State-Carolina Gameday

The game is on The ACC Network, 8pm; locally that’s WRAL.

The 1989 team — for you younger folks, that was our last regular-season champion — will be honored before tonight’s game. No word from the ACC yet if that’s considered “excessive demonstration.”

As for the future of the rivalry? WRAL:

The University of North Carolina and North Carolina State have met on the basketball court twice per year every year since 1920 – that 92-year home-and-home series will no longer be guaranteed under the league’s new scheduling model.

Capitol Broadcasting’s 99.9FM The Fan ESPN Radio and 620AM The Buzz have combined forces to bring attention to the loss of such a big rivalry game.

“We get that college sports is big business but there’s certain things you should not mess with, and the traditions of Tobacco Road are about as high as you can get,” said Operations Manager and Program Director Jason Dixon. “We’re doing our best to draw attention to what we feel isn’t right.”

“Frankly, we think it’s kind of ridiculous that the ACC is taking away two games that helped build the league in the first place,” 99.9 The Fan’s Joe Ovies said in an interview with WRAL News Tuesday. “It’s not what it once was, but it still gets people going, especially in this area.”

Fans can also interact with the twitter account @stateuncrivalry and use the hashtag #savetherivalry when discussing the change.

Feel free to discuss the game below, and then mosey on over to the SFN Forums to discuss a variety of topics.

And for all you diehard Caroliner fans out there, just remember: it’s “Tar Heels” (two words), not “Tarheels” (one word).

NC STATE BASKETBALL
ncsu bball logo

Kyle McMahan (technicianonline.com)
Tonight’s the night

This past week has put the team in a bit of a rut. Players’ heads are down, and they may have lost the State basketball style that won games in the first place. However, coach Mark Gottfried always sticks with his team. He has confidence in his players, no matter his reaction on the bench, which is something he’s said it from day one.

“We have proven that we are a good team. We have done that throughout the year and we did it tonight.”

Gottfried said that immediately after the Duke game. He knows his team has talent and that hanging your head sure does make it hard to shoot a basketball.

Needless to say, tonight is a must-win, a term that I have never liked. With so many individual plays and games in a season, I used to think “How can you say you ‘must’ win this one game.” Well, now I understand. State fans, the Pack has to win this game, and there is no reason to think that it can’t. Seeing as the team has so many things to play for, it is almost fate for them to come together for one single game.

Play for revenge. N.C. State got blown out by 19 in the first game against Carolina. I was in the Dean Dome watching as UNC students chanted “not our rival” at the top of their lungs.

Play for significance. State has failed to beat a ranked opponent this season, and it’s about time teams feared an upset any time they visited the RBC Center.

Play for Googs and Corch. Referee Mike Hess ejected Tom Gugliotta and Chris Corchiani, two basketball legends, at the Florida St. game for doing… well we still don’t know yet.

Play for respect. The ACC’s response to the ejection wasn’t an apology or an explanation, but a statement that said Hess should have ejected them in another manner. I don’t know about other fans, but as for me, I’m tired of being disrespected by a conference run by a UNC-alum.

Jacey Zembal (TheWolfpacker.com)
NC State regroups following FSU loss

The NC State basketball team wasn’t even allowed to touch a basketball Sunday following the 76-62 loss to No. 20-ranked Florida State the previous day.

NC State’s offense came unglued against the bigger, more physical FSU squad, which rotated 11 players throughout the game. The Wolfpack finished shooting 29.3 percent from the field, and that was only because sophomore power forward C.J. Leslie went 8 of 14 for 21 points.

Gottfried made sure the players took some time off to get refreshed for Tuesday’s impending game against No. 8-ranked North Carolina at the RBC Center. The Tar Heels cap a difficult three games in six days stretch against three top 25 programs. NC State also played No. 5-ranked Duke last Thursday.

“I took the balls and locked them up Sunday night,” NC State coach Mark Gottfried said. “I told them that nobody can get the balls on Sunday.”

NC State is seeking a statement win against UNC to improve its NCAA Tournament chances.

“Our players felt bad with how they played against Florida State,” Gottfried said. “We watched film yesterday and talked about a lot of things. I think our guys will be very excited with a lot of energy Tuesday.”

Rishav Dey (technicianonline.com)
Pack seeks to avenge loss against North Carolina at RBC

One of the main reasons the Pack has faltered in the last couple of games has been the cold streak of junior guard Scott Wood. Wood, who is one of the best shooters in the ACC and averages 13 points per game, has shot just 2-17 in the last two games. Gottfried felt physical tiredness had taken its toll on Wood.

“I think maybe I’ve played [Wood] a few minutes too many, but I don’t think it’s that much,” Gottfried said. “I think my observation is 38-39 minutes is probably too many, but that it doesn’t need to be 28 or 29. But I do think he has looked fatigued shooting the ball, and he’s such a good shooter. We have to make some adjustments there.”

Gottfried believed keeping UNC from getting as many rebounds as they normally do would be important if the Pack were to cause an upset. The Tar Heels lead the nation with 46 rebounds per game.

