Chansky’s Notebook: Game Bigger for State or Carolina?

Is tonight’s game bigger for State or Carolina?

When the Tar Heels visit PNC Arena to take on NC State at 8 PM, the game is almost a must-win for them, especially after losing to Duke last week. Nothing can make up for that gut-punch, not even winning at Cameron on March 5, but losing to the lowly Wolfpack would severely damage Carolina’s chances of holding on to first place and winning the ACC regular season.

The Heels go to third-ranked Virginia Saturday night, and many people already have that one down as an “L” after having lost their two visits to ranked ACC teams, Louisville and Notre Dame, a couple of weeks ago. At the very least, they are trying to finish in the top four and capture a double-bye to Thursday in the ACC Tournament, which will position them to earn a high NCAA seed that could lead back to Raleigh for the first two rounds of the Big Dance.

State has a better club than its 4-10 and 14-13 records indicate, and the Pack will need a serious late-season run to reach the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight year. Their guards are very dangerous with Cat Barber, the ACC’s leading scorer, and sharp-shooting freshman Maverick Rowan. But the game will likely be decided in the paint, where State’s Abu and Anya are bigger and stronger, if not better, than any of Carolina’s three bigs.

State has already lost to Duke twice and Carolina and Wake Forest once each, so a win over the Tar Heels will allow Mark Gottfried to spin things his way during the offseason. He gets injured forward Terry Henderson back in 2017 and has a couple of big-time recruits coming in to bridge the gap this summer.

Of course, the hatred for Carolina runs so deep that a loss will be devastating. State wants so little to do with the light blue that its official profile on 6-5 forward Torin Dorn, Jr., who is sitting out after transferring from UNC-Charlotte, says his father was in the NFL for seven seasons without mentioning, by the way, that he played collegiately for UNC. Don’t expect Dorn’s profile next year to include that his younger brother, 3-star safety Myles Dorn, is a freshman on the Tar Heel football team. It’s a pity they are so petty, which makes tonight’s game bigger than life for them.

The Tar Heels have no choice but to match that emotion, if they want to win.

What Will They Talk About?

By E.B. Phillips:

As our pal Bob ‘Palindrome’ Lee chews his cud over at the Cow College hoping the mush in his craw might actually become something other than the fertilizer he’s dropped so far, anxiety mounts among the Canine Crowd that the unbiased and thorough investigation they howled for might just send their dreams packing. Poor things. Still clinging to the 80’s when the blind pig found an acorn, what in the world will they talk about?

Here are some suggestions to get them off their haunches:

The 2015 U.S. News & World Report Top Universities issue might offer a good topic. They can scroll down past Carolina’s Top Five ranking in Top Public Schools to find their beloved moo-niversity tied for 43rd with FSU (Felony State University).

Forbes magazine’s 2015 look at the Top Colleges offers another choice, if they don’t tire of searching for NC State at #180, right behind Juniata College and just ahead of Calvin College.

Kiplinger’s 2015 Best College Values rankings will provide Our Pal Lee (aka The Red Whine) a bumper sticker for his red Dodge Dart: “NCSU. We’re Number 12!” Alas, poor B-O-B. Carolina has been ranked #1 every year since 1998.

But, “Oh,” says The Red Whine. “This is about athletics!” If Our Pal Lee will remove his rosacea-colored glasses from his rump roast, he need research no further than the Capital One Cup that “recognizes the best in college sports” nationally. In 2011, when UNC ranked 11th in the nation, NCSU didn’t make the top 75-Team cut-off. In 2012, Carolina ranked 5th. State?  Another no show. 2013 saw The Woofs achieve their highest ranking ever (44th) while the Tar Heels dropped to 9th. 2014 saw another no-show for State. While the 2015 Cup standings saw Carolina drop to 26th – their lowest ranking since the inaugural award – the Wolfslack finally made the field, but only after the rankings expanded to 85 teams, where The Slack tied for 84th with Miami (Ohio) and New Mexico.

Perhaps a review of the 2015 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings will provide Ol’ Whine with some relief? Well, unsnap those overalls, Bob, and breathe. While North Carolina ranked in the Top Five (along with Stanford, UCLA, Michigan and UCLA), the sports-challenged Slack didn’t make the field.

Another topic for The Red Whine faithful might be Cheated. But they had better hurry. Mary and Jay are sure to wrap-up their book signing at Wolfpack Outfitters for the twenty-three Woofers who actually purchase one, proving again that no one really cares to listen very long to howling at the moon. Poor things. Where in the world will they find work after this?

