Saturday, December 11, 2010

Durham Hillside wins state title going away but WF-Rolesville falls big

Behind senior quarterback Vad Lee, a Georgia Tech recruit, Durham Hillside has completed a perfect 16-0 season with a 40-0 drubbing of Davie County.

Lee threw for three touchdowns today in the Class 4-A finals in Winston-Salem. Lee threw for 3,000 yards and 26 touchdowns on the season while rushing for more than 1,000 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Meanwhile Wake Forest-Rolesville didn't fare as well as the Cougars were demolished by defending state 4-AA champion Charlotte Butler 44-0 at rainy Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh.

Butler's Jahwan Edwards rushed for 170 yards and three touchdowns.

UNC men's soccer finally loses in NCAA Semifinals

The North Carolina Tar Heels saw their season come to an end Friday night in Santa Barbara, Calif. in heartbreaking fashion as Louisville's Aaron Horton found the back of the net with only 51 seconds remaining to give the No. 1 Cardinals (20-0-3) the 2-1 NCAA Semifinal win. The Tar Heels fall to 16-4-4 to conclude the year.

Louisville's Ryan Smith appeared to be in position to put a shot on net but instead of shooting he dropped a ball to Horton who chipped a ball over a diving Scott Goodwin and into the net with only 51 seconds remaining on the clock.

The Tar Heels were unable to get a shot on goal in the final seconds and saw their season come to an end at the College Cup for the third consecutive season.

The Cardinals outshot Carolina 11-9 in the game, marking just the second time all year the Tar Heels came up on the short end. The two goals marks the third time Carolina has allowed more than one goal in a game, all Tar Heel losses.

Carolina finishes the year 16-4-4 on the year, while Louisville improves to 20-0-3 and advances to Sunday's national championship contest.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Evansville proves to be no trap game for Heels, Zeller

During North Carolina's 76-49 victory last night, Carolina looked fluid on offense and active on defense. But you have to remember that it was only Evansville (Ind.), which was picked to finish 10th in the Missouri Valley Conference.

This could have been one of those trap games you hear about. Evansville isn't expected to do well this year but they have some shooters (who were off) and they were playing their last game in their old stadium. Tyler Zeller, from nearby Washington, Ind., could have had trouble. Sometimes players in their homecoming games are anxious or nervous. But Zeller played well throughout despite getting a pair of fouls on him in less than a minute in the second half.

In fact, considering that Carolina scored 46 points in the first half when Zeller was playing and only 30 in the second half when he sat out a bit, the blowout could have been worse. Zeller only played 26 minutes but that was still the second most minutes among UNC players. Harrison Barnes, who is still struggling evidenced by his three of 11 shooting performance, saw the most minutes with 32.

Justin Knox came off the bench to have a really nice game as he went four of five from the field and five of six from the line for 13 points. He also hauled in five rebounds in 24 minutes of play. The Heels host Long Beach State Saturday night.

For more on the game itself, please click here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hard-hitting Wake Forest-Rolesville plays for state title Saturday at Carter-Finley

Wake Forest-Rolesville, who handled Panther Creek in the semi-finals, plays Charlotte Butler for the State 4-AA NCHSAA football title Saturday at 11 a.m. at Carter-Finley Stadium.

With a victory, the Cougars would be the first team from Wake County to win a state championship in 12 years. High school sports experts discuss WF-Rolesville and more in the Outer Loop Sports Show below. Also, Durham Hillside is going for the 4-A championship Saturday morning in Winston-Salem.

Outer Loop Sports Show: December 8, 2010 from Outer Loop Sports Show on Vimeo.

Duke's Irving out indefinitely with toe injury

Duke freshman Kyrie Irving is out indefinitely after suffering a toe injury on his right foot in last Saturday’s win over Butler, the school announced Wednesday afternoon.

There is no timetable for his return.

“Kyrie is going to miss an undetermined amount of time with the toe injury,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. “Our medical staff will continue to monitor the recovery process and he will return to action once it has sufficiently healed. Kyrie is an outstanding player and we are confident that he will bounce back from this setback.”

Irving is averaging 17.4 points per game and ranks in the top 10 of the ACC in six statistical categories (scoring, assists, field goal percentage, free throw percentage, steals and assist-to-turnover ratio).

The injury is a blow to the Blue Devils, but they do have depth in the backcourt. Nolan Smith can handle the ball, and Andre Dawkins and Seth Curry have shown they can contribute, although neither is a point guard.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wolfpack team, fan base contributed to strong bowl pick

The fact that N.C. State wound up in the Champs Sports Bowl says a great deal about how this team and the Wolfpack fan base are viewed.

Virginia Tech was headed to the Orange Bowl - that was a given. And Florida State fit the ACC's No. 2 bowl, the Chick-fil-A. That left the Champs picking third, and looking at a Wolfpack team that is 8-4 overall and 5-3 in league play.

By ACC rules, the Champs could take any team within one game in the ACC standings of the highest remaining team. Maryland, N.C. State and Miami were 5-3 in ACC play, and Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Boston College and Clemson were all 4-4. But Maryland doesn't travel and Miami is in disarray.  So State, with an exciting quarterback and a program thrilled to be back in the bowl picture, made sense.

By the way, here were the order of selections for the ACC's remaining bowls:
No. 4 - the Sun took Miami
No. 5 - the Meineke Car Care took Clemson, in part because UNC has made so many Charlotte appearances
No. 6 - the Music City took Carolina
No. 7 - the Independence Bowl took Georgia Tech
No. 8 - the Military Bowl in Washington, D.C., got a boost with an 8-4 Maryland team to pair with East Carolina
No. 9 - Boston College, as always, got shipped to San Francisco for the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

By the way, if you wanted an illustration of why Tom O'Brien left Boston College, this was it. N.C. State, with a big fan base, gets a high bowl and Boston College, as is often the case, gets the left-overs.

Carolina draws intriguing bowl match-up with Tennessee

North Carolina ended up with an attractive bowl option Sunday when it accepted an invitation to play in the Music City Bowl on Dec. 30, in Nashville, Tenn., against the University of Tennessee. The game, at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN, marks the first the Tar Heels have faced the Volunteers since 1961.

Obviously, the Tar Heels drew a tough assignment playing Tennessee in the Volunteers home state, but it sure beats being banished to a lower bowl with little interest. Nashville is reachable for most fans, a cool place to visit, and there will be some energy in the stadium. And to be honest, this is hardly an unbeatable Vols team.

“Our fans have been tremendous this year, setting a school record for average attendance (58,250)," UNC athletics director Dick Baddour said in a statement. "This bowl game is another fantastic opportunity to support this Tar Heel team and recognize the accomplishments of an outstanding senior class.”

Head coach Butch Davis said, “I congratulate our team, and especially the 17 seniors, for the extraordinary job they’ve done in leading our program to a third consecutive bowl appearance. Regardless of the situation, this team fought week after week to make our fans proud. We look forward to representing North Carolina against a talented Tennessee team.”

Carolina (7-5, 4-4 ACC) is in a bowl game for the third straight season, the school’s longest streak since going to seven straight bowl games from 1992-98. The Music City Bowl is Carolina’s 28th all-time postseason bowl game, but first in Nashville, which is hosting its 13th bowl game.

Carolina and Tennessee will be meeting for the 32nd time, and first since a 22-21 UNC win in 1961. The Volunteers lead the overall series, 20-10-1. Tennessee (6-6, 3-5 SEC) won just two of its first eight games this year, but rallied to win four straight and qualify for postseason play.