“You’ve got to find a way to keep [UNC] off the backboard,” Gottfried said. “Sometimes their best offense is a missed shot. Just miss it and go get it. They are very talented.”

GoPack.com
The Pack Entertains Seventh-Ranked Tar Heels

The Wolfpack returns to action on Tuesday when it hosts seventh-ranked North Carolina at the RBC Center. Game time is 8 p.m., and RBC Center doors will open 90 minutes prior to the starting time.
In pre game, the 1989 NC State squad will receive the inaugural “Wolfpack Unlimited” Award. The honor will recognize individuals and teams that refuse to accept the status quo and exhibit the “Never Give Up” spirit of the Wolfpack. The 1989 squad featured such players as Chucky Brown, Rodney Monroe, Chris Corchiani, Tom Gugliotta, Brian Howard, Brian D’Amico, Mickey Hinnant, Jamie Knox, David Lee, Avie Lester, Kenny Poston, Kelsey Weems and Roland Whitley.
Tuesday’s game will feature two of the top scoring teams in the ACC with State is averaging 73.8 points per game (3rd – ACC) and UNC is scoring 82.8 per game (1st – ACC).

Stephen Schramm (fayobserver.com)
Wolfpack isolates areas of concern before showdown with UNC

If you think N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried responded to his team’s listless performance in Saturday’s loss to Florida State with fire, brimstone and especially grueling practices, you’d be a little off.

Gottfried said Monday that he planned on focusing on what went wrong with his Wolfpack (18-9, 7-5) in the loss and pushing his team in preparation for Tuesday night’s meeting with visiting North Carolina (23-4, 10-2). He said the session slated for Monday afternoon would be – like most of his workouts – intense. But as far as bringing the pain, nah. Not so much.

“We are now late into February,” Gottfried said on Monday. “There’s a fine line between me putting them on the end line and punishing guys, or creating that kind of environment and balancing that by understanding that when you get to late February, the dye is cast somewhat with you team. We are who we are. We have to get better in some areas. We have to improve on certain things.”

There are a handful of areas that need focus right away.

AARON BEARD (AP)
Lutz, Early helping Wolfpack show some spark

Bobby Lutz and Orlando Early know the pressure facing North Carolina State coach Mark Gottfried when he calls a play late in a tight game or tries to discern team morale after a tough loss.

The assistants have been there before as head coaches running their own programs.

With their experience on the Wolfpack bench, it’s no coincidence the program is having its best season in six years. Lutz spent a dozen years as Charlotte’s head coach; Early spent five years as head coach at Louisiana-Monroe.

Gottfried said both have been go-to assets in his first season here, even on something as simple as when to cut practice short to keep players fresh.

“You just see it differently once you’ve been a head coach,” Gottfried said. “There are so many things each day where Bobby or even Orlando might have a suggestion where you say, ‘You’re right, that’s exactly how we have to handle that situation.’”

Heading into Tuesday’s game with No. 7 North Carolina, N.C. State (18-9, 7-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) already has its best league win total since 2006. That’s also the last time the Wolfpack made the NCAA tournament.

Stephen Schramm (fayobserver.com)
Gottfried: Wolfpack team not wrapped up in ejection drama

“That hasn’t had much to do with us,” Gottfried said. “I appreciate our guys, our former players, having that level of passion. I really do. … They were being passionate fans.”

N.C. State doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to put the issue behind it. On Sunday, the school announced that the 1988-89 team – which conveniently features both Corchiani and Gugliotta – will be honored before the game.

“They can sit wherever they want in my opinion,” Gottfried said.

Bret Strelow (fayobserver.com)
N.C. State assistant coach Bobby Lutz is the team’s super scout

There’s no consensus among college coaches about how to divide scouting responsibilities. N.C. State’s Mark Gottfried has warmed to the idea of empowering one assistant and putting him in charge of communicating the information to players.

One coach. One voice.

Last month, inside the library that was a muted Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, one high-pitched, raspy voice boomed from the visiting bench.

Possession after possession, Wolfpack assistant Bobby Lutz called out Wake Forest’s plays, pointing to spots on the court where the Demon Deacons intended to go and yelling instructions for how to defend them.

N.C. State dismantled the Deacs that afternoon, a testament to the value of scouting. It’s a labor of love for Lutz, whose knack for breaking down an opponent’s strengths and weaknesses has endured through technological advances that dramatically change the way it’s accomplished.

“So many games go down to one possession, two possessions,” Lutz said. “Scouting is one of the many ways you hopefully win a game.”

Technology changes

N.C. State, coming off back-to-back losses, desperately needs a win. And Tuesday’s opponent, North Carolina, hammered the Wolfpack last month.

The first game with UNC was four days away when N.C. State’s players and coaches boarded a bus outside Miami’s BankUnited Center following their victory in late January. Lutz immediately turned on his iPad and started reviewing a downloaded UNC game.

Times sure have changed.