Of course, Wolfslack Nation will howl about academic integrity and student academic performance, but why shouldn’t they? They have some experience in that area. Led by Jim ‘They Gave Me A Lifetime Contract And Then They Declared Me Dead’ Valvano, the academic standards at State became the talk of the athletic community nationwide.

While a Wolfslack student athlete and under oath at his felony trial, Chris ‘Lifetime NBA Ban’ Washburn testified about those stringent standards when questioned about his SAT scores, which were below 500 (out of 1600, with 400 being the starting score).

“The coaches over there told me, ‘You already signed, you’re already in school, you just have to take the test just to get into college,’” Washburn said. When they told me it didn’t matter what score I was getting, I went in for about 22 minutes. I just marked down [answers] … mark, mark, mark.”

Rounding out Chris ‘Marky Mark’ Washburn’s funky bunch at State was another scholar, Charles ‘I Am Amphibious’ Shackleford.  The Webbed Wonder’s path toward a career in biology was cut short when he was inexplicably suspended in the fall of 1986 because of poor grades, being reinstated for the spring semester after an appeal and a contractual agreement to attend all classes, following the ‘unusual involvement’ of chancellor Bruce ‘The Ruse’ Poulton.

Former head of the NC State physical education department Richard Lauffer described Shackleford as a poor student, without “any interest in trying to get an education” and who “should never have been in school”.

None other than University of North Carolina System President C.D. Spangler went on record stating “academic processes & standards of NCSU have been misused a number of times to benefit basketball players,” while the NCAA stated that NCSU “academic improprieties ranged from attempts at grade changes to players not attending classes.”

When reminded of this example of their stellar academic commitment, Wolfslack Nation ties a leash around it by saying, “the only thing they charged N.C. State with was our players gave shoes and tickets. We took responsibility for our actions.” Well, e-i-e-i-Oh!  They weren’t in it for academic reasons. They were in it for the money. Shazam! Guess you got us there.

Clemson Tabbed to Win ACC

UNC has been picked to finish fifth in the always up-in-the-air Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference at the Football Kickoff at Pinehurst Resort.

The voting media members selected the Clemson Tigers as the favorites to claim the conference championship.

Clemson was picked to finish above three-time defending champion Florida State in the Atlantic Division ahead of Louisville, NC State, Boston College, Syracuse, and Wake Forest.

In the Coastal Division, the media members tabbed Georgia Tech as the favorites followed, in order, by Virginia Tech, Miami, Duke, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, and Virginia.

Clemson Quarterback Deshawn Watson was voted the ACC Preseason Player of the Year. Tar Heel Quarterback Marquise Williams finished in a tie for third in player of the year voting.

The media preview wraps up Tuesday in Pinehurst.

Chansky’s Notebook: Taking Their ‘Licks’

This is today’s Art Chansky’s Sports Notebook as heard on 97.9 WCHL. You can listen to previous Sports Notebooks here.

N.C. State wants royalties on the Rolling Stones tongue-in-mouth logo.

Didn’t N.C. State make enough money on its share of the gate for the Stones concert Wednesday night? After all, the ticket prices ranged from a face value of $115 to $813, depending how close you sat to Mick and the Septuagenarians.

So even if the average ticket price was 400 bucks and 50,000 ducats were sold, the usual 50-50 gate split netted State out a tidy 10 million on the concert one-off. And now the school wants a share of the parodied Wolfpack logo that the Stones put on their merchandise sold at the show.

First Amendment rights allow anyone to parody any logo without paying a royalty, but State is seeking some share of the merchandising. With fans outraged by the price of tickets for the Stones’ 50 and Counting tour, why would State want to turn some of the bad publicity on itself? For, what, maybe another half-million-dollars?

That’s called biting the tongue that feeds you. After all, the Stones could have played at Duke like they did 10 years ago and probably would have if Wallace Wade Stadium wasn’t under renovation. Or they might have come to Kenan Stadium if the field wasn’t being resurfaced. So they went back to Raleigh, as they did in 1990 when the sound wasn’t very good and, I guess, still wasn’t that good Wednesday night.

Whatever, you can bet this will be the Stones’ last visit to Carter-Finley, or North Carolina, unless Jagger wants to keep touring into his 80’s. Give the bloke his due for leading the greatest rock and roll band in the world for the last half century. No one forced you to pay the ticket prices, yet the concrete carcass in the fairgrounds was full.

State’s self-righteousness is a little absurd. Why not get a one-night permit to serve beer inside the stadium and make another million, instead of letting fans get sloppy drunk in the pasture and come into the stadium sloshed free of charge.

As for the doctored logo, the school’s lame marketing staffers couldn’t see the humor in it – or a great publicity opportunity of it licked them right in the face.

