On the Eight Day of Gheorghe-mas, Big Gheorghe gave to me, eight Wren-based Nuggets...
A Seven Point Loss;
Six games worth watching (and picking);
Five Combined Wins;
Four Compliments For T.J.;
Three French Hens;
Two Dope-ass Rhymes (and a whole mess of sub-par ones as well);
And a Doofus Dancing (Amidst a Really Long and Grumpy Analysis of the New Kanye West Album).
Tonight at 7:00, your William & Mary Wrens (4-6, 0-1 CAA) visit the University of North Carolina (7-4) seeking to bounce back from a disappointing 71-62 loss to Liberty. (1) The contest will be televised on ESPN2, marking the first time in history that a Tribe regular season game is broadcast on the Deuce. It is not UNC's first rodeo. (Note: as I was writing this, the broadcast was moved to ESPNU so ESPN2 can show the UCONN women's game. That sounds like about the right level of respect for the Tribe.)
(2) W&M is 3-18 all-time against the Tar Heels, 0-10 in Chapel Hill, but (3) exactly 33 years and two weeks ago today, W&M dropped the then-#2 Heels, 78-75, in Blow Gym (that was a basketball facility, guttersnipes). Coincidentally, (4) it was the first meeting between the two schools following Tribe head coach Tony Shaver's 1976 graduation from UNC. Harbinger? I hardly know her.
While both schools have strong academic reputations, only at W&M would you see the Sports Information Department boast (5) the following statistic: over the past five years, the Wrens have a .658 winning percentage (25-13) in games played between the end of the fall final exam period and the beginning of the spring semester.
UNC freshman Harrison Barnes was a pre-season All-America. (6) As near as I can tell, all of William & Mary's players are American citizens, assuming we still claim Ohio. Tyler Zeller and Barnes are both on the pre-season Naismith National Player of the Year watch list. (7) Most of the Wrens watch YouTube videos of Muppets rapping.
After tonight, only a 12/29 guestie at Longwood stands between the Tribe and the remainder of the CAA schedule. And if early returns are any indication, the game against Carolina will serve as a bit of a breather before conference battles begin; (8) the CAA is 3-3 against the ACC (though one of those was against Wake Forest), 7-5 against the Atlantic 10, and has two wins against the Big East and one against the Pac-10. Overall, the conference is 62-36 against non-conference foes.
The Tribe comes into tonight's game a tidy 266th in Ken Pomeroy's rankings to North Carolina's 25th-place standing. Anyone else smelling a Red Line Upset?