Pack Grinds Out Fifth ACC Win, Terps Claw Back to Bubble

For all the crap he has (rightly) taken, Courtney Fells really sacked up for the Pack today. He played excellent defense on Landesberg, and was the only State player not to panic in the last minute of the game. After Horner repeated his horrific clutch free throw shooting against teams from the Old Dominion, UVA had the ball down 3 with 16 seconds to go. Then, Fells made the play of the game – he fouled. The Cavs had nailed three after three late, and entropy was most definitely not the Pack’s friend. Fells wisely forced Landesberg to make both ends of a one-and-one (which he did), then demanded the ball and nailed 2 FTs to re-set things with 7 ticks to go. So, he fouls again. This time, the Cavs missed with the pressure on, with Fells skying to secure the rebound and the win.

I don’t mean to soft sell the Wolfpack’s problems today, of which there were many. NC State’s best offensive player failed to score in 22 minutes of play. Our starting point guard posted a horrific 0:7 assist-to-turnover ratio (and was still in the game down the stretch, which says all you need to know about our guard situation). But the Pack still found a way to win. And that’s how you maximize your potential as a team – find a way to get it done when you aren’t playing well, or as today, when you are playing like complete shit for long stretches at a time. Yes, today’s effort probably doesn’t beat anyone in the league but Virginia, but it still counts as a W. Thank God, the disaster is averted. Thank Tracy, CJ, and Dennis for the first 39 minutes, and Courtney for the rest.

Around the ACC, Miami beat Boston College convincingly. That’s one down, three wins to go if Jack McClinton is to put his dancing shoes on. The schedule is somewhat favorable, so don’t write the Canes off. In a real shock, Maryland rallied from 16 points down to stun the Holes in overtime. Gary Williams officially qualifies for undead status at this point. He’s harder to kill off than cockroaches or black mold (and about as welcome in your family’s living room).

What does it all mean? I have no idea. The ACC tourney should be loads of fun, though. Want to make yourself completely insane? Try to name your first team all-ACC. It’s hard enough to narrow it down to 7 or 8, let alone 5.

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

08-09 Basketball

96 Responses to Pack Grinds Out Fifth ACC Win, Terps Claw Back to Bubble

  1. TheCOWDOG 02/21/2009 at 6:20 PM #

    BJ… tried to pick that team last night with a buddy over some beers. Hard to imagine but we had more names onthe 1st team than we had beers. Went thru a 12 pack with ease.

    Guard heavy was the conclusion and could not remember if selection was positional. Don’t think so.

  2. Wufpacker 02/21/2009 at 6:23 PM #

    Pretty good win today. I realize that it was UVa and it was at home, but it was a game we were supposed to win, and we did, even while not playing particularly well all-around. We could have easily folded down the stretch (we’ve seen it before) and this would have become a WTF loss. That didn’t happen.

    All teams will have off days where things aren’t quite clicking. Carolina found that out today in College Park. When you can fight thru it and win anyway thats a pretty good thing.

    Kudos to Fells for having the presence of mind to know that we were still in the 1 and 1 and fouling down the stretch to keep UVa from getting an attempt at a 3 to tie. Frankly I was surprised (pleasantly) to see this as I have become accustomed to us beating ourselves for so many years that those little smart plays have become unexpected. Nice to see Fells had his head in the game at that point.

  3. Shadow722 02/21/2009 at 6:24 PM #

    “I’ll take an ugly win, over an ugly loss, any day”. It was team effort today, both good and bad. But we won….

    When you come right down to it, it does not matter what other teams do, if the Pack wants to go dancing all they have to do is WIN. Win out and go 9-7, and then play like we mean it in the ACC tourny. It as simple as that. If we win, we can go dancing; if not, we can watch the other teams play on TV.

    Looking forward to Thursday and a win in Winston….

  4. Gene 02/21/2009 at 6:25 PM #

    I don’t know what it means, but I think it really comes down to how much hype the Big East can sustain versus the ACC as to which conference will max out the possible number of NCAA teams. Notre Dame and Georgetown have played themselves from locks to bubble status. Miami and Maryland are showing some life. I think the fact the middle of the ACC beats itself up so much, we might not get more than 5 teams in – UNC, Duke, Clemson, Wake Forest and one other.

