March 31, 2011

A CDTF Opening Day Tailgate at The Stadium!

It’s Opening Day, bitches! And CDTF will be at Yankee Stadium to see it all go down. I just picked up my press pass (printed my tickets from stubhub) and texted Derek to say that "I'm here!" (my friend Carl to say "wake the hell up"). I took off because I have priorities. Baseball. So we have to make this short and sweet, because there is serious tailgating to do over in the parking lot by Gate 8. A few things:

1.  ARod will have a monster year – as long as his infamous love of clothing and Cameron Diaz don’t get in the way.

2.  All eyes are on Derek Jeter, and sadly not in the way they used to be. I think he will quietly produce and give everyone the middle finger in the process.

3.  Our starting rotation genuinely scares the hell out of me. In C.C. we trust, In Phil we hope, In A.J. we curse like sailors, In Ivan we cross our fingers and pray, and…good god, all of the others make me want to cry.

4.  The Lobel’s steak sandwich at Yankee Stadium is totally worth the $15.00.

5.  I should not be this excited to start drinking at 10:00 a.m.

6.  All Red Sox fans are criminals. Celebrities like Jay Z and Lebron James and David Beckham and Hillary Clinton have all been secretly photographed wearing Yankees hats. You’re stuck with “serial bank robbers,” Nation. To all of the Carolina fans out there who have shared their displeasure with me about CDTF – if it makes you feel any better, I think Red Sox fans are SO much worse than you guys. You all are just whiny bitches; they are serious assholes.
I AM SO EXCITED. Let’s go Yankees! Thank you all for stopping by, and check back later in the day for a questionably sober recap.  

March 30, 2011

Geography 101: Sizing Up The Competition by Bra Size

From the creative folks over at Geekologie, a map of the world by breast size: 
Yeah, this is definitely not accurate or anything, because the numbers make no sense, but who cares? We do not claim to be scientists here.  And it is highly entertaining. Look, there is an equally inaccurate and humorous penis map to accompany it: 

Now you know where to go on vacay this summer. You’re welcome.

Chicks Do Not Dig: The March Edition

Every now and then, CDTF presents an assortment of items that we kinda sorta really hate. Today is one of those days.  And you, my friends, are the lucky winners. 

Fake Official WordsSeriously WTF, Oxford English Dictionary? I am all about using slangy abbreviations like OMG and LOL. I often utilize these catchy little phrases in text messages and on this blog, where I usually write like I speak.  But I do not, and would not, ever employ such abbreviations formally.  So why in the world would we add them to the official English language?  They are not WORDS.  Especially the heart symbol, as in “I heart NY,” which was also added.  The Oxford English Dictionary is like the Word Bible; it is now becoming a snarky picture book. Including things like “repudiate” and “bff” lends undeserved credibility to them, and more importantly, just takes us one step closer to the stupidification of the world.  Stupidification is not a word either, but I am hoping to get it added by 2013.  So, like, start using it.  All the time. 

ARod, The Movie Star: Oh, hellllllz no. Ol’ Grandpa Hips McJuicealot is banging Ditzy Tits again.  And apparently, in order to “spend more time together,” Cameron Diaz is “planning a romantic comedy set around Major League Baseball” that will star her and Alex Rodriguez.  Seriously, ARod? This is why people hate you.  After the past few seasons that you’ve had, the last thing you need to worry about is making a movie. You need to continue the kickass awesome spring you’ve had and ignore distractions such as, you know, making a movie in your spare time.  You get paid over $30 million each year to play baseball. It would be much appreciated by us Yankees fans if you could act like it is somewhat of a priority. And Cam? Please go make another terrible movie somewhere else. You aren’t going to top your foray into sports with Any Given Sunday, so just quit while you’re ahead. Good god, I hope Minka Kelly kicks her ass.  

That only one cast member of Beverly Hills, 90210 is affiliated with Duke:  At one of my very first Duke games during my freshman year, I leaned over to a friend during a TV timeout and said, “I swear on anything that Dr. Mel Silver is on the sideline.” We laughed.  The idea that David Silver’s father, the very manwhore who cheated on poor Jackie Taylor and led her to start using blow again, was in Cameron Indoor Stadium, was simply preposterous.  I then proceeded to spend the rest of the game staring at the man I suspected was his doppelganger. As soon as I got home, I googled the hell out of Dr. Mel Silver and I discovered that the actor who played him – Matthew Laurance – was indeed a sideline analyst for Duke Radio.  I also learned that he has a twin brother, but that is besides the point.  Dr. Mel Silver WAS A FELLOW BLUE DEVIL. At my school!  A substantial character on one of my favorite television shows of all time! Nothing could possibly delight me more (unless Brandon Walsh happened to enroll).  But recently, I read this awesome letter he wrote to Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith, and I fell in love with him even more.  I have finally forgiven you for your selfish transgressions, Dr. Mel Silver.

Starvation Vacations: We support eating here at CDTF. A lot of it. Even though we are sort of afraid of really fat people.  So I guess that makes us hypocrites, but whatever.  Nevertheless, we absolutely do not support paying $5,600 to go on a special vacation designed to make you not eat for a week.  Three almonds and two cashews are not a snack. Chickpea and onion salad? Not dinner. Waking up at 5:30 a.m.? Um, I am miserable when I get up for court at that time and I am getting paid for it, not the other way around.   Take your $5,600 and go to Hawaii. Or to North Dakota. Because pretty much anywhere would be better than this hellhole. 

Panty Quilts: Just…what the fuck? Louis Garrett made a quilt out of women’s underwear.  58 pairs to be exact. See, he had previously started a mannequin collection that he used to dress up and like accessorize.  But then he saw a quilt in a magazine and became inspired, as we all would. So he made a panty quilt. He asked ladies in the community to donate the "ones they are going to throw away." And he went shopping. Which is not creepy at all.  He also does not accept polyester or those “cheap or not sexy” ones.  Especially from “the Dollar Store.” So HIGH CLASS LADIES ONLY…says the Toothless Wonder.

Blowout Losses: All I have to say is ARGH. See, e.g., Duke Men's Basketball v. Arizona Wildcats, Sweet 16 (March 24, 2011) at second half; see also, Duke Women's Basketball v. Connecticut, Elite 8 (March 29, 2011) at every moment.

When Deadly Animals Escape: Until further notice, there will be no CDTF field trips to the Bronx Zoo.   When I was a kid, I used to go there all of the time.  The last time I visited my jungle friends, however, was when I was about 11-years-old. Ever since I moved back to New York in 2008, I have begged my friends to accompany me to the zoo.  Unsurprisingly, they have all created excuses not to trek to the Bronx with me to fulfill my childhood animal fantasies. But now that I know I could have unknowingly become an accomplice to their cobra murder?!  These Egyptian cobra fuckers can kill a human in 15 minutes!  Also? It is kind of fucked up, Bronx Zoo, that you didn’t tell visitors about the missing cobra until after the media picked up on it.  Seriously, what the hell kind of reckless endangerment are you into up in the hood? That said, at least the escaped cobra has jumped on the social media bandwagon and created a Twitter account, so we can follow his jailbreak vacay around Manhattan.  As he said, “Dear NYC, Apples and snakes have gone together since the beginning.” Even the Naked Cowboy would agree. 

