(Hell of a win, gang. HELL of a win. Because I have an early morning appointment today, and because I haven't done it in a while, it's the world famous tape-delay blog. All these thoughts were written as the game went down, and aside from minor spelling and grammar corrections and the occasional edit to make myself more hilarious, what I typed is what you get. If you make it through the whole thing, God bless. There's some awesome Icelandic humor you won't want to miss.
We pick it up two minutes in. Entries are stamped by time remaining in the half. This whole post is dedicated to NastyEmu, the only Maryland fan in the world who reads this blog. Nothing I say about the Terps is directed at you, sir. You're only guilty by association. But then again...isn't that the worst guilt of all?)
18:00: I’m here, computer is set up, and Duke is down 4-2. We’ve had our first total BS charge call on Duke already on a Nolan drive. That was preceded by a disgusting Mason dunk that was called off for a shot-clock violation, and THAT was preceded by a great post move by the Mase.
17:20: Great reverse lay-up by Singler to tie it at 4. This place is buzzing like crazy. We will not be getting any calls, to say the least.
16:45: Foul-line jumper for Singler, who is starting strong. 10 more points until he passes Danny Ferry on the Duke scoring list. More like Danny Fairy, am I right? (Oh shit he played for us my bad.)
16:30: Stupid overplay by Mason leads to a foul on Kelly and a near-fight between he and Jordan Williams.
16:32: Williams nails both. My living room smells like the hyacinth my girlfriend has in a vase right behind my head, and hyacinth, at least to me, smells like burning plastic.
16:00: NOLAN FOR 3! The crowd wanted a travel on Mason. Nolan’s shot came right after Miles Plumlee literally shot the ball into the side of the backboard from point blank range. That goes in the highlight reel. He had no idea where he was on the court.
15:20: An airball by Miles is generously called a “pass” by Dan Shulman. That’s one airball, one stuff by a backboard if you’re keeping track at home. He’s going for the quintuple-asshole-double (hitting himself in the balls with a pass, tripping into Coach K, and vomiting on Jordan Williams are the three he has left). Mason puts it home, tv timeout.
14:59: Maybe I’m wrong about the calls. Jordan Williams gets bumped under the basket and it’s called a travel. 11-8 Duke.
14:04: My friend Marion just g-chatted me. She teaches in Baltimore and won’t be able to go to school tomorrow if Duke loses. I know exactly how she feels. The only thing worse than taking shit about your team losing is taking shit from kids. My own brothers make it their business to call me immediately after every Duke/Yankee/Giant loss. I personally don’t think kids should be allowed. Period.
13:26: Great block by Tucker on Seth Curry. Bowie takes it in transition and draws a foul.
12:49: Jordan Williams gets position on Mason to give Maryland their first lead of the day. The place is going batshit. I hate this.
12:30: But Nolan is on a mission. The memory of his Dave Neal-induced concussion and the rabid response of the Terp fans can’t be far from his mind. You know he wants to win his last game ever in this hell-hole.
12:25: Some Icelandic dude is coming in for Maryland. This calls for some seriously bad Icelandic jokes. Gee, I hope the guy doesn’t in wearing SKATES!
12:12: Jordan Williams has opened Mason Plumlee’s lunch, and he’s eyeing it ravenously. I think he wants to eat it, guys.
12:00: Brilliant turn-around by Singler. Patchet gets a put-back on the other end. Double dribble by Thornton, and we’re at the second media timeout with the Terps up 16-15. The battle is underway.
11:20: So far, it’s going as you might expect. Maryland is cleaning up underneath with almost no opposition from the Plumlees, but the superior Duke guards are keeping things close. Not much in the way of 3-point attempts from either team. Maryland has tried a little fullcourt pressure, but not to the extent that St. John’s slowed us down.
11:20: Jill’s take is that our guys look scared. I half agree, but I think Nolan and Kyle are here to play. Seth looks tentative after the opening block, and I was surprised to see Dawkins pass up the open 3 earlier.
11:20: I’m in this terrible pattern of eating salty things, drinking gallons of water and ice tea, and peeing all night. Thought you guys should know.
10:55: SINGLER FOR 3! The hush you hear from the Maryland crowd after every big shot is amazing.
10:34: Maryland takes and misses their first 3. Shulman with a big understatement pointing out that the 3 is not a big part of their arsenal.
10:00: Here’s the thing about the fadeaway Mason just made via a lucky roll: it will lead a terrible shot later. What’s the opposite of a blessing in disguise? A false positive? Can that be his new nickname?
