Please don't miss this morning's ACC Preview. You can read the aborted live blog below.
12:41: Holy shit, guys, this is way too complicated. I can't even watch the game effectively while trying to update the blog. Twitter seems to the better solution. I'm heading that way, check it out: @SCurrySavesDuke.
I leave you with this thought: UVA cheerleaders look exactly like you'd expect UVA cheerleaders to look.
12:34: Eighteen of Miami's 22 points have come from 3. Nine of Virginia's 23 have come from downtown. That's 27 of 45 points all totaled, which tells you all you need to know about this game. Believe me, I'm not complaining. First round ACC games when no NCAA berth is at stake should be like 3rd place matches in a World Cup; just let it all hang out, play for the fans.
ACC FAN FACT:
Since the advent of the unbalanced schedule in 2005, the ACC Tournament produced 18 games in which one team had beaten the other twice during the regular season. Thirteen of those meetings (72.2 percent) resulted in the same squad winning the third game too.
12:28: Jontel Evans and Farrakhan aare just doing all kinds of damage for UVA right now, who lead 17-14 with 9:25 left. Note: from now on, I'll be time stamping by game time remaining instead of by clock time.
Miami's 36th-ranked offense, though, has not come out hot. Only 14 points in the first 10, and they seem stifled down low by Sene and Mitchell. Just as I say that, Rion Brown hits an absolute bomb for Miami. Tie game.
12:23: Like I said, Cavalier fans are more numerous, but it feels like the Miami fans are more...dangerous. There's a guy behind me who keeps yelling "It's all about the U!" in a way that feels frightening. He's a white dude with not much hair and a hoop earring.
12:19: Forget the media access; being this close to a game is awesome. This is why everybody needs to be rich. But especially me. Farrakhan just had a gorgeous coast-to-coast drive where he finished by contorting (or maybe 'slithering') his body around two larger men and putting in a finger roll. Fast, fun game so far. 8-8 after Durand Scott evened it up with a 3.
12:14: "Little" Sammy Zeglinski is fun as hell to watch for UVA. He's started off well with 4 points and a blocked shot. Meanwhile, Reggie Johnson had one of the most disheartening stuffs ever; Assane Sene went up pretty hard for a dunk, and Johnson just sort of put his body into Sene, lifted his hands, and collected the ball. Way more badass than swatting a ball out of bounds.
The Miami cheerleaders are on the floor. They're all smiles. Why are cheerleaders so happy? What's their secret??
12:06: Starting lineups. Reggie Johnson is a large human being by most standards. There are way more Cavalier fans in attendance. From watching the warmups, UVA looks a little sleepy. I'm not expecting a fast start from them, but keep in mind I'm almost always wrong about these things. Also, who knew that Malcolm Grant was from Brooklyn?
ACC FAN FACT!
Miami has played in the first round seven consecutive times -- every year it's been in the league.
BECAUSE THAT'S HURRICANE PRIDE, BITCHES! WE AIN'T NEVER MISSED ROUND 1! GET USED TO THIS FACE, BECAUSE WE'LL BE HERE EVERY DAMN YEAR!
Oh, oh wait...
Reggie Johnson just swatted the tip-off out of bounds. Hard.
11:57: Five minutes until game time! I was about to make fun of the Miami band for warming up by playing like 8 minutes of what sounded like a funeral dirge. For a while it sounded like every instrument was a sad french horn. But then they just played a super rousing version of "The Impression That I Get" by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. It was pretty badass.
Meanwhile, I'm thrilled to report that someone named "Esmeralda Cienfuegos" is now following me on twitter. I never thought I'd get to associate with someone with a name like that, even online.
The Miami duck mascot (or whatever the hell it is) is here getting the band pumped up. His main move is twisting the top and bottom of his beak in opposite directions.
So many good seats still available.
11:31: AND HERE WE GO! I've got my media guides, my stat sheets, a "Fans Guide" provided by the ACC, and a spot about even with the baseline, three rows up. It is ACC Tourney Time. The media area is pretty huge here in the Greensboro Coliseum. There's a big room with a lot of white tables, a dining area with buffet food (TOTALLY FREE YOU GUYS!), and a lobby type area with ice cream and popcorn. This is why sports writers are hugely fat.
To get there, you walk through a long corridor with all the team locker rooms and the coach's lounge. That's where I spoke with Brownell and Donahue yesterday.* We got into a locker room, too, and they're super nice. There's also a "Player's Video Arcade" room separated from the public by a blue curtain. As far as I can tell, it has like three of those sit-down driving games. I have yet to see a player make use of this room.
*Warning: this whole thing might involve a lot of obnoxious name-dropping. Please understand that I'm doing it because I'll probably never have this kind of access again.
Time for an ACC FAN FACT!
Wake Forest, take heart. Last year's No. 12 seed, Miami, won two games and reached the tournament semifinals. The Hurricanes were the third bottom seed to win a pair of games in the same ACC Tournament, after Virginia in 1977 and Wake Forest in 2006. The '77 Cavaliers reached the final in a seven-team league; the '06 Deacons got to the semifinals.
In a somewhat cruel twist, the next Fan Fact is this: "Seriously, though, Wake Forest is totally fucked."