    I think the only time we got 6-7 teams in, most of those teams didn’t make it out of the first weekend of NCAA tournament play. I’m not sure how those memories effect the selection committee, but it wasn’t that long ago.

  5. Gene 02/21/2009 at 6:27 PM #

    Listened to the game on the radio. Announcers said Lowe was signaling for the team to foul and not allow a three. Good thinking by our team at the end.

  6. TheCOWDOG 02/21/2009 at 6:29 PM #

    ” note to Costner. Push in the bush is worth two in the hand.”

    Leave it to you Greywolf. Perhaps that is what’s on his mind at inappropriate times.

  7. BJD95 02/21/2009 at 6:29 PM #

    All-ACC is not positional. So, you have Hansbrough, Singler, and an assload of guards. Lawson, McClinton, Vasquez, Teague, Rice, Douglas, Delaney, etc. And that assumes you leave guys like Booker and Rivers out of the discussion, too (and these guys have looked like POY candidates in some games I’ve seen this year).

  8. BJD95 02/21/2009 at 6:32 PM #

    What was everyone’s scariest moment of the game? In the last few minutes, it seemed like only Fells and McCauley were willing and able to handle the ball. Fells is the worst ballhandling starting guard in ACC history, and Ben is a center.

  9. BJD95 02/21/2009 at 6:36 PM #

    I was also yelling for Fells to foul. Very glad he listened.

  10. charger17 02/21/2009 at 6:37 PM #

    Watching Horner’s second free throw at the top of its arc, knowing all too well it looked short! He came through, otherwise!

  11. highstick 02/21/2009 at 6:37 PM #

    Dang, if I’d only known we’d won and Carolina lost earlier this afternoon when my Tarhole friend called. I guess neither game was over at that point so we didn’t discuss it!

  12. TheCOWDOG 02/21/2009 at 6:39 PM #

    Actually BJ…I watched how the screens were set up and it was clear that Sid wanted the ball to get thru Fells and Mc.

    The scariest was Horner at the line for his second. The 1st shot came out of his hands flat just like VT and I fully anticipated the following one to be similar, leaving UVA in a position to steal this game.

  13. BJD95 02/21/2009 at 6:49 PM #

    ^ It wasn’t a BAD idea, but it was scary as hell anyway.

  14. Greywolf 02/21/2009 at 6:51 PM #

    And you gonna bust my chops after that comment about the Seminar? LOL

    Thank you, Calorina, for proving an ugly win is better than a pretty loss.

  15. JeremyH 02/21/2009 at 6:54 PM #

    I found this quote on the interwebs (bobby bowden?)

    “first you lose by a lot, then you lose by a little, then you win by a little…. and then you win by a little….again, and again, and again because you can’t keep a lead! and sometimes you lose by a little again!”

  16. TheCOWDOG 02/21/2009 at 6:55 PM #

    What is amazing about all the names that are deserving of A-ACC is that the Tarhole MVP in this boys eyes won’t get a sniff.

    “The Dagger That Is”…Danny Green. He is the proto killer wing forward.

    I’d much rather write of a homie getting the possible jam job, but…..

  17. ADVENTUROO 02/21/2009 at 6:56 PM #

    OK…I have a question for all the “students” of the game. My seats are in the Champion Club and on the “bench” side of the court. I happened to be watching the clock on TWO in bound plays (after VA scored) and I SWEAR that the CLOCK kept running while we had the ball OUT OF BOUNDS…we probably picked up several seconds on each in bounds…

    DID ANYONE ELSE OBSERVE THIS? Did anyone DVR the game? Can you watch the last 5 minutes and see if you think the clock kept running.

    I have heard of “home cookin’ ” when it comes to the clock operators…but I THOUGHT that the clock and scoring officals were part of the ACC OFFICAL TEAM (they do NOT provide the same security for the secondary officals…but I thought that the ACC provided a COMPLETE set). If I’m incorrect on that, please help me.

    All in All….as Shadow722 put it….it was an UGLY WIN…but they still put a “X” in the W column…WF was not that pretty…but it was also a W. It seems that we are jinxed when we get up by 18….ala VT…but we pulled it out this time.

