Thursday Basketball Bytes – Stanford, Officials, UNC & polls

I apologize that we didn’t have more on the Wolfpack’s big win over Stanford yesterday. The real world evidently was calling on all of our author group. A lot of fans found what they were looking for on on our message forums. The following is a nice set of highlights from the game.

There are A LOT of interesting items that came out of State’s win over Stanford that deserve discussing. I am going to hit on a few things here and we’ll circle back on some others in the next couple of days.


==========> Although State’s defense continues to disappoint (we haven’t held a major conference opponent under a point per possession), the Wolfpack did manage to block 11 shots on Tuesday night against Stanford. As nice as that stat may be, don’t get too excited about it. As we all know, there is NO WAY the Atlantic Coast Conference officials will ever allow such athleticism to go unpunished by any team not wearing a shade of blue. In the ‘real world’, if we wouldn’t have been called for fouls on plays where the blocks occurred, we would have been called for fouls on other plays that would’ve negatively impaired our ability to be aggressive on the blocks.


==========> Isn’t it AMAZING how Richard Howell has played at an All-ACC level over the last five or six games against (including games against UConn and Stanford) and hasn’t had one ounce of foul difficulty while the ACC officials have been nowhere to be seen? Kinda like last year’s NCAA Tournament where the Wolfpack suddenly was able to kick into gear and advance to the Sweet 16? Gee, what was the difference?  When officials don’t pre-determine their calls by self-validating their mistakes by ‘studying tendencies’ the results are phenomenally different.


==========> You think I am being over-sensitive on the officiating issue? Consider this amazing statistic that quantifies what we all see with our own eyes — Stanford shot SIX free throws on Tuesday night in the RBC Center in a game with Pac-10 officials. In last year’s game that was officiated by ACC referees, Stanford was behind for most of the second half and shot THIRTY-FOUR free throws. As Lorenzo Brown said,

“I guess Richard (Howell) didn’t foul them as much.”


==========> UNC-CHeats got destroyed by a struggling Texas team who was playing without their best player last night in Austin. Now that we are quarter of the way through the season we have enough observation points to say that The Tar Heels have looked awful in most every game they’ve played against half-way decent teams. Of course, we all know that this trend of getting spanked by good teams will ‘mysteriously’ come to an end the moment the Heels enter ACC play and get the benefit of their good buddies, the ACC officiating crews. Carolina’s ‘improvement’ will be just magical, and will earn Roy Williams praise from the media for doing one of his best coaching jobs ever!!


==========> The Heels defeat in Austin will surely mean bad things for NC State. A couple of weeks ago Carolina actually moved UP the polls after losing to Butler, while NC State has actually been dropping in the polls the last couple of weeks as the Pack has clearly found a gear and started to play well. It doesn’t make an ounce of sense, but it is the way of the world. Look for Carolina to fall to #25 and push the Pack out of the polls. (sarcasm)


==========> Out in the ‘real world’ of non subjective polls, NC State is sitting a super strong #10 in the current RPI while having played the 6th toughest schedule in the country. Conversely, UNC was 48th (96th toughest schedule) BEFORE last night’s drubbing at the hands or Rick Barnes and Texas.


==========> Speaking of being a quarter of a way through the basketball season, you can click here to see the current Vegas odds (before last night’s games) to win the NCAA Basketball Championship. State has slipped a little from where we started the season, but some other schools have slipped more.


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18 Responses to Thursday Basketball Bytes – Stanford, Officials, UNC & polls

  1. TheAliasTroll 12/20/2012 at 9:49 AM #

    Nail on the head regarding UNC magically becoming a “great team” once league play begins. It’s disgraceful that it is predictable.

  2. Rick 12/20/2012 at 10:17 AM #

    Agreed on the refs
    It is the main reason I want out of the ACC. It is frankly almost criminal.

  3. tmb81 12/20/2012 at 10:25 AM #

    I am thinking that this is a repeat of the 2010 “worse than Haiti” season that Roy and the Heels endured. Back then they were performing better in the polls. A loss at Texas on this same date three years ago kept them at #10. At the start of ACC play, after a shocking loss to College of Charleston, they stood at #13. Then it took three straight ACC defeats to finally bounce them from the top 25 by the time they played us in late January.

    I think the poll voting media isn’t fully engaged with college basketball until after the Super Bowl. They tend to favor the “name brand” schools. in the case of ’10 UNC squad it took 7 losses to flush them out of the top 25. Contrast that to our situation, dangling on the edge with 2 losses.

  4. coach13 12/20/2012 at 10:39 AM #

    After watching Texas for the second time (watched them score a total of 39 earlier this season) and UNX for the first, I will be disappointed if we don’t SWEEP them this year. They are not that good. A team full of roll players with nothing spectacular as of yet.

    Can’t beleive the wow folks are trying to emphasize on Duke beating Cornell. OK. Let me say…wow!(sarcasm). Duke is very good. OK. Agreed. But it was Cornell last night. Again, wow.

    Rankings. In basketball I don’t get too worked up. The end game is really all that matters. We are getting better. If the defense ever really starts to play well (which I hope happens mid Jan-Feb-March), these things take care of themselves. UNX should NOT be ranked. they need vast improvement to get back in the Top 25. We have beaten a couple of decent opponents in UCONN and Stanford. I would be a little surprised if we don’t move up at least 4-5 spots, but then again…

  5. wilmwolf80 12/20/2012 at 10:43 AM #

    The polls are a joke, in basketball and football. There should not be any pre-season rankings. Rankings should start a few weeks into the season in each sport. UNC will drop out of the top 25 now, unless they have an impressive win before the polls come out again (don’t know if they even have a game). We can win every game between now and Duke, and I would seriously doubt we crack the top 15. I think that as of right now, given our strength of schedule, as well as the strength of the two teams we have lost to, we should be legitimately around #20.

    While I’m taking the time to post, I’d like to vent about this: Every single article that I see written about us that talks about our loses, also includes our narrow victory over UNC-A, as if that narrow victory somehow legitimizes that we aren’t as good as our pre-season hype indicated. A win is a win, and during this time of year, lots of top teams get scares from smaller schools. UNC-A is a well-coached, talented team, that will likely be playing in March. Yes, the game was much closer than it should have been, but we won, and that is what matters.

  6. packof81 12/20/2012 at 10:44 AM #

    Oh yeah, we can kiss our #25 ranking goodbye. You may have meant it sarcastically but I would not be surprised.

    The sports media sickens me with the way they swoon over the tarholes. Texas was mediocre and had home court advantage but still managed to beat them by a wide margin. The holes cut the lead to 6 but then Texas would surge back out to a 10 pt lead.

    That’s the difference the ACC refs make, about 10 points.

    NC State will never be treated fairly in the ACC.

    UNC has been caught doing just about everything wrong a school can do but has received only a slap on the wrist.

  7. Superfanologist 12/20/2012 at 11:03 AM #

    I’ll just leave this here…

  8. JohnGalt78 12/20/2012 at 11:10 AM #

    The Hessians are coming…..

  9. Wufpacker 12/20/2012 at 11:20 AM #



  10. NCSU84 12/20/2012 at 12:02 PM #

    The ACC refs are “tough” and make questionable calls. Also, I do believe Coach K and Roy get favorable calls that other teams do not get. But the same can be said for Callipari, Pitino, Boeheim, etc. Coaches who have established themselves as elite will continue to get calls that others do not. I am not stating that it is fair, it is just the way it is with NCAA BB. It is good business for the NCAA when traditionally good teams do well. It keeps TV ratings up and more $$ for the league; thus, they have an incentive to help the Blues. I look forward to the day when Coach Gott has us classified as an elite program and you will start to see favorable calls for the Pack.

  11. blpack 12/20/2012 at 12:34 PM #

    This Pack team is getting better and still has a big upside. duke is already hitting on all cylinders. If State can take care of business between now and Jan 12, it could be a special day for State and ACC hoops fans.

  12. JeremyH 12/20/2012 at 2:14 PM #

    “I apologize that we didn’t have more on the Wolfpack’s big win over Stanford yesterday. The real world evidently was calling on all of our author group.”

    I really don’t give a poop. You know how when Julius Hodge is hungry, he eats? Well when I’m hungry, you need to get in the kitchen and make me some flapjacks ; )

    In all seriousness, don’t ever apologize, this is the best sports blog, period.

  13. tractor57 12/20/2012 at 2:19 PM #

    Step one on the fouling issue is to stop making obvious and silly fouls 50 feet from the basket. Clear that up the ref’s bias becomes so obvious you can’t hide it.

    As JeremyH says no apology needed. Just don’t do that during the tourneys at the end of the season .

  14. 44rules 12/20/2012 at 2:40 PM #

    Why I love the Gottfather, reason 276:

    “I’m not a guy that likes to schedule 10 straight Humpty Dumpties,” Gottfried said. “We just don’t do it. We try to play good teams, and we played one tonight, and beat one, I thought.”

  15. Alpha Wolf 12/20/2012 at 3:36 PM #

    “Hessians” <- that's a meme that's going to live a long time.

  16. packalum44 12/20/2012 at 3:45 PM #

    “I’m not a guy that likes to schedule 10 straight Humpty Dumpties…”

    Herb Sendek in the building, awkwardly stares down at the floor.

  17. Virginia Wolf 12/20/2012 at 5:25 PM #

    “Hessians” LOL!!! Sprayed that coke all over my computer! Thanks!

  18. WolftownVA81 12/20/2012 at 9:19 PM #

    I’m dreading ACC play. I hate our refs and the unfair advantage they bestow on the blues. Makes it a miserable experience to watch. My concern is that our guys won’t be mentally tough enough to deal with the shitty hand about to be dealt and will loose their cool. I hope DY monitors the ref situation closely this year and tells Swoff that if his crews pull anything close to what they did at the ACCT we are out of this chickenshit conference. I would say good riddance. Hope Gott is ready to be tossed a couple of times too. Whatever it takes, we need to shine a light on this so it stops.

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