Bikini Brawls in Burger King: Oh, Kimesa.  Have you guys seen this? Because this story has everything you can possibly dream of: A gang of women clad only in bikinis? (Sex sells). Fighting over delicious fast food? (Violence!). What does she throw at the poor cashier? (A mystery!).  She even does her own stunts by climbing over the counter. I mean, that is when shit gets real.  Unfortunately, Kimesa Smith has now been charged with a billion crimes from felony criminal mischief to battery.  But Burger King, this is seriously unsanitary.  There is a whole band of these bitches and the only thing separating their asses from my fries is a thin piece of spandex.  Your motto is “Have It Your Way.” This is NOT my way. I do not want my Whopper with a side of skanky tits. Thanks. I do like pickles, though. 

March 29, 2011

Batting Practice, Bitches: The One with Nolan Smith, Sex Offenders, Steroids, and the Oldest Cheerleader in NFL History

This is like CDTF's version of Hot Topics, minus Baba Wawa, Tracy Jordan's wife, that cranky conservative bitch, the menopausal liberal, and that Mel Gibson-loving reggae lady. An awkward setting, fueled by mutual animosity/adoration, where we tee up against softball topics and discuss things that do not matter in any way, shape, or form.
After they made Jessica Biel cry and got threatened by Brittney Griner, Amber, Carrie, Jill, and Robin are back to torment some other poor woman.  This week’s guest moderator is not only inspiring, but especially perky this morning.  Let’s welcome Cincinnati Bengals’ cheerleader, Laura Vikmanis!

Hi ladies! Give me a C! Give me a D! Give me a C-D-T-F! Woo! So excited to be here with my pompoms.  Please stop staring at my breasts.  As you probably know, I am Laura Vikmanis, the oldest cheerleader in NFL history, but you can just call me Cougar Spice, my nickname. At 42-years-old, I am a proud Ben-Gal and mother of two teenage daughters.  And even though I was a registered dietician, I sort of just decided to try out this whole cheerleader thing back in 2008.  I tried golf and playing the drums, too, but like, I needed something more… bouncy.  At first, I was cut from the team, but I worked my ass off for a year and eventually made it. I really showed those 20-something-year-old bimbos! No offense or anything.  I just wanted to try something new and thought this would be a lot of fun! And it is! With the lockout still going strong, I have some time on my hands, so I thought I would come here to promote my life story.  You know, before the big movie comes out – it was just confirmed yesterday that New Line Cinema bought the rights! So, yeah! Woo! De-fense! LET’S GO!!!
Cougar Spice: So here is my first question. I kinda feel inappropriate asking, since these young men are not much older than my daughters, but I really can’t help but wonder…

Between Nolan Smith, Jimmer Fredette, and Kemba Walker, who would you chuck, fuck, and marry?

Carrie: Oh gosh, this is sooooo tough for me. They are all SO dreamy. Seriously, this is an incredibly close call. They all bring remarkably different things to the table, and because they're all basketball players (even though they're all guards), they're all tall enough so that I can wear ridiculously high heels for a lady my size, which is a special dream of mine. I'm going to make a hard cut first and ditch Kemba, even though he has the #2 best name (uh, no one is touching "Jimmer" – that shit is unBElieveable) and is, by far, the most attractive. Call me crazy, but he's a little TOO attractive. Add that to the star persona he's developed being UConn's savior, and I am just not sure I could take it. Also, there are only three options and someone has gots to get chucked. And fucked. Someone has got to get fucked. And, here's where it gets especially tricky: Jimmer is REAL cute - I like his curls, I like his aw-shucks press conference sound-bites. I like it all, but while I am not sure I want to marry Mormon, I am also not really certain how I would feel about being the reason he violates the honor code. No, wait, that's a lie. I would like to be the reason he violates the honor code, because that shit is silly. I'm no Norma Rae, but that is a cause I will take up. UpTOWN. Oh wait, I mean DOWN TOWWWWWWN. So, yes, I will be marrying Nolan Smith. He is suuuuuper attractive, but also has a teensy bit of a wonky face which, if you know me, you know I dig. And that little shimmy shake he does sometimes? Precious. Also? I think he has a bit of like a hero-complex which I am sort of into. Plus, he just seems super nice, and I liked that one article where he talked about his dad. Speaking of which, he'd probably be a good dad... What! Too far?

Jill: No, not at all. But we should establish right off the bat that I have little use for Jimmer. Don’t get me wrong, he is super hot.  And I thought he did an incredible job for BYU this year.  But, in terms of marrying him, yeah, the sister wife thing isn’t for me.  I don’t want to have to schedule sex with my husband around his other spouses. Speaking of sex, I don’t think I could just fuck the Jimmer either.  If he has truly abided by the honor code, then Jimbo is a virgin. And while it could be entertaining to corrupt him, I absolutely do not want such responsibility.  I once had sex with a virgin, which I only found out midway through, after he kept asking me “is this okay, are you sure, is this alright, are you having fun?” No, fuckhead, I was not having fun.  And I will not go down that road again, so I have to chuck the Jimmer. I am left with two great guys, but the choice is easy.  I will clearly marry Nolan and have wild crazy sex with Kemba.  Nolan is the whole package – well-educated, funny, athletic, talkative, a leader, and absolutely adorable with the best smile.  We would bond over our mutual love for Duke, I would get to return to Cameron with him for major events, it would be a really sweet deal all around. So like, sign me up.  And Kemba? Well, I would totally hit that. I love watching him on the court – he has great moves, he is very chatty and confident, and he is hot. This would all translate well for sex. I would not kick him out of bed in the morning, even if he is from UConn. 

Cougar Spice: I think that may have been too much information.  Um, Amber? 

Amber: Ok. This is hard for a few reasons. One, these dudes are the same age as my baby brother, and I feel like an icky old lady. Two, I think all three of these young men are real winners. I did some googling to get intel and bios. Just darling.  But like, maybe there are deep dark secrets I don't know. Anyway, Jimmer Fredette is getting chucked, cause Jimmer is a stupid name to like, PICK. If you have a fucked-up name that your parents gave you, that's one thing. But who the hell goes around being called Jimmer instead of James? So that leaves me with Kemba Walker and Nolan Smith, and it's a toss-up. Kemba Walker can boogie, he performed on the Apollo! But Nolan Smith seems like, real smart and down to earth. So, I am gonna marry him, and Kemba and I can go out dancing and then back to my place for late night cookies.

Cougar Spice: YOU feel like an icky old lady?! I am forty-fucking-two! You and Jill had the same exact choices, bright minds and all... What about you, Robin?

