GREENSBORO, N.C. -- For the past two days, Frank Haith's basketball team has been the feel good story of the ACC Tournament. The 12th-seeded Hurricanes have beaten two NCAA Tournament-bound teams with Dwayne Collins, their leading scorer and rebounder, relegated to cheerleading duties.
Nobody really expected them to pound Wake Forest by 21 points or come back from a 10-point first half deficit to knock off Seth Greenberg's Virginia Tech Hokies. But a win today against top-seeded Duke? If it happens, the collection of North Carolina basketball writers on press row could all suffer the same spastic facial reaction as the victims in 2002 cult classic The Ring.
Basically, the Canes have a chance to pull off the ultimate ACC Tournament upset versus Duke this afternoon. Only once has a 12th seeded team made it this far in the tournament to take on the top-seed. In 2006, Wake Forest played valiantly against top-seeded Duke before falling 76-66. What the Canes are doing in this tournament by just making the semifinals is rare. According to ESPN, only 28 teams out of the 482 seeded 10th or worse have made a major-conference tournament semifinal since 1994.
So how do the Canes pull off an upset for the ages? Cross their fingers and hope their zone defense doesn't get lit up by the three-point monsters wearing blue and white. And, play their butts off like they have the last two nights.
UM (20-12) Yr. Size Stats
G Durand Scott Fr. 6-3, 195 18.9 ppg, 3.5 apg
G James Dews Sr. 6-4, 213 11.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg
F DeQuan Jones So. 6-6, 219 5.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg
F Julian Gamble R-So. 6-9, 255 3.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg
C Reggie Johnson R-Fr. 6-10, 295 6.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg
Duke (27-5) Yr. Size Stats
G Jon Scheyer Sr. 6-5, 190 18.9 ppg, 3.5 apg
G Noaln Smith Jr. 6-2, 185 17.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg
F Kyle Singler Jr. 6-8, 230 17.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg
F Lance Thomas Sr. 6-8, 225 5.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg
C Brian Zoubek Sr. 7-1, 260 5.4 ppg, 7.3 rpg
> The game will be televised on ESPN. If you aren't watching, you can follow along with my Twitter updates.