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Saturday, April 03, 2004
I know Connecticut
And the team on the floor against Duke is no Connecticut.
Will either Okafor or Gordon step up in the second half? Can the Huskies get either Deng or Williams into foul trouble?
Off to watch the end of the game with friends at a Boston bar.
I'll post comments after I return.
Is this man healthy?
Georgia Tech vs. Connecticut: 1-0
Georgia Tech vs. Duke: 1-1
What friends are for
After he saw my initial bracket, a friend mocked me for placing Georgia Tech in the final four.
He was wrong.
Paul Hewitt has been nothing if not impressive.
Offense wins games, defense wins...
Made dinner during commercial breaks -- Didn't have time for play-by-play blogging.
never cease to amaze me
Auburn is also waiting for a ruling from the NCAA Committee on Infractions over alleged violations in the basketball program. Cliff Ellis, who was fired on March 18, was not named in the allegations. He is attending the Final Four and said he has opportunities to coach next season but is considering taking the year off.
Cliff Ellis was a mediocre coach who is rumored to have overlooked infractions during his time at Auburn. The athletic directors who have offered him jobs deserve to be fired for so doing.
In an earlier comment, Lacey in Quebec suggests we take a look at Alysse Minkoff's latest
for Page 2, "Which one is your favorite sport? College basketball or sex?
A good column. Elicits several smiles and a couple laughs.
But really, the piece would be much, much better if it were authored by another Page 2 contributor, Stacey Pressman
There are those who believe Georgia Tech-Oklahoma State is the undercard to Connecticut-Duke.
First, because while Connecticut vs. Duke might not be close throughout, Georgia Tech and Oklahoma State play the kinds of defense that will make the game a back-and-forth affair. If I could only watch one game, I'd enjoy the Yellow Jackets vs. the Cowboys.
Second, because I'd give the winner of the opening game as much chance of taking home the trophy as I'd give the victor of the nightcap.
In Due Time
If not this year
, next. Jim Calhoun has built quite a program at Connecticut
That being said, it was unnecessary for "a source close to the [Hall of Fame] decision
" to leak the bad news ahead of Saturday's game.
Former Blue Devils star Corey Maggette is found to have taken payments from Myron Piggie, but the NCAA has decided not to take any action against Duke
Piggie embodies everything that is wrong with amateur basketball, summer tournaments and the NCAA (though the following makes only the Kansas City AAU coach seem like scum).
Piggie was sentenced in 2001 to about four years in prison on fraud and tax charges. He was also ordered to pay more than $320,000 in restitution. Piggie had admitted in May 2000 that he schemed to defraud UCLA, Duke, Missouri and Oklahoma State, their conferences -- the Pacific-10, the Atlantic Coast and the Big 12 -- as well as the NCAA by making payments to high school stars who played for him in summer league games.
Besides Maggette, players involved were brothers JaRon and Kareem Rush, who played at UCLA and Missouri, respectively; Korleone Young, who entered the NBA Draft without playing in college; and Andre Williams of Oklahoma State.
Friday, April 02, 2004
i'm lovin it
leon, a frequent visitor to college 'ball
, suggests we check out HoopMasters' review of the McDonald's All American game
Wish I had caught the game on television. As it is, I'm struck by the following two thoughts:
-- Earl 'JR' Smith will have a huge impact at North Carolina. This year, the Tarheels were a 6'6" swingman away from seriously contesting for the ACC championship.
-- Stan Heath's signing of 6'9" Al Jefferson is a boon to the Razorbacks. Heath is no Nolan Richardson, but then again, few coaches are
. Stan's been downright impressive in his own right.
By the end, I liked Jameer Nelson. But not Phil Martelli (see earlier post
That being said, Nelson deserved Play of the Year honors
and Martelli Coach of Year accolades
Nelson played as a member of a well-oiled machine -- and as the superstar we recognized him to be. Martelli built and guided a T-E-A-M, developing Delonte West as an NBA Prospect in the process.
They Said It
"I'm the highest-paid designated driver in the state."