9:00: Hell of a take by Nolan ends in a miss, but he somehow gets the loose ball in a scrum and converts the put-back with harm. Duke up 22-16. Loving the toughness so far.
8:50: Nolan converts. I will fight anyone who doesn’t mention him in player of the year conversations. In any sport. Maryland is shooting very poorly right now. 5-15 for them, 9-18 for us. But an emphatic dunk by Gregory (no rotation from Miles) helps that situation. Crowd back into it.
7:54: Miles draws the foul, media timeout. 23-18 good guys.
7:54: 9-8 Duke in rebounds. Mason ‘can’t-miss’ Plumlee is 3-3 from the field. By my informal tally, approximately every single one of Maryland’s points are in the paint. Singler and Smith are trailing Maryland 17-18.
7:50: Mason smartly abstains from the attempted dunk and gets another 2. Incredible. He’s actually tied in points with Jordan Williams right now. And he’s killing Gary.
7:31: Crap balls. Nolan with his second foul and he’s on the bench, and that’s 3 fouls on Kelly. Terps in the bonus, Kelly on the bench.
7:24: Hate to say it, but I think Thornton needs to be out of the game. The press gets him to turn it over and then kick it, and this after a double dribble earlier. Apropos of nothing I hate how Bowie’s name is pronounced Boo-ey. Come on!
7:00: Wow, GORGEOUS assist from Miles to Seth Curry for the 3. A seriously great look. And a really suspect goaltending call on Miles follows.
6:36: And THE THORN nails it! Duke by ten! Keep him in the game forever!
6:05: Great defensive sequence from Duke. This is looking really good, guys. Really fucking good.
5:55: Bullshit charge call on Singler. I hate that garbage. When a player takes off, you can’t come and take his landing spot. A MAN IS ALLOWED TO LAND!
5:40: Yikes, Thornton is very suspect on the press. A timeout bails him out of another turnover.
5:40: Footage of last year’s court storming by the Terps has got me pissed off and worried all over again.
5:30: SETH CURRY HAS BALLS THE SIZE OF PLANETS! ONE IS PLUTO, THE OTHER IS JUPITER! THEY’RE VERY UNEVEN BALLS! IT’S A THREE! AND HE'S FALLING OVER AS HE RUNS DOWN THE COURT BECAUSE OF HIS BALLS!
5:00: Wow. Mason draws a foul while backing down. This is, dare I say, a very strong offensive game for him.
5:00: Ugh. Terp fans have shirts that say “Garyland.” Gag me. Or better yet, gag them. With a DU(coach)KE shirt.
4:59: Mason emphatically blocks an offensive board out of bounds, but Miles made 1 of 2 so let’s just take it, shall we?
4:26: I was ready to jump out the window in alarm at a clearly fake world if Mason made that bank shot.
4:10: DAWK FOR 3! WE ARE RUNNING THESE MOTHERFUCKERS OFF THE COURT! 15-POINT LEAD! 38-23 LEAD!
4:10: Did anybody else read all of Seth Davis’ tweets after the St. John’s loss? It was like he was going out of his way to say how much Duke sucked. One tweet was like “it’s generous to call Duke barely above average.” I hope he’s watching this. The overreaction to the St. John’s is the best part of this impending blowout.
3:32: Wow, two chances for Dawkins to really explode this thing wide open, but he comes up empty from 3. Foul on Mason, media timeout.
3:32: But the second Dawkins attempt was set up by another great Miles Plumlee pass. These guys are playing like heroes today. Easily the best combined Plumlee effort to date, despite Miles’ early blunders.
3:07: Terrible hold by Miles and then Bowie with a pretty reverse. Finish strong, Duke. Crowd trying to be noisy.
2:25: Holy shit, Miles with a pretty bank shot. What?
2:16: Spike just g-chatted me: Miles sucks. Awful. My response: SAY WHAT? HEY SPIKE, THIS IS THE BANK CALLING. WE JUST APPROVED MILES’ CREDIT. HE WANTED US TO TELL YOU.
2:00: Great job by the Duke bench to hold and expand the lead so Nolan and Ryan can stay on the bench.
1:51: Great call on the push-off by Jordan Williams, even though he complained like crazy about it. He shoved Mason in the back.
1:45: Kyrie’s cast set to come off tomorrow!
1:39: Bilas: “That’s the most famous toe since Sargent Hukka.” Or something. I have no idea what he’s talking about. I didn’t realize behaving like a 90-year-old curmudgeon actually infused you with a 90-year-olds references.