Sliding in a DVD is outdated to some programs, and the era of trading cassette tapes is long gone. Lutz, 53, first scouted with paper and a pencil.

As a 15-year-old third base coach, assisting the nationally acclaimed Howard’s Furniture men’s softball team coached by his Hall of Fame father, Lutz charted pitches. It didn’t matter if his N.C.-based team was playing at the time or not.

After games, he’d visit other fields and study the fiercest hitters from chief contenders. Lutz still remembers that Bruce Meade, a 6-foot-7 slugger for Jerry’s Caterers out of Florida, had more trouble with low-and-outside offerings, a fact that put Howard’s Furniture pitcher Buddy Slater at risk on up-the-middle line drives. The pitch needed to be up in the strike zone against Craig Elliott of Georgia-based Ken Sanders Ford.

“They were going to hit home runs most of the time, but if you can get one or two outs you wouldn’t have normally gotten, that can be the difference in the game,” Lutz said.

He has taken the same approach to coaching basketball.

As a graduate assistant at Clemson in the mid-1980s, Lutz traveled to watch future opponents play in person. He’d listen closely to a coach’s audible play call, then watch film of the same sequence days later.

Lutz made similar trips after becoming Pfeiffer’s head coach in 1986, jumping in his car after practice and driving to places like Laurinburg to catch a first-hand look at a conference foe.

“Not everybody in that league did that,” Lutz said. “We were looking for any edge we could get.”

Derek Medlin (PackPride.com)
Searching For Answers

Following the loss, Mark Gottfried and NC State’s players quickly searched for answers to explain away what happened. There weren’t many excuses, but it was clear that the Pack wasn’t ready to play a basketball game at 1 p.m. Worse yet, NC State wasn’t able to respond to the completely expected punch in the mouth Florida State delivered. All rolled into one, the answers seemed to say ‘we weren’t ready.’

Given what happened in Durham less than 48 hours before, it’s no surprise. And that’s not an excuse, it’s simply the facts. If NC State had held on against the Blue Devils, or even if Florida State hadn’t roared back in the final minute against Virginia Tech, the mindset for both teams would have been different Saturday.

“We walked in [Friday] off a tough loss, and guys were moving a little slow,” Gottfried said. “But again, I just believe you have to be bigger and better than that. Every team has to go through a process of growing up, and this is a learning process for us.”

PackPride.com
TELECONFERENCE: Gottfried Talks UNC

North Carolina’s size was a decisive factor in the first game. So they haven’t gotten any shorter since then. I was just wondering what can you do to help offset that size this time and take away the huge influence it had like in the first game?

We bought a stretching machine. We’re trying to stretch our guys so we get taller. We’re trying to stretch ourselves from 6’8″ to 7 foot.
You know, it’s difficult because not only do they have great length, they use it in a very effective way. In other words, offensively. They go get the offensive rebounds and use their length there. They can score over you with the basketball defensively. They alter a lot of shots.

We’ve got to be creative, and our guys have to attack their size, especially inside, much smarter than we did.

In other words, I don’t think you can just back a guy down and shoot a normal, back-to-the-basket, post move. And we’ve made too many of those attempts. So we’ve got to be a lot better than that.

Last couple games Scott Wood struggled from the three-point line. He had a little slump in the free-throw line. Anything fatigue or the way people are playing him, or is it just a normal slump of the way the guys go through it in the course of the season?

I don’t know the answer to that question. I wish I did. At times he looks a little fatigued. He’s played a lot of minutes. I’m going to cut some of those back just a little bit.

He’s also sometimes been defended really well, and sometimes he’s had some pretty wide open shots too. So it’s probably a combination of everything. Somewhat of a slump, maybe a little tired and maybe a little bit how teams have guarded him too. So I don’t know that it’s just one of those.

I just think sometimes basketball’s a long season, and he’s gone through some periods where he’s been very consistent and here recently hasn’t been as consistent. So hopefully that’s something he can work through.

Andy Katz (ESPN.com)
3-point shot: Wolfpack’s last chance

1. N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said the emotional meltdown at Duke on Thursday did have a dramatic effect on the Wolfpack getting run out of the RBC Center by Florida State two days later. “We were running in mud, lethargic and disappointing,’’ Gottfried said. “For those 30 minutes at Duke we were as good as anybody in the country.’’ Tuesday night against North Carolina may be N.C. State’s last chance to impress the selection committee. But Gottfried does make a strong point that three months ago you would not say “N.C. State” and “NCAA tournament” in the same sentence.

Joe Ovies (WRALSportsfan.com)
Triangle ACCtion: Pack close to NCAA bubble ejection

“Sure, it would be nice if we would have swept right through, you know all that, but if you don’t, that doesn’t mean you are eliminated,” Gottfried said. “Some things still happen. You never know with this.”

Gottfried is right, NC State won’t be eliminated from NCAA Tournament consideration if they complete the Duke/FSU/UNC series without a win. All they do is give outside influences more control of their fate.