NC State Creates Scholarship for Three Students Killed

A scholarship has been created at NC State University to honor the lives of three Muslim college students that were shot and killed earlier this month, in Chapel Hill.

NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson announced the scholarship endowment, on Friday.

A statement from the chancellor says that the endowment was created with insights and advice from family members. And it will provide annual support to students in NC State’s Poole College of Management, College of Sciences, and College of Design.

The three students – 23-year-old Deah Barakat, his 21-year-old wife Yusor Abu-Salha, and her 19-year-old sister Razan Abu-Salha – all had ties to NC State. The eldest two were graduates while Razan was a sophomore.

NC State is contributing institutional funds to launch the endowment and actively seeks donations from the Wolfpack and larger community to grow the fund.

Gifts to the “Our Three Winners” Scholarship Fund can be made through the NC State website or by check with “Our Three Winners” in the memo line c/o Our Three Winners, Campus Box 7474, Raleigh, N.C. 27695-7474.

Thousands Gather at UNC to Pay Tribute to 3 Shooting Victims

Thousands filled the Pit at UNC on a chilly Wednesday evening to pay tribute to three young Muslim college students who were gunned down the day before in Chapel Hill – allegedly, over a parking dispute.

Many, however, say they believe 46-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks committed a hate crime.

The vigil began with UNC dental students, in their white coats, standing together in the center of The Pit, and holding candles in remembrance of their classmate Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha; and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha.

There were several speakers, including town and university leaders, and friends and family of the three shooting victims.

UNC Chancellor Carol Folt thanked everyone for coming out, including busloads of students from N.C. State and N.C. Central universities.

“As is often the case at a time of tragedy,” said Folt, “when you think you’re going to reach out to try to help people, you find that the people you’re trying to help are the ones that, in fact, help you.

“That has been my experience today, as I’ve talked with groups of students, with faculty, with Imam Abdullah, sitting in and watching the prayer ceremony, and even coming here tonight.”

N.C State Chancellor Randy Woodson said it was a day to remember the three young students for all they were, all they wanted to be, and what they could have been.

“Tonight, we remember Razan,” said Woodson, “an amazing design student at NC State, an amazing breath of fresh air for the college, and for that school; Yusor, an outstanding biology student at N.C. State, that was so excited, having only been married for six weeks, to begin her journey in the dental school at Carolina; and Deah.

“If you’ve met Deah, you know that this is a man that possessed the most amazing bear hug that you could ever experience.”

Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt told the crowd that he appeared before them with “a broken heart.” The mayor paid an emotional tribute to the victims, and to the town he said they exemplified.

“This community, this university, this town is a welcoming town,” said Kleinschmidt. “It’s a compassionate town. It’s a peace-loving town. I know this for at least three important reasons. The three souls we lost helped not only create, but sustain that truth about who we are, as a community.”

Imam Adbdullah Antepli, the chief representative for Muslim Affairs at Duke University, said that in his 25 years of studying theology and philosophy, he’s never read the passage in any book that could make sense of a tragedy like this.

Still, he offered words of hope in troubled times.

“Three cruel, hateful bullets snuffed out lives that were just coming to fruition,” said Antepli. “We cannot undo the hatred. We cannot undo the hate crime. We cannot undo the bullet…I hope we’re able to leave here with the faith that, at the end of the day, knowledge is somehow more luminous than ignorance; that justice is more beautiful than tyranny.

“And that most important lesson of all: that love is more divine than hatred.”

Deah Barakat’s brother Farris said he’s comforted by his belief that the victims have gone to paradise, where they are elated and happy. He echoed the Imam’s call for peace and tolerance, here on earth.

“If, and it is quite possible, that this was an act based off of evil and a scared, ignorant man, do not let ignorance propagate in your life,” said Barakat. “Do not reply to ignorance with ignorance.”

Chapel Hill couple Chris and Abby Fulton told WCHL that they came out to show support for the families of the victims.

“Three people being brutally murdered so close to home…” said Chris Fulton.

“Yeah, it’s just so sad,” Abby Fulton continued that thought. “it’s like, the least you can do is come out and say this is horrifying, I’m here to say this is horrifying, and to show you that I’m one among many who want to surround you with love from your community, as much as possible.”

President Obama To Announce Innovation Institute At NCSU Wed

RALEIGH – President Barack Obama will announce a new manufacturing innovation institute and address the economy in front of students and others at N.C.State’s Reynolds Coliseum Wednesday afternoon.

According to an Obama administration release, the President will announce N.C.State as the leader of six universities and 18 private-sector companies that will be a part of the “Next Generation Power Electronics Innovation Institute”. The institute will invest in manufacturing technology that can make chips and devices smaller and more efficient.