1:39: I will never understand how officials can get together to determine an out-of-bounds call and delay the game. Make the fucking call.
1:29: 12-point lead. I would love to not see this get any closer.
1:15: God why will we never press our fucking advantage! There’s no rule that we have to wait for the defense to get set, guys.
43.1: Phantom foul on Padgett opens up the 3-point play possibility. Worst case scenario for an end to the half. 15 point lead is down to 9.
30.0: Text from stepfather Tom: “RUN THE fUCKING COURT.” Agreed.
9.1: Beautiful pass from Nolan to Mason. The big man can’t finish, and he’s to the line for 2. Maryland fans are bitching as usual, replay inconclusive. Mason misses the first. And the second
2.4: And Tucker scores to end the half.
HALFTIME: 40-33 Duke. Awful, shitty, crappy last few minutes. I’ll take the 7-point lead, but we could have destroyed their spirit. All the momentum is theirs.
HALFTIME: Still, I say we run them off the floor second half. The Plumlees are playing with spirit, and Nolan is back. We’re a much better team.
HALFTIME: Anyone else notice that Singler has basically no chance to score without Nolan on the floor? He absolutely needs a decent point guard presence to get his shots.
HALFTIME: Weird game from the Plumlees so far. A lot of positives offensively from both, but a lot of the usual idiotic mistakes too. Mason is pathologically unable not to go for passes or rebounds he has no chance at. Neither of them can resist fouling a guy about to make an easy lay-up. But some great Zoubekian kick-out passes from Miles and a bit of scoring prowess from Mason. Surprising to say the least.
HALFTIME: Gary, in his interview, said Maryland is struggling too much on the boards. But it’s about even. Duke has a 1-board lead in both offensive and overall boards. But I guess that’s a loss for Maryland, considering they’re supposed to have the far superior big man.
HALFTIME: Duke is shooting 50% from the floor and 3. Maryland 0-3 from distance and 38.5% from the floor.
HALFTIME: By the way, if I can brag for a second, I’m meeting Jon Lee Anderson today. He’s my favorite journalist, a reporter from The New Yorker who travels anywhere on the globe where there’s conflict or tyranny and tells the story. He’s been doing it for 30 years, and he’s incredible. He once beat up a Taliban guy for stealing his coke, or so the story goes. And he writes like a genius.
It’s going to be great, except: after I responded to the global studies faculty, they asked me if I wanted to go to breakfast with him and a couple faculty members. I said yes, definitely. Well, time went on, and for whatever reason the other faculty backed out.
So now it’s just me and Jon Lee Anderson, 8:15am, breakfast. He’s the kind of dude who makes me feel like I have accomplished exactly nothing, while he’s out in the world discovering where Che Guevara is buried (seriously, he did that; he’s unbelievable). What the hell am I possibly going to say to him? Seriously, the whole breakfast depends on him being nice. Once he discovers that I’m about 10% as smart as he is, and about 3% as ballsy, I’m totally dependent on his mercy. PLEASE BE NICE, JON LEE ANDERSON.
HALFTIME: Seriously, I can’t even think of the fact that I’m eating breakfast with Jon Lee Anderson without coming close to puking.
HALFTIME: Anywhoo, ESPN just interviewed some Maryland students. They all hate Duke, but some were surprisingly self-deprecating. I don’t like when other people humanize the enemy. Please stop, television.
19:48: Steal for Miles! Let’s go boys.
19:17: Hey, Duke actually runs the court, and what do you know…NOLAN FOR 3!
18:53: Maryland really can’t shoot.
18:41: This Jeanine Edwards woman is rocking some really 80s hair. And by that, I don’t mean 80s mall hair, but the 80s hair you see in women who stay mostly in their house and come out in parkas to complain about snow plows pushing snow into their driveway. The kicker? The 80s hair for those women is exactly the same as now.
18:00: Nolan hits a ridiculous step-back J and then casually indicates his wrist to the ref. This is a man in control of his surroundings.
17:50: MY GOD, MILES, STOP WITH THE STUPID FUCKING FOULS.
17:23: Sean says “why don’t we play 4 guards with Singler?” Again, I kinda half agree. They both keep making dumb mistakes, but their presence hasn’t been totally awful. Just kinda awful.
16:45: Gorgeous floating J from Singler with tons of arc. An aesthetic delight.
16:42: Jill calls Miles “a flying fucking super ogre.” Sean says: “i wonder if they've ever scored more points than they’ve given up (through fouls or goal tends).” Strong observations both.