At least NC State fans can rest easily knowing they did North Carolina no favors with their losses. The top of the ACC is jammed with the Heels, Duke and Florida State each at 10-2 in conference. Separation arrives on Thursday when the Devils and Seminoles meet. If Florida State and North Carolina win out, the Seminoles would own the tie-breaker thanks to their head-to-head meeting in Tallahassee.

There should be more confidence in the Tar Heels finishing the remainder of the regular season unblemished, especially after Saturday’s complete performance against Clemson. There was a point in the game where North Carolina became disinterested and the Tigers pulled withing 47-41 in the 2nd half, but the game was never really in doubt when the Heels were engaged.

Barry Jacobs (accsports.com)
Jacobs: N.C. State’s Attitude Adjustment

Gottfried sought to minimize any connection, detecting a dangerous detour along the road to reshaping the psyche of a program yearning for renewed relevance.

“Every team has to go through a process of growing up, getting better and this is a learning lesson for us, in my opinion,” he protested. “Regardless of what happens you have to bring your ‘A’ game every night. Mentally. I don’t think we were mentally there. That’s what bothers me.”

There were many explanations for the defeat at Duke – an awakened home team feeding off its crowd, clutch shots made and missed, a Hall of Fame coach manipulating events, the cumulative effects of foul trouble and fatigue. Regardless, judging by the reactions of some players and fans, what lingered was frustration, a sense that external forces were determined to prevent the Wolfpack’s success.

That’s an attitude Gottfried must patiently transform.

The memory of N.C. State’s equality with its nationally prominent neighbors grows ever dimmer, but for many years it went stride for stride with Duke and North Carolina. Presumably it can do so again.

To illustrate how far the program has fallen, split the ACC’s 58 seasons in half.

Over the league’s first 29 years, N.C. State finished with a winning or break-even ACC record more than three quarters of the time (22) and won six conference titles.

In contrast, over the last 29 seasons barely a third of Wolfpack squads (10) finished .500 or better in the league. Under Jim Valvano, N.C. State won ACC championships in 1983 and 1987, and none since.

“When I came, and I can say this, we starting running the race backwards,” offered Les Robinson, who coached his alma mater to a single winning league record in six seasons.

Valvano’s immediate successor was told his primary task was elevating the program’s academic profile. “Sadly, that goes unnoticed now,” said Robinson.

Basketball faced higher recruiting and eligibility standards than other teams at N.C. State or those of most ACC competitors. Under Robinson the program vastly improved its cumulative SAT scores and GPA, removing a blemish that caused the school to be shunned for inclusion in prestigious academic circles.

But that didn’t help competitively.

Denny Kuiper (accsports.com)
Kuiper’s 3-Pointer: FSU-N.C. State

Duke Hangover
Whenever a team loses a heartbreaker like the Pack did against Duke, you have to wonder how it will respond. If a team struggles in the next game it is easy to place the blame on the inability to bounce back. In this case I think there is some truth to that. The Pack seemed a little slow reacting to loose balls, got frustrated and was not sharp on the offensive end.

Too often during the course of the game the Pack players showed frustration in their actions and body language. Lorenzo Brown got a technical foul; Scott Wood had an obvious offensive pushing foul showing his frustration of being closely guarded all day. C.J. Leslie and Richard Howell played hard but visibly demonstrated their discouragement.

Mark Gottfried has done an excellent job of getting his players to play hard and making winning a high priority, but he is still searching for a way to get his team over the hump in dealing with adversity. I think they will get there, but right now they are in a tough stretch.

ACC BASKETBALL

acc basketball logo

Robbi Pickeral (ESPN.com)
Conference Power Rankings: ACC

4. Virginia: The Cavaliers’ upset loss at Clemson marked the first time they have dropped back-to-back games this season. But UVa followed up by beating Maryland to secure its first 20-win season since 2006-07.

5. Miami: After his team lost to the Hurricanes, Wake Forest coach Jeff Bzdelik said he thinks Miami is an NCAA tournament team. But UM (which broke a two-game losing streak with the win) is taking a one-game-at-a-time approach: “It’s a goal and a dream,’’ guard Durand Scott said, according to The Miami Herald. “But you can’t deal with the future unless you take care of the present. Today is the present. Today is what’s important right now.”

6. NC State: With back-to-back losses at Duke and to FSU last week, it’s going to be difficult to reach the 11 ACC victories coach Mark Gottfried predicted his team would need for an NCAA tournament at-large bid. The Wolfpack are now 7-5 in league play, with home games against UNC and Miami and road matchups at Clemson and Virginia Tech left on the docket.

7. Maryland: The Terps suffered their largest margin of defeat this season when they lost by 27 points at Virginia, and coach Mark Turgeon grew so frustrated with his team’s turnovers and shot selection that he pulled his starters with four minutes left. “I just had enough of selfishness, not boxing out, not defending,’’ he said, according to The Baltimore Sun.

8. Clemson: The Tigers followed an upset win over Virginia with yet another loss to the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill. “I don’t think it has much to do with extra pressure or anything like that,” Tanner Smith said of the Tigers’ 0-56 streak at UNC. “We just didn’t make the plays down the stretch that we needed to make.”

