(Hey friends, this is a tape-delay blog of last night's game. What that means is that I typed these thoughts as they happened, and, aside from minor style edits, left them intact for this morning's post. Enjoy!
Note: I will be offering a series of calmer, more rational thoughts on the game later today. This post includes a lot of bad language, anger, and uncensored reaction. Take it for what it is.)
8:59: Live blog, baby! TV just went on, and Notre Dame is about to beat UConn at home...and there it is, game over. No threat of OT. That’s what I like in a lead-in game. Teams need to know their role.
9:01: Trivia: why is Kansas-Kansas State not on tv? #5 vs #2? I rarely have a problem with ESPN’s game selection, but this is crazy. It’s a no-brainer, right? Instead, ESPN2 is showing Wake Forest and Florida St. And something else after. Snooze fest.
9:02: “The league was a jumbled mess,” says the voiceover lead-in about the ACC early this year. Nah, I don’t remember that. I just remember us always being the best team. I’M CONFIDENT, AND I’M FROM DUKE! I MAKE MILLIONS ON WALL STREET!
9:04: We’ve got Dan Shulman and Jay Bilas on the scene. Bilas calls both Greivis Vasquez and Jon Scheyer “Mr. Everything” for their respective teams.
9:06: Two 3s come up short for Duke after Maryland scores the first basket. The assholes in College Park are in full throat. Singler gets stuffed. Fast game…HUGE BOARD BY ZOUBEK. NO NONSENSE! OLE SNOWSHOES IS IN THE HOUSE!
9:07: “Doesn’t a turtle make you think of something really slow?” asks my girlfriend, referring to Maryland’s mascot. Good point. Somehow, I never thought of that.
9:08: Greivis ices two at the line. He scored 41 against Virginia Tech last game. Not bad.
9:09: Scheyer misses again. Bad start. And Vasquez nails a 3 in transition. 7-0. Ruh-roh, says Duke the neurotic dog.
9:09: Zou gets us on the board with a nice tip-in off a sweet pass by Schey. We need to start looking for Vasquez in transition. Three people ignored him on that last drive. And there’s another three from Maryland. Shit.
9:11: Scheyer looks like he’s trying to shoot a Frisbee. Or a bowling ball, or something. I don’t know. Definitely not a basketball- I want to make that clear.
9:11: The Maryland fans might be cheering “fuck you, Scheyer.” Of course, this is the same group of dignified individuals who cheered when Nolan Smith was lying on the floor concussed last year after a cheap pick by Dave Neal.
9:12: Something’s wrong with the net, and a tv timeout as they fix it. In a related story, Greivis Vasquez’s hair net also broke this morning, in the shower.
9:14: They retired his jersey before the game, and ESPN shows a clip leading into commercial. Oh great, now it’s the ‘send it into overtime’ Buffalo Wild Wings commercial. In a world of bad commercials, this might be the absolute worst. Here’s a group of douchebag fans who would rather see 3 extra minutes of a game than have their team win. And they’re all friends! Weeee! Come eat at Buffalo Wild Wings, a restaurant I swear to God I have never actually seen anywhere. It only exists in name, for the purpose of making infuriating commercials.
9:16: FSU beats Wake Forest by 4. We got to see a fun shot of Chas McFarland looking pissed in his inimitable sullen teenager style. Thanks, video!
9:17: “We have the updated ACC standings,” says Shulman, as though some lackey wearing a vest and a poor boy cap just handed it to him hot off the presses.
9:18: Bilas speculates that the break might help the Dukies. Let’s hope he’s right. It certainly doesn’t help me; this game will probably last 'til midnight.
9:18: Singler for 3! SHUT THE F*$% UP, MARYLAND!
9:18: That will probably be the last time I bleep out a swear word. It's just not sustainable.
9:19: Vasquez shoots! Surprise! Ugh, and a beautiful reverse layup by Hayes. That was pretty.
9:20: Damn, Nolan. A good drive ends in a tentative 8-footer that comes up way short.
9:20: Oh boy. Vasquez to Jordan Williams, who slams it in Scheyer’s face and draws the foul. And then he banks in the foul shot. I hate this team. At least now the Plumblefucks are in to save the day.
9:21: Wow, Miles Plumlee nails a jumper. And Maryland scores yet another transition bucket. Our offense has degenerated into chucking 3s.
9:22: Predictably, Miles gets carried away and takes a shot from even further away. This one doesn’t go down. Now it’s 19-7.
