free throws is like swallowing a nuclear warhead.
5:24 - Armelin airballs a free throw. Jesus jumped on christ on a broken bar stool. He then clangs the next one. It's a free throw, geniuses. Nobody is even playing defense. That would be like hitting a baseball off a tee with nobody playing defense and not being able to get a single (NOTE: Nick Punto doesn't count).
4:00 - North Carolina is on a whole different level of athletic.
3:38 - Harrison Barnes just made two free throws for his first two points of the night. If nothing else they are doing a great job on him. Both Rodney when he's matched up individually and as a team, helping out when he drives or posts. Of course, he's not doing himself any favors by immediately passing it off when he's got Hoffarber on him one-on-one. Might want to start recognizing that kind of thing, Harry.
2:52 - Hoffarber is like 1-50 from three tonight. Also Barnes is faking an injury since he's playing so poorly.
1:46 - Now 2 for 51. 23-22 Carolina.
0:42 - Wow, another terrible call on a backcourt violation that was called on the Gophers but was clearly tipped by Carolina. I mean clearly and obviously. Once again, the announcers don't say a god damn word. I can't decide if these guys are biased or just completely fucking incompetent. Seriously, how do you get an announcing job? 95% of these guys are dumb as hell and I think half of them don't even understand the game.
0:02 - Blake now 3 for 52. 27-24 Gophers.
HALF - Wow, hell of a half. Blake, Ralph, and Mbakwe all carried the offense at times, but Iverson might have been the MVP of the half. The only times Carolina didn't completely own the offensive glass was when Colt was in. Gophers are right there, man. Keep them off the boards and stop freaking turning it over every other possession and they could end up with a huge win.
19:36 - Mbakwe wide open for an alley oop and Ralph overthrows him by about 10 feet. Damn.
19:04 - Hoff with another one. My Hoffboner is growing.
18:24 - Ralph for three. My hoffboner is only surpassed by my Ralphrection.
17:28 - Barnes is brutal right now. He's 0-7 on the game, and he's had some decent looks. How he was named a preseason All-American and Ralph wasn't is a completely mystery. Well, not really. Damn east coast bias.
16:38 - Alley oop to Henson. 100% Ralph's fault. He's in the middle of the zone and he let himself get sealed off away from the basket. Can't do that.
15:56 - Just saw Corey Joseph be a huge jackass in their game. Ha ha. Also got two texts (from Snacks and Grandslam) to that affect.
15:21 - Some genius just fouled Iverson 28 feet from the basket. Right where he's most dangerous.
15:04 - Hoffarber on Barnes again. Barnes gets the ball on the wing, one-on-one position. Rather than doing anything intelligent he takes a three-pointer, which he clangs off. Huge break for the Gophers that his basketball IQ is right around a six.
12:55 - Mbakwe just abused Henson. God he's so awesome. He's like Randy Carter if Carter wasn't such a little girl in the lane. Gophers up 41-36. Still waiting for the inevitable meltdown.
11:34 - Nolen airballs a three, then Rodney airballs the follow. Feels like this could be it right here. Jesus.
11:09 - Tie game.
10:46 - HOFFDADDY!!!
9:46 - Oh my god Mbakwe. He just dunked on everybody's face from a standing position. I don't believe the Gophers have EVER had a player who could do that.
8:42 - Hoff for 2. I feel like he let me down. 50-43 Gophers. I feel some excitement starting to build. Luckily I have a lot of experience quashing optimism being a Minnesota fan my whole life.
8:42 - I'm going to see Harry Potter tomorrow morning. Stoked.
8:11 - Rodney with a very nice drive. Suck it Harrison.
7:52 - Tyler Zeller has the second best hook shot in all of the NCAA. Ralph is first of course. And you now damn well this game is going to come down to if the Gophers can make their free throws. How does that make you feel?
7:03 - I just said "Oh my god" out loud after Rodney's offensive rebound tip dunk like I was a black dude in a movie theater.
6:40 - So I started up a Fantasy Big Ten Hoops League with some of the all-stars from this blog: Snacks, Bogart, Dawger, Snake, Optimator, Grand Slam, and Elk. My team is Shurna, Buford, Nolen, Roe, Gatens, and Novak. I'm definitely winning. Although I think Dawger's pick of Hoff in the third round, a pick we all kind of giggled about being too early, might actually end up being the steal of the draft. I know Snacks is already trying to work a trade.
5:00 - A few free-throws and a lay-up and it's now 58-55 Minnesota. They withstood one UNC run, can they withstand another?
4:38 - NOLEN FOR THREE!!!
4:02 - Nolen now to the line for a one-and-one. These are huge.
4:02 - Makes just one. Gophers up 62-55.
3:46 - Feel free to get Mo Walker out of the game any time.
3:15 - Nolen just rips the rebound away from Zeller. God I love good Al Nolen.
3:00 - Can anybody explain to me why Walker shot a three-pointer just then? And then he fouls Zeller who can now make a three-point play. That's a six point swing in the negative direction all by himself. God fuckin' dammit.
2:39 - Heels foul Hoffarber, the only guy who can make free throws. Hits both, 64-59 Gophers.
2:15 - When the Gophers have their starters out there their 2-3 zone is pretty incredible. They might not be as fast or athletic as some other teams, but they are definitely quick, and in that 2-3 that's all you need. And as I type, steal by Nolen. Ends up with Colton at the line for two. Come on, bricklayer. One time.
1:47 - Hits both. Holy shit. WTF?
1:16 - Rodney with a nearly insane dunk over Zeller where he hung in the air for something like 17 seconds. Now at the line. Makes both 68-59.
0:56 - Barnes now 0-12 for the game. Foul sends Hoff to the line. Guess who told all you dickholes the Gophers were going to win? Yep. Me. I'm a god damn basketball Einstein.
0:42 - Carolina hits a jumper to make it 69-61. I am now terrified I opened my mouth too soon and they're going to find a way to blow this.
0:37 - Somehow Iverson falls down. Ball back to Carolina. Oh god. It's happening.
0:32 - Sampson fouls Barnes, which means he's fouled out and also that Carolina can put up two points with only five seconds coming off the clock.
0:28 - Iverson dunk. I'm actually kind of surprised he didn't miss. Carolina hits a triple on the other end, and it's a 71-65 game with 20 seconds left. They can't lose this, right? Right?
0:12 - Somehow Carolina lets 8 seconds run off before fouling Nolen. At this point just make one and that's ballgame. And there it is. Sweet.
0:00 - Ballgame. 72-67 Gophers.
Now it's on to West Virginia for the championship, and honestly it doesn't really matter what happens this trip was now definitely a success. Huge win, and basically guarantees the Gophers are about to be ranked. I'm stoked, kids. Full on stoked.