For some years now discussion among those of us who want Sendek out the door always includes one name: Barnes.
Most of us remember the Barnes of Clemson, the coach who took what was supposed to be the worst team in ACC history and … won with it. The Barnes who wasn’t afraid to get up in the face of Dean Smith, Gut and the rest of the Chapel Hill sachems. The Barnes who grew up in Hickory and loves NC State.
Well, now that Texas and Barnes have eked out what appears to a surprisingly difficult win over the Ivy League, Judgment Day is approaching for all of us: Sendek, we alleged “Herb Haters,” and our old friends the Herb Sendek Sunshine Squad. Barnes v. Sendek, for all the move-on marbles in the NCAA.
Personally, I think Texas will advance and will beat Sendek like a red-headed stepchild. Even Sendek’s patented – and infuriating – habit of pulling out victories just before he has to polish his resume won’t save him here. Save a win, that is. The sad thing is, Fowler and the rest of the HSSSers will argue that this California win, Herb’s first in the past five tries, is reason for keeping him on. We’ve all seen that movie before, you see.
Either way, and even though the HSSSers won’t admit it, the battle between these two coaches should be telling. My money’s on the Man from Hickory.
ADDENDUM: I am wondering – does the relative difficulty against Penn signal matchup problems against the Pack? We shall see … and I’ll leave the analysis there to the X and O guys!