16:42: I’m in a business reporting class now, but we still haven’t learned what a 10-year lipper average.
16:42: Man, I don’t like these bitchy Miller Lite bartender girls. They think they’re so smart. In real life someone would call them a name, and then some macho bar dumbass who thinks he’s going to get laid and pretends to have a sensitive side would defend her honor and an unnecessary fight would ensue. That’s what ACTUALLY happens when women in bars are mean, Miller Lite, you irresponsible fucks.
16:11: What a piece of shit call. Foul on Nolan, his third.
15:58: The refs are basically blowing their whistle indiscriminately now. They’re just assuming fouls are happening and then pulling numbers out of a hate. TV timeout. Duke winning by 13.
15:58: 3 fouls each on Smith, Singler, Kelly, and Miles Plumlee. Look, I can live without the first three, but don’t take Miles from us. Don’t do it, zebras.
15:58: I mean, you can’t even look up the lyrics to “O, Canada” without like a million pop-ups anymore.
15:20: Huge dunk by Gregory and he puts both hands up like a gymnast who stuck a landing.
14:53: 10-point game. It’s annoying to me that we’re not putting them away.
14:33: Wow. Another great foul-line J from Singler. He just passed Danny the Fairy. DIS!
14:00: First three from the Terperoos.
13:50: AND OH WHAT ANSWER FROM THE SING! BOOM RADELY, BABY! THE TREY BALL!
13:15: Wait, wasn’t I supposed to make a bunch of Iceland jokes? Wasn’t that a thing? What happened to that guy? I have some great shit about their economic collapse.
13:09: Up next for Singler on the all-time scoring list? Mike GAY-minsky.
12:59: And he hits a curl-around J from the wing. Singler is officially hot. At 7-11, this is his first true great (or even good) shooting night from Singler in a while?
12:34: Iceland guy hits a three, FUCK. I hope he’s not Reykjavik-torious tonight.
12:20: Maryland, your silence is named SINGLER!
11:19: Unbelievable. The Icelandic dude just totally sold out trying to save a ball going out of bounds, but the ref didn’t take the hint and gave it to the Terps. I’m starting to think home field advantage is entirely about how the home crowd influences the refs. TV timeout. Duke by 11.
11:19: Pushing this lead to 15 by the 8-minute timeout would be just spectacular. It’s realistic, and the crowd won’t start to hum for real until about that point. Get it to 15, and they might stay quiet the whole time.
11:19: Sorry, America, I’m not buying the Time Warner cable guy with the hat. I know he’s supposed to be like an everyman or something, but I’m just not on board with him. I don’t think I like him at all.
11:19: Hey, look, there’s the football coach Maryland hired because they’re huge fucking cowards and missed out on Mike Leach!
11:00: Please stop showing me this blockhead asshole talking about Maryland football recruiting during the game, please, for fuck’s sake, ESPN. WHO CARES?!
10:24: Maryland within 7, and it’s Randy Edsall’s fault. Timeout Duke.
10:24: Somebody will have to explain to me the appeal of getting into the college football recruiting scene. I know a lot of people love it, and I know I love sports, but I cannot understand it for the life of me.
9:59: Ill-advised drive by Thornton.
9:55: Oh my, extremely brave and probably wrong call on the charge by the ref. Maryland is pi-isssed!
9:30: We’ve gone cold. This is worrisome. Big defensive sequence here. But Jordan Williams converts, and it’s a 5-point game. Maryland needs to get him the ball every single time.
8:46: Shit, Nolan can’t finish on a great spin move. Here comes the crowd. Not gonna cry, I promised myself I wouldn’t cry…
8:31: Huge miss by Maryland. And the replay shows Jordan Williams was flexing his muscle on the last basket. He is from Maryland after all!
8:26: OHHH MASON! HUGE SLAM! SOMEONE HIT A THREE PLEASE!
7:54: Curry fouled on the drive. 8-minute timeout, and it’s still 7 points.
7:54: Replay shows the unbelievable Mason dunk. I’m just glad he made it. Good lord.
7:54: Jill correctly points out that the refs are completely incompetent. For both sides, probably, but just all around poor.
7:54: Sportscenter promo: “Urban Meyer’s advice for Big Ben.” I fell asleep halfway through that sentence. Football is so unbearable when it’s not in season. And the two weeks before the Super Bowl are practically offseason. We’re like 5 days away from a miserable off-season of boring transaction shit. Why is that stuff so much more interesting in baseball? Is it because nobody ever shuts up about the NFL, even in June?
