- Blue Devil fans probably are even more eager to hear how bad stud PG Kyrie Irving’s toe injury is now that they watched their team slog through a half of basketball quasi-ineptly without him (see Bart’s game recap below), and the news seems progressively unpromising. Fox Sports’ Jeff Goodman initially reported Irving could miss three to four weeks, but Wednesday night Coach K said Irving “could be out a long time” (or even the rest of the season), and as Bart mentioned below, Irving’s tweets today didn’t sound upbeat. I’m not trying to pull a reverse jinx or sound glib, because I genuinely mean this: I hope Irving is ok. It sucks to have your lightning-in-a-bottle PG hampered by something as quizzical as a toe injury. Trust us, we know. Nobody (or at least most reasonable people) wants to see a brilliant talent like Irving go down for the year, even if he plays for your arch-rival. Here’s hoping he just sits a few weeks and comes back… to lose to UNC twice and get knocked out of the NCAA tournament a few rounds too early. (What?? I can’t wish the kid ALL well, he does still go to Duke after all).
- Meanwhile, looking ahead to future years, looks like Duke will be part of a pretty incredible foursome that are coming together in mid-November to kick off the college basketball season over the next 3 years in the fashion that it truly deserves: with some of the biggest teams in the game going head-to-head right off the bat. The Devils will go round robin with Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State through 2013 in a kick-off event that’s being dubbed the Champions Classic:
Michigan State will play Duke and Kansas will play Kentucky at Madison Square Garden next season. Michigan State will play Kansas and Duke will play Kentucky at the Georgia Dome in 2012. And Michigan State will play Kentucky and Duke will play Kansas at the United Center in Chicago in 2013.
That’s just awesome news for not just Duke fans, but fans of college basketball in general, who will finally get some tasty “opening day” matchups the sport has always lacked.
- Yahoo’s Charles Robinson reports that UNC probably should be (or already is) expecting a letter of inquiry from the NCAA any day now, meaning MORE investigations could be forthcoming, followed by, naturally, some possibly heavy sanctions for Carolina Football. (Cue Dick Baddour on the phone: “Really? No, no we didn’t get that piece of mail. Yeah, that IS weird. I guess it must have gotten lost in the mail, you know how these things go, especially around the holidays.)
- Meanwhile, in another part of the UNC football saga, The NFL Players’ Association handed down a nine-month suspension Friday to agent Gary Wichard, whose agency has been directly linked to the Carolina investigation via Marvin Austin and John Blake. But goodness me, who will possibly want to represent Marvin Austin now?? (Besides everyone, since he will be a very rich young man soon)
- Carolina March notes that Texas has fired OC Greg Davis, beginning what he’s dubbing their “purge of UNC influence.” Some smart comparisons made in the piece to Mack Brown this year and Roy Williams last year, both of whom are known more as recruiters than in-game coaches, and that reputation only grew stronger for both when their traditional coaching methods failed to right the ship in pretty awful seasons for both programs.
- Harrison Barnes had a sit-down with Yahoo sports, where Tar Heel Fan noted that he seems to be aware of what his issues are and how to correct them. Next step: actually doing it.
- Most of you are already aware, but it’s UNC to the Music City bowl vs. Tennessee. Sorry, I’m a bit behind with thinks links, and on everything.
- The Dagger’s Jeff Eisenberg with some smart observations (on both sides) after UNC’s win over Kentucky last week.
Finally, just a little apology for my absence over the past few weeks here on Blue vs. Blue. Things are returning to normal, and we have a few exciting announcements coming up, so thanks for bearing with us. Stay tuned!