Andrew Skwara (accsports.com)
ACC Hoops Power Rankings, Feb. 20

4. Virginia (20-6, 7-5)
The Cavaliers played one of their best games of the season in a 27-point thrashing of Maryland. Too bad it was preceded by one of their worst in a 12-point loss at Clemson. With No. 2 scorer Joe Harris limited due to a hand injury you wonder if the inconsistency will continue.
Games This Week: Tuesday vs Virginia Tech, Saturday vs North Carolina
Previous Rank: No. 4

5. Miami (16-9, 7-5)
A Saturday rematch with Florida State at home will be the Hurricanes’ last chance to snag a big win in the regular season. If they can get past Maryland first (they play at College Park on Tuesday) and then manage to upset the Seminoles, Jim Larranaga’s club will have likely worked its way off the NCAA tournament bubble.
Games This Week: Tuesday at Maryland, Sunday vs Florida State
Previous Rank: No. 5

6. N.C. State (18-9, 7-5)
Midway through the second half in last week’s game at Duke, the Wolfpack appeared to be well on its way to grabbing its first big win of the season and putting itself on a path for an NCAA tournament bid. Now the Pack appears bound for the NIT. The pain of giving up a 20-point lead and losing at Duke seemed to spill into its next game, as the Wolfpack came out in a funk and were hammered by Florida State at home. State’s last chance to get a big win in the regular season is on Tuesday against a hot UNC team that has won their last 11 meetings.
Games This Week: Tuesday vs North Carolina, Saturday at Clemson
Previous Rank: No. 6

7. Clemson (13-13, 5-7)
I may not see the Tigers win at North Carolina in my lifetime – they moved to 0-56 all-time in Chapel Hill – but give Brad Brownell’s club kudos for knocking off Virginia for its biggest win of the season earlier in the week. The Tigers forced an uncharacteristic 18 turnovers out of the Cavaliers.
Games This Week: Tuesday vs Georgia Tech, Saturday vs N.C. State
Previous Rank: 9

8. Maryland (15-11, 5-7)
Losing by 27 points to Virginia is even more stunning when you consider that the game was tied at halftime. After trading baskets with the Cavaliers for the first 20 minutes, the Terps completely fell apart in the last 20, getting outscored 40-13 in what can only be described as an embarrassing display.
Games This Week: Tuesday vs Miami, Saturday at Georgia Tech
Previous Rank: No. 7

Bret Strelow (fayobserver.com)
Bret Strelow’s ACC power rankings with three teams tied at 10-2 in the league

4. Virginia (20-6, 7-5)
Of the Cavaliers’ 54 shots in a rout of Maryland, Mike Scott matched his career high by taking 20

5. N.C. State (18-9, 7-5)
Joe Lunardi’s NCAA field no longer includes N.C. State, which is atop his “First Four Out” list

6. Miami (16-9, 7-5)
The Hurricanes, who lost at home to N.C. State, are the last team in according to that bracket

7. Maryland (15-11, 5-7)
Mark Turgeon said a walk-on, likely Jonathan Thomas, will play more to increase backcourt depth

8. Virginia Tech (15-12, 4-8)
The Hokies’ last three games have come down to the final possession, and they’ve won twice

9. Clemson (13-13, 5-7)
Tanner Smith is a fantasy gem with averages of 11.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.7 steals

Jim Young (accsports.com)
Three To Look Back On/Three To Look Forward To, Feb. 21

Looking Back

Duke 78, N.C. State 73
The talk after this game was mainly about the officiating – N.C. State fans thought it cost them the game – and another rotten first half for Duke – Blue Devils fans thought it almost cost them the game.

Because those two topics have already been covered ad nauseam, I’ll focus on something else. I wonder if maybe this is the game (or rather half) in which Seth Curry and Austin Rivers finally clicked together. After combining a paltry eight points in the first half, the duo exploded for 34 in the second. Yep, Rivers and Curry outscored the Wolfpack by seven points in the second half.

What struck me was how aggressive both players seemed. That’s nothing new for Rivers, who’s in that mode pretty much all the time. But because of that, it’s sometimes been hard for Curry to know when to look for his scoring chances. That wasn’t an issue in the final 20 minutes against State. And it wasn’t an issue on Sunday in Chestnut Hill either, when Curry and Rivers combined to score 34 points against Boston College.

Duke still has its defensive issues and still lacks an athletic swingman, but when both Curry and Rivers are putting up big offensive numbers, well, that covers up a lot of flaws.

Looking Ahead

UNC at N.C. State, Tuesday, 8 p.m.
Let’s all just try to put EjectionGate behind us, okay? N.C. State’s got bigger fish to fry than thin-skinned ACC refs. The Wolfpack need to somehow beat the Tar Heels if it wants to even think about making the NCAA tournament. (Either that or make a magical ACC Tournament run).

