Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Capital Sports Report will feature Twitter feeds from around the Triangle

So it's the first day of March, and you know what that means in North Carolina ... basketball tournaments. With March arriving, the Capital Sports Report will move to a new look this week. We'll have updates throughout March, with original news and opinions, and a very cool Twitter feed that includes information from around the Triangle.

Look for the updated Capital Sports Report beginning this week.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Williams says Heels can be 'immature,' but still know how to bear down

North Carolina is well aware it plays Duke Saturday night in the Smith Center, and yes, the Tar Heels know they are tied with the Blue Devils at the top of the ACC Standings.

But Carolina also knows it plays a tough Florida State team Wednesday night in Tallahassee, and coach Roy Williams insisted his team – though young – isn’t getting ahead of itself.

In fact, Williams even called his team “immature” in some ways.

“We know that we’ve go a big challenge at Florida State,” Williams said. “This team is immature as all get out about some things but they really have been pretty focused about playing the next game.”

For example, Williams said his club can be loose and comical around the clubhouse. But the Tar Heels are often playing with the poise of an experienced team despite starting two sophomores and two freshmen. Carolina has won 15 of 17 and 10 of 11 since that loss at Georgia Tech.

That’s an impressive run for a program that was a huge disappointment last season, and came into this year with significant, and unexpected, personnel losses.

“You go back to last May, when the Wears say they are not coming back … Will Graves ... Larry Drew. There has been some adversity I never want to to through again,” Williams said. “Right now I’m estatic about what they have done. … I am really proud of what my team has done. It hasn’t been easy. Ol’ Roy has had a hard year since last May. But I am really proud of them.”

Pack's Lowe says Wood being grabbed by defenders

N.C. State shooter Scott Wood has been up and down this season, exploding for points in some games and disappearing offensively in others. He had zero points against Duke, nine against Wake Forest, five against Clemson, 15 at Maryland and three against North Carolina.

Then in Saturday’s win over Georgia Tech, Wood erupted for 20 points and hitting seven of 10 shots.

That raises the obvious question of why Wood has been so erratic. On Monday, Wolfpack coach Sidney Lowe had a pointed response on the ACC teleconference.

“One [reason] is that people are really paying attention to him and trying to do things to him to prevent him from getting shots,” Lowe said.

But Lowe couldn’t help but add a strong point about how Wood is being grabbed by defenses.

“I know he’s my player and I might be biased but the film doesn’t lie. He gets held more than anybody I have ever seen. They literally grab him, grab his jersey.

“People are just aware of him. The last ballgame he really moved well without the ball. That’s one of the things we’ve been trying to tell him - keep moving so they can’t grab you.”

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Heels tie Devils atop ACC after putting away Maryland

North Carolina never trailed as the Tar Heels banged inside and hit from outside to defeat Maryland 87-76 and tie Duke for the ACC lead with just two regular-season games to go. (2/23)

Tyler Zeller did the offensive damage inside with 25 points while Harrison Barnes and Leslie McDonald did the damage outside with 21 and 15 points.

Barnes drained three threes in the first four minutes and Carolina got out to a quick 13-5 lead. But Maryland fought back to tie it at 13-all and it stayed close until the last five minutes of the first half.

Carolina went on a late 12-4 run to take a 43-31 halftime lead that stood up through the second half. That run was highlighted by a McDonald three from straight away, an old-fashioned three-point play by Zeller and a Barnes reverse lay in.

The Tar Heels now stand at 22-6 and 12-2 in the ACC, even with Duke after the Devils lost at Virginia Tech Saturday. The Heels go to Florida State Wednesday night before finishing the regular season at home against the Blue Devils.

When asked about possibly playing Duke for the ACC regular season title, UNC coach Roy Williams said, "We better be thinking in terms of Florida State."

For more on the Maryland game, please click here.

Duke women wrap up ACC regular season title with win over UNC

The Duke women's basketball team has clinched the top seeding in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament and they did it against one of their favorite teams to beat, North Carolina. The Blue Devils, behind seniors Jasmine Thomas (17 points) and Karima Christmas (14 points), beat UNC 66-58 today in Durham.

The Blue Devils (26-3, 12-2) got out to a big lead and withstood a comeback by the Tar Heels (22-7, 8-6). Going into the game, Duke was the No. 9 team in the nation while Carolina was No. 13.

Italee Lucas scored 15 points and Chay Shegog added 14 for the Heels who enter the conference tourney in Greensboro later this week as the No. 6 seed. (22-7, 8-6), the No. 6 seed for the league tournament later this week in Greensboro.