A Duke Fan's Lament: Hail to the Heels

Paul McGuillicuddyAnalyst IApril 7, 2009

DETROIT - APRIL 06:  Wayne Ellington #22 and Deon Thompson #21 of the North Carolina Tar Heels celebrate in the final minute of their 89-72 win against the Michigan State Spartans during the 2009 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship game at Ford Field on April 6, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

At some point last night while "Let it" Wayne Ellington was dropping shots like he was playing the "pop-a-shot" at the local tavern, and Ed Davis was pulling down rebounds faster than Hubert Davis can deflect a Coach Knight taunt, I decided to sit back and enjoy the Tar Heels winning their fifth title. (Somewhere, someone is thinking of  Knight’s insensitive comment to Connie Chung.)

When I looked at the in-game tally sheet, and Michigan State had more fouls (seven) and turnovers (seven) than points (five), I knew it was futile—well not as futile as Duke-UNLV circa 1990.

There was no need to get upset. Besides my daughter took care of any grumbling. Ceil wears well the 17-year allegiance to the denizens of Durham. She is a little shocked when I actually admit that UNC is good.

She’ll be downright aghast when she hears me say I am happy that Tyler Hansbrough reached his green light.

A thought came over me as I flipped off the TV and headed for a slumber: is it possible that UNC’s victory could cause future players to consider the importance of staying in college?  After all, Ellington, Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, and Danny Green could have declared for the NBA draft last year, and none of us would have batted an eye.

And there they were on the Ford Field court whooping it up and having a great time like…like…college kids.  They even looked like they were happy. Maybe future players might consider the prospect of staying around and enjoying the college experience (AHEM Mr. Gerald Henderson-wink wink).

What place in history does this Tar Heel band grab?  Are they the best college team of last 10 years?  The logical matchup would be against the recent teams from Florida.  I’m thinking Hansbrough would treat Joakim Noah kinda like DeJuan Blair treated Hasheem Thabeet as a rag doll. 

Al Horford would cause some problems.  Corey Brewer and Ellington would set some sort of record for points scored.  I could see the two of them making some sort of pre-game to make it look like they are defending each other. All the while raining shots from another zip code

How would the ‘09 Heels do versus the ‘05 Heels?  Speaking of the ‘05 Heels, has anyone heard from Sean May, Rashad McCants, and Ray Felton?

How will the future treat Hansbrough?  How will history treat Hansbrough?  Much has been made that the Poplar Bluff native doesn’t have a game that converts to the NBA.  He’s gotta be at least as good as Eric Montross.  That should work for eight seasons.

While CBS kept posting the graphic of all-time NCAA tournament scorers, I couldn’t help but think how dominant Elvin Hayes and Oscar Robertson must have been.  That graphic represented total points.  Right? Hayes and Robertson played in the era when freshmen were ineligible.  Further, there were fewer games because the tournament consisted of fewer rounds.  Yet Hayes and Roberston still rank in the top five?

Yes, the Spartans looked over-matched last night.  But they’ll rebound nicely.  Especially when considering that Kalin Lucas, Raymar Morgan, Chris Allen, Delvon Roe, Durrell Summers, Draymond Green, and Korie Lucious will all return.

How does Tom Izzo have such an acute ability to find players who want be part of something larger than themselves? They went down last night, but those kids never stopped working. Like Rey expounded —who needs McDonald’s All-Americans when Izzo is your coach.

Speaking of Summers, do you think Stanley Robinson has recovered from this yet?  

How does the Big East’s performance—or lack thereof—in Motown affect the league’s assessment this year?  The conference’s seven representatives, three of which were No. 1 seeds, accumulated 16 tournament victories.  Yet none occurred in the final weekend. 

The coaching carousel is already in motion as we enter the offseason for college hoops.  I have spoken on this topic before, but it’s worth updating.  

Do you think Sean Miller contacted Billy Gillespie prior to making his move from Xavier to Arizona? Oh how things change when expectations enter into the equation.  

Miller made mention that Arizona was attractive because of the possibility of winning the national title.  Hmmm…I guess the two Elite Eight appearances in the last five years weren’t good enough.  

Oh, and that must be what Miller realized after he turned down Arizona’s original offer. C’mon Sean; cash had nothing to do with it—right?

I suppose we should all make a bee line to Lexington, Kentucky.  Somehow the Bluegrass city has been able rise above the recession.  How else can one explain the $4 million a year they threw at John Calipari? Were there any political activists at Calipari’s press conference?   

How many more days until midnight madness?