The problem for State is that it’s a much better matchup against Duke (you all know what happened there) than UNC (you all know what happened when the Pack went to Chapel Hill.) The length of John Henson and Tyler Zeller gives C.J. Leslie and Richard Howell fits. Scott Wood isn’t likely to shake off Harrison Barnes too often. That means the Wolfpack’s chances rest on the shoulders of Lorenzo Brown. If he can beat Kendall Marshall of the dribble consistently, that opens up opportunities for his teammates, and may give State an opportunity for the upset.

Stephen Schramm (fayobserver.com)
The Rebound: Troll hard edition

Do you have any idea how much fun the next week of basketball is going to be around here?

Think about it. North Carolina has a road trip to rival N.C. State on Tuesday night followed by another one to Virginia on Saturday. They’re not exactly the most fun two games the first-place Tar Heels could ask for.

Speaking of the Wolfpack, pulling an upset of the Tar Heels would be crucial to its NCAA tournament hopes and also soothe some of the anger stemming from this scene on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Duke will try to do what no other North Carolina school has done this season and survive a matchup with Florida State.

Who cares about Downton Abbey when you’ve got this kind of drama?

MULTIMEDIA/PODCASTS

microphone

AUDIO (accsports.com)
David Glenn Chats With Chris Corchiani, Feb. 20

David Glenn recently caught up with former N.C. State player Chris Corchiani, who was just ejected from Saturday’s N.C. State-Florida State game, on Glenn’s afternoon radio show.

Among the topics they discussed: The lack of explanation following his ejection on Saturday; what he was doing and saying throughout the game; Karl Hess’ attempt to eject a student before he ejected Corchiani and Tom Gugliotta; Debbie Yow’s decision to honor the 1988-89 team before the North Carolina game on Tuesday; whether Corchiani would help Hess with a mortgage; the 88-89 Sweet 16 team; and the keys for the Wolfpack against the Tar Heels.

GoPack.com
Watch The Mark Gottfried TV Show

In this week’s episode, Head basketball coach Mark Gottfried discusses the Duke and Florida State games with host Tony Haynes. Mark Thomas visits with junior center DeShawn Painter.

AUDIO (yahoo sports radio)
Chris Corchiani – Explaining His Side of the Incident

AUDIO (Riddick and Reynolds)
R&R Podcast: Episode 39 (Corch and Gugs on Hessgate)

I don’t know that we’ve had a more entertaining episode of the podcast than this one. Both Chris Corchiani and Tom Gugliotta joined us for an at-length discussion about their ejection from the FSU game, an event as strange as I can ever recall. We field questions from the audience in the second segment and talk a little actual basketball a midst all the Karl Hess chaos.

King Karl
King Karl Hess

Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
Hess felt threatened by former Wolfpack stars’ actions, not words

Hess reportedly said the Raleigh police officer stationed at the end of the Florida State bench “was warned that (the former players”) continual excessive demonstration that incited the crowd would result in ejection.”

Personally, I didn’t see what they were doing, so I can’t comment on whether Hess was justified in his concern. But I can say that after covering games for the past two decades at Cameron Indoor Stadium, where members of the student section often come within inches of making contact with opposing players, Saturday’s “demonstrations” were tame by contrast.

The bottom line is that if anyone at the RBC Center on Saturday came close to inciting a riot, it was Hess himself by ejecting two of the highest-profile members of an already angry crowd.

Considering that Hess was a member of the crew that affected the outcome of a game in Syracuse earlier this season by missing an obvious goaltending call, he might be advised to pay more attention to the action on the court than in the stands from here on out.

JP GIGLIO (N&O)
ACC official Hess reprimanded; Tossed ex-players for inciting

Associated Press
ACC Reprimands Official After NC State Ejections

Bret Strelow (fayobserver.com)
Karl Hess, reprimanded by ACC, said he ejected N.C. State legends Chris Corchiani, Tom Gugliotta for “excessive demonstration”

On Monday, ACC commissioner John Swofford publicly reprimanded Hess in a statement released by the league.

“Karl Hess is one of the best on-court officials in college basketball, but the ACC has established a game management protocol, which allows the opportunity to potentially diffuse any situations before they reach the level of ejection,” the statement said. “This reprimand is a result of a failure to follow that protocol.”

Hess, who worked the Pittsburgh-South Florida game on Sunday, isn’t expected to be on the crew for the North Carolina-N.C. State game Tuesday in Raleigh. He did officiate the first meeting in Chapel Hill, one of five Wolfpack games in which he’s been involved this season, and N.C. State is 2-3 with him on hand. The other games were a road win against Georgia Tech, a road victory against Wake Forest and a home loss to Syracuse.

According to statsheet.com, Hess has worked 15 ACC league games, one fewer than league leader Bryan Kersey.

Mark Thomas (WRALSportsfan.com)
Karl Hess: Fans care, players don’t

It is a second half problem. Fatigue makes cowards of us all. When you are tired, the hardest thing in the world to do, is to get low and move your feet instead of reaching and grabbing. The Pack has played 27 basketball games and they are tired. It doesn’t get any easier with North Carolina coming to town.

