Friday, March 21 2014 7:28 AM EDT2014-03-21 11:28:45 GMT
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(RNN) - A moose walks into the Dean Dome. Roy Williams asks, "Why the long face?"
Worst bad joke rip-off of all time? Probably. But that scenario became a lot more plausible Wednesday when the weather got so bad they had to cancel the Duke-UNC game in Chapel Hill.
At least it gave the students a canvas to [EXPLICIT] express themselves. We miss college.
Think about that, though - it was so bad they had to postpone a sport played indoors. A matchup between two schools 11 miles apart. Because snow. Stupid, stupid snow.
Lucky for the PPPollsters, the Devils and Heels would-be opening act was an absolute gem. Syracuse-Pitt was like a pickup game with the '92 NCAA champs: It's thrilling, it's exhausting but we never want it to end. And it feels a little like someone stomped on our stomach.
13 points, five assists, one 3-pointer Wednesday at No. 25 Pitt (W 58-56)
Tyler and his perfectly groomed chin beard showed again why they're cooler than a beat poet's … umm … chin beard … by dropping in a 35-footer at the buzzer down 1 to 'Cuse's biggest rival in its own building.
The unbelievable part of the way it went down was how believable that outcome was beforehand. He's won the team so many games late (including the first with Pitt), there was no reason to think he wouldn't do it again. Tyler only played an average game for the first 39 minutes, but in that last one he gave his team its first lead since the score was 8-6 and hit the game-winner.
And even in that moment, even in that environment, the freshman (freshman!!) was steady. He took the inbounds pass with 4.4 seconds, dribbled up the court, found an open spot to shoot and fired away.
2. C.J. Fair, Syracuse Orange
14 points, four rebounds Wednesday at No. 25 Pitt (W 58-56)
Remember how we said Ennis had an average game until the last minute? Well, until about five minutes left, C.J. was having a horrible game: Six points on 3-for-11 shooting.
When the game looked like it was slipping away, he came through. He got an old-fashioned three, knocked down a 3-ball from the corner, stopped on a dime to lose his defender and hit a jumper to make it a 1-point game with less than a minute left.
Most teams are lucky to have one guy who can come through in the clutch. This team has three (we're adding Trevor Cooney, too). Pretty sure Coach Boeheim has never smiled this much in a season.
3. T.J. Warren, NC State Wolfpack
34 points, 10 rebounds Tuesday vs. Wake Forest (W 82-67)
There were more career highs this week than an incense convention in Colorado.
The ACC's leading scorer put up a personal-best 34 points in a blowout, but his outing Saturday was equally good when he had 19 in the second half of a 1-point win at Miami. T.J. and the 'Pack improved to 6-5 in conference and are back into NCAA tourney consideration.
In related news, "T.J. and the 'Pack" is our new second favorite "and the." It recently leapt "Bennie and the Jets" and is a close runner-up to "B.J. and the Bear."
4. Jabari Parker, Duke Blue Devils
29 points, 16 rebounds, three blocks Saturday at Boston College (W 89-68)
Parker only may be in Durham for the one year, so he decided to not waste time and get his best marks in points and rebounds in the same game. It's all about efficiency, people.
5. Seth Allen, Maryland Terrapins
32 points, seven 3-pointers, four rebounds Saturday vs. Florida State (W 83-71)
The Terps may not be willing to settle for irrelevance in their ultimate ACC season. The point guard's big night kept the Seminoles on their collision course with Earth, and Maryland followed that with a respectable outing at No. 17 Virginia. Don't be shocked if they make a run to the tournament bubble.
6. K.J. McDaniel, Clemson Tigers
30 points, 14 rebounds, five blocks, four 3-pointers Tuesday at Notre Dame (L 68-64 2OT)
The 6'6" Swiss army knife (leads team in points, rebounds, steals, blocks, free throws made and 3-pointers made) got career highs in points and rebounds against the Irish.
He did everything he could in the last two games (0-2) but got no help - against ND and 'Cuse, K.J. scored 49 points on 51 percent, 19-for-37, shooting, and he added 24 rebounds. Everyone on Clemson not named K.J. McDaniels? They combined for 59 points on 26 percent, 19-for-74, shooting.
7. Justin Anderson, Virginia Cavaliers
Four points, three rebounds, two blocks Monday vs. Maryland (W 61-53)
Sometimes it's not what; it's when. Picture this: Less than 11 minutes to go, Virginia is up by three. Maryland is on a fast break and goes for a layup on an open basket. And then Anderson swoops in from out of nowhere and blocks it.
And then he grabs the ball before it goes out of bounds. And then he gets the ball up the court, which leads to a 3-pointer by Joe Harris. And then there's a commercial break.
(Hey, this new Applebee's menu looks pretty good.)
And then the timeout's over. And then a Maryland missed shot. And then Anderson gets it and drives to the basket. And then the defense collapses on him. And then in one fluid motion he makes a beautiful pass to Darion Atkins under the goal. And then Atkins dunks it. And then the Cavaliers are up by seven and never look back.
No and then, Maryland. No and then.
8. Steve Vasturia, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
11 points, four rebounds, two 3-pointers Tuesday vs. Clemson (W 68-64 2OT)
Vasturia was missing his shots badly going into the second OT against the Tigers, but he hit two from behind the arc when his team needed them most and swung the game Notre Dame's way.
9. Tonye Jekiri, Miami Hurricanes
15 points, 5-for-6 shooting, six rebounds, two blocks Monday at Florida State (W 77-73)
Miami's defense has been fantastic, but the team has been losing because it couldn't score. At least on this night, the big man added some interior scoring to a balanced attack that was the difference in the game.
10. James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina Tar Heels
18 points, eight rebounds, four steals Saturday at Notre Dame (W 73-62)
The ups and downs of JMM's UNC career have been well documented, but he is playing with a lot of intensity lately. He averaged 17 points and 8.2 rebounds per game during the team's five-game winning streak.
It turns out the only thing that could put the Heels on ice was actual ice. But they can take solace in knowing the game has been rescheduled for Feb. 20, two days before Duke has to host the No. 1-ranked Syracuse Orange.
And knowing they messed with Duke will keep the Carolina faithful warm on even the coldest, dreariest nights. Sweet dreams, folks.
Need something to help you get through two weeks of March Madness? Try playing Basketball Cliche Bingo. Mark off the words or phrases that are overused during each game of the tourney.More >>
Don't like basketball? Need something to help you get through two weeks of March Madness? Try playing Basketball Cliche Bingo. Mark off the words or phrases that are overused during each game of the tournament.More >>