Robin: Okay, so if Jimmer Fredette would just become a polygamist and join the cast of Sister Wives, this would be the super easiest for me. But alas, main stream Mormons love themselves monogamy. Before getting to my answer, I would just like to take a moment to rant about how very few teams in this year's NCAA tourney list their players' majors on the website. Come on now. Do not make me go Wikipedia-ing all over the place to not even be able to discover you are a general studies major and don't go to class. Snaps to Duke and BYU for giving me this crucial piece of information when making this oh-so-important decision.  I also prefer the game to be called "Fuck, Chuck, STUCK," cause I love me a rhyme/catchy name. With that being said, Fuck: Jimmer. I mean, I just think it would be fun to hook up with a guy whose name always reminds of Jiminy Cricket. And if we have learned anything this season, those BYU players should not be having sex in college. So it might be fun to be a part of a "Whole New World" experience.  Chuck: Kemba. I like your name, too. But it brings back memories of the time the New Jersey Nets had Dikembe Mutombo on their team and that was just the worst. Also, I don't even know your major in college, so like what good are you to me? Also, you go to a big school. We won't be able to relate on anything. You have too many dining halls to chose from for my liking. Sorry Kembie. Stuck: Obvs Nolan. Dream. Come. True. Looks BANGIN' in a suit. African American studies major. Quality. Survive personal tragedy. Snaps. I mean just all around great guy. Yep. I'd love to introduce my Jewish friends to you when we pick up our kids at Hebrew School (you're cool with that Nolan, right? We can totes have a Hanukkah Bush too).  

Cougar Spice:  Wow, a straight sweep for Nolan Smith in the marriage category, but a complete split on the other young boys.  As the classic cheer goes, “D-U-K-E, who the fuck you wanna marry?, Nolan Smith, motherfuuuckers, Nolan Smith, motherfuuckers!” Nevertheless, while we are on this questionably immoral robbing-the-cradle topic, let’s go a step further. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but: 

Lawrence Taylor will be forced to register as a sex offender.  Across all sports and pop culture, who else do you think should probably already be registered as a sex offender? Or who do you think will most likely become one in the future? Was six years probation adequate punishment?

Jill: Oh, I think there should be a separate registry JUST for athletes. It can be classified by categories: Manwhores, Adulterers, Sexual Assaulters, STDers, and Creepy. Manwhores could include Tiger Woods, Derek Jeter, Mickey Mantle, or Wilt Chamberlain; Adulterers would be laundry list including such stars as ARod, Tiger Woods again, Brett Favre, Tony Parker, and Roger Clemens; Sexual Assaulters would of course include Ben The Rapist Roethlisberger, Lawrence Taylor, and Mike Tyson; the STDer folder would be filled with the likes of Michael Vick a.k.a. Ron Mexico and Magic Johnson; and Creepy would be a catch-all category. Brett Favre would also fall there, along with his friends Mark Sanchez and Rick Pitino. There would obviously be some overlap. For example, Tiger Woods could fall into both the Manwhore category and the Adulterer group.  He is a multitasker in so many different ways.  In terms of the future, I can definitely see Mark Sanchez slipping into additional categories.  Whenever your team trades for, or signs, an athlete, an update should be added to the registry and all fans should be immediately alerted by email.  Will you guys sign my petition for Congress?

Cougar Spice: You know I will! Do you know what sort of treatment I have to deal with on a regular basis from these philandering jock straps?! I mean, they use my tatas as target practice.

Carrie: Oh gosh. My prevailing response to this story is that Dancing with the Stars should be more mindful of who they select for their show. But, um, also the National Football League, I guess. Speaking of the NFL, I feel like sending a picture of your pee-pee via text to someone who did not ask for it is offensive... sexually and otherwise, so yeah, throw Brett Favre on there probably. And while a number of MLB players willingly choose to grow facial hair that closely mimics that of actual sexual predators, that probably just makes them guilty of bad decision-making and not actual predatory sexxxing.

Robin: Wow, Cougar Spice, this is real serious. I had to stop reading the article, because it was making me so sad/enraged and, well, during the day, and I can only be productive/chipper/useful. But, I mean, if we are going to talk probation, then let's talk about how celebrity probation is basically timeout and doesn't even really matter. It's a technicality and sorta ridic. I mean, Lindsay Lohan is basically the celeb-spokeswoman of "Bring It On Probation, I'm Gonna Still Drink and Steal Necklaces I Could Just Put On My Amex.” I sorta think that unless it is jail with a celebrity, then like don't do any punishment, cause it doesn't change anything.

Amber: Honestly? I had little knowledge of LT before he was on Dancing with the Stars. He was a horrible dancer and had a stanky attitude. Anyway, I know that he's been through all sorts of rehab and anger management and had like, come out of it pretty well. So, Lawrence, why the FUCK are you trying to bone teenagers? Seriously? I feel like if I had escaped death by cocaine/crack overdose and somehow managed to salvage my life, I would chill the fuck out. Play some golf, read, find a nice adult woman to copulate regularly with? Right? Is that crazy? As for the fairness of his sentence, I just...I dunno. Did he really know she was so young? It's sticky. And not funny. On to the next question.

Cougar Spice: Okay, let’s lighten things up. I have just the question. 

Did you guys hear about the woman who smuggled 54 bags of heroin and over fifty dollars in cash in her vagina?

Robin: Whoa, Scranton. I mean, I know times are tough, but really?! REALLY? Wait, for real? (Insert Allen Iverson's rant about Practice, cause that's how I feel). Have you never heard of the affectionate yearbook salutation, "H.A.G.S., K.Y.L.C?” Come on now. Have a great summer and keep your legs closed. And, I mean, Michael Scott is leaving Dunder Mifflin, so go apply for a job there and cross your damn legs. NOW

Jill: I don’t understand, did she not have a purse? Because her vagina is like Mary fucking Poppins’ purse. My favorite part of this story, however, is not the heroin (although that, of course, is rather unfortunate); it is the $51.22. Twenty-two cents? Really?! Why, why would you ever keep feeding change up there like a damned slot machine? What else is up there? A can of mace? Two tubes of lipstick and some Tic Tacs? I am crossing my legs and it hurts! Just thinking about this story hurts me deeply.  I am disturbed.  But she must really work on her kegel exercises, so like? Good for her. 

Cougar Spice: I am working on mine right now!

Amber: I just don't understand why she didn't put the $51.22 in her purse? Was she just trying to see what would fit? Like the "fluffy bunny" game but way more illegal and way more dangerous?


Carrie: First of all, can I just say, heroin scares me more than almost anything. Obviously, my firsthand experience has been limited (by which I mean absolutely nonexistent), but like in movies and stuff? It just really freaks me out. Like nightmare style freak outs. Anyway, that said, I mean, this story is unbelievable to me. For lady parts that she and I ostensibly have in common, I have no earthly understanding of how she could have possibly done that. Like, where? How? Ow.

Cougar Spice: You guys have been quiet for like four minutes now. It is okay. No one is going to treat your vajayjay like a piggy bank. Jill, please stop holding your crotch.  Let’s move on. I am sort of a health nut, and in my line of work, I happen to see a lot of the effects of steroids.  I mean, half of the players I sleep with do not have working cocks, so I can’t help but follow this closely. 

The Barry Bonds trial has just gotten underway. What do you think is going to happen, and do you even care?

