Is there any reason we shouldn’t have seen this coming? Sure, North Carolina had more talent, depth and balance than Michigan State. They also had more experience. So why shouldn’t the Tar Heels have rolled up a rout in the national title game, cruising past the Spartans, 89-72, and validating North Carolina’s upperclassmen who decided to come back for a final year rather than head to the NBA.
Yet, by halftime, this wasn’t a game so much as a massacre on hostile territory. North Carolina built up the biggest halftime lead in national title game history, and the few moments when Michigan State climbed closer than that in the second half proved more fleeting and false than impressive.
In the end, the final game of the entire NCAA Tournament, the game for which we sat through a month of buildup, complete with a compelling Final Four David vs. Goliath script and 60,000+ screaming, green-clad fans in economically depressed Detroit, was almost like the early season North Carolina rout of Michigan state on replay. If we’d whitewashed the original, 98-63 score and written in 89-72, would anyone have noticed? We dare say they wouldn’t have.
In fact, if there were overnight Nielsen ratings that cut off at halftime, we’d love to see them. Something tells us the second half viewers were significantly less than the TBS re-runs that preempted Game 7 of the ALCS last October.
Yet, as is always the case, there was plenty of celebratory violence/delirium in Chapel Hill as soon as the final buzzer sounded. In fact, it probably hit well before the final buzzer, given that the rout was fully on well before the game wrapped up.
According to the NEWS & OBSERVER, fans wasted little time ratcheting up the rowdy, starting fires and tossing around alcohol at a terrific pace. No, they didn’t temporarily relocate Franklin Street to College Park, Md., but you might not have known any better if you just shot a cursory glance at the post-title celebration.
And what was the motivation behind the fans’ craziness? Oh, it was all in good fun … and venting, naturally.
“It’s the culmination of the entire year of yelling at the TV,” said 24-year-old Elliot Rubin, who attended UNC, of the experience. “It’s the most jubilant feeling ever.”
“The crowd is definitely bigger this year,” said DeeDee Monzee, a 2007 UNC graduate, before jumping through a bonfire. “There’s a lot more alumni out here.”
Yes, you read that correctly. Those fans were giving journalistic quotes between leaps through bonfires. That, dear friends, is the way to live life on the edge. Now, if only they could get the police on board …
What is it about Jacksonville wide receivers? Not only did Reggie Williams find himself arrested on a felony count of possession of a controlled substance (cough, cocaine, cough), he also may have been using the magical Sweet & Low, seeing as how his arrest blowback against the cops earned him a straight tasering.
Yes folks, you’ve got that right: For the second time in a year, a Jacksonville wide receiver has been arrested in possession with cocaine. And this is the second time in three months that Williams has been arrested for DUI and some sort of drugs. Clearly, these guys don’t believe in discretion, or learning from others’ mistakes. And they don’t seem to care, either. After all, Matt Jones opted for jail instead of probation just so he could keep hitting the sauce. What’s to make us believe that Williams will pull out of a steady nose sugar habit just because of one nasty arrest in Houston. After all, what else are drug test masking kits for?
The bigger question is what the remaining wide receivers on the Jacksonville roster — Troy Williamson (who knows what it’s like to get suspended), D’Juan Woods, Mike Walker and Nate Hughes – are going to do now that Williams has burned his last possible bridge back to Jacksonville. Please say a huge party, please say a huge party, please say a huge party …