Roy Williams reflects on his past career at Kansas as his No. 1-seed UNC Tar Heels prepare to face off with the No. 2-seed Kansas Jayhawks for a shot at the Final Four, and Jayhawks' coach Bill Self discusses the Heels.
Updated 11:20 p.m.
ST. LOUIS — From his seat on the North Carolina bench, Kendall Marshall watched the Tar Heels struggle without him during their 73-65 victory overtime victory against Ohio on Friday night, and he watched UNC’s offense falter against the Bobcats’ difficult, intrusive defense.
UNC coach Roy Williams didn’t think it’d be easy without Marshall, who six days ago suffered a broken bone in his right wrist. And it wasn’t easy for the top-seeded Heels, who with the victory against No. 13 Ohio advanced to the NCAA tournament Midwest regional finals on Sunday.
Still, after what was perhaps UNC’s most grinding, hard-fought victory of the season, Marshall wore a wide smile along with a crisp suit in his team’s locker room in the bowels of the Edward Jones Dome.
If you are a subscriber (or even if you buy from the rack or the Kangeroo), you may have seen an unusual editor's note on today's front page. (Not a note from an unusual editor, but an unusual note.)
It said, "Because of the later tipoff times for tonight's UNC and N.C. State games, the News & Observer final edition will be delivered later than usual Saturday morning to include coverage from the Midwest Regional......"
The UNC game against Ohio is scheduled to start at 7:47, which could mean 8 p.m. The N.C. State game against (gulp) Kansas is scheduled to start at 10:17 p.m., or later, depending on when the UNC game ends. In these situations, listed TV game start times are accurate only within 15 or 20 minutes or so.
We will be hustling to get the UNC game in the State edition, which goes mostly to Eastern North Carolina all the way to the Four Corners Diner in Atlantic Beach (I've been looking for a chance to plug this place.)
The Final edition, which we usually have to send to the pressroom by 11:25 on Friday night, is being held to get the State game in, thanks to the extremely wonderful accommodation of the pressroom and our carriers.
We may not be sending the last pages of the Final to the pressroom until 1:15 a.m. We will start the press up and run a bunch of papers off so we can get the farthest Final edition trucks away from the dock. Then we will replate, which is newspaper jargon for updating several pages with additional stories and photos being sent by our reporters and photographers in St. Louis, hitting the button to send them to the pressroom, wrapping the new plates around the press cylinders and starting back up again. (If you want to know what pressure is, the reporters and photographers in St. Louis, who have been working all day, will have - starting at 12:45 - about 15 minutes to get their first stories and game-end photos to the editors and page designers who then will have 15 minutes to muscle all that into pages to start the Final edition press run. And then they have to do this all over again for the replate. Meanwhile, getting all this to our online staff.)
As Brooke Cain noted on today's front page, the State and UNC games have been directed to TBS by the CBS-Turner Sports cabal, which undoubtedly has caused WRAL no end of angst as they will be airing the Baylor/Xavier and Kentucky/Indiana games. Which are huge in this market, no doubt.
Of course, if State and UNC both win tonight, this weekend will be crazy. The Sunday head-to-head between State and UNC will dominate the Sunday paper and the Monday paper.
The University of North Carolina’s football team has been banned from competing in the postseason in 2012, the NCAA announced on Monday. The postseason ban is the most significant of the additional penalties the NCAA announced in the wake of a multi-pronged scandal that rocked the UNC football program in 2010.
In addition to the postseason ban, the university will forfeit five football scholarships per season for the next three seasons. Former assistant coach John Blake, a central role in the scandal, has been given a “show-cause” provision for the next three years, essentially banning him from coaching in college during that time period.
The investigation began in June 2010, and the NCAA ruled 12 months later that UNC’s football program had committed nine major violations involving academic fraud, improper benefits and former assistant coach John Blake acting as an agent.