Amber: Um, don't care. He hasn't played baseball in like four years. Even if he WAS still playing, I still wouldn't care 'cause, yeah...snooze.  But since all his homies are snitchin', I feel like Barry might be going to the clink.

Robin: There is nothing I care less about right now than this. ‘Roids? Come on now. Let'em do ‘roids. It's their shrinking hoo-ha-doo-da in the long-run. They are all adults. If they want a shriveled-up family jewel that's their prerogative. And I don't want to hear about it. K.Y.L.C Bonds, and sports radio stations everywhere, go back to talking about things that matter.

Cougar Spice: One of you MUST care about this issue that has dominated headlines for the past five years?!

Carrie: Oy. As a Giants fan from way back (although not actively – be easy current Giant fans – I am not trying to jump on the World Series-Winning WeirdBeard-Wearing Freak Bandwagon, though it is admittedly a pretty fun one), this whole thing has made me sad for years. Barry was never one of my favorite Giants (for the record, those were in rank order: 1. Wendell Kim, 3rd base coach '89-'97; 2. Will Clark, first base '86-'93; and 3. Royce Clayton, shortstop '91-'95), but he used to be really easy to like. Before all the homer hoopla, he was just sort of great. I always liked that he was a base-stealer and power hitter, which is a fairly rare combo. He always had a creepy high voice that I was not a big fan of, but generally, I was okay with him. But now, he just comes off like a schmuck. Even if he did do steroids, that would not be his biggest problem in my eyes. He's just been a jerk and you know I can't abide that. And yeah, I mostly don't care. I understand that they still need to prosecute (or whatever?), but it just seems like old, sad news.

Jill: I have to agree. I am intrigued by the Barry Bonds trial, but more so for everyone else’s reaction. I am fascinated by that fact that, when this trial started five years ago, PEDs were this rare and hot topic; now, they are common. Each year, we hear about a laundry list of athletes who are caught using steroids, and it is not just baseball anymore. Cycling, hockey, football, and the Olympics are all plagued by rampant PED use.  We, the public, are numb and conditioned. We expect our athletes to disappoint us through steroids.  So, I think the Bonds trial has lost its shock factor. Which makes me intrigued for the reaction of the jury and the press. I also think it is easy to forget that this trial is not about steroids; it is about perjury, which is infinitely harder to prove.  In the end, I think he will be found guilty. While a lot of their evidence has been omitted, federal prosecutors do not bring cases to trial that they are not confident they can win; in fact, they are victorious about 90% of the time.  The defense has already admitted that he used steroids, albeit unknowingly; I think, based on the remaining evidence, it will still be possible to establish that Barry Bonds did have knowledge and indeed committed perjury. Do I care? No. I think we have much bigger problems in the world than athletes who choose to use PEDs. Like unemployment or international human rights violations. Or the sex offender registry, as mentioned above.  Whatever.

Cougar Spice: Thanks so much for having me here, girls! Ya’ll are a real opinionated bunch. But it is sort of refreshing ‘cause like, most of the women I hang out with think that playing safety is a euphemism for using a condom.  Tune in next week, bitches!

March 28, 2011

Devils vs. Demons, a Battle of Evil Creatures for Basketball Supremacy

Chicks support other chicks.  Or they should.  And since I need something to fill the void of Nolan Smith, the Duke women’s basketball team seems like the best distraction.  Women’s basketball may not be as exciting – the game is slower and the overall talent is weaker – but the Lady Blue Devils (I have always hated putting “lady” in front of anything) are due to make some waves.  Over the past decade, the Duke women’s basketball has won six ACC championships, reached four Final Fours, and achieved eight 30-win seasons.  They have had a dominant program for years, but have yet to bring home a championship.  Maybe this is the year.  With Maya Moore and UConn on our side of the bracket, it will take nearly a miracle; it is hard to erase the memory of Connecticut’s 87-51 annihilation of Duke on January 31st. As Georgetown demonstrated today, however, UConn will struggle when Moore is forced to take bad shots. It seems like anything is possible this March.

Today, the Blue Devils (31-3) are up against DePaul (29-6). DePaul’s mascot is the Blue Demon, the ugly and sinister step-sibling of the prestigious Blue Devil.  This is the best team that DePaul has ever fielded, setting the school record for wins.  The Blue Demons, led by standout junior forward Keisha Hampton and senior point guard Sam Quigley, play fast and loose, but I think that will work in Duke’s favor today.  The Blue Devils play tight defense and force a ridiculous amount of turnovers; they only allow opponents to score an average of 54.8 points per game. Duke frosh Chelsea Gray has been incredible this tournament. Along with star Jasmine Thomas, she has added an understated spark to the team. Duke’s size and defense will be the keys to the game – they will extend the defense, allowing their tall guards to deflect balls and wreak havoc on passing lanes.  While Duke lost to Connecticut by 36, DePaul only lost by 33 – 89-86 on February 5, 2011 – so take that as a sign that this will be a good game.  As long as we start strong and force turnovers, we should win. And I really want at least one Duke team left to support in March Madness.   So let’s go, Devils!
First Half: Across the Blue Devil mascot’s forehead is a message that says “Demons work 4 me,” which is hilarious. We should get a two-basket bonus for our wit and snark.  A warning: since I do not know as much about women’s basketball, and therefore cannot offer factual color commentary, I am just going to make it up as I go along. This will be fun for everyone, I promise. Like Madlibs. 

19:59: We are underway in…wherever they are playing, let’s go with Mexico City.  (Philadelphia).  Duke wins the tip. Chelsea Gray starts things off by driving – if you can call it that, it was more like barreling uncontrollably towards the basket – and getting fouled.  She hits both. Duke is challenging DePaul’s guards, making it very hard for them to force any good entry passes.  But from underneath the basket, they inbounds for an easy bucket.  Duke misses and DePaul follows with a three. 5-3, Demons. 

18:05: It is sad when the camera scans the crowd.  And by crowd, I mean about 26 people.  Watching women’s basketball always makes me wish I played in college. Some tall scary looking chick just hit a long two for DePaul. But Karima Christmas gets an offensive board on the other end and puts it in.  Rebounding is going to be a huge factor for Duke. And I think Karima Christmas would make an awesome porn name. Think of the marketing opportunities. “Christmas doesn’t just come once this year…;” “Santa yells ho, ho, ho to Christmas;” “The best box you can fill this Christmas.” I will stop. You’re welcome.  9-6, Demons. 

15:50: Demons are really trying to push the tempo, but Duke is hanging around just fine.  They need some stops. Chelsea Gray drives and gets a sweet layup, changing directions in the air.  Then Christmas gets a steal and another easy basket – and the foul! Chance for a three point play when we get back from the TV timeout.  12-11, Devils. 

14:32: Coach McCallie has her team all fired up, telling ESPN that “We are obviously not considered a top team, a top story, a top anything. So we have a chip on our shoulders.” They are apparently ticked that they are considered the worst #2 seed; they did not want to be stuck with UConn and did not think that they deserved to be.  Well, good for them. But DePaul drains a three. They are sort of on fire from the field so far. But Duke gets an easy bucket underneath; we need more of that.  Traveling on DePaul.  Then Jasmine Thomas hits a three, nothing but net.  17-14 Devils. 

