So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will win a hundred times in a hundred battles—The Art of War by Sun Tzu as read by Joe Mantegna (yes, that Joe Mantegna, seriously)
Pain has an element of blank;
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there were
A day when it was not.
It has no future but itself,
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.
-Emily Dickinson or John Daly–I’m not really sure
The above is how we choose to begin the first “official” KYE for basketball season. Why? Because we must first lament the Tennessee game properly and this was the most appropriate thing I could find (Blink 182’s “Adam’s Song” was a close second) as it seems to sum up The Streak pretty well, albeit in a bit of an existential way. If I had penned a few lines following the UT game, it would have been very similar to this except with more profanity and more frequent use of the word “tubular”. The football season is now over and, despite the heart-wrenching final loss to the Vols, we must look back on the year with much happiness. Think back to the beginning of the year to when you first got a look at the Football Cats’ schedule. Seeing 7 or so ranked teams meant that the Cats would have to win every game they were supposed to, plus take down a couple of the nation’s best just to get back to the same record they had last year. My original prediction for this year was a 6-6 mark, so I am very pleased with the end result and look forward to whatever bowl match up UK has even if it’s against Methuselah Bowden in the Music City Bowl.
Having said all that, we now train our steely focus on the basketball squadron. Thus far, the team has been shall we say… “less than stellar”, and I accept full responsibility. For you see, I have only had enough in me to do one Know Your Enemy per week and I really felt that I owed it to the football team (we may be a basketball state, but this was an incredibly fun football season) to continue prepping them and you for our gridiron opponent. The only KYE the B-Ball team has received thus far has been for the Seattle University exhibition game, which the Cats won. Coincidence? Certainly not. Therefore, our first KYE for the regular season (does that mean there’s a “constipated season”, too?) comes at a great time as the Billy Gellespee (there’s no “I” in Team or Gellespee) Epoch begins in earnest against the Tar Hooligans this Saturday. No one is predicting a Kentucky victory right now, but let me just say that you haven’t yet seen the combination of Billy’s coaching IQ (210) combined with a Know Your Enemy Scouting Report. The results will speak for themselves. Now, let’s play the Feud!…
Interestingly enough, Chapel Hill, North Carolina was founded a full 25 years after the University of North Carolina as a municipality to serve the University. At one time there was indeed a chapel on a hill in the center of town and this, presumably, is how it got its name–that or it was given a ridiculous name by David Arquette and Courtney Cox. UNC is the oldest state-sponsored university in the US and A which means it likes to sleep a lot and also reminisce about how eggs used to cost a nickel.
For a moment I actually was quite impressed with UNC for hosting such illustrious alums as Peter Gammons, Shelby Foote, Marty Brennamen, and Lewis Black, but one name on the list quickly brought me back to reality and reminded me of yet another reason to hate the Tarhells: Stuart Scott. You know Ol’ Stewie as the Sportscenter anchor that is more annoying that a Fran Drescher-Andy Dick Christmas Musical. Stu burst onto the scene a few years back and tried to create a niche for himself by constantly using street slang to pepper his commentating. ESPN was sure Stu had struck a nerve with the nation’s youth and proceeded to encourage him to continue with his ridiculousness. The result has not been pretty as Stu frequently comes off as having about as much street cred as Truman Capote when he screams “Boo-Yah!” or makes allusions to breaking off a little something something in some capacity. That’s all well and good, Stu, but it’s difficult to view you as being “hard” when it turns out you once starred in an off-Broadway version of “West Side Story” and you have hosted anything involving David Blaine. Just remember folks, UNC produced him, so let’s encourage Ramel to play Sharks to Stu’s Jet.
Cheerleader Scouting Report
Folks, I’m sick of this. Someone needs to go all Title IX over any program that cannot even produce an up-to-date team picture of the cheerleader or dance teams. OK, North Carolina, have it your way. I was able to do a quick search and I will put up the one picture of a UNC cheerleader that I found. I will now ask the loyal readership to just assume that all North Carolina cheerleaders look like this. There, North Carolina, you satisfied?
2nd most wins in NCAA history. 16 Final Fours. Michael Jordan, James Worthy, Eric Montross(?). These all come secondary to the claims North Carolina makes regarding National Championships. The current count that the Tarheels claim is 61 including a recent addition whereby “someone” researched the 1971 Leslie County Elementary School B-Team tournament and “discovered” that North Carolina, in fact, won that. Reality is that North Carolina has won the NCAA tournament 4 times: 1957, 1982, 1993, and 2005. Former coach Dean Smith is referred to as “Michaelangelo” by Dick Vitale and he would be dead on if Michaelangelo had repeatedly underachieved in his artwork despite generally having superior talent to his contemporaries. For you see, despite winning all those games, Dean-O only won 2 Natty Champ-ships. Our homey, A. Rupp managed a twice as many. In reality, North Carolina is one of the elite programs from a historical basis and their success has spanned more than one head coach. For this they are to be commended and should not feel bad about playing 2nd fiddle to the Cats in terms of success.
Penelope, from Saturday Night Live–you make the correlation.
We certainly have to go with our boy T. Hansbrough here. Tyler exploded onto the college basketball scene two years ago with an impressive rookie season as he led an underwhelming UNC team in both points and rebounds. He decided not to have a sophomore slump and again turned in a great year. However, no matter what he does with the remainder of his career, he will always been remembered as the bloody-faced Tarheel that was beat down by a Dukie. A Dukie? Really? And you let him get away with it? Heaven forbid someone more intimidating, like Jessica Tandy, should raise their hand against you. No, Crazy T will excel in the ACC for another couple of years before being picked in the early 2nd round of the NBA Draft and then sitting the bench for the Golden State Warriors for a couple of seasons. He will then retire back to his hometown of Poplar Bluff, Missouri (also home of Charlene from Designing Women) and will sell insurance. Enjoy these years, Tyler, because that “constantly perplexed” look won’t go over too well in the business world.
So far Patrick Patterson has been pretty good…for a freshman…with superpowers! See what I did there? You thought I was going one way, then, BOOM, I go in another direction. I’m crafty like that. Anyway, I love this Patterson-Hansbrough match up. Lest we forget, it was but a year ago when now-Knick Randolph Morris out-played Ty-lah in front of a national audience. This year should be no different. Expect Patrick to truly step up his game and dominate Hansbrough et. al with a 43 point, 34 rebound performance. At halftime, Patterson proceeds to anesthetize both Meeks and Jasper and use his brilliance to surgically repair both and have then ready for the second half. Meeks chips in with 14 points while Jasper dishes out 9 dimes. In an effort to again infuriate the fanbase over nothing at all, Gillispie will don a carolina blue tie and UNC logo belt buckle and make out with Bill Guthridge after the game. All in all, Cats come away with an easy victory, upending the number 2 ranked team in the land, 161-8.
Some are taking the approach that this is going to be a long season, so we should just hunker down and get through it. Others are taking the approach that Billy Gillispie is not the right man for the job after 5 games. I choose to take a little more optimistic approach and proclaim that the Cats will win the NCAA Tournament in grand fashion this year defeating everyone by 25+ points and even traveling back in time to defeat the 1982 Tarheels and the 1992 Blue Devils. Perhaps we all should agree to meet somewhere in the middle and just enjoy this year. The Heels will passively come to Rupp for their slaughter, and the hope is that there will be 24K + awaiting them with such derogatory statements as “Tyler Hansbrough’s credit rating is suspect at best!” and “Bobby Frasor often eschews his studies in favor of video games”. A couple of these and the Tarheels will be completely off their game, which will, of course, lead to the easy Wildcat victory. Go Cats!