With all that being said, nothing annoys fans more than officials wanting to be in the limelight. Nobody ever spent $50 on a ticket to go watch Karl Hess officiate a basketball game. It is not an easy job, I know, but the ego of some officials starts taking center stage.

Roger Ayers may only be 5-foot-1, but in his mind, he is King Kong and you came to see him. To show how tough he is, he signals fouls with his hands like he is holding index cards.It is as if he is saying, ‘I am a big guy, just look at my hands.’ If the officials want to be the show, then they should have to meet with the media after the game. They are getting paid, aren’t they?

“Next question is for Carl.” Oops, I spelled his name wrong. “I am OUTTA here!”

Adam Gold (WRALSportsfan.com)
You’re outta here!

First, it should be known that Karl Hess is one of the best, if not the best, officials in the Atlantic Coast Conference — if not all of college basketball. He’s worked seven of the last nine ACC Tournament championship games and five times since 2003 Hess has advanced to the Final Four, working the title game in 2007. If you know anything about officiating, you know that come the NCAA tournament, officials advance based on performance. That certainly sounds like pretty good performance to me. That doesn’t mean that Hess isn’t part of the problem here. In my opinion, provided there was no profanity or threatening tone, the game officials should be able to block out what is said from the stands. It’s hard to imagine that Tom Gugliotta and Chris Corchiani impeded Hess, or any of the other officials, from doing his job – though I’m sure that several fans would beg to differ.

[snip]

Next, let’s not assume that Gugliotta and Corchiani had no role in this. Maybe it was a function of N.C. State’s last game – the foul-laden affair at Duke – in which so much of the chatter in the aftermath was about the officiating, but their derision of Hess and his crew began early. Corchiani even admitted to me that there were numerous times in which either he or Gugliotta protested the officials’ calls. But, that isn’t really the most important point of all of this. The notion that Corchiani and Gugliotta are “just fans, like anybody else,” is a fallacy. They’re not “just fans”, they’re legends, heck they’re royalty at the RBC Center, and a certain amount of decorum should be expected. Plus, game officials, who spend a fair amount of time at the scorers table during the game, do not normally get berated from such close range. Had Corchiani and Gugliotta been seated behind the N.C. State bench, or elsewhere in the crowd, we would likely have had a different outcome.

Brian Barbour (tarheelfanblog.com)
Obligatory Karl Hess Ejection Video

While I agree officials should have the power to remove a fan who is crossing the line, if Corchiani’s account is true then Hess needs to answer why he acted as he did. It is important to remember Corchiani is a local businessman and is not going to jeopardize his business or reputation by acting foolishly at a basketball game. The problem here is Hess is well known as an attention whore making calls in an overly dramatic fashion and having a real impact on how the game unfolds.

If past history is a teacher, the ACC will back Hess and go silent on the issue. If Cloughtery is smart, Hess will not officiate another game in the RBC Center this season or with NC State involved. That being said, absolutely no one will be shocked if Hess and other NCSU “favorite” Randy Ayers show on to call the UNC-NCSU game on Tuesday night.

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31 Responses to State-Carolina Gameday

  1. GAWolf 02/21/2012 at 8:57 AM #

    Go Pack!!!

  2. Sweet jumper 02/21/2012 at 9:02 AM #

    I have been too bitter to post after the Dook game and the FSU/legends ejection fiasco. I am afraid I will post something inflammatory and threatening and the long arms the ACC/Swoffia will reach in and eject me from SFN(just kidding-I know the administrators of this site will protect me). I will be there tonight to cheer for Googs, Corch and the rest of the 1988-89 team and to give this year’s team all the support I can give(and also to give ol’ Roy and the zebras massive amounts of hellfire and damnation). Pack please keep your heads in the game and feed off the crowd’s energy and beat the everliving s@%t out of the smurfs from UNC-CHeat. Ol’ Roy better bring his BB gun because he’s going to need it.

  3. logarithm 02/21/2012 at 9:04 AM #

    I say we all demonstrate excessively.

  4. TopTenPack 02/21/2012 at 9:09 AM #

    Go Pack!!

  5. eas 02/21/2012 at 9:19 AM #

    ACC network….I guess that means no HD again.

  6. DC_wolf 02/21/2012 at 9:57 AM #

    When the Pack beats the Heels tonight DO NOT rush the court! THEY do not deserve even that recognition.

  7. Khan 02/21/2012 at 10:15 AM #

    I say we rush the court even if we lose by 20. That would surprise the crap out of them and not give Roy time to get his ladies off the court. Furthermore, every ACC team that UNC plays the rest of the year should rush the court. That would be awesome.

  8. WeAreCured 02/21/2012 at 10:17 AM #

    When will the ACC announce the officiating crew for an 8 o’clock game?

  9. Scooter 02/21/2012 at 10:30 AM #

    ^ at 8:00pm.