12:43: Another offensive foul on DePaul by some girl with a headband thingy. She looks sad. I don’t know if it is because of the headband or the offensive foul, but either way, its an unfortunate moment for her.  Duke is using the dribble-drive to dominate on the offensive end, penetrating the zone with ease.  19-14, Devils.

11:43: After a turnover, the lady announcer is rambling about how Karima Christmas does not “have a tight handle” and has trouble “squeezing sometimes.” This is an extremely dirty conversation to be having on air.  So far, Duke has held Hampton to zero points, which is impressive. DePaul can’t win without her.  And as soon as I say that, she hits a three. Why the hell does that always happen to me?! And you wonder why I have such irrational sports superstitions.  23-17 Duke.

10:01: The DePaul coach Doug Bruno is wearing a heinous collared shirt with his team logo on it.  It looks like a free giveaway that he may have received at a PTA meeting. Oh, he is very angry about something in his ugly shirt.  The shot clock.  The officials do not care.  Some stuff happens and then Duke commits an offensive foul.  DePaul hits a three, which is the only thing keeping them in this game right now.  Duke then turns the ball over, leading into the TV timeout.  27-22, Duke.

7:31: Duke steal! And then they turn it back over.  But DePaul launches an airball that was approximately three feet short of the rim.  People wonder why women’s basketball is not more popular.  The Devils get an easy bucket and then the Demons try to push the tempo, but miss a layup.  Christmas gets fouled going to the basket by Sarah McBabar. Not really, I just made that name up.  I always like the elephant story though.  30-24 Duke.

5:04: A lot of misses, a lot of running around, a lot of trying to make an entry pass…finally! Jasmine Thomas hits a jumper.  She is a fierce clapper and I can only imagine that her palms must be throbbing right now.  Another TV timeout.  I am not kidding when I say that absolutely nothing has happened since the last timeout.  Seriously One basket.  In four minutes. 32-24 Duke. 

3:28: Duke steals the inbounds, passes ahead for a breakaway layup. First double-digit lead.  Now they are pressing, and an offensive foul is called! Some huge Demon chick elbowed Jasmine Thomas right in the face. Ohhhh and now the refs are reviewing it to see if it should be called an intentional foul – and IT IS.  It is a hard-line rule.  Contact above the shoulder is an automatic intentional foul. Duke gets the free throws and the ball.  36-24, Duke. 

2:35: Christmas is fouled while driving. It looked like she tried to body check the Demon defender, but whatever, I’ll take it. She hits one of two. The Demons have a wide open three, but they miss. Scramble on the floor, and Duke grabs the ball, wisely calling timeout.  That was a great hustle play all around.  37-24, Duke.

1:36: When was the last time that DePaul scored? It seems like forever. Who cares? They foul Christmas, who is at the line for one-and-one. She hits the first. She is #13, and I really wish she was #25.  It would have meant a lot to Santa.  Duke is up by 15.  Whoa! Thomas swats away what looked like an easy lay-up.  But they wind up getting the points anyway. Chelsea Gray hits a sweet jumper to get it right back.  41-28, Duke at the half.

Half-time:  Duke has a nice lead, but I don’t count the Demons out yet – they trailed Penn State by 14 at the half during the second round and obviously came back to win. So it will really depend how Duke opens and closes the second half. 

19:54: Both teams start the half with lay-ups.  I am sort of going through a brief period of depression, where it has hit me that I am live-blogging the Duke women and not the Duke men, especially when VCU is in a heated battle with Kansas right now.  The tourney is wide open and I really wish we were still playing in it.  But yaaaaay women’s side! This is just as good, screams the 16 fans still left in the arena.  43-30, Duke. 

18:30: Hampton drains a long, huge three for the Demons.  They needed that. And we need to make sure that bitch doesn’t get hot. We have sort of gone cold, which obviously makes this even more fun to watch.  OMG a man just streaked across the court right by the ref’s table!!!! No, that did not happen. I was trying to spice this up.  Duke cannot let the Demons creep back into this, as they often let happen. That would be super lame. Duke takes about four shots, gets four offensive rebounds, and misses everything.  Eventually DePaul hits an easy two after Duke tried an unsuccessful double-team.  TV timeout.  43-36, Duke. 

15:20: Duke throws away the ball, their third since half-time.  I am pretty sure that the announcer just quoted Katy Perry’s “Firework,” but I am going to pretend that it did not happen.  Keisha Hampton is wearing a, like, wide satin headband. I do not understand all of these headbands. I think some of my friends, like Carrie for example, may support this whole headband trend, but I cannot get behind fashion accessories in sports. I am sorry. It is like when girls wear their hair down while playing– it is just WRONG. 43-36, Duke.

13:52: OH MY GOD. Can someone, anyone score? There is just turnover after turnover for both teams. This is the sloppiest basketball I have ever forced myself to watch.  Duke needs to get their shit together.  I like Coach McCallie, she is a sass monster on the sidelines.  Duke has five fouls to DePaul’s one – what the hell is that? Everyone keeps missing, but DePaul finally drains a long three.  When I asked if “anyone” could score, I was really hoping for it to be Duke. The Devils are only up by four.  43-39 Duke. 

12:22: Christmas drives and gets fouled.  Hitting both and giving Duke some much needed points.  Then an offensive foul on Hampton. WOW. Her fourth!!!!! With over 12 minutes left. That is HUGE for Duke. Like, it could be the whole game. She has to sit on the bench – for how long, we shall see.  They are showing the DePaul band and one flute player has sunglasses on, but no one else does.  She is either blind or stupid, it is an unfortunate mystery that will remain unsolved.  TV timeout.  45-39, Duke. 

11:30: Duke has a nice dish and easy score.  And then a tie-up near half-court. DePaul really can’t afford turnovers at this point, especially with Hampton on the bench.  We need to kill some clock with her out and push the score.  I still don’t trust that Duke won’t wet the bed at some point. They are like the Knicks in the fourth quarter. But they have a nice, easy transition layup. Timeout DePaul as Duke pushes the lead to 10. Christmas has 20 points now, Hampton is still on the bench.  The announcer says that you have to come back with her after the under-eight timeout. I absolutely agree. If you are DePaul, you cannot let Duke rebuild a 15-point lead and not give yourself any time to chip away at it. TV timeout, 53-44 Duke.

7:50: Duke steals the ball, a pretty defensive play in the corner.  They are walking the ball up slowly. I like killing the clock, but they have to remain aggressive as well. Chelsea Gray drives and scores, pushing the lead back to 11.  Hampton is back in the game now.  Her wide satin headband is killing me. She is fouled and knocks down both shots.  Oh wow. She just picked up her fifth foul on a stupid play.  She is done-zo. And it is hard to think that DePaul can eke this out without her.  55-46, Duke. 