-- Former Iowa State coach Larry Eustachy, a recovering alcoholic, on his new job with Southern Mississippi
Mike DeCourcy is a fan of Eddie Sutton
. He believes that Oklahoma State "isn't taking Sutton to his third Final Four. It's the other way around
I am a fan of Mike DeCourcy
. I believe that because DeCourcy writes for The Sporting News (online at www.FoxSports.com
), his columns are less popular than those of ESPN's pundits. But popularity is poorly correlated with wisdom. DeCourcy is among the nation's best writers about the college game. His latest on Sutton
is well worth your time.
Therefore, I am, for the duration of the Final Four, a fan of Eddie Sutton
. Cowboy up.
Thursday, April 01, 2004
has picked Connecticut to win it all.
Davis' blessing has been the kiss of death this tournament. First he picked Gonzaga to win it all -- beating Stanford in the championship game. Then he picked Duke to lose in the Sweet Sixteen. Now he picks Connecticut to beat Duke and the winner of Georgia Tech and Oklahoma State.
Playing through Pain
As Scott of the Georgia Tech Sports Blog
noted in a comment below, Emeka Okafor and B.J. Elder will both start on Saturday
. Okafor's mobility is much improved and Elder's ankle is giving him less trouble. But while both will be available, neither will be at full strength and both will play with pain.
"He is a warrior and he'll play through it," Calhoun said. "He is going to be fine when all is said and done." Calhoun expected Okafor will still be sore Saturday after reinjuring the shoulder during a Tuesday practice in Storrs, Conn.
"He was a little sore but based on the progress he has made, we will be fine. He's going to start and we'll just see how he does." Hewitt said the MRI showed no structural damage to Elder's ankle, no bruise and no tear, "so it's just a matter of pain tolerance at this point."
When the going gets tough...
More than a gem. An absolute must-read
A little heavy on the nostalgia. But the humor more than compensates.
I wish I was a good enough writer to have penned this keeper
Comings and Goings, Rumor Mill Style
--Indiana recruit and Oak Hill Academy star Josh Smith
is NBA bound, if the AP's speculation
is correct. Smith played in last night's McDonald's All-American game, his third all-star game after completing his high school season. The NCAA prohibits players from participating in more than two such games, and those who do risk losing a year of collegiate eligibility. With Mike Davis inching towards the hot seat, he can't afford to sign and lose impact recruits such as Smith.
--Former Dukie Bobby Hurley
has expressed interest in the head coaching job at Marist
. Hurley, a talent scout for the Philadelphia 76ers, doesn't have head coaching experience, though he has worked as an assistant under his father, the renowned coach of St. Anthony's High School in Jersey City, N.J. An intriguing story, but not much else. If I were the athletic director at Marist, I wouldn't give Hurley a second look. If he was a current assistant coach, yes. Otherwise no.
--Stanford standout Josh Childress will declare for the NBA Draft
, but not hire an agent ("right now
") as to leave himself the option of returning for his senior season. Mike Montgomery had said after the Cardinal's NCAA Tournament loss that he expected his leading scorer to return. For the Pac-10's sake, come back Josh. Come back. Montgomery, among the most underrated coaches in college basketball, would love to have you next year.
Tonight, at "Madison Square Gordon" (so named during this year's Big East Tournament), Rutgers (!) plays Michigan for the NIT Championship
Here's to the Scarlet Knights, about which I must admit to knowing almost nothing.
Good Move/Questionable Move
: Will Bynum's decision to transfer from the University of Arizona. Bynum, a Chicago-area native, left Tuscon in early January of 2003 after becoming increasingly disillusioned with his reduced playing time on the Wildcats' stocked roster. Today he finds himself in the Final Four as a member of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. With B.J. Elder slowed by an ankle sprain, Bynum, regularly an invaluable contributor off the bench, will be asked to step up on Saturday. I, for one, expect Bynum's play to strongly influence the game's outcome.
Bad Move? Good Move? Jury's out
: Dennis Lattimore's decision to transfer from the University of Arizona. Lattimore, a prized recruit of Lute Olson's out of the Midwest, wasn't happy as a bench player for the Wildcats. In February of 2003, with high school phenom Ndubi Ebi expected to matriculate at Arizona in the fall, Lattimore quit the team. Whatever Dennis' rationale, his timing was off. Several games into the second half of the season, he had lost the semester's eligibility. Why not hang around for Arizona's potential title run and benefit from team workouts and Olson's coaching for another couple months?
