Art Chansky

Art’s Angle: The Perfect Storm

I drove home Wednesday night before 8 o’clock – clear across town, partly on 15-501 – and there was barely a car on the road. And Duke couldn’t make it over here, somehow-someway, for a 9:10 game? Look, everyone knows TV dictates all in sports these days. That’s why we have the dastardly 9 p.m. starts, which are bad in every way except for primetime ratings. That’s also why the game was not postponed earlier in the day, when it should have been. Now, Duke looks like it dictated a decision that was long overdue. In this case, however, the late start actually made it possible for Duke to get here, if it could have found another bus or mode of transportation. The players could have tweeted, “We need eight all-wheel drive vehicles at 7 o’clock to go to Chapel Hill – drivers get to sit behind the Duke bench.” The gridlock would have been in front of Cameron Indoor Stadium. UNC fans have been tweeting the last two days about 22,000 students being in the building when the Blue Devils arrived, anticipating the night of a lifetime. Screamers surrounding the court on all four sides, making more noise than the Dean Dome has ever heard, sounding like the Cameron Crazies on juice. But Mike Krzyzewski has been behind enemy lines overseas and has lived in UNC-dominated Durham for...

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Art’s Angle: The Pros And The Cons

Roy Williams said this week that his Tar Heels will have to play their best game of the season to defeat Duke Wednesday night in the Smith Center. Realistically, that may not even be good enough. Those who have wanted to know “What’s wrong with Carolina” this season should be measured in their excitement over the team’s five-game winning streak, all against unranked opponents. Basketball is a simple game; usually the team with better players wins. Duke had better players last season and won both games; Duke has better players again this season. The last time Carolina beat the Blue Devils was on March 3, 2012, in Cameron Indoor Stadium by the score of 88-70. If the Heels hadn’t blown a double-digit lead a month earlier, they would have swept the Dukies for the first time since 2009, the year of UNC’s last national championship. In 2012 and in 2009, Carolina had better players than Duke. UNC’s five starters from the 2012 season – Kendall Marshall, Reggie Bullock, Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Tyler Zeller – are in the NBA today, with all but Bullock playing significant roles for their respective teams. Four of the five starters and the sixth man (freshman Ed Davis) from the 2009 roster are also in the NBA. Can you envision any of the current Tar Heels even making an NBA team when they...

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Art’s Angle: Getting It Right

Even while watching the Carolina-State game Saturday and, later, the incredible Duke-Syracuse thriller, I thought about the out-of-control academic scandal here. The Tar Heels recruited a bunch of players who ended up at State, Duke and Syracuse; Roy Williams even said last week that he tried like heck to get the Wolfpack’s T.J. Warren, who leads the ACC in scoring. All the schools recruit some of the same athletes in all sports and offer them scholarships. If we sign a trainload of dummies every year, how did all of those kids wind up at their current schools? Granted, State did not play as smart as the Tar Heels, Blue Devils and Orange on Saturday. But to gain eligibility for a scholarship, every athletic applicant must be vetted by something called the NCAA Clearing House. The NCAA has a pretty low base for admissions; some schools use it, while others have higher entrance requirements. And, yes, each school takes a small percentage of “special admits.” Maybe we haven’t maximized their academic experience (which school does?), but they still got admitted by someone’s standards. Mary Willingham is right in one thing she says: we owe a relatively few athletes who don’t or can’t find it for themselves a better learning experience by “steering” them to or creating courses that truly fit their educational needs. Test and evaluate all the jocks when...

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Art’s Angle: 56 And Counting

The way I see it, Clemson is lucky to be only 0-56 in men’s basketball games played in Chapel Hill. After all, they began playing back in 1926, which is 88 freakin’ years ago. So shouldn’t the Heels be something like 88 and zip against the Tigers? There are reasons for the missing 32 years. After the first game, a 50-20 flogging by the Tar Heels in the old Tin Can, the teams took eight years off (presumably so Clemson could find some students who could actually play basketball). They resumed in 1934, skipped 1937 and did not play...

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Art’s Angle: Your New ACC

Technically, at least until Monday night’s difficult game at Virginia, the Tar Heels are no longer the worst team in the ACC — the dubious distinction they held until notching their first conference win over Boston College Saturday. Before the hard fought 82-71 victory over the Eagles from Chestnut Hill, Carolina was the only winless team in the ACC, which means they were in 15th place in the expanded league. Now the Heels have escaped the cellar for the top ten (10th place, actually). And they looked like they might climb higher before the trip to Virginia. With a...

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Chansky: The Fed-Up Factor

Frankly, who could blame Roy Williams if he got so fed up that he quit after the season? Fans who are quick to criticize Ol’ Roy and those inside the university who have made his job harder and his life miserable ought to think about that. Where would UNC be if another casualty of the three-year scandal was losing its Hall of Fame coach who is as sensitive as he is hard-nosed? He has enough problems with a 10-6 basketball team whose talent level is lower than in any other of his previous 10 seasons at Carolina, with no...

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Art’s Angle: A Sweet Song

CHARLOTTE — Larry Fedora raised the Belk Bowl trophy and moments later grabbed the microphone to thank the Tar Heel fans for their support. “And next year will be even better!” Fedora promised. Indeed, unless someone steals Fedora with an offer he can’t refuse, the future of Carolina football burns bright. In posting the school’s sixth straight winning record, the Tar Heels completed their late season surge to reach a mid-level bowl and avoided the dreadful 6-7 finish of .500 teams that sneak into a bowl game and then lose it. The convincing 39-17 victory over a Cincinnati squad...

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Chansky: A New Direction?

Perhaps 2014 will mark a turning point for Carolina Athletics, which has been in almost constant turmoil since the summer of 2010 and caused immeasurable damage to the University’s reputation. Aside from the football program serving out the balance of a three-year NCAA probation, there appears to be no more reason for the governing body of college sports to be back on campus. Let it stay that way. It must be said, up front, that about 98 percent of the more than 750 scholarship athletes at Carolina have continued to embrace the oft-maligned label of student-athlete. Most varsity Tar...

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Art’s Angle: A Day To Remember

Kentucky was taller and more talented. Carolina was tougher. That about sums up how the Tar Heels outlasted the Wildcats in one of the greatest games (if not the prettiest) in Smith Center history. In its 29th season on campus, the old girl was never louder, never better looking and never happier when the horn sounded on UNC’s 82-77 victory over the 10th-ranked ‘Cats, as Carolina became the first basketball team this season to take down three top-ten opponents. First off, most every seat was filled long before tip-off, a tribute to the marquee match-up, the convenient 5:15 starting time and all the hype about the 36th renewal of the early December rivalry that took a year off in 2012. And when patrons arrived, they found white Carolina t-shirts draped over the back of every chair, a planned “white-out” compliments of UNC supplier Nike. A few people refused to put them over whatever they were wearing, and video cameras catching those culprits shamed them into joining the crowd. It was one of many cool and colorful promotions in a building whose atmosphere has been completely made over the last two years – from the booming voice of PA announcer Tony Gillam, to an electronic ribbon board all around the fascia of the upper deck to enhanced graphics and features by Ken Cleary and his UNC New Media staff. Between...

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