5:35: Duke rebounds a DePaul miss, but the ball is poked away and the Demons get the ball back. And then we foul them. Dumb play, Devils.  They are letting DePaul hang around when they should be slamming the door in their faces.  The teams have now thrown the ball back and forth to each other on three consecutive plays.  This is ridiculous. Turnover after turnover without getting near the basket. DePaul is pressing, but Duke breaks it easily. Geno is speaking to the horrendo announcers and he is complimenting Duke on our depth.  Last official TV timeout. 57-49 Duke. 

3:06: Krystal Thomas is at the line for Duke. She shoots an epic 55% from the free throw line.  And, on cue, misses the first one.  She has yet to score today. And continues that by missing the second.  Duke then commits a foul, which was super bone-headed. The last thing we need to do is stop the clock for them and give them free points.  They hit both, then on the inbounds, the Demons trap Duke in the corner forcing a turnover. This is lame, ladies.  Then we commit ANOTHER foul.  WTF. We are starting to come apart.  This is what happened versus Baylor last year.  The lead is now only four. 57-53, Duke.

2:54: Duke is now in a 1-3-1, which is interesting.  A new look, but it doesn’t work.  DePaul buries a jumper.  Gray takes the ball up. Duke has scored a field goal in over five minutes.  But Gray drives and scores, which was much-needed.  She plays a lot older than a freshman.  We need to close this out. 63-57, Duke. 

1:05: Duke inbounds to Christmas, but the ball won’t roll in the basket. Holy shit, DePaul drains a three, making this a one-possession game. There is no excuse for this, especially with Hampton out. What the hell. WHAT THE HELL. Duke is fouled and we knock down both shots.  DePaul misses a wide open layup, like wide-open, no one around her. She just bricks it short. Duke should never have let that happen and is beyond lucky that the Demon player sucks.  66-60, Duke.

24 seconds: Jesus, they will just not go away. DePaul drains another three, cutting the lead to only three with less than a minute left.  Duke inbounds and Chelsea Gray is immediately fouled.  She hits both, which was big.  Then, DePaul turns it over.  They foul Chelsea Gray again.  This looks over, folks.  She hits both shots, pushing the lead to seven with 16 seconds left.  Huge block by Krystal Thomas at the three-point line.  DePaul misses again….and that is it! Christmas had 23 and Gray had 16.  Duke wins, 70-63.

A date in the Elite Eight awaits! With Connecticut, but let’s not think about that…yet. For now, the Blue Devils continue to dance!

March 25, 2011

A Sweet and Super Sour 16: Friday Night Preview

An introduction; blah, blah, blah; act like I still care about these stupid games, even though I am disappointed and depressed; mention how I was 3-1 with last night's games, but missed the only one that mattered; apologize to basketball gods and beg for a Carolina loss; convince myself that because it is Friday, I should be giddy for the weekend; try not to think about the fact that, no matter what, the weekend will suck without Duke basketball; bitch some more. 

Marquette (11) vs. North Carolina (2): 7:15 p.m. on CBS

I have never been such a fan of heinously colored uniforms as I am tonight.  I hope those yellow jerseys, brighter than the sun itself, blind the hell out of Harry Barnes and his baby blue-clad amigos.  But the Golden Eagles have a big task ahead of them. And I mean that literally. UNC has an NBA-level front court, led by gigantic muppet beasts John Henson and Tyler Zeller.  They remind me of Burt and Ernie – obviously, Henson is Burt with his weirdly oblong head and tiny ears and unibrow.  Fine, he doesn’t have a unibrow. He is still adorably funny looking. The muppet tag-team is streaky, but extremely effective.  It seems like they take turns dominating, and I fear the day when they figure out how to work in tandem.  That is, unless they are making bone-headed mental mistakes like the kind that almost killed UNC last weekend.  The final minute of the Tar Heels game against Washington was like a comedy of errors. UNC has eked by so far, but eventually their horrendo free-throw shooting and penchant for turnovers will catch up with them.  I am hoping it is tonight, but at worse, I am banking on the Elite Eight. 
Marquette intrigues me. They are unpredictable and scrappy, and they have fought for their place in the Sweet 16.  Led by Jimmy Butler on defense, Marquette tormented Xavier and Syracuse into poor shot selection and turnovers. For whatever reason, they remind me of a little band of Lance Thomases, if that makes sense.  No mindblowing numbers jump out at you, but somehow they do the dirty work and get the job done. So good for you, Golden Eagles, for being the only Big East team besides Connecticut to keep dancing.  That said, they are clearly racist.  While the university is 82% white, the basketball team is 93% black – and the one white dude, the one lone cracker? Robert Frozena averaged only 1.9 minutes in 13 games this season.  While we do not support hate crimes here, we still have to go with the Golden Eagles tonight.  I mean, do not get me wrong, UNC should win this game – they have superior talent, a bitchier fanbase, a little prick for a coach, and a top-three draft pick in Mr. Barnes.  It is their game to lose. And they should be totally ashamed and humiliated if they do. How could you ever hold your head high again after going from a preseason All-American to a loser against an 11th-seed? It would an irreparable failure. So, like, no pressure or anything. 

Kansas (1) vs. Richmond (12): 7:27 p.m. on TBS

Ever since Roy Williams didn’t give a shit about North Carolina, but then all of a sudden, like a whole 24 hours later, gave many shits about North Carolina, I have had a soft spot for Kansas.  They have tremendous history, always put a solid team together, rebounded well from Roy screwing them, and I mean, they are really fucking good this year.  And there is no reason whatsoever that they should lose this game.  Richmond is fundamentally sound – they play smart basketball, they can all score, and they handle the ball well.  If they heat up from long-range, the Jayhawks could be in trouble; they have a 6’10 senior, Justin Harper, who shoots 46.5% from behind the arc, 19th overall in the country. At the same time, the Spiders will not get as many good looks as they have in the past.  Kansas plays really solid defense, and even their big men are quick and effective.  And as good as their defense is, their offense is even better. They lead the nation in field-goal percentage behind Marcus and Markieff Morris. Don’t you feel badly for the twin named Markieff? And really, Mr. and Mrs. Morris – could you not be even a little creative? Were you that surprised by two children and only had the name “Mark” picked out, so you just went with slightly different versions of it? Even with the naming tragedy, the Jayhawks are destined to win this game.  The only thing that could work against them is the actual pressure to, you know, win the game.  They are contending with terrifying 10, 11, and 12 seeds; if they don’t make it to the Final Four, they will genuinely never forget the wasted opportunity.  Because this should be easier than Miley Cyrus after a couple of Salvia hits.  Anything can happen, but it will take a miracle of Barry-Bonds-on-steroids proportions. 

