Some things in life are certainties.
Like the ACC winning the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, for starters. That's two straight years of 8-3 in favor of the ACC. But…will the Big Ten be the one who grabs a Final Four bid? Or neither? Check back in March.
What else is certain? That John Gasaway writes an article that makes sense, then comes true. Like in North Carolina's win over Ohio State.
Here's what he had to say less than a week ago: "Here's how it will play out. North Carolina will win a lot of games. (A high-risk prediction, I know, but danger is my middle name.) Then they'll drop one, likely a high-scoring affair. The head-shaking and hand-wringing will then commence. The Tar Heels, it will be said from countless courtside tables during countless telecasts, are talented and can score points. But they will have to start playing defense if they want to get to the Final Four.
The only problem: the numbers will in fact show that Carolina plays very good defense."
Voila! The Tar Heels hold the Buckeyes to 27.1 percent from the field (.343 eFG% and .761 PPP. Ouch.) on 72 possessions. Underrated defense turns into top-notch defense. For one game, at least.
Granted, the game was bound to slant toward the defense without Ty Lawson running the Heels' attack. The Heels also were no great shakes on offense (. 415 eFG%, .934 PPP – both of which were far better, but below their usual standards), but give the defense some credit.
And give Ol' Roy some credit. That high-powered offense and its secondary break have been awesome for years. But the guy always talks about how important the defense is, even if his teams don't look like they're playing great defense.
(My favorite box score of the night? VMI's 156-91 win. The Keydets go for 1.33 PPP – on 107 shots!)