Saturday, March 13, 2004

What a Day - WOW

.........and I missed most of it. On the road in Orange Beach, AL, I tried to figure out how to catch the game. I taught a class at an industry seminar, then headed for the Pensacola airport. I call one of my collegues in the office to give me an update - Tech up at the half. I was fairly early for my flight, so I decide to eat first. I look for anywhere that might have a TV - and as luck would have it I ran across a Hooters. Walk inside and there were boob................. tubes everywhere. Plopped down at the bar and watched the 2nd half - and what a nail-biter it was. Enough of my personal stories. On with the game.

The Jackets take down the Tarheels on day one of the ACC tourney 83-82. Talk about an ACC classic. A tough battle to the end. Ten ties and 6 lead changes. I really though GT was going to take it to the house with the 11 point lead, but the Tarheels fought back to take the lead. Have to give them a lot of credit. Great team effort to win this game - everything from good free throw shooting to solid defense to doing a better job protecting the ball (15 to's not great but better) to a nice spread of offense. In fact we had 5 guys over 10 points and C-Moore chipped in 7. The overall flow of the game was that GT shot very well most of the game (49.1% overall) while UNC didn't shoot as well (39.4%), but outrebounded GT 43-35 to keep getting more shots.

There is a very obvious MVP - Jarrett Jack. He ended with 17 points, 7-7 from the stripe, 3 boards, 6 assists, no turnovers, 1 steal. Of course hitting the last shot with 2 seconds will help put his stamp on Georgia Tech history. He must have been reading all these articles talking about needing to get some big wins to put his name in the same class as Anderson, Best, Price and Marbury. He certainly made a case today. The last play of the game was a breakdown of Coach Hewitt's called play and just a case of a guy making a play. Jack just made something happen.

The other MVP has to be our favorite Aussie - Luuuuuuuuukkkkkkkkeeeeee. He ended with 17 points (6-9), 17 boards (6 offensive), 2 assists, 1 block and 2 to's. He also hit 5-6 free throws. Hewitt had some nice words after the game for Luke (as usual). Luke was really disappointed in his performance against FSU and wanted to show something today - he did. And we'll need it again.

One last mention - senior Marvin Lewis - for keeping his wits about him and not celebrating early. That steal on the inbounds play was classic and a great "senior" moment. Thanks Marvin.

As usual in the ACC, things don't get easier. Dook took care of UVA so another re-match is in order. Expect another physical hard fought game - there have been firewords in both so far. Big concern - how will BJ's ankle be?????? The twist did not look pleasant on TV - hopefully he can bounce back.

In other action, Maryland knocks off Wake Forest and NC ST knocks off FSU, ending their NCAA tourney hopes imo.

HOW WAS MY PREDICTION? The last 2 months of the season I have been scary close with my score predictions. If you look at the post below I predicted a 83-78 GT victory - the actual was 83-82. So how does that bode for the Dook game???? Well, as usual I cannot go against my Jackets. GT wins 74-70.

22-0 this season when holding opponents to 44% or under in FG shooting............. today UNC shot 39.4%
21-0 when holding opponents to 71 points or less............. today UNC scored 82 and we still won
16-1 when we win the rebounding battle.................. today UNC won the rebounding battle
20-1 when leading at the half.............. today GT led by 3 at the half.

The first one is probably the most critical. We have not been a great rebounding team in ACC play, so we have to keep opponent shooting % down because they are likely to get more shots than us. Combine that with our higher turnover rates lately (although only 15 today), and opponents typically are getting more shots than us. Today UNC had 9 more shots, but we made 2 more than they did.