Ohio State (1) vs. Kentucky (4): 9:45 p.m. on CBS

This is going to be a great game. And, if at all possible, I would like both teams to lose.  Behind Door #1, we have Ohio State, the overall #1 seed which has been dominant in the tourney so far.  Jared Sullinger is averaging 17.1 points and 10 rebounds per game; he is a powerful beast.  They have Jon Diebler, Aaron Craft, and David Lighty, who are all capable of lighting it up from the field.  Seriously, Ohio State is scary good.  They are ranked 8th in defensive efficiency across the nation and first in defensive free-throw rate.  So, don’t plan on going to the line often and don’t plan on scoring easily.  But pencil in some turnovers, because the Buckeyes are going to force them. No means yes in the Midwest? All I know is that Ohio State is capable of making anyone its bitch.  So, all in all, Door #2 is probably the better option, right?   
Wrong. Unless you support slimy con-artists like John Calipari, who may or may not be a documented cheater, spokesman for hair gel, registered sex offender, and social secretary for the AAU.  He is the only coach in history to have two Final Fours vacated, and with all of these sketchy one-and-done freshman wizards that he has been signing, Kentucky is bound to eventually be number three. Nevertheless, the Wildcats will be a pretty formidable obstacle for Ohio State.  They are big with Terrence Jones and Josh Harrellson, they have a stud in Brandon Knight, and some long-range shooters in Darius Miller, Doron Lamb, and DeAndre Liggins. Kentucky can be the real deal if they are firing on all cylinders, and especially if they establish an inside-outside presence.  They have a lot of talent to throw at the Buckeyes – the thing is, it is just not enough talent.  Ohio State is a much smarter, more efficient, more experienced basketball team.  They have only lost twice, both games on the road to ranked teams; and in each, one player on the opposing team had a crazy awesome night.  To have any chance, Kentucky needs someone to take over, put the team on his shoulders, and totally dominate.  They also need to slow down the Buckeyes.  This has the potential to be an epic game, but common sense says Ohio State is too much for Kentucky in the end. 

VCU (11) vs. Florida State (10): 9:57 p.m. on TBS

Sigh, does anyone even care about these bracket-busters? I mean, this is arguably an NIT game. And it is not as much fun to watch Cinderella A knock Cinderella B out of the tournament.  So, like? Not that excited about this one. That said, I have no doubt that both teams were seeded worse than they really deserved.  VCU crushed Purdue and Florida State owned Notre Dame, both in humiliating fashion.  The smart pick is probably VCU, but I am going with my fellow ACC-er in a close one.  VCU has Jamie Skeen, but I mean, I am not sure that is something to brag about.  They also have a point-guard named Joey Rodriguez, who sounds like a nine-year-old Hispanic kid from the Bronx.  Florida State comes from a much stronger conference and is conditioned for tough battles.  They turn the ball over a lot, though.  Like all the time, on 23.1% of their possessions.  They are throwing away an obscene amount of points each and every game.  This one could go either way – just expect a tough, sloppy, scrappy game.  In the end, someone will claw their way to victory and, one way or the other, a Cinderella is going to the Elite Eight.  So that is fun, right? Right. I think.

It is Friday, bitches. Go be the best Golden Eagle fan you can be. 

A Live-Blog Turned Eulogy: The Bitter End.

[As originally written; scroll down to skip the cock-tease of a first half].

Even though there is a Duke Hoops Watch at the Village Pourhouse, I am too nervous to watch the game anywhere other than my couch. So I am here with a six-pack of Magner’s and a pounding heart. And I decided to document this. You’re welcome? That said, if it starts to go south, there will be an immediate and abrupt end.  It won’t come to that, though. Right?  GOOD GOD, I am ridiculously nervous. 

First Half: After a Duke miss, Miles commits the foul, over the back. Really stupid way to start the game.  Arizona gets the first bucket. Ugh, I don’t know about this live-blog thing. I wasn’t kidding when I said that I am irrationally superstitious. But we get the points right back, whew. 

18:34: Singler picks up the foul.  Some reggae singer, Jesse Perry #33, is going to the line for the Wildcats.  He hits one, misses the second.  Duke takes it down the court, but turns it over. And then Derrick Williams drains a three.  Not a good start to the game. 5-2, Arizona. 

17:27: Kyle hits a big three.  We needed that, just to get some momentum back.  And then DWill is called for a travel on the other end. Kyrie is about to come in, along with Ryan Kelly. Kyle just drained another!!! Could this be the night where his shooting touch comes back? Where he drops 32 points and a big F you to all the doubters?!  8-6, Duke. 

15:38: I cannot believe we are through the first TV timeout already. Crazytown, USA.  Duke turns it over, but Mason Plumlee has a monster rejection.  Followed by an Arizona miss, and then a sweet jumper in the paint from Kyrie. Oh that was pretty.  I missed him so much.  Arizona finally scores to end Duke’s 8-0 run. Wow, but then Singler drives to the basket and lays it in. He is on fire. I like this.

13:43: Kyrie shoots an airball and the crowd lets him hear it. I do not want his confidence shaken.  But Mason rebounds, and Singler drives and scores AGAIN. WAIT. Oh my god, he is totally shown-up by a monster dunk off of a rebound by DWill. Holy crap, that was awesomely powerful and a reach-back one-handed slam, and just WOW. WOW. Sportcenter forever. 14-13, Duke.

13:00: Kyrie drives and gets the bucket and foul. Welcome back, Drivenator.  And then Duke displays some stifling defense, trapping a Wildcat in the backcourt, forcing them to call timeout.  17-13, Duke. 

12:27: DWill has 10 points (like Singler), the rest of the team has 3.  Um, we need to contain him in some fashion. He is actually good enough to beat us, if we don’t. But Kyrie gets another drive for two.  Kyle and Kyrie have scored our last 17 points.  Out of 19.  Thank god that we don’t have another stud with some K-name. It would incite terrible nicknames. 19-16, Duke.

11:47: TV Timeout. Zona ball. Foul on the floor against Duke.  Arizona misses a three, but gets the offensive rebound.  Someone knocks it away and then, out of no where, Seth Curry dives on the ground, causing a tie-up.  What a great defensive play by the Slick Koala, as our friends at SCSD would say.  Possession arrow lets the Cats keep it. But then Curry steals it! So impressive Seth! Saving Duke and everything! 19-16, Duke.

8:34: What a shitty play that was.  Kyrie inbounded from underneath the basket to Seth Curry at halfcourt. But he threw it too long and too hard, leading to race between Seth and DWill. Which DWill won, when Seth was called for a foul. We basically gave them a foul and two points for free. Super fucking lame.  23-20, Duke.

7:50: Duke turnover followed by a dumb Arizona turnover.  A guy stepped on the sideline when absolutely no one was near him.  Now a TV timeout. I like how Duke looks, I do.  But I would really like to build a cushion, get some stops, and protect the ball better.

7:21: Kyrie Irving drains a three. He is officially back, bitches. Like more than before. He is already in double figures.  Duke has gotten a string of stops, which is turning me on.  Singler misses a three, but Plumlee gets a rebound and Kyle is fouled.  Inbounding from underneath the basket. Maybe we can just throw it down the court for an easy Arizona lay-up again; that would be great.  Singler with the bucket and the foul!!!! SO HOT. 29-20, Duke. 

6:34: Arizona turns it over. Come on, this could be an 8 or 9 point swing if we score here. And we do! Kyrie drives and then hits the teardrop. God, that was gorgeous.  Duke is on a 10-2 run! Timeout Arizona.  31-20, Duke. 