The Triangle’s economy continues to show positive signs as outlined in the unemployment rate of Orange, Durham, and Wake counties. All three were in the top seven in the state of lowest unemployment rates in November.

Five hundred tickets were handed out to NCSU students who will likely also hear President Obama speak in favor of U.S. Senator Kay Hagan. The North Carolina democrat says she will not make the trip to Raleigh because the senate is currently in session.

Tune in to WCHL in the 1:00 p.m. hour Wednesday to hear the President’s speech live from N.C.State’s campus. Carolina Connection’s Zach Mayo will be in attendance and will provide a report.

Johnson Shuts Out NCSU, 7-0; Sends Them Packing

Photo Courtesy: Go Heels

OMAHA, NEB. –UNC’s Hobbs Johnson combined with reliever Chris McCue on a five-hitter to help the Tar Heels stay alive in the College World Series with a 7-0 shutout over rival North Carolina State on Thursday night.

Johnson set a career high of 8 1/3 innings pitched, and hurled 132 pitches, most of them fastballs. 

“For pretty much the whole post season and in the Virginia Series, I’ve been throwing  the fastball for the most part. It’s worked outside the game against South Carolina. Today I had better command that I did against South Carolina and Florida Atlantic. I was able to get ahead today and get some defensive swings,” Johnson said.

UNC’s left-hander out shown the Wolfpack’s Carlos Rodon, who took to the mound with three days rest after getting the win over the Tar Heels on Sunday. Rodon was pulled in fifth inning after allowing two UNC runs. Carolina Head Coach Mike Fox said he wasn’t surprised that Rodon started for the Wolfpack, though.

“It’s hard when you are in elimination games to not put that boy [Rodon] out there after he only threw 108 pitches. He’s as strong as a bull. I know it was a tough decision for his staff, but you don’t want any regrets leaving here, and I think they would have if they hadn’t of pitched him,” Fox said.

ACC Player of the Year, Colin Moran, led the Carolina (59-11) attack with his second consecutive three-hit game.  Moran had two RBIs and Michael Russell added three more to help the Heels in their dominant offensive performance. Moran led off the top of the fourth inning with a single and was advanced to second on a throwing error by Rodon, attempting to get the force-out on a bunt by Holberton.

“Going into it, I wanted to make him [Rodon] throw a lot of pitches because he had pitched a few days ago and had a high pitch count. Landon’s at bat in the first inning set the tone and gave us a good idea of what to do when we went up there,” Holberton said about facing Rodon for the fifth time this season.

Cody Stubbs then had an excellent at-bat, fighting off several pitches from Rodon, eventually earning the walk. On a Michael Russell fly-out to left field, Holberton scored the first run of the game from third base by avoiding the tag out at home plate. NC State Head Coach Elliot Avent was threatened with ejection after he argued the call.

Parks Jordan was hit by a pitch to lead off the fifth inning. Chaz Frank laid down a sacrifice bunt that advanced Jordan to second. Landon Lassiter moved Jordan to third base on a ground-out to second. Colin Moran then brought Jordan home on a line drive single, increasing the lead to 2-0.

In the eighth inning, NC State’s reliever Brad Stone was brought on for Rodon. Stone walked Moran and Stubbs and then threw a wild pitch, hitting Bolt on a 3-2 count, to load the bases. Michael Russell came up with a big single to center field with two outs and two strikes that scored Stubbs and Moran. Zolk then drove in Russell and Bolt on a line drive double to right field, Tar Heels up 6-0.

Carolina scored the final run of the game in the ninth inning on a Moran single to left center that scored Jordan.

McCue came on in the bottom of the inning to relieve Johnson and sealed the victory, getting the final two outs.

With the win, UNC takes the rubber match, 3-2, over NC State, who finished their season with a record of 50-16.

Carolina next faces UCLA Friday at 8 p.m. ET. The Tar Heels will have to beat the Bruins twice to advance to the CWS Finals.  You can hear Friday’s game on 97.9 FM WCHL and streaming online at

Wolfpack Adds Alabama Transfer Lacey to Program

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina State has added Alabama transfer Trevor Lacey.

Lacey will sit out this season and have two years of eligibility. In a statement from the school Tuesday, coach Mark Gottfried said Lacey “is a winner and really understands the game.”

The 6-foot-3 guard started 52 of 69 games over two seasons. Last year, he averaged 11.3 points and 3.8 rebounds while starting all 36 games. He also led the team with 62 3-pointers.

Lacey was a five-star prospect and Parade All-American when he chose the home-state Crimson Tide after being recruited by Kentucky, Kansas and Connecticut, among others. In April, Alabama coach Anthony Grant had called Lacey’s decision to leave “a family decision