9:23: Good drive by Mason. Shit needs to calm down. My friend Vance, a Terp fan, just texted me with “wow” about the Williams dunk. Agreed, it was a ‘wow’ jam. But I respond with “lucky dunk.”
9:24: Steal by Mason, who finds a wide open Scheyer, who is afraid to shoot and turns it over on a drive. Vasquez makes them pay on the other end.
9:25: Fucking fuckety fuck, WHY DON’T WE TRY TO SCORE WHEN WE BREAK THE PRESS. DON’T JUST SIT ON THE WING WITH THE BALL AND WAIT FOR MARYLAND TO CATCH UP. NOT IDEAL! NOT IDEAL!
9:27: Juan Dixon is in the house. Guess what, though? Didn’t work for UNC with Hansbrough. Game over.
9:28: Hey, it’s Andre Dawkins, the 3-point specialist who can’t make a 3.
9:29: Attaboy, Schey. Great drive and a regal lay-in. Yes, regal.
9:29: Lance Thomas is absolutely useless. Catch the ball, man. It’s literally all anyone asks of you. Maryland is hurting us on the boards.
9:30: Sing for 2. Great drive. Oops, I’m going to start time-stamping by time remaining. I always do this! 21-12 Maryland.
9:41: Maryland can’t miss. Annoying. It’s Georgetown all over again. But Nolan answers back. Just hang with these guys in the first half, please.
9:16: Stupid, stupid foul by Lance Thomas on the perimeter. Thankfully, Mason replaces him. But another hit jumper by Maryland gives them an 11 point lead.
8:41: Yes, Nolan! Another 3, and we’re refusing to go away. Meanwhile, the net gets hung up. Where did they get these nets, EASTERN EUROPE? (Always an easy target.)
8:10: Oh good, more refs afraid to make a call against the home team. They’ve basically taken out their magnifying glasses to search for touch fouls to call on Duke.
7:30: ZOUBEK IS A MONSTER! Great offensive board, and it’s a 6-point game. Mosely hits a two in response. Who the hell is this guy?
6:42: Un-fucking-believable. Is there any other team who inspires more absurd shooting performances than Duke? Another three pushes the lead back to 11, Zoubek might be hurt, and the troglodytes in the stands are waving their wooden clubs and clamoring for blood.
6:42: Is it possible to hate any place as much as I hate Buffalo Wild Wings right now? Bad commercials become infuriating when Duke is losing.
6:42: Zoubek’s finger is hurt. Shouldn’t keep him out long, but he’s probably done for the first half. Not awesome. Airball by Nolan. Mosley hits a three. We’re totally fucked.
5:45: Miles Plumlee hits a three. Now 1-1 from beyond the arc on the year. This is what our offense has come to. And I cannot friggin’ believe that Maryland has 33 points already.
5:18: Lance Thomas shoots from just inside the 3-point line. Perfect. Just what we needed there. I’m just glad it didn’t come close to going in, or we might get overconfident.
5:18: 18-8 rebounding edge for Maryland.
5:07: Nolan hits two. He needs to take this game over. 10-point game. Hayes hits a floater in the lane. I’m resigned to Maryland never missing a single shot for the rest of history.
4:25: I have a lot of sympathy for what Dawkins has been through this year. That being said, he should not be in this game. The level of intensity is beyond what he can handle right now. Turnover, Maryland’s ball. 36-24.
3:35: Wow, Lance Thomas. Nice hook. Shulman points out that Scheyer has been on the bench for a while, which is quite strange. Only one foul, but 1-6 from the field. TV timeout.
3:35: Judging by my current level of fatigue, this has an awesome shot at being the first game of the year where I say 'screw it' and go to bed early. How does this make everyone feel? Honestly, I can’t stand to watch the Maryland fans have any kind of success. Every time they show a close-up of the crowd, I immediately pick out ten individuals I despise on sight.
3:07: Huge 3 by Singler. But again, this appears to be our only offense. And wow, a zone by Duke. Which is completely broken down by the Terps for a lay-up.
2:26: Generous call by the refs gives Singler continuation…although, on replay, it appears to be the right call. Sing has 10, make it 11, and Duke is within 8. Get it to within 5 by half, boys.
2:05: Stop the presses, if they have presses anymore: Maryland missed a jumper.
2:05: I've just been informed on Twitter that there are no more presses.
1:44: “You can’t just pass the ball around the perimeter,” says Bilas. “You have to dribble penetrate.” Yup. Great advice.
1:11: OH MAN. Trey from Nolan, and it’s down to 5. The zone seems to have been a nice idea, as it at least slowed them down a bit. If Scheyer would just show up for this game, we’d be fine.