7:47: Surprise foul shot miss by Singler.
7:30: DAWKINS ON THE TREY!!!!! Shulman could not be less excited.
7:13: Tucker with a Singler-esque back-up jumper. 8 points is the lead.
6:37: THE DAWK-TER IS IN! OH BABY! TREY CITY! Shulman says “you can’t leave him!” almost angrily. A career of sitting next to Dickie V. has clearly made him hate Duke.
6:00: Seth misses a huge one on a nice kick-out by Nolan. He was wide open.
5:57: Tucker misses two big foul shots. This one’s getting closer to over. One big bucket would really put a knife in them.
5:35: Beautiful drive by Nolan. Quick, slashing, scooping lay-in. That’s 12 points. Timeout Maryland.
5:35: Bilas looks like a cadaver. He looks like a man who just learned he lost 32% of his 401k fund.
5:35: God, Dave Neal is such an asshole. They just showed the fucking screen again, and how he pumped his fist while our man lay on the ground. Nolan is getting his revenge tonight, baby.
5:18: Gary Williams has a handwritten letter from John Wooden and he didn’t expect to even get that but SNORRRREEEEEEEE. Wooden's a prig and Williams is a pedophile. End of story. You can thank me later, Bilas.
4:55: Curry with a huge long two, and a great rebound on the other end! Lead back to 12, and now he’s on the line. Big time, baby. I love what I’ve seen from he and Dawk tonight, though I’m surprised they weren’t more involved in the first part of the second half. And shit, he just missed the front end of the 1-and-1.
4:10: Wow, what a finish by Stoeglin. Or someone. I don't care to look that name up. 10 points. 68-58.
3:50: Nolan fouled, he’s to the line. TV timeout. I can almost taste it. Maryland is going down. There’s a sheep driving a car on tv, and Maryland is going to lose.
3:50: Jonny, from the Moody Blues facebook page: “Maryland fans look like the fans from old video games when they couldn't animate the crowd - bitches just standing there stationary like.”
3:42: Nolan hits both, and it’s a 12-point lead. Miss by Maryland, and we’re 1 basket away from over. Stall for Duke…
2:56: AND DIRTY MASON WITH THE SLAM FOLLOW! GAME! THE GAME IS OVER ON A MASON PLUMLEE DRUNK! OF ALL THE STORY LINES, LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, OF ALL THE GREAT SPORTS STORIES IN THE HISTORY OF THIS SWEET, BEAUTIFUL WORLD, MASON PLUMLEE HAS JUST TOPPED THEM ALL! IT IS SILENT IN COLLEGE PARK, AND SOMEWHERE THE CRAZIES ARE ROARING! (pant, pant)
2:40: Mason dominates inside on a block, Duke ball. Victory laps!
2:15: The half-hearted humming from Maryland is great. Nolan drops in another lay-up. He has 19 right now, which is exactly what I picked for the hot potato. Start passing, Nolan, you have nothing to prove. Let’s get the kids involved!
2:01: The Iceland guy is back. Hey, I heard when games are over, this guy goes out on dates...with a seal! A SEAL, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! (takes long, satisfied sip of whiskey on the rocks) But seriously, it's a shame what's happening to these seals. Take a minute and donate, won't you? (applause)
1:23: Nolan dishes to Singler right at the shot clock! 16-point lead. Maryland fading! HEY GUYS GET READY TO CHARGE THE COURT ANYWAY SCREW THESE GUYS WHO SAYS WE CAN’T?
38.2: Oh God they fouled Nolan Smith after an offensive board. Hot Potato probably gone. It’s been that kind of Hot Potato year. But I’ll take it. Nolan nails both, and time is winding down.
38.2: SH&$ F&*% BAL#$ Adding this retroactively when I realized my girlfriend took 21 in the Hot Potato. Right after she shit-talked about leading me. Where's the justice!?
30.0: 78-62 after a Bowie lay-in. Dawkins fouled. Come on, Maryland, lose with class. Oh wait, you’re Maryland.
28.4: Two for Dawk. He’s back in double digits for the first time in a while. Awesome.
GAME: 80-62. Coach K is patting people on the chest. Nolan is smiling. And the cretins are heading for the exit with their tail between their legs. Great game, great rebound win, and screw Maryland for the rest of the season. Time to start gearing up for UNC and Kim Jong-Heel.
Oh, and YESSSSSSSSSSS OH GOD YESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!! VICTORRRRYYYYYYY!!!!