Lattimore, however, had seen enough. He quit the team. Ebi then declared for the NBA Draft, Chris Dunn, a forward who redshirted in 2002-2003, failed to qualify, and Isiah Fox suffered a season ending knee-injury. Suddenly, Arizona was short on frontcourt players. Had Lattimore stayed, he would have started most of this season's games...Today, Lattimore finds himself at Notre Dame, a likely starter during the 2004-2005 season. Chris Thomas has announced he will return for his senior season, setting the Fighting Irish up for an NCAA Tournament run.
: Bynum left Arizona for Georgia Tech. His second choice? Oklahoma State. Say what you will about his game, but you can't knock his sixth sense about ballclubs.
Margin of Victory
Via the Georgia Tech Sports Blog
Did you know that during Villinova's '85 title run, they won their 6 tourney games by a total of 30 points, the smallest margin of victory in history. GT has won their 4 games by a total of 21 points.
They Said It
"The name on the front of the jersey is more important than the name on the back of the jersey. I think people still relate to that."
-- Connecticut's Jim Calhoun
Careful, now. Your Huskies are playing Duke
Wednesday, March 31, 2004
History, Part II
thinks Connecticut's recent dominance of Duke is irrelevant.
I tend to agree. But while past performance is no guarantee of future results, it does suggest that Jim Calhoun's crew won't be intimidated by Devil blue.
If anything, the Dukies will be the ones with a little stage-fright. This year's team is very, very young. If Reddick goes cold while Gordon gets hot, I doubt the Blue Devils will have the inner confidence to tough it out.
The AP reports "Okafor dinged up again
Just when Connecticut's All-America center Emeka Okafor seemed to be getting sharp, he took another jolt Wednesday. Huskies coach Jim Calhoun said Okafor was bumped hard in practice. Calhoun said the injury was similar to the stinger Okafor got against Alabama in the Phoenix Regional final, when a hard foul jarred his neck and sent a stinging pain down his arm.
Ouch! Continue reading
Via Brendan Loy
(and the Hartford Courant
--Duke hasn't beaten Connecticut since March 22, 1991.
--Connecticut has beaten Duke three times in a row.
--If Connecticut beats Duke on Saturday in the Final Four, it will even the all-time series between the Huskies and the Blue Devils at 4-4.
Also, Connecticut's coach is up for Hall of Fame induction. The following is therefore possible:
[Calhoun] could be introduced as part of the Class of 2004 for the Basketball Hall of Fame Monday morning and then win the national championship Monday night. When was the last time you had a day at work to match that?
I've been on the Georgia Tech bandwagon since the Yellow Jackets beat UNC in the ACC semis.
Yet with B.J. Elder at less than full strength, I don't think Paul Hewitt's club has the offensive firepower to beat Oklahoma State. Further, the Jackets have had tremendous success alternating defensive schemes. But the Cowboys will quicken the tempo, giving Georgia Tech less time to settle into a(ny) defense.
Sutton's due. Hewitt will be back soon.
More UMass Nostalgia
Remember when Dick Vitale went on TV and proclaimed the University of Massachusetts' backcourt of Edgar Padilla and Carmelo Travieso to be the best in the nation?
Reason #33 to fire Steve Lappas: The once appropriate motto "Refuse to Lose."
Duhon for Dummies
The folks over at Heels, Sox & Steelers
check the stats and learn Chris Duhon is more than a little overrated. Duhon is tied for first in assists-to-turnover ratio, third in steals, fifth in points and fourth in free throw percentage when compared to four premier ACC point guards (John Gilcrest, Jarret Jack, Ray Felton and Chris Paul).
Based on these numbers, Duhon may be no better than the fourth or fifth best point guard in his own conference.
The Sad Truth
The University of Massachusetts is so far removed from the glory days of Marcus Camby that very few folks in Amherst dare to dream of a day when the school could return to the Final Four.
Remember when the Minutemen opened the 1994-1995 season with a victory over No. 1 Arkansas? The following year, Calipari's crew began with a win over No. 1 Kentucky.
Then we had "Bruiserball." Now we don't have anything. Sigh.
Reason #57 to fire Steve Lappas: The memory of Lou Roe.
You enroll at Air Force to...
Air Force center and Mountain West Conference co-player of the year Nick Welch would consider transferring
if his coach, Joe Scott, leaves the academy to coach at another institution.
