Tonight is essentially the first of three tests to see who gets the NCAA Raleigh seed in March. The Heels enter the game without their first and second string point guards, so it is up to Quentin Thomas to lead the Heels. To add to UNC’s misery, Duke has been playing better than Carolina lately. Of course, we will see a barrage of Hansbrough (pronounced HANS-bro – just two syllables) right baby hooks with a foul to the left shoulder (it’s his go-to move).
The key to the game is Thomas’ ability to handle Duke’s perimeter overplay. Carolina needs to extend their offense far from the paint, and exploit Duke’s overplay by going back-door and setting picks. Duke, on the other hand, needs to pressure Thomas and beat Carolina with their running game.
So, it is the matchup of all of college basketball, but why does the media insist on insulting us with this "Tobacco Road" thing? While the region has a history of major tobacco production, it is a totally outdated concept, and equates the area with the abject poverty portrayed in Erskine Caldwell’s novel. It’s time to dump this moniker for something more accurately portraying the area’s education and healthiness (there are 15 states with higher smoking rates than North Carolina).