5:55: Singler called for a foul on DWill, which is his second. He hits both free throws, finally giving Arizona some much-needed points.  Duke has been called for 8 fouls, Zona for 5 – so like, suck it, haters.  Kyrie is stripped, but then Miles Plumlee stops a two-on-one with a hard, but albeit useful, foul.  DWill hits both again.  31-24 Duke. 

5:01: Seth Curry is now called for a foul, which is also his second. That was dumb. It was no where near the basket.  Do not give our cushion right back, what the hell is this? And the sad part is, all of Arizona’s points have been from the free-throw line. So I would at least like the refs to make them earn points from the field. Thanks, that would be great. 31-25 Duke. 

4:44: Mason Plumlee with a huge side step and slam. Momo Jones, what a name, hits a lay-up, and then Kyrie drives and is fouled.  Kyle is getting some kind of medical attention, but immediately hops up when his number is called, so he is clearly fine.  And he is a gamer, don’t question it.  35-27, Duke. 

3:55: Arizona nails a three, bringing them within five.  And then Andre Dawkins hits a jumper from the foul line. Whatever, I’ll take points, any points. And then those bastards hit ANOTHER three.  DWill has 22 points!!!! 22 in the first half!!! And there are still 3 minutes left!  Jones hits a pretty jumper, changing his shot in the air. 39-35, Duke

52 seconds: Kyle on the line. Hits one, misses the second.  WOW.  Duke blocks a jumper near the three-point line, Kyrie recovers the ball, throws it ahead for a ginormous alley-oop to Mason Plumlee. Like McDonald’s, I am loving this.  44-35, Duke.

1 second: DWill drains a ridiculously long three at the buzzer. Fucking ridiculous.  44-38, Duke, at the half!

Half-time: Coach K’s half-time interview lasts exactly one question and approximately 23 seconds. He gushed about DWill and then basically ran away when the ugly reporter blinked.  That was almost comical.  We need to come out strong, keep up the defense, and keep shooting the ball as well as we have in the first. We also need to figure out some way to stop DWill.  I would go with some double-teams and let the rest of the Arizona players prove they can shoot the ball.  Duke also needs to force more turnovers for easy transition points. With Singler showing flashes of the old Final Four Most Outstanding Player version of himself, and Kyrie back and breaking ankles, we just have to continue what we are doing.  And perfect it. Please.  I am nervous, so I am going to have a beer. In other news, Butler is winning.  The Bull Dogs are my second favorite team, by far.

Second Half: I am back and a bit drunker. I have not eaten, and there is no way I can do that now, with us winning and everything. So yay for you! Duke has the ball to start.  Nolan hits the fadeaway, on a feed from Seth Curry. Pretty play all around.  Then a foul is called.  Seth Curry seems genuinely hurt. His hip or his side or his spleen or something on the side of him. Kyrie takes his place.  And then Arizona trips Nolan. WTF IS THIS? STOP HURTING OUR PLAYERS.  Kyrie misses a three.

19:03: Kyrie dumps to Nolan who passes to Dawkins, then back to Nolan, then stolen.  Ball thrown ahead and Singler dives – literally dives – to knock the ball away and prevent an easy lay-up. Gold star to Singler. He is having one hell of a game.  Arizona ball.  They drain a three.  Ugh. 46-43, Duke. But Kyrie answers.  With a gorgeous fadeaway from 15-feet. Arizona gets the two points right back.  Kelly then misses a three.  Momo, the crazy named fucker, gets another two. This is a 1-point game.  Timeout Duke. 48-47, Duke.

16:51: Dawkins hits a HUGE three-pointer. We really needed that. Then we force a turn-over and throw it down court to a breaking Kyrie, who is fouled on the drive.  He hits both and has 18 already. But Jesus, Arizona hits another long shot. It is a two-pointer, though. Nolan misses and then Singler is called for his third foul. 

15:27: Arizona is getting all of the bounces and rolls right now.  This is ridiculous. Tie game. 53-53. And now we foul them?!?!! Are you kidding me? SERIOUSLY WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON RIGHT NOW. They are going to take the fucking lead. AND THEY DO. I have to stop this for awhile.  I am furious. This is exactly how I did not want us to start the second half. 

*          *          * 
And that is when the fun times, the game, the season ended.  The reason I posted this unfinished, ironically depressing live-blog is because I want to remember it.  How awful this moment feels.  I mean, the last 15 minutes of the game were torture. Just a physical beatdown of epic proportions.  We couldn’t play defense, we couldn’t score, we couldn’t do anything.  Until the game got under four minutes, I kept expecting a comeback.  An epic run. Which never materialized.  We played scared and sloppy.  They played like they wanted it more, Derrick Williams went off, Nolan Smith had a terrible game – one of the worst of his career – and it sucks that he will always have to remember it as his last.  And in ways, coming back for his senior year was the dumbest thing Kyle Singler ever did – no championship and he killed his draft status – but I respect the hell out of him for it.  I don’t even know what to say. When I close my eyes, I see the posterizing dunks, the turnovers, the stupid fouls we committed.  I see brick after brick, I see Coach K helpless on the sideline. I think about the fact that Kyrie Irving slapped my hand at the Butler game, I had to leave the game early, and he hurt his toe immediately after I left. I feel guilty. I feel guilty for writing that Duke Haters post, tempting the Basketball Gods to put me in my place, and we lost three days later. I feel guilty for writing this post now. The final minute ticks off, as I type this in stunned disbelief. It is painful. I am forcing myself to watch. Nolan Smith is crying on the sidelines. Kyrie hits a meaningless long three.  At least we won’t lose by 20. I cannot believe I just typed that.  
We have now been officially blown out by Arizona, avenging their 2001 loss a decade later. A huge hug and thank you to Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler, class acts who brought us a championship we will never forget.  A high-five and good luck to Kyrie Irving, who may or may not be around next year. A shrug and a clap for Arizona, who completely dominated the second half and deserved to win, but acted like chest-banging assholes in the process.  A fuck you to the refs, but even more so, to playing our worst basketball at the most critical time of the year. That really, truly, completely sucked.

I am epically disappointed.  This seemed like a really special team – one overflowing with talent, led by two All-American seniors and the greatest coach of all time. They had experience and character and chemistry.  I will never forget the hilarious videos they posted or the teamwork they exhibited.  Nolan and Kyle were special players, a tribute to Duke stars of the past, who hung around for four years and became campus heroes.  They bonded with students and fans alike, and they constantly provided entertainment on and off the court.  I will miss both of them so much, because they are, at the simplest level, irreplaceable.  I am sad that they had to end their careers this way. I am sad that back-to-back was nothing more than a pipe dream; that the haters will say last year was just an anomaly in our string of Sweet 16 upsets; that the only thing I care about in terms of March Madness is that UNC loses as soon as possible, and mostly, that we cannot get the last 15 minutes of that game back.

I was 3-1 in my predictions for Thursday night’s Sweet 16 games.  The only game I missed was the only one that mattered.  
(A big thanks to Chuck Liddy, my pal and ex-softball teammate in the Durham, who took all of these photos for the N&O - such an incredible photographer and friend.)