That makes little sense. Coming out of high school, Nick Welch was no David Robinson. If he intended to pursue a career playing basketball, he should have gone to school somewhere else. The Air Force Academy is one of the few Division 1 programs where you are a student (cadet) first and an athlete second.
That being said, it is hard not to sympathize with Welch. If he developed as a player during his time under Scott and is now an NBA prospect, I can understand his thinking. If Scott leaves and another coach (likely of lower caliber) replaces him, Welch's NBA prospects fade. He may not have imagined himself a pro player coming in, but a few years experience changes a man.
Coach calls out a player
Hmmmm. I wish I knew if this was common practice. My gut tells me deadlines might be, but going public with them isn't. From the AP
Arizona coach Lute Olson wants to know soon whether his plans for next season can include forward Andre Iguodala. Olson has given the sophomore starter until Easter to let the team know whether he's leaving early for the NBA.
"We are going to ask him to make a decision so we can make the necessary plans if he is not going to be back...If Andre were to go that would be a big hole to fill," Olson said. "We would try to get the best player we could get our hands on, with as much maturity as we could come up with."
Either way, there is something disconcerting about the tenor of Lute's statements. They suggest he and Iguodala don't have the strongest of relationships.
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Yes, but for how long?
Via the AP
, "Nevada's coach stays."
Nevada basketball coach Trent Johnson agreed Tuesday to a new five-year contract worth $450,000 a year to stay at the school. Johnson, in his fifth year at Nevada, joined athletic director Chris Ault and university president John Lilley in announcing his plans to remain with the school he led to only its third NCAA Tournament appearance and first berth in the round of 16. The Wolf Pack have improved each year since Johnson arrived with records of 9-20, 10-18, 17-13 and 18-14 before registering this year's school-record 25 wins.
Good for Trent. He's an accomplished coach and deserved the raise.
Johnson, 47, a former assistant at Stanford, told reporters last week he was upset by talk that he might capitalize on the team's strong showing and leave the northern Nevada school for a larger university. "I don't want to be known as a hot commodity. I want to be known as a coach who helped be a part of building a special program," Johnson said last week.
Wow. These are the kind of comments that earn a tremendous amount of respect if the coach follows through -- or an equivalent amount of scorn if he later flees for greener pastures. Careful, now.
Chris Chase makes a great argument
for Duke's Mike Krzyzewski as the best coach of all time.
But the knock on Lute Olson is unnecessary:
If you had to choose one coach to coach one game with your life on the line, who would you pick? Even if you hate Duke as much as I do, you sure as hell know you aren’t going to be choosing Lute Olsen. Krzyzewski is the easy choice.
Who'll guard Luol?
No Dukie presents more matchup problems than Luol Deng.
Taliek Brown and Ben Gordon are, needless to say, too small.
At 6-5, Rashad Anderson and Denham Brown are both a little undersized. Deng, you remember, is a healthy 6-8.
Emeka Okafor has the quickness to guard Deng. But you'd rather the big fella stay down low, blocking and changing shots.
Will Jim Calhoun bring Charlie Villanueva off the bench early to guard Deng? Will Villanueva be up to the challenge? Does he have the mobility to guard Deng behind the arc?
The alternative is to bring in Villanueva for Denham Brown and have Anderson guard Deng, thinking either Villanueva or Okafor will be able to help on Deng down low.
How Hewitt Could Im_ _ _ _ _ Me
Few coaches this year have done as a good job as Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt. Among the Jackets' secrets to success has been Hewitt's emphasis on oft-changing defensive schemes. As was evident in the Elite Eight, Tech's multiple defensive looks confused Kansas, preventing the Jayhawks from ever getting into a rhythm.
But what if Hewitt finds a scheme that works? Or knows from the get-go that one scheme is likely to be more effective? From yesterday's Tulsa World
Press corps: Not since losing to Syracuse in last year's NCAA Tournament have the Cowboys struggled with a full-court press like they did in the first half Saturday.
St. Joe's zone press used traps to force OSU to speed up its tempo and left the Cowboys out of rhythm. The result was 10 first-half turnovers and 41 percent shooting. "I thought we were too passive on our press break," Sutton said.
