The weather was beautiful today.  A little windy, but beautiful.

Michael called during the day to say that he’d secured some tickets from Chris Flowers for the Bobcats-Lakers game on Monday.  It’ll be my first NBA game, which is pretty cool.  I’ll have to take about a half day for it, but that’s the nice thing about having an iPhone.  I’m a little limited on being able to do updates, but I can still take calls and check e-mail during that long boring trip to Charlotte.

Let’s see, what else?

Amanda went to the dentist today.  She was afraid she had a cavity, but she didn’t.  Barry (her uncle and dentist) had a dental emergency come up so she was there for a while.

She picked up some Red Baron pizza on the way home.  I put up most of the laundry I cleaned yesterday.

It seems like something else happened today.

Oh, Amanda’s boss, Jennifer Hicks, is no longer with the company.  The reason given was cryptic and nobody knows for sure what the deal is.  Whatever the deal is, I hope it doesn’t cause any huge stress on Jennifer and Matt.  So it wasn’t a great day for her.
I think something else happened today.

Oh yeah, Duke beat Carolina 89-78 at the Dean Dome!

I had the game on my mind all day long.  I slept in my Duke jammy pants last night and had them on for most of the day today.  When I did get dressed I put on my blue Duke shirt and my Duke hat.  I was antsy about the game all day long.  I was counting down the hours.  We watched American Idol in the hour before the game and I couldn’t wait for it to be over.

For anyone who isn’t familiar with the Duke and Carolina rivalry, these games are like the Superbowl to the fans, especially when they’re ranked second (Duke) and third (UNC) in the nation.  Greg Paulus drew first blood with a three in the first few seconds of the game.  He went on to hit six of eight threes.  All of his points tonight came from behind the line.  Carolina ended up with a five point lead before Duke battled back and took the lead with ten and a half minutes left and never looked back.  It was a beautiful thing and it ended without me even realizing it.  Carolina dragged out the end of the game with lots of fouls and did benefit from some last minute Duke mistakes, but in the waning seconds the Tar Heels took several shot attempts but nothing would go in, leaving the score 89-78.  I didn’t even realize the buzzer was sounding when it did.  The win snapped a three game losing streak against the Heels.

There is a lot to talk about with this game.  To understand how big this win was, you’ve got to know that Carolina was the pre-season number one team, and people talked like we should just skip the season and hand UNC the ACC and NCAA titles for the year.  Nobody expected a whole lot out of Duke, or at least not that they’d be 20-1 and 8-0 in conference, sitting on a two-game lead for the ACC regular season title and that their only loss was a one-point overtime loss on a miraculous three.

Six Blue Devils were in double figures.  Lance Thomas stepped up and had a great game.  Kyle Singler had a double-double and didn’t back down from Tyler Hansbrough.  While it was a great team game, Duke didn’t play “lights out” like some people have said.  They’ve certainly played better ball, particularly considering how atrocious the free throw shooting was.  They let Hansbrough get his points but did a good job of defense on everyone else.  Coach K coached the hell out of the team, much better than Ol’ Roy Williams.
Carolina’s point guard, Ty Lawson, was out with an ankle sprain suffered Sunday against Florida State, and while a lot of people think the game would have been different, most people also think Duke still would have won.  It’s not like they’ve looked to impressive in ACC play this season anyway.  Tyler Hansbrough, like I said, had a good game, but he looked a little lost on defense and with all the flops he tried to pull Carolina fans really don’t have any right to call Duke out on it anymore.  Quentin Thomas, the third string point guard, had a decent game but committed a number of turnovers against Duke’s pressure D.  Most of the rest of the team hit very few shots.  Some people credit this to Lawson being out, some people credit it to Duke, and some people say they all just had an off night.
I could go on and on about this game, but I’m tired.  It was an awesome game, even if it did lack any real “big” moment.  It was definitely a statement game for Duke.  Amanda and I were quite pleased with the result.

Zach Dotsey