1:11: When all is said and done, this has been an excellent season for Nolan. 18 ppg, 4th in the ACC, and some great pressure play. It’s been awesome watching his improvement.
39.0: SCHEYER’S BACK, BABY! 2-point game, and this is fairly unbelievable. Maryland trying to hold for last shot…
0.8: Airball by Moseley, and Duke will have a short possession to end the half. No early bedtime for me, it seems.
0.8: Texas is probably going to finish the season unranked. Hilarious. I give myself credit for identifying them as pretenders back when they were ranked #1, but I didn’t expect it to get this bad.
HALFTIME: Duke closes on a 12-2 run, and it’s a little more quiet in College Park. This half feels like a moral victory for the good guys. And we’re in prime position for the actual victory in half #2.
19:52: How about a lead to start the second half??? The first of the night? Scheyer makes it happen with a three.
19:15: I love the energy. Zoubek comes up with two offensive boards. I’m still having trouble believing that he’s competent, even good, but I’m getting used to it. Nolan on a nice drive.
19:10: This has the potential to be the kind of game that turns into a massacre for the Dukies. Maryland has to be feeling like hell right now.
18:56: Those stupid optical illusion spinning things should be outlawed from basketball games. Aren’t they designed to screw up your vision? How can that be legal?
18:15: A block on Singler is quickly turned around when Nolan makes a nice steal. Despite being tackled, no foul was called, and he had to burn a TO to keep possession.
18:15: The Taco Bell Charles Barkley commercial is absurd. I don’t even know if it’s bad. I suspect so, but it’s hard to say. If I were the head Taco Bell guy, and the ad men brought me that ad, I wouldn’t know whether to fire them or give them a raise. I’d probably end up doing both.
18:00: 44-42 Duke on a nice drive by Singler.
17:47: Ridiculous fucking charge call against Nolan. Moseley never even bothered to set himself. I hate these refs. EXCEPT I DON’T ANYMORE! Scheyer fouled on a 3. Gary complains that Schey kicked his legs out to initiate contact. He nails 2 of 3. Making three straight foul shots has to be one of the hardest feats in basketball. It doesn’t seem like it should be, but even the best shooters rarely make it happen.
17:00: The “fuck you, Scheyer” chant starts up again. Great guys, those Maryland fans. Not to get up on my high horse, but if that happened in Durham, Coach K would literally stop the game, take the microphone, and make the students stop. I’ve seen it happen. There’s a difference between being passionate and being a thug.
15:55: Jesus, Zoubek is such a beast. Two offensive boards maintain possession for the Dukies into the first tv timeout. 46-44 Devils.
15:00: Man, 4 offensive boards and we didn’t get a bucket on that possession. Zoubek missed a point blank tip that would’ve done the trick.
14:28: Another blatant over-the-back on Maryland is ignored, but the ball goes out to Duke. Before that, Vasquez chucked up another airball. The defense is starting to click for Duke, and that’s a serious problem for the Terps. Unlike the Georgetown game, it appears the anomalous shooting won’t continue for an entire game.
14:03: I knew I shouldn’t have said that. Williams takes an out of control hook shot that somehow goes in, and the refs bail him out with a bad foul call just in case. Tie game, 47 all.
13:35: Scheyer fouled about 3 times on a drive, and nothing is called. This is getting ridiculous.
12:58: The pace of the game is getting crazy. Back and forth, with both teams missing two shots, before Nolan draws a non-shooting foul on the drive.
12:28: Maryland has the lead back on some poor defense by Plumlee. Milburn follows up with a hard slam. Time to slow it down, boys.
11:37: Old reliable Scheyer gets a big bucket to dim the wall of noise a bit. He is so, so good at that.
11:10: Bowie hits a three, and Duke is forced to take a timeout. Let’s see if you’re nodding like a cocky bitch when the game’s over, Bowie. This team makes me so furious. 54-49.
10:43: Coach K is rightly pissed at these refs. In slow motion, he gives them the hand wave, and spits out a sentence that clearly begins with the word ‘fuck.’ TV timeout. I’m at the point where I would literally fight anyone on Maryland’s team. I realize I would lose against every single one of them, but the point is that I would try.
10:43: It would take an insane amount of toughness for Duke to win this one, but I’m desperately hoping that they do. If we can win this game, in this environment, nothing will scare us in the tournament.
10:43: Wow, what a bullshit call on the Scheyer travel. The jobbing continues. Refs are choking.
10:22: Great defense by Zoubek, but Duke has gone cold. Another missed 3.