    I KNOW that Horner missed the FT’s….but he did a solid job on defense and also hit a BUNCH of clutch baskets…Smith and Williams were great…we didn’t look that good down the stretch…but UVA SUCKED SO BADLY in the first half…they only had ONE WAY TO GO…and that was up.

    Remember the Southwest Airlines commercial….”when you do something REALLY DUMB (BAD), Southwest is there to get you AWAY…”. If I was the Carolina team, I would have booked SW back to RDU to keep from riding with ROY…I’ll bet his little triade during the presser the other night sounded like a Sunday School lesson compared to what he said on the way home….

    I would have taken a Grayhound bus…just to avoid him…

    OH WELL…that is why they play the game and not give the W to the highest ranked team.


  18. bathomas 02/21/2009 at 6:57 PM #

    My scariest moment was the Ben turnover off an inbound play where he just threw it to the UVA guy and he made the layup to cut the lead to 3. One possession is about 3 possessions to close for me with this team

  19. wpackman33 02/21/2009 at 7:08 PM #

    AMEN!!! bathomas, i totally agree with you. I know i may have a ton of people disagree with me, but in the past few games, Mccauley’s play has been very frustrating to me. I know that he is a vocal leader and he hustles for the most part, but he makes some bonehead decisions sometimes that just frustrate the crap out of me. I know he’s more of a finesse guy but i wish he would sometimes take notes from Tracy Smith. I love watching Smith play. When he gets it down low, he doesn’t care who’s gaurding him, he’s gonna take it up strong. True he’s still rough around the edges sometimes but i love his play.

    Bottom line, it was another win in conference, no matter how ugly. What we have to do now is build on the things we did right and improve on the things we did wrong (TURNOVERS). Progress is the most important thing. Get better every time we take the court. While the point was mentioned that Javi’s asst/to was 0-7, i still would have rather had him in there than Degand. I’m sorry but Degand looked way out of it today. Many times he would dribble down and not want to use his left hand and just force himself to the right and eventually turn the ball over. He didn’t look like a confident leader today. And while Javi had some turnover problems, he still seemed to be in control and leading, for the most part.

    Anyway, Good Job Pack!! Keep it up and lets take it to the Deacs on thursday.

  20. TheCOWDOG 02/21/2009 at 7:10 PM #

    Advent…the clock don’t stop after a made.

  21. buttPACKer 02/21/2009 at 7:11 PM #

    i didn’t see the game, but i’ll take that ugly “W.” . . so far, we’ve won 3 more than i ever thought possible. Keep it up, fellas!

  22. Wulfpack 02/21/2009 at 7:15 PM #

    “I think the fact the middle of the ACC beats itself up so much, we might not get more than 5 teams in…”

    That is looking more possible now. It’ll all hinge on how things play out in the conference tournaments i.e. we must all root for the favorites and hope for no upsets. But make no mistake about it, Maryland’s win today did not help us in any way. They’ve get that one “big” win that we don’t have, and a leg up on us right now. We don’t have any more opportunities for that big one.

    Regarding Javi, he looks so much more confident out there now, and he’s def. an offensive threat the past few games. A couple of great drives and two big threes. But man is his decision making questionable sometimes. 7 TOs and no assists. I guess you take the good with the bad, but that ain’t going to get it done. Whatever the case, he sure was better than Degand.

    What is going on with Mays?

  23. buttPACKer 02/21/2009 at 7:18 PM #


    “you’re entering a world of pain” – Walter

    nice icon/gravatar.

  24. Archdale Pack Fan 02/21/2009 at 7:23 PM #

    The clock does not stop after a made FG until less than a minute to go in the game. On another note, does anyone know the severity of Costner’s injury? Watching on TV, it looked like he could not (or would not) take an open jumper. Hopefully it’s not serious.

  25. Greywolf 02/21/2009 at 7:36 PM #

    BJD, do you really think that Fells “wisely forced Landesberg” to shoot free throws? That’s a bench call for sure. Not to take anything away from Fells for the cool hand on the line or the skywalker rebound to seal it.

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