In the second half, Martelli switched to a less aggressive man-to-man press, which offered no traps, but used token pressure and allowed the Cowboys to either get their transition game going or set up their offense. The Cowboys committed just three turnovers and shot 54 percent in the second half.
"We kind of froze up a little bit; our brains froze up," Martelli said. "You know, I'll go into next October now thinking that maybe one more zone press might have done the trick."
Food for thought, eh?
Bob Rickert over at the Ducks Blog breaks down an NIT semifinal
, Michigan vs. Oregon.
Props to the Wolverines for beating Missouri and Oklahoma, quality opponents both. But best of luck to the Ducks. Luke Jackson deserved better than an NIT appearance in his senior year.
ESPN's Page 2 slights Miles Simon in its compilation of the best Final Four performances
over the last 25 years.
Simon scored 24 against North Carolina and 30 against Kentucky as Arizona, the "fifth-best team in the Pac-10" during the regular season, shocked America.
Not only was Simon's MVP performance not among ESPN's Top 10, but his also wasn't among those "also receiving votes." Tsk, tsk.
Adding insult to injury, Ed O'Bannon makes the list at number 9.
Monday, March 29, 2004
anybody but duke
I'm no fan of Duke. Are you?
How does the public hate the Blue Devils? Let us count the ways. MSNBC conducted an unscientific survey in which it asked people to choose the most hated team in the sport, and Duke was the runaway winner (loser?) with 53 percent of the more than 20,000 votes cast. There is a hateduke.com Web site, which we're guessing isn't much different from the Duke-Sucks.com site. A Google search for the term "hate Duke" turned up 1,980 results. Folks just can't stand the Blue Devils.
Neither can I. But as Phil Taylor reminds us, hate is a strong word. He asks us not to confuse hatred with jealousy when rooting against Duke
Semantics, really (though Phil's argument about "hating" boosters and bogus classes makes sense). As long as I can root against the Blue Devils, I'm happy.
Very funny (below), but a little much, says I.
. NIT= "Not In Tournament."
If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say...
Don't say it
Actually, my problem with Page 2's "What was John Lucas Sr. thinking
?" is simply that it wasn't funny. Where's Bill Simmons when you need him?
They Said It
"If you put them under truth serum, I'm sure a few of them were happy because it meant more minutes."
-- Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt on players' thoughts about starter B.J. Elder's ankle injury.
Duke's Luol Deng fled from Sudan to Egypt to avoid the country's brutal civil war.
A little advocacy
Not Too Shabby
Chris Chase with a few solid blog entries on college basketball
. Maybe the best I've found to date. The highlight:
I’m feeling more and more confident in my pick of Oklahoma State over Connecticut in the Finals. Both teams looked fantastic tonight. Uconn should have no trouble with Alabama on Saturday and St. Joe’s should find that OSU’s defense won’t be nearly as porous as Wake’s.
Great minds think alike.
Would you hire Nolan Richardson?
Jason Whitlock of the Kansas City Star wonders why Tom Penders is marketable while Nolan Richardson is not
. Richardson, need I remind you, has three Final Fours, two NCAA title games and one national championship under his belt.
Reason #162 to fire Steve Lappas: Nolan Richardson.
Gone. Not a moment too soon.
Several years back, Martelli rubbed me the wrong way after heavily criticizing Lute Olson and the University of Arizona for not making it out to Pennsylvania during a snow storm.
I never quite forgave him and was happy to see him go. So long, Phil.
That being said, Jameer Nelson and Delonte West were a pleasure to watch.
Jarrett Jack, NBA Prospect?
I'd like to think so. Calm, confident and in-control in each of the big games I've seen him play. B.J. Elder may be Georgia Tech's leading scorer, but it is Jack who makes or breaks the Yellow Jackets.
Wayne Drehs has a nice column on Jack's work ethic
over at ESPN. In an age of pampered, lazy, and self-obsessed stars, the intro alone should get the NBA scouts interested:
It happened every single day this summer. Georgia Tech point guard Jarrett Jack would head to the basketball building, pop his head in assistant coach Cliff Warren's office and undergo the most intensive mental rehabilitation any basketball player could imagine.
Together, they'd watch every play of every game from the previous season. Fast-forward. Rewind. Pause. Three times, four times, five times. Why did you pass? Why did you shoot? Why did you dribble to your right? Why did you turn it over? Why didn't you find the open man? Why didn't you get this rebound? That steal? Why did you let him beat you?
