Maui Invitational – We Couldn’t Have Been More Wrong Part I
In an astonishing turn of events, your humble bloggers got some predictions wrong in our Maui Invitation preview. Actually, we got them ALL wrong. Let’s take a look at those miscalculations after the tourney’s first day.
We suspected that this Mississippi State team would be down after losing Arnett Moultrie and Rodney Hood — not necessarily after losing Renardo Sidney.
What we didn’t realize is just how TERRIBLE they would be. Without the injured Jalen Steele and suspended Colin Borchert, the Bulldogs didn’t put up much of a fight. They finally broke into double digit points with about eight minutes left in the first half against UNC, who shot lights out.
Which brings us to another misguided thought, which was that we predicted UNC would feed McAdoo in the post and dominate the game that way. Nope. Instead the Heels, who were shooting 32 percent as a team from beyond the arc before the game, went 15-32 from three, and piled up 95 points. Leslie McDonald….ahem….LESLIE MCDONALD scored 21 to lead the team while McAdoo added 10 and 4. We mentioned on Episode 3 of the podcast that there seems to be a deliberate shift toward shooting more 3-pointers this season, and this game certainly continued the trend.
Desmond Hubert also showed us why he’s been getting the nod in the starting five. While he didn’t show up big in the box score, he was extremely active around the rim altering shots and getting a few blocks. He also had a really nice put-back dunk in the early going that was huge for UNC’s momentum. UNC didn’t shoot well from the charity stripe yet again, but only went to the line 9 times.
And leading the team with blocks? P.J. Hairston. We’ll say we called that one.
Our Marquette pick was off by one playground heave at the buzzer as Rotnei Clark hit a last-second three to knock off the Golden Eagles. WHERE WAS ROTNEI IN 2010?
UNC will now play Butler tonight for its second Bulldog fight of the Invitational. Butler takes care of the ball (7 TOs) and Khyle Marshall looks legit after going 11-15 against Marquette. This team won’t make near as many mistakes as MSU did so it will be a much different ballgame. Heels fans shouldn’t expect another 95-point demolishing.
In one final insult to our well-meaning predictions, Texas was blown out by Division II Chaminade. Yes, a 13-point loss to host Chaminade, who apparently doesn’t even have a logo.
Not having Myck Kabongo certainly played a role, but did anyone really see this coming? DeAndre Haskins scored 32 for the Silverswords and seems just like the kind of player that would hang 40 on the Heels. We’re picking against them again tonight just to prevent that.
We didn’t even bother picking the Illinois-USC game, but it appears Brandon Paul can still ball a bit. He scored 26 last night, and the Illini look to have the fast track to the finals on Wednesday.
Picks for tonight
UNC 72, Butler 66
Illinois 80, Chaminade 54
Let’s hope our track record improves.