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Thursday’s Live ACC Tournament Blog

Brett Jensen
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ACC Basketball Tournament - University of Miami v Wake Forest

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Coming to you live Thursday night from the Greensboro Coliseum, where the 58th Annual ACC Tournament is underway. Is this Sidney Lowe’s and Paul Hewitt’s last games as their team’s head coach? We shall see.

N.C. STATE VS MARYLAND
Maryland jumps to a quick 12-2 lead and Wolfpack star Tracy Smith isn’t in the starting lineup. I’ve got to be completely honest, I’m a little surprised and pretty disappointed there are more fans here. I thought the N.C. State contingency would fill this place up.

The crowd for Maryland and the Wolfies is loud, but this arena is roughly half full. Though I will say that if Duke or UNC were playing in the second game, this place would be completely full. It’s a nice showing by the Wolfies. Too bad none of the other teams had their fans show.

This game isn’t six minutes old yet and the teams have combined for three blown layups.

ACC! ACC! ACC!

This is quickly turning into a blowout. It’s too bad things Sidney didn’t work out. It would have been a fairytale story had it gone better, but as it is, it’s nothing more than a dumpster fire.

29-14 Maryland

If the Wolfpack weren’t so inept they’d actually have a chance to win this game. Maryland is sloppy and anything by a great team. No wonder the Terps will be hitting the NIT for the fourth time in the last eight years.

Nice job, Gary Williams.

Did you know:

N.C. State hasn’t beaten the Terps since Feb. 5, 2006, at the RBC Center.

State has won 11 of the 18 meetings against Maryland in the ACC Tournament.

Maryland is coached by a hot-head.

OK, I’m not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings here, but the beauty factor for the N.C. State cheerleaders and the Terps isn’t good at all. Seriously. It’s not a pretty sight. Wow! That’s the reason I’m not posting pics of either group on here today. They’re not Brett’s Blog quality. If you have a daughter or girlfriend on either of the cheer squads, I’m sorry.

35-23 Maryland with 3:15 left in first half

Maryland enters tonight’s game with a robust three-game losing streak.

N.C. State enters tonight’s game with a robust two-game losing streak.

The crowd is getting better. I’d say it’s two-thirds full.

Crazy stat of the night: Even if Sidney is fired at the end of this game, he will finish his career with a 5-5 record in the ACC Tournament. To put that perspective, Sidney would finish 5-5 in ACC Tournament play and 7-33 on the road in ACC games.

HALFTIME
42-33 MARYLAND

Almost three-quarters full now.

Wolfies 1-of-7 from 3-point range in first 20 minutes.

With 11 minutes left in the game, Javier Gonzalez, who could be playing in his last game for the Wolfpack, too, just nailed a three to cut the lead to seven.

I will say this, both teams are at least trying and playing hard. Neither team has mailed it in.

GET TO KNOW A WOLFIE

A) Which Wolfie started every game this year?

B) Jordan Vandenberg is the tallest player to play for the Wolfies and get major playing time since which N.C. State legend?

C) Which freshman guard was viewed to be the savior of the Wolfies’ issues at the position?

Maryland is up 14 with nine minutes to play and this game is all but over.

OK, I’ll take back what I said about one specific cheerleader for N.C. State. The Wolfies have ONE cheerleader that is pretty hot. But I stand by what I said concerning the rest from both teams.

Gary Williams is still coaching his heart out. I just wish he’d recruit with the same vigor.

60-48 Maryland with 7:35 left to play

Here’s why the media sometimes gets accused of being homers for a particular school or not, regardless of they even went to that university – there’s a jackwagon sitting on press row in the radio section that is wearing an N.C. State shirt and Adidas sweat pants. He’s dressed just like an assistant coach would be during practice for the Wolfies. I did some asking around and he’s a radio host in the state of N.C.

I actually saw him give the Wolfie signal to someone in the stands. Funny thing is, those sitting around him are calling him “Coach” and he’s completely clueless, which is maybe why he’s wearing a Wolfpack shirt. Get it? He’s clueless? I wish they’d revoke his credentials. Maybe that’s why he’s in the market he is in, because he’s freaking CLUELESS.

Back to the game.

Tracy Smith just shot an airball from the free throw line.

Five minutes left in the coaching career of Sidney Lowe.