Everything down to why Jack's shirt wasn't tucked in properly was broken down, analyzed and argued over. At Jack's request.
Sunday, March 28, 2004
Africa - True.
Andy Katz's Daily Word for March 28th
It was as if I'd caught the NCAA with a stash of stolen property. An NCAA rep, with the help of a security guard, were frantically stuffing Saint Joseph's East Rutherford regional championship T-shirts into boxes. They were trying to shove the boxes into a closet that housed the emergency water source in case of a fire in the arena. When a fan asked if he could have a T-shirt the NCAA rep said he couldn't do it or else he'd get in a lot of trouble. When I asked where these shirts would go, the answer was, "Africa." Apparently, the NCAA used to throw out the T-shirts and then realized that was a silly idea, considering there were people somewhere on the globe that needed shirts, regardless of what was on them. The NCAA doesn't want anyone to see these shirts, but has to have them ready once the game ends.
True. While volunteering at a United Nations Refugee Camp in Kakuma, Kenya in the spring of 2002, I spotted a "USC Pac-10 Tournament Champions" T-Shirt. Problem is, USC hasn't (yet) won a Pac-10 Tournament Championship. The shirts were likely produced before the Trojans' Pac-10 final against Arizona several years back.
It was Xavier's game to win...
You get a sense the game was Xavier's to win, but as a result of poor coaching, bad decisionmaking, an inability to exploit Duke's foul-plagued frontline and missed free throws, the Musketeers are headed back to Ohio. A shame, I tell you. A darn shame.
The Evil Empire
Joins Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, and Connecticut in the Final Four.
Congratulations to Chris Duhon, for playing through the pain.
Xavier's fate may rest on whether the Musketeers can tag Deng, Ewing or Williams with a fourth foul before the 10 minute mark.
Without Williams, the Dukies are much less effective inside. Without Ewing, Duhon must produce offensively. Without Deng, Duke's "spurtability" declines. As does the Blue Devils' versatility.
Wouldn't shut up about Kansas not getting the ball to Wayne Simien. For the final 10 minutes of the second half and the entirety of overtime, Kellog used every Jayhawk possession to harp on Aaron Miles' poor decisionmaking.
He was right, of course. Kansas lost because Miles played poorly and failed to get Simien the ball.
That being said, making the same comment on every possession got old - fast.
Clark Kellog, faux-articulate.
Jarret Jack vs. Aaron Miles
Excepting one errant pass, Jack has been nothing if not exceptional in the past 5 to 10 minutes.
In contrast, Aaron Miles has been playing selfish basketball. On several occasions, he's driven into the lane out of control. Perhaps most importantly, Kansas' point guard has failed to get Wayne Simien in the ball in past 5 to 10 minutes.
There's Always Next Year...
Dave Dye at the Big Ten Weblog
checks out Michigan State recruit Drew Neitzel, affirming that, "He's for real. Big-time for real
." The 6-foot, 170-pound point guard scored 36 against a local powerhouse and, according to Dye, Neitzel could and should start for Coach Izzo's squad next fall.
Quite a coach. His (brief) comment at the end of the first half on the importance of frequently changing defensive schemes against Kansas was right on.
Great work to date. He deserved consideration for Coach of the Year honors.
A History Lesson
Back in the late '80s and early '90s, they were still "Xavier of Ohio." They played in a conference with Evansville and Loyola (Chicago), shared the dilapidated Cincinnati Gardens with a minor league hockey team and showed up on national TV maybe once a year.
Thanks, Professor Mandel
Today, the Musketeers should remember how far they've come - to the school's first Elite Eight - and then go farther.
B. J. Elder
Tech's leading scoring may sit out today's game against Kansas. Nancy Armour notes the impact of Elder's absence
and suggests that even at full strength, Tech might not be best team on the floor:
The Jayhawks may be seeded a spot lower, but they're heavy favorites for Sunday's game. While Georgia Tech eked out its first three NCAA tournament victories by a combined 13 points, Kansas steamrolled over its opponents, winning by an average of 22.
I have been keen on Georgia Tech since watching Hewitt's club beat North Carolina in the ACC semifinals. The Jackets have also taken it to Connecticut and Duke. But without Elder...