  10. STLPack01 02/21/2012 at 10:33 AM #

    They announced yesterday. Roger Ayers is one of the “refs”.

  11. Scooter 02/21/2012 at 10:34 AM #

    Not to hijack, but does anyone else find Adam Gold to be wholly unoriginal? All of his points (which were awful) were made by other journalists and media outlets well before his article in this case. He seems to follow David Glenn’s script right after DG’s show ends.

  12. WeAreCured 02/21/2012 at 10:45 AM #

    You’re joking about Ayers, right?

  13. wolf8895 02/21/2012 at 10:52 AM #

    Yea, tho it has been many years since the infidels to the west have been vanquished by the mighty Pack; I have a vision. A vision where blue clad masses are returned to their homes weeping openly into their cheaply fashioned garments procured from the local Wal-Mart. A world where when the victory is finally achieved; the mountains will shake, the seas will roll, bells will ring, trumpets shall unleash their mighty song, and from the mountains to the sea, the voices of many long-suffering fans shall be unified in a resounding chorus; “GO TO HELL CAROLINA!”

    Way beyond the Raleigh ditches,
    there’s a place like hell,
    where twenty thousand sons of bitches
    call it Chapel Hill.

    Oh, they’re bastards born,
    and they’re bastards bred,
    and when they die,
    they’ll be bastards dead.

    So, piss on Carolina ‘lina.
    Piss on Carolina ‘lina.
    Piss on Carolina ‘lina.
    Roll on State!

  14. BJD95 02/21/2012 at 10:57 AM #

    Of course Adam Gold is an unoriginal bomb thrower. That’s the business model for sports talk radio. I have no idea why anyone listens to it, unless they really want their blood pressure elevated.

  15. NCMike 02/21/2012 at 11:44 AM #

    Officials for tonight’s game: Roger Ayers, Sean Corbin and Ed Corbett.

  16. MISTA WOLF 02/21/2012 at 11:56 AM #

    I truly just don’t think we will be able to get up for the rest of our games this season after the Duke debacle. I believe that really hurt the kids. I do know that the RBC will be focking rocking tonite. Go MF’n PACK!!

  17. PackerInRussia 02/21/2012 at 12:08 PM #

    “Karl Hess is one of the best on-court officials in college basketball, but the ACC has established a game management protocol, which allows the opportunity to potentially diffuse any situations before they reach the level of ejection,” the statement said. “This reprimand is a result of a failure to follow that protocol.”

    I think they forgot to include the reprimand part.

  18. graywolf 02/21/2012 at 12:20 PM #

    You’re joking about Ayers, right?

    NO he is not and we are 0-5 with Ayers in ACC games.

  19. Homeboy 02/21/2012 at 12:59 PM #

    anybody know why there’s a UNC Kenan Flagler business school banner ad at the top of the page?

    ummmmmmmmmm…

  20. YogiNC 02/21/2012 at 1:02 PM #

    I would suppose if any ref starts leaning towards the holes it could get ugly really quickly. REALLY ugly. Swofford thinks this has been put to bed, the problem is the nightmare may be just beginning if the game isn’t called straight up, maybe even lean a little our way.

  21. Texpack 02/21/2012 at 1:13 PM #

    Wolf8895 you left out my favorite verse

    So they can rant and they can rave
    About their so called class
    And they can take that cultured B*******
    And shove it up their ***

    I will gather in front of the computer (where there’s never any HD) and hope for the best, but I still believe this is the worst match-up for us in the league.

  22. JSRy2k 02/21/2012 at 1:14 PM #

    Miracles happen!

  23. PackerInRussia 02/21/2012 at 1:24 PM #

    I was watching ESPN America and within 10 minutes, Colin Cowherd talked about the ejections on some show involving him I’ve never seen before (not Sportsnation; it showed various clips of him talking to different people or talking on his radio show). He didn’t have good things to say about it. Then on Sportscenter it’s being shown on the ticker at the bottom along with the official ACC response. I’m glad attention’s being given to it. And only Adam Gold (I guess Jay Bilas too) from what I’ve seen is actually defending Hess. Being in the minority doesn’t make you wrong, Gold; but it can’t help the odds.

  24. ncsu1987 02/21/2012 at 1:26 PM #

    “Swofford thinks this has been put to bed, the problem is the nightmare may be just beginning if the game isn’t called straight up, maybe even lean a little our way.”

    Are you kidding? If something bad happens, and the game is called for “safety” reasons, that would be Swoff’s wet dream. He can play it off as the insane, uncontrollable NC State fans and divert ALL the attention from his bought and paid for crew. Our crowd needs to be loud, supportive, and critical when warranted. Yell anything but a threat to the refs. But we REALLY don’t need anything stupid to happen.

  25. tractor57 02/21/2012 at 3:14 PM #

    ’87 that depends on what would cause the game to be called. If it is truly warranted that is one thing, if it is some BS sort of thing the national media will sniff blood in the water.

    Agreed we don’t need any STUPID acts. We do need a very vocal fanbase.
    The RBC should be rocking tonight.

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