From UNC to SC, Carolina basketball was in full force Saturday


The North Carolina Tar Heels won their first outright regular season ACC title in seven years with an 84-79 win over archenemy Duke on Saturday. The annual season finale for the conference is one of the best things going in college basketball, yet there’s a sinking feeling that fans should relish this rivalry, and ACC basketball as a whole, for who knows how long the conference will be in existence going forward.

So, in the interim, let’s all bask in the glory of the Real Housewives of Cameron Indoor tossing drinks at UNC players embracing their inner Heel.

The chicanery that takes place between these two foes is always entertaining, and always unpredictable. Senior Tar Heel guard Cormac Ryan led all scorers with 31 points, including the game-clinching free throws with 4.7 ticks remaining. Ryan is UNC’s fourth leading scorer on the year at about 11 points a game, hadn’t broken the 30-point mark in his career, and, oh by the way, has been on a college campus since 2018.

You could say he’s an unlikely hero — or should be a doctor — but at the same time, it makes total sense that some random grinder went into Cameron and repeatedly silenced the Crazies in a game that UNC won wire-to-wire. There’s so little left of what makes the men’s game great, but one of them is premier conferences and matchups.

Once the Big East was no longer the Big East as we know and love it, the ACC took up the mantle as the league most readily associated, and obsessed, with college basketball. Obviously, the Tar Heels and Blue Devils are a massive reason for that, and if they ever realigned, they’d essentially be a package deal like Michigan and Ohio State.

The state of North Carolina is as fanatical about college hoops as any. It would be sacrilegious to break up any of the four ACC programs in the Tar Heel State as NC State and Wake Forest enjoy disrupting Durham and Chapel Hill’s power trip whenever possible. Next season, Cal and Stanford join the fracas, and it will be as weird as Kansas and Arizona meeting in regular season Big 12 play. (Kansas-Houston on Saturday was unsettling enough already.)

However, with Florida State trying to take their football (program) and go home after getting overlooked for the College Football Playoff, the future of the ACC is unclear. Television rights deals dictate that these moronic conference commissioners chase the faintest whiff of money, and if that was false, the folks down in Tallahassee would know that going forward the easiest path to the CFP lies through the ACC.

When student athletes turn into paid employees, the unfettered revenue streams will become compromised and there will be even more of an emphasis to chase TV money. If I wasn’t convinced that the American collegiate system is run by greedy scumbags, I’d say maybe, one day, the profits will be so negligible that tradition will be the only thing left.

However, then what? Conference commissioners retcon realignment like David Filoni does Star Wars? If only.

Kamilla Cardoso calls game

Kamilla Cardoso, who hadn’t made a triple in her career, probably didn’t call glass, but when you’re trying for a perfect anything in any sport, you need a little luck. Lost in the media’s lust for everything Caitlin Clark are the South Carolina women, who stayed undefeated in the most team of destiny ending ever.

Down two with 1.1 seconds on the clock, the Lady Vols decided to let SC’s most unassuming candidate get a free look at the bucket for the win.

De La Soul, what’s the magic number?

The Gamecocks are now 31-0 and a win away from sweeping the SEC tournament after running the regular season. Dawn Staley’s group has the No. 1 overall seed on lock, and will be out for vengeance come March Madness. 

#UNC #Carolina #basketball #full #force #Saturday

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