CHAPEL HILL — The University of North Carolina hosted on Tuesday a three-person panel discussion entitled “Big-Time College Sports: What Needs to Change?” I couldn’t attend, unfortunately, but News & Observer columnist Luke DeCock was there, and you can read his column right here.
Though I couldn’t attend in person, I followed the panel’s discussion through Twitter and an Internet live stream via reesenews.org, which has posted the full video of the panel’s discussion right here.
The discussion about what's wrong with big-time college sports continued Tuesday in Chapel Hill, as The N&O's Luke DeCock reported in today's column. Taylor Branch, a UNC grad whose writing on what he considers the exploitation of college players has received much attention, said UNC players have been told by their coaches not to talk with him. Hodding Carter, who teaches at UNC, said the faculty had been passive, as other college faculties had been, "allowing the slaughter of the integrity of the institutions they serve to go forward." The N&O's reporting on the UNC football program (and the NCAA investigation into it) has shown some significant problems. We will continue reporting.
At the same time, it's worth noting that there are some outstanding young adults who play big-time college sports. The N&O featured prominent stories today on two of them as they prepare to play their final home games. NCSU's C.J. Williams' hustle and leadership have been apparent during his four years at State, our J.P. Giglio reports. That's how he got to be a team captain as a sophomore and junior. His coach says he's been "a great young man to coach." He will graduate in May with a degree in business.
UNC's Tyler Zeller also has been outstanding. He's a business major and a two-time academic all-America. One of his business professors told The N&O's Andrew Carter, "It seems like he really believes (in) doing things the right way for the right reasons, treating people with respect and working hard."
Let's hear it for C.J. Williams and Tyler Zeller (and for their parents). They've set a high standard and have shown how good big-time college sports could be.
CHAPEL HILL -- While Tuesday's panel exploring NCAA reform eventually degenerated into yet another public airing of grievances over how UNC handled its football scandal during the Q&A, there were a number of salient points exchanged among the panelists regarding the necessity of change in college athletics first.
A standing-room only crowd at the Sonja Hayes Stone Center Theater on the UNC campus, one that included UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham as well as a number of other senior athletic administrators, gathered to hear the insights of former UNC president Bill Friday, Duke professor Charles Clotfelter and civil-rights historian Taylor Branch, a visiting professor at UNC. Both Branch and Clotfelter have recently published books about the state of college athletics, while Friday has spent decades pushing NCAA reform.
N.C. State linebacker D.J. Green won't be able to play football in 2012 after he tested positive for a banned substance.
The NCAA has declared Green, who started seven games as a sophomore, ineligible for the 2012 season. According to Green, it was for a failed drug test stemming from a nutritional supplement he used.
Kickoffs in major college football will move from the 30 to the 35-yard line next season, a change intended to keep players safer.
The change was approved this week by the NCAA playing rules oversight panel, which also said the running start by players on the kicking team will be limited to 5 yards.
Today is National Signing Day, when high school athletes from fall sports make their official commitments to college teams.
While several high school seniors who play Olympic sports are signing as well, much of the emphasis for many schools is placed on football programs.
Locally, offensive lineman William Heine of East Chapel Hill has committed to Georgetown and Chapel Hill's R.J. Quick has signed on for Winston-Salem State.
Heine, a 6-5, 280-pound senior played at right tackle for East, helping to protect record-setting QB Drew Davis in coach Bill Renner's "five-wide" offense. Heine will be joining his brother James at Georgetown, who's a pitcher for the Hoyas' baseball team.
Quick, not the biggest Tiger at 5-11, 180 pounds, was still one of the biggest guns as a top receiver for coach Issac Marsh as CHHS went 10-3 last season. He was also one of the quickest, no pun intended, with 4.5 speed.
The University of North Carolina is announcing its commitments — including Phil Williamson of Jordan — from the Class of 2012 this afternoon. See UNC Now (http://blogs.newsobserver.com/uncnow) for the latest on Carolina's recruits, and ACC Now (http://blogs.newsobserver.com/accnow/home) for updates on Duke and N.C. State.