9:40: Tough leaner by Nolan, huge shot. I’m practically shaking here.
9:11: OH MY! Spin move by Nolan, gets the bucket and draws the foul! Wow, that was a pretty move…absolutely beautiful. The shot is down. Tie game, 54-all. Vasquez is finally back in the game.
8:56: Nolan is all over Vasquez on the defensive end. No 41 for him tonight, even if he takes his usual 30 shots. A steal, and Nolan draws another foul on offense. This is turning into his game. Unleash him, Coach! But he misses the front end of the bonus. Shit.
8:33: Lance Thomas is the king of chippy fouls. “If it’s Lance Thomas, it’s his fourth!” says Shulman, as if it matters that Lance Thomas has 4 fouls.
8:00: Nolan again! 18 points, and he’s absolutely dominating. Timeout Terps, a quiet crowd, and Duke up by two. Nolan has scored the last 7 for us.
7:43: Under 8 timeout. Vasquez will be on the line for 2. Man, do I need this break.
7:43: Here’s what it comes down to: can Vasquez make enough shots to win this game by himself? Can Duke make a few threes and break their spirits? Tie game, 56 each.
7:17: Bowie with a big jumper. Open shots need to start falling for us.
6:51: Oh God, not only is Dawkins in the game, but he hit a three. Holy shit. And Vasquez rejected by Singler. How about a dagger?
6:25: Singler draws a foul on the drive. Big shots coming up here with Duke up one.
6:25: Joe Lunardi must get so much strange this time of year. So much. And by strange, I mean strange looks when he introduces himself to women as if they should know his name. I wrote this joke four years ago, and use it every March.
6:25: I swear to God, these fucking optical illusion spinning things are screwing us up. Singler hits 1 of 2.
6:00: Travel by Moseley ignored. Hayes ties it up on a nice backdoor cut.
5:35: I LOVE YOU SCHEYER. I LOVE YOU TO DEATH. Three ball puts us up 63-60. He is so clutch. The A-Rod of Duke basketball.
5:04: Ugh, Vasquez ties it. Also, he has severe acne.
4:38: Driving scoop by Scheyer. Left hand. So pretty. No more complete sentences.
4:17: Bowie is the luckiest punk-faced bastard in the world. He could punt the ball at the basket and it would go in. Tie game.
3:50: Vasquez too. A running lay-up sorta thing goes in. Crowd going nuts. Maryland 67, Duke 65. Timeout Dukies. Cries of “Fuck Duke” come out in unison as the teams huddle. And as they break, Vasquez gestures to the crowd to get louder. He is a dramatic young man, that Vasquez. This is crazy. Come on, boys.
3:26: Scheyer blocked, jump ball called. Arrow to Maryland, time out.
3:26: I can’t explain how much I want this game. This will be heartbreaking if we lose. Fuck Maryland so much. I apologize for all the language, but DID I MENTION I WANT THIS GAME?
3:10: STEAL! Come on Duke. Apparently Vasquez was pounding his chest in the huddle, saying “let’s refuse to lose.” So cliché, Greivis.
2:50: Nolan with a jumper! God! Tie game! That’s 20 for him!
2:23: Hayes’ bullshit gets a friendly bounce. Crap son of a bitch shit balls.
2:04: Scheyer over Vasquez! Tie again! My stomach is in knots. The really tight kind that sailors learn.
1:36: Oh, Zoubek. He whiffs on an easy board and Williams gets a put-back.
1:11: Scheyer misses a three, but Lance Thomas gets the board. Duke ball, down two.
1:06: Smith way short on a three. Fuck. Maryland running clock.
38.6: Did that shot honestly go in? Did it? Vasquez with a turnaround, blind to the basket, one-handed shot put prayer, and it fucking falls. This is too much.
26.2: Scheyer gets stuck under the basket. Or rather, shoved there. But he loses the ball on a poor shot.
26.2: They just showed Vasquez's shot again. Bilas calls it clutch, but it’s not, just lucky.
26.2: Moseley hits two. 6-point game, and it’s all but over.
26.2: Vasquez demonstrative, and I hate him. I really hope we see these fucks in the ACC tournament. I would rather embarrass Maryland right now than win seven titles.
21.4: In this space, I made a domestic violence joke that was not appreciated. Or funny. Redacted.
17.6: Scheyer’s layup rolls out, and the tv is going off. Don’t want to watch these clowns storm the court. Shitty night. Screw Gary Williams. Screw Vasquez. Screw the refs. Screw Maryland.