-Both teams are very strong on defense.
-It would be good if Kyle Singler shot well and Harrison Barnes didn't.
-If UNC hits their threes in general, things could get hard.
-We need a second scorer.
-Zeller and Henson will need to be contained some way, somehow.
-We'll need to make it rain.
Today we are the foot soldiers of the blue revolution. Today we are the vanguard of the People's Army of the Duke Republic. We have come down from the mountains, our exile ended, and we are marching on the tyrant's palace. We will fight past their Praetorian Guard, surge through the vicious mercenaries, and bring thunder down on the palace door. They will tremble inside the walls, knowing the hour.
Today, Carolina is on the wrong side of history.
They won't volunteer to relinquish the reins of power. It must be wrenched from their oily grasp. But we have taken their measure, and we have found them wanting. We've felt the genteel insinuations, the assertion of lineage and tradition. We've watched while they mock N.C. State's commonness on one hand and then assert their own nobler version while shrinking from our northern aggression. The quiet arrogance; the silent admonishments; the clubby brotherhood. They would make us outsiders.
And yet we have news for the Powders: you are in an old, decaying world. The ACC stretches from the brutal Irish in Boston to the beautiful Cubanos in Miami. It encompasses the foggy mountains of Blacksburg and the searing streets of Atlanta. It includes the warlike Terrapins and the gentle Deacons, the blustering Tigers and the proud Seminoles.
Belief in the old order has vanished. Your imagined aristocracy is not viable. The foundations are crumbling.
Which is why today- in that bland cavernous money-grab you call a basketball arena, amidst the wine-and-cheese Ram's Club set deigning to clap their papery, callous-free hands while the students raise their feckless voices somewhere in the deep and distant rafters- the Moody Blues are going to invade your house.
While blond women in light blue sweaters and pearl necklaces lean into their husbands and ask why certain shots count more than others, we will clamor for Nolan Smith. While freshmen in invisible witty t-shirts squint their eyes from Phase 5, we will empty our throats for Kyle Singler. While bored cheerleaders point to one side of the stadium and then the other, invoking the most boring cheer in sports, we will rise for Mason Plumlee. While the Powder people and their Powder children cheer for the white people and Michael Jordan in the video montage, we will incite greatness in Seth Curry.
We want wars of attrition. We want Pyrrhic victories. We want scorched earth and marches to the sea. This is a confluence of rage and duty. This is America recognizing itself. This is the closed fist of the people hammering the edifice of privilege. This is the mob at the Bastille. This is the crumbling wall in Berlin. This is earthly deliverance. This is a declaration.
We will not shrink from battle. The plains of Durham are thick with Moody Blues, and in hours the westward march begins. The glory builds. With each step, we approach the faltering enemy. We converge on the Dome, that bloated monstrosity fit for car shows and circus acts. Though they press into the confines, seeking safety in numbers, by and by we stand unified in close proximity as they quake on quivering Heels. Our numbers are too many for Roy Williams to evict.
And when you look into our eyes, Carolina- and you will be compelled, make no mistake- you will see the conflagration. You will see the smoke and the molten rage. You will see our thriving soul aglow with the imminent victory.
But we won't see yours; we will see only blue flames. We will be struck mad and frenzied by the vision, by flickering tongues of fire destined to consume the emptiness at your center.
In days past, in the roaring epicenter of a real stadium 10 miles distant, the Crazies have unleashed a war cry: "Go to hell, Carolina."
Tonight, there's no need for that. We're bringing hell to you.