Sir Walter Raleigh has March basketball fever and a true rooting interest.
Supporting the NC State men's basketball team and their run to the Sweet 16, the statue in front of the Raleigh Convention Center dons a red Wolfpack jersey.
Also supporting the sports teams in the city that bears his name, the statue is holding a flag for Shaw University. The Bears women's team will play in the NCAA Division II championship game Friday against Ashland.
Battle, a Broughton High School Graduate, defeated Notre Dame’s Mike Broghammer 84-15 percent in the first round and then received 64 percent of the votes in round two to move past St. Louis’ Grandy Glaze.
Up next in the third round for Battle in the Uwe Blab Region is Alabama’s Dakota Slaughter.
The first round of the contest also pitted UNC’s James Michael McAdoo versus The Plumlee Brothers of Duke. McAdoo won easily with 69 percent of the vote before falling in Round 2 to Syracuse’s Scoop Jardine.
No. 1 seeds in the contest are Bak Bak of California, Fab Melo of Syracuse, Cashmere Wright of Cincinnati and Jardine.
After dropping a 4-2 decision to the New York Rangers Tuesday night, the Canes playoff chances have been put on life support.
Even if the playoffs are only a mathematical probability, it doesn’t mean that this group has nothing left to play for. Finishing the season strong isn’t just a politically correct statement when a team’s playoffs hopes are in grave condition. It is something this group must do.
With 12 games left, it would take something of a hockey miracle (think going 12-0-0) for Carolina to make the postseason. Even then, the team would need a motorcade of generosity from teams in front of them.
That doesn’t mean that the last 12 games on the schedule should be punted. If anything, players on this team need to show that they want to be in Raleigh next year.
Don’t count on a huge free agent spending spree for Carolina, because there just isn’t that much flexibility with the roster. There are only two unrestricted free agents heading into the offseason – defensemen Bryan Allen and Jaroslav Spacek. Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford has already voiced the organization's desire to re-sign Allen, and all indications are that Allen would like to stay.
The Canes also have two restricted free agents who played the full season with the team and are in need of new deals. Forward Jiri Tlusty has earned the extension with his play alongside Eric Staal and blue-liner Jamie McBain, who leads the Canes back line with 25 points.
In this edition of the Footprint Podcast, Derek Medlin and I discuss the second meeting between Duke and North Carolina.
Multiple topics stem from the contest, from ACC Coach of the Year implications to seeding. There also seems to be plenty of hand wringing over Kendall Marshall and whether or not he belongs on the conference's 1st team.
For years, Duke students looking to score tickets to the home game against North Carolina have spent much of the spring semester living in tents in Krzyzewskiville. (Photo by Molly Himmelstein)
Editor's Note: Molly Himmelstein is a senior at Duke University and a News Production Assistant at WRAL-TV.
Sleeping bag: check. Tent: check. Warm winter coat: check. Nourishment: yep, I have that too. I’m ready for an epic North Carolina outdoor adventure. And I won’t be traveling alone. More than 1,000 of my classmates will be joining me on my journey, not across the state, not even across the Triangle, but across the quad…to Krzyzewskiville.
Chronicles of a K-Ville resident
Believe it or not, about one-sixth of the Duke undergraduate population relocates from comfortable dorm and apartment living to this tent village, and all for one reason – to earn a coveted spot
The story out of Winston-Salem isn't so much that Duke won, but that Wake Forest covered (for entertainment purposes only). A surprise for many, including me, since most people probably turned the game off with the Blue Devils up 20 points with just over 8 minutes left on the clock.
So what happened? Duke went 5 minutes without a field goal and Wake went on a 14-0 run to cut the lead down to 6. During that stretch, the Blue Devils turned the ball over 5 times and missed a couple of 3-pointers. The turnovers were uncharacteristic, but the missed shots from beyond the arc are going to happen. Duke finished 10-of-20 from 3, but the streakiness in the 2nd half once again illustrates the problem of projecting this team's March prospects.
Duke is impossible to figure out. Ryan Kelly drops a career high while Andre Dawkins barely factors on the court? Mason Plumlee breaks out of his slump to hit key free throws and pull down rebounds? I'm done trying to make sense of the Blue Devils and will get on board with Krzyzewski's point that grading individual performances looking for flaws is a waste of time at this point. Not to get all Tebow about it, but Duke is just finding ways to win despite all the problems we keep pointing out.
For this regular season performance, credit obviously goes to the players. It should also go to Coach K, who has tinkered with the lineups all season. Occasionally he'll throw something on the court that looks like an atrocious
The Cavaliers were edged out by North Carolina on Saturday. Much like the first contest in Chapel Hill, Mike Scott found himself in early foul trouble and wasn't much of a factor. If Scott doest end up with ACC Player of the Year hardware at the end of the season, these games against the Tar Heels will be the reason. Only 24 points and 13 rebounds combined. Compare that to Tyler Zeller, the likely candidate to emerge from North Carolina's roster, who has a combined 45 points in the two meetings and has been crucial to their victories.
In Graham's mind, this has John Swofford's golf polo looming over it. His conspiratorial Spidey Senses tingled when Scott was fouled for an elbow on John Henson. Or as Graham put it, "Henson either a yellow card in European soccer or a Best Supporting Actor honor at tonight’s Academy Awards."
Graham is either trolling hard or rather convinced the ACC will do everything possible to keep North Carolina and Duke on top. I'm hoping it's the former, which would just a ploy for page views. Unfortunately, it's probably the latter.
Graham's grand solution to fight "the man" in Greensboro? Boycott. Not the ACC Tournament or television.
Virginia Tech's Erick Green after missing a late layup during the Hokies' 70-65 overtime loss to Duke on Saturday, February 25, 2012 in Durham, NC (Photo by Jack Morton).
North Carolina, NC State and Duke all entered contests with varying degrees of importance this weekend. The games weren't pretty, but that's not the point this time of the year. The concept of surviving and advancing arrived early, which is what the Tar Heels and Blue Devils accomplished. Not so much for the Wolfpack, who felt the bitter sting of defeat.
We're left with a familiar situation in the final week of the season. North Carolina and Duke will meet on Saturday with the ACC regular season title, mythical or not, on the line. Meanwhile, NC State looks NIT-bound unless they can pull of an ACC Tournament shocker.
Mark Gottfried figured 11 conference wins would do the trick. A lofty goal for his first season at NC State, but possible with the talent at his disposal. The Wolfpack left some wins on the table, specifically home losses to Georgia Tech and Virginia. Still, Gottfried's squad showed fight and entered into crucial stretch of games that would have gone a long way towards solidifying an NCAA Tournament berth. Everyone knows how those panned out, but all was not lost.
With the final 3 games of the regular season, NC State was clinging to the bubble and would remain in that position if they won out. The conventional wisdom was that the Wolfpack needed to get to at least the ACC Tournament semifinals to get serious consideration by the selection committee. But again, the key was to beat Clemson, Miami and Virginia Tech.
And, I guarantee this is the only time I write about Cal Poly Pomona playing Cal State Dominguez Hills.
These two Division II schools went to overtime Friday night, setting the stage for Pomona's Mitchel Anderson to hit a shot that's making the Internet rounds a day later. As dramatic endings go, this one is right up there - a 60-foot buzzer-beater for the win.
It's definitely worth checking out - Dominguez Hills takes the lead with 0.6 seconds to play, and still loses...