The Rivalry heats up again tonight, with Duke playing at Carolina. Given Carolina’s personnel losses, Duke would seem to have the advantage, but this series never works out that easily. (Anyone else thinking of the 1995 double-overtime thriller which a powerful UNC team barely managed to win against one of the weaker Duke teams in recent memory?)

I’m hoping UNC can keep a guy on J. J. Redick tonight. Given Duke’s recent game plan of “Get him the ball,” that can prove difficult. Ah, Jackie Manuel, why couldn’t you have just one more year of eligibility?

BTW, since I’ve noticed a lot of traffic coming by here for the occasional Jackie Manuel news, I should point out that I haven’t really heard anything for a while. As far as I know, he’s still in the situation of recovering from an injury, and therefore not on the Fayetteville Patriots’ roster.

However, the last couple of games we attended, he attended as well, sitting behind the bench with Damion Grant. So, like seemingly every UNC basketball alumni, he’s probably hanging around Chapel Hill as much as possible. One can only hope he is imparting defensive wisdom to the team.

I’m imagining this scenario: Jackie’s talking to 5’11” Wes Miller about defending J. J. “It’s possible to shut him down. You just need to be quick, tall, and have really long arms…you’re quick.” πŸ˜‰

Who knows, maybe if Wes does get J. J. to defend, Wes’ defensive “stay within two inches at all times” approach will rattle him? Either that, or maybe he’ll look over at Jackie, sitting behind the bench, and just have a bad game through the power of suggestion. πŸ™‚

Update: Darn. Duke 87, Carolina 83. So close. 😐