When State loses, I wonder how many of the 14,000 in attendance will remain?

C.J. Leslie just fired up a 19-foot shot that made every State fan in the arena groan.

Wolfies making a late charge. Down seven with 89 seconds left to play.

N.C. State band just played “The Final Countdown.” Pretty appropriate for Sidney.

The story for Sidney’s career: Down seven, the team has a 3-point shot blocked, gets the loose ball and throws it away.

I wonder what’s running through his mind right now?

I like him. It really is a shame it ended this way. Truth be told, I’d rather Sidney keep his job and Paul Hewitt at Georgia Tech lose his.

Answers to the earlier questions
A) Scott Wood
B) Chuck Nevitt
C) Trick question. Lorenzo Brown and Ryan Harrow

FINAL
Maryland 75, N.C. State 67

Sidney just walked off the court with his head down.

Gonna head to his press conference to see what he has to say about his future. Yesterday, he said he didn’t know what was going to happen and that it was beyond his control.

PA system playing Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train!!!!

Just got back from Sidney’s press conference. It was a very solemn moment. He poured his heart out and said why he loves his job and school and everything associated with N.C. State. I truly felt bad for the guy. After listening to the press conference, I almost would like to see him get another year. But the problem is you have to think with your head and not your heart.

He said he’s going to meet with AD Debbie Yow very soon and will see what happens from there.

He also said he doesn’t think he got a fair shake this year because of all the injuries and suspensions and sickness that fell upon his team. He said that wasn’t his team that he expected at any point this year.

Here are Sidney’s quotes
On being at alma mater
“It hurts quite a bit, because this is my school. I poured my sweat for four years here and gave it my best. It was my hope to come back here and do something special again. It means a lot more to me than it might mean to other coaches. I have new friends here, old friends that were here when I was here. So it hurts me … it hurts me because I know what it is like here, and I know what it is like to win here. And I know how the fans will get behind you, and how true fans will stick with you and really enjoy the thing. So yeah, it means a lot more to me.”

With all the injuries and whatnot, did you get a fair shot this year?
“No. No, I don’t think so. A fair shot is having your full team. We lost (Tracy Smith) for 10 games, and when he came back he went for a while, and then it bothered him again. He played hurt tonight, basically. We had some suspensions and illnesses and things of that nature. We never had the chance to say we had our team fully intact for the whole year. It didn’t turn out the way a lot of people expected or hoped for it to. But again, (Tracy Smith) – not having him healthy and not having him for 10 games were major factors.”

GEORGIA TECH VS VIRGINIA TECH
And before I can even get settle back into my chair on press row, Virginia Tech is waxing the Yellow Jackets 30-11. This hasn’t been a good day for coaches on the hot seat thus far.

Sidney handled his press conference with class and dignity. I wonder if Hewitt will do the same thing.

This place has emptied out pretty quickly. Maybe half of what was here for the N.C. State game is here for this one.

Ran into Dave Odom and Wimp Sanderson here.

The cheerleaders for GT are just as bad as they were for the previous game. However, the GT cheerleading coach, not that’s a different story. Hubba hubba.

HALFTIME
Virginia Tech 36, Georgia Tech 19

One of the loudest cheers all night is for the halftime entertainment show of the Zooperstars.

At least a few of the Virginia Tech cheerleaders are decent looking.

41-23 Va. Tech with 15:02 left in game

The crowd is chanting, “Let’s go Tech! Let’s go Tech!” Which team are they rooting for?

The crowd is really, really bad now. I fully expect tomorrow’s to be practically full, if not completely.

It’s really hard to be interested in a game when it’s a 24-point lead with just under eight minutes to play and there’s more people in Icehouse on South Blvd. on Friday nights than there is here for this game right now.

Virginia Tech looks like a team that belongs in the NCAA Tournament. Then again, maybe it’s because they’re playing Georgia Tech.

Down 17 with 3:32 left in the game, Paul Hewitt just called a timeout to ensure he’s the head coach at GT as long as humanly possible. He wants this game to keep going and going and going.

I know this is hard to believe, but I’m going to head to the media room and pack my stuff up so that I can be ready to head back to Charlotte just as soon as Hewitt’s press conference is over.

There will be plenty to talk about Friday, to be sure.

Thanks for reading.

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