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Week at a Glance
Duke vs. UNC -- simply the best
Posted: Sunday January 28, 2001 6:13 PM
By Albert Lin, CNNSI.com
Sorry, fans, this one really isn't up for debate. The best rivalry in all of sports is Duke-North Carolina. Period.
It's State U. vs. elite institution. Colonial vs. gothic. Southern hospitality vs. Northern interlopers. Quintessential college town vs. isolated college campus. The expanse of the Dean Dome vs. the coziness of Cameron Indoor Stadium. Carolina's "wine-and-cheese crowd" (we'll forever be indebted to Sam Cassell for that one) vs. Duke's Cameron Crazies. Thirteen consecutive Sweet 16s vs. seven Final Fours in nine years.
Most of all, it's two programs separated by eight miles of Route 15-501 which routinely challenge for the national title. In other words, it's the best basketball we see each year, time and again.
The latest installment plays out Thursday at 9 p.m., when two red-hot squads coming off close weekend calls (looking ahead, gents?) clash in Durham. Yes, the cliché about throwing out the records applies whenever these two step onto the court, but in this case we wouldn't want to do that, seeing as both take top-five rankings into the tilt.
The Tar Heels (17-2) have won 14 straight and appear to have found their floor leader in quarterback/point guard Ronald Curry. Joseph Forte has raised his game another notch, becoming more assertive offensively when his club needs a score.
Duke (19-1) has been demolishing teams, leading the nation in scoring and scoring margin. Saturday, the Blue Devils proved they could beat a talented club giving great effort even when their two stars, Jason Williams and Shane Battier, play like crap for the first 39 minutes.
Carolina's size and depth could prove a problem for the Blue Devils, who, as has been well documented, have little bench to speak of. Duke has won the last five meetings, the two in Cameron by 12 and 14 points. The Tar Heels seem to be responding to new coach Matt Doherty, while the Blue Devils know exactly what Mike Krzyzewski wants -- and, generally, are able to execute.
So sit back, throw away the remote and enjoy. And don't forget to mark your calendars: The rematch is March 4 in Chapel Hill.
Aside: As if you needed more evidence that we have too much hoops on the brain, the Glance -- we kid you not -- had a dream Friday night that we were in attendance in Durham. The winner? Duke, in surprisingly easy fashion. But dreams don't come true. Do they?
| Frank Williams, 6-3, sophomore, PG, Illinois|
|What a difference a year makes. Last season Williams was an out-of-control, unconscious gunner, throwing up ill-advised shots and forcing the action. Now, he's a smooth, collected leader who does exactly what he needs to do to help the Illini win; Williams scores most of his points in the second half and has turned it up against ranked opponents. Witness his play down the stretch in three consecutive wins last December, against Seton Hall (scoring the last four points in regulation), Arizona (hitting nine of 10 free throws in the last 3 1/2 minutes) and Missouri (sending the game into overtime and scoring six in the extra session). Last week, in Illinois' only game, a come-from-behind effort at Michigan, Williams scored 16 of his 18 points after intermission. He's also the author of one of our shots of the year, the floater against Seton Hall in which he switched to his left hand to avoid Eddie Griffin.|
| Oklahoma State: Big 12 does the right thing by postponing Tuesday's game at Texas Tech in wake of tragic plane crash.|
| Al McGuire: Our fondest memory will be McGuire "dancing" with the Syracuse team after it reached the 1996 Final Four. Every day is a party now, coach.|
| Duke: Wow. Again.|
| Fresno State: Our new favorite team wins its 13th in a row by handing then 15-2 UTEP the worst loss in Miners history, 108-56. The Bulldogs stifle the No. 7 scoring team in the country, as well as hold UTEP star Brandon Wolfram, the nation's No. 3 scorer, to eight points, one-third his 23.5 average. Let the Glance jinx begin.|
| 750: In the above game, Jerry Tarkanian becomes the eighth NCAA coach to reach 750 wins. Two days later, Georgia State's Lefty Driesell joins the club when his team beats Mercer 86-77.|
| Florida: Brent Wright returns 20 days after foot surgery, and the Gators eke out a win at Auburn and then beat South Carolina. Were we too quick to write them off?|
| Ronnie McCollum: Nation's leading scorer, a Centenary senior guard, drops another 40, this time hitting 14 of 26 shots in an 92-80 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.|
| Oliver Morton: The 6-10 Chattanooga senior forward pours in a Division I season-high 50 points (20-28 FG, 10-13 FT) in a 101-85 win over NAIA Pikeville College.|
| Chris Spatola: Who would've thunk it? The Army junior guard scores 43 (7-16 3-pt. FG) on Lafayette in a 104-103 overtime Cadets win.|
| Rashad Phillips: Detroit senior guard explodes for 41 (14-21 FG, 7-12 3-pt. FG) in a 91-74 win over Wisconsin-Green Bay.|
| Dewayne Jefferson: Mississippi Valley State senior guard hits for 41 (14-23 FG, 7-14 3-pt. FG) in an 88-84 win over Delta State.|
| Rasual Butler, Zach Marbury: The La Salle junior swingman and the Rhode Island junior guard put on a show in the Rams' 96-92 double-overtime win. Marbury goes for 38, while Butler does him one better with 39.|
