Zion Blows a Tire, Does a Knee as Tar Heels Sprint Past Dookies
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Here's the risk when you pay Super Bowl prices for college hoop regular season tickets:
What you came to see might not be what you wind up seeing.
Usually, that means the dudes in stripes are calling a tight game, a featured player picks up a couple of early fouls, and his patootie gets pinned to the pine for a significant amount of time.
In this game, given the option, Coach Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke Blue Devils woulda taken that in a heartbeat.
40 seconds into their highly anticipated clash with North Caroline, Zion Williamson was too powerful for his shoes:
Whatever that Zion-free attack's gonna be, it'd better include a long-range bombing performance than their 20.5% showing (8-39) in this one.
Granted, the Tar Heels were worse from the arc -- 10% on a 2-20 night -- but Luke Maye & Co capitalized from Zion's absence inside to the tune of 62 points, many coming at the finish line of a UNC track meet.
Dudes cruised up and down the court en route to an 88-72 blowout:
Unless something was missed in the diagnosis, Williamson will be back when the rubber meets the road to March Madness.
Until then, the immediately story lines are getting Willis McGahee hysterical. For example:
- Nike's stock actually took a dip over one damn shoe,
- College hoops are more of a villain than Vladimir Putin, and
- Pros who made their bones in college are harping that Zion should stop playing in college.
Here's hoping some stitch lady in Vietnam doesn't get canned for this, as if that wouldn't be a mixed blessing.
And here's hoping everyone backs off and lets Zion live his life. Dude improved his stock by going to Duke, so who's to say his time as a Blue Devil won't actually expedite the arrival of his set-for-life riches?
The real stunner here is how unprepared Kryzyewski and his staff were to continue without Williamson on the floor.
How in the name of Dr Naismith can an all-everything coach be so devoid of a backup for those times when Zion's not in there? North Carolina's not the only team with bruising bigs inside who have a clue.
It'll be worth the scrutiny to see what Duke does to adjust for the next game or two, so paying attention to their rebounding stats will be worth noting.
Somewhere between now an April, Zion's more than likely to draw a pair of fouls in the first half. After being so deep into this season, it surely won't be the first time.
Will their answer really be Jack White, and is that even an answer? Not dissing the dude; that's just not his style of play.
Then again, whose is? Time to dust off Plan B ...