Announcers: Dan Shulman, Sean Farnham
Survive and Advance. Yes, it’s that time of year again, Tournament Time, where you are literally taking it one game at a time. If the Pack are going to have even an extreme long shot chance of making the NCAA Tournament then it all begins here and they have to do it against a team they haven’t played very well against this season.
Recap of both games this season…
Feb. 8th, 2014 (Coral Gables, FL)
NC State 56
The Pack did not play it’s best this day on offense where everything was brought to a stop by the grind it out, slug fest of slow ball. The Pack was also still trying to figure out zone defenses at the time and how to score against them. Luckily for them the Hurricanes were their normal, awful selves on offense. The only thing that kept Miami in this game to the end was the Pack’s inability (all season) to get a defensive rebound, giving the Canes a second chance shot every other trip down the court. The Pack walked out with a victory but for some unexplained reason the refs swallowed the whistle on the final 3/4 court shot when Kyle Washington thought he was playing football and tackled the shooter.
March 1st, 2014 (Raleigh, NC)
NC State 70
The Hangover Part II. The Pack was coming off a heartbreaking loss to rival U*NC and looked uninterested most of the game, at least on defense. The Pack played Matador defense to perfection allowing Miami to score at will and do it efficiently. Even when the Canes missed they were likely to get a second chance at it. The Pack did finally wake up and fight back to tie the game but something happened with about 6 minutes left in the game, the Pack up and quit. I can’t explain it except for the fact this is the weakest team mentally that I can recall in many years.
So what can we expect from today’s game? Well if the refs call a tight game then that should put Miami in serious foul trouble outside of Brown. It also means Vandenberg will go to the bench early as well as Washington. If not then who knows how the game will play out, there’s a certain amount of pressure on the Pack that isn’t on the Canes and we have seen this team, outside of Warren, can’t handle any pressure at all. Now there isn’t a lot of pressure since this is an NIT bound team trying to somehow win enough to make the NCAAT so maybe the pressure is small enough now they’ll play loose. Who knows, I’ve given up trying to figure out this team beyond Warren.
I’ve had a bad feeling about this game since the seedings were decided. I’ll go with my usual negativity here and say Gottfried gets outcoached and the Pack gets out of Greensboro in a hurry.