Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Achilles Tar Heel

So, in case you haven't turned on ESPN in the past week, there's some big basketball tournament about to take place or something. I'm pretty sure it has to do with March being pretty much the most awesomest month in the history of months.

As a disclaimer, I'd like to state I've never once won an NCAA tournament pool. Not once. And that bothers me because I watch a ton of basketball. I did come incredibly close in 2005. If Arizona would have just held its enormous lead in the semis against Illinois, I would have won with my pick of North Carolina beating Arizona in the final. But that didn't happen. Salim Stoudamire and Deron Williams fucked me.

Now, this year, I again filled out my bracket with dreams of the Tar Heels winning again. But I'd feel a whole lot more confident if this guy was around:

Before the season, North Carolina was touted as the undisputed favorite to win it all. After all, the Tar Heels were coming off a Final Four appearance, returning virtually the entire team and gaining highly touted freshmen along the way. Then, Marcus Ginyard got hurt. Suddenly, UNC was without the services of its best defender, a guy who made a habit of hounding the opposition's top scorer night in and night out.

At first, it looked as though the Heels would be fine. They dominated early on, played up-tempo and looked to be the class of the country. At times, they struggled defensively, but with Ginyard coming back before the end of the year, things looked bright.

I was eagerly anticipating his return to watch an incredible offensive team get its heart and soul on defense back, hopefully elevating the intensity of his teammates on that end of the floor. But Marcus' time on the court didn't last long. He got injured again, this time for the year.

Still, UNC is a No. 1 seed and has played much more great basketball than bad. But with Ginyard in the lineup, I would have very little doubt that this team that was two wins away from a title last year would get it this year.

Unfortunately, that's not the case. The Tar Heels are without their best defender, as they have been all year, and they've never found that one guy who can single-handedly take a great scorer off his game. As a result, Carolina has had trouble being a dominate defensive team. And that could be the reason they fall short again, the reason I may fall short again in my bracket.

It's really a shame this had to happen, because the world deserved to see what a team with Ty Lawson, Danny Green, Tyler Hansbrough, Wayne Ellington and Marcus Ginyard could accomplish with just one more year together. Unfortunately, Ginyard will most likely be going it without any of his teammates mentioned above next year.

BallHype: hype it up!


  1. I also picked UNC, which means they will lose

  2. I've even won a pool and I dont even like or know college basketball. You can thank PSU for sucking my whole life for that

  3. But hey, they're a No. 2 seed in the NIT