| Brian Brown: Ohio State junior guard leads 64-55 upset of No. 3 Michigan State with a game-high 25 points, three days after a 3-for-15 outing in a 57-42 loss to Wisconsin.|
| Will Solomon: Clemson junior guard goes for 41 (13-22 FG, 7-12 3-pt. FG) in a wild 111-108 loss to Georgia Tech ...|
| Will Solomon: ... but two days later he shoots 2-for-14 (10 points) in a 104-76 loss to Virginia.|
| Anthony Grundy: N.C. State sophomore guard is arrested early Saturday morning and charged with assaulting a female acquaintance, but plays in Sunday's 60-52 loss to North Carolina.|
| Wisconsin: We know the Badgers are winning, but, sorry, we just can't watch when a game is 9-7 with four minutes to go in the first half, as was Wisconsin's matchup with Ohio State.|
| Connecticut: Either the talent on this team (and, come to think of it, last year's) is vastly overrated, or that 1999 NCAA title is starting to look more and more like a fluke.|
| Willie Shaw: St. John's freshman guard shoots a putrid 1-for-15 for three points in a 65-59 loss to Virginia Tech.|
| Romauld Augustin: Providence sophomore forward goes 1-for-13 for three points in a 77-61 win over Pittsburgh.|
| Chris Hairfield: Sacred Heart freshman forward somehow misfires on 11 of 12 shots in just 14 minutes of play in a 75-58 loss to Wagner.|
| Chris Caldwell: Liberty junior guard shoots a combined 8-for-37 (3-for-17, 5-for-20) in back-to-back losses to UNC Asheville and Radford.|
| Matt Gerschefske: Idaho junior swingman serves up a bagel (0-10 FG, 0-7 3-pt. FG) in an 80-59 loss to Boise State. However, props for bouncing back to score a team-high 15 in the Vandals' next game, a 71-57 loss to Utah State.|
| Wake Forest: The once fourth-ranked Demon Deacons have now lost four of five, but that doesn't tell the whole story. This does: Wake dropped a 78-72 decision at Cincinnati, which three days earlier had lost, on the very same court, 63-54 to Louisville. How the mighty have fallen.|
|Recent SEC doormat Georgia has been resurrected under Jim Harrick, reeling off six consecutive wins, including last Saturday's double-overtime upset of Tennessee. This week the Bulldogs can prove they are really for real. First up, Kentucky, which handed Georgia its last loss on Jan. 6; then a resurgent Florida visits Athens.|
| Fight in the Irish|
|Notre Dame scored two impressive victories last week, beating Syracuse behind 34 points and 16 rebounds from Troy Murphy, and then winning at Georgetown in overtime even though Murphy had fouled out at the end of regulation. Are the players finally starting to get used to coach Mike Brey and accept their roles in his system? Games at Pittsburgh and vs. St. John's this week will tell us more.|
|The No. 1 seeds for the NCAA tournament are starting to fall into place. In the West Region, Stanford seems like a lock, as does Duke in the East (though North Carolina might have something to say about that). Kansas had the inside track in the Midwest, even before Michigan State's loss, because one of the sites is in Kansas City, Mo. Which leaves the South up for grabs between North Carolina and Michigan State. It's hard to see any other teams figuring into the mix.|
| Kansas at Missouri, Monday, 9 p.m., ET|
|The Tigers have looked shaky the last two weeks, but this is one of the most intense rivalries in the country. These teams have split their season series each of the past five years, Missouri winning four of five in Columbia, including last January's 81-59 pummeling. The head says Kansas, but the heart says Missouri.|
| Kentucky at Georgia, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. ET|
|The Bulldogs' only SEC loss was seven games ago in Lexington. Can they exact revenge and stay atop the SEC East? We're starting to believe ...|
| North Carolina at Duke, Thursday, 9 p.m. ET|
|Did you read anything above this line?|
| Southern California at Stanford, Thursday, 10:30 p.m. ET|
|The Trojans have a world of talent, but they don't have the discipline or coaching to beat the Cardinal. Watch if Stanford can keep this from being an up-and-down game -- or if it is, whether the Cardinal can run with 'SC.|
| UCLA at Stanford, Saturday, 3 p.m. ET|
|The back half of the Pac-10's L.A. daily double. The Bruins seem to be playing better recently, but until we see a team force Stanford to abandon its game plan we're going with the Cardinal.|
Another year, another underachiever to pick on. True, we could have flayed Brendan Haywood for another 16 weeks, but after Chenowith's performance in 1999-2000 -- the 7-1, 270-pound pivot regressed from 13.5 points and 9.1 rebounds as a sophomore to 8.6 and 5.6, losing his starting job in the process -- how could we resist? The senior needs to prove that last year was an anomaly; if he does that, KU's 24-10 record (11-5, fifth in Big 12) will have been one, too.|
2000-01 stats: 10.6 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.6 blocks in 22.0 minutes per game.
We wonder if this isn't where Chenowith loses his starting job again, like he did last season. It was a tale of two different 19-minutes outings last week, with a strong 12 points and eight rebounds in a start against Colorado, but a weak seven and four coming off the bench against Kansas State. The good news is, the Jayhawks are cruising even without consistent contributions from Chenowith.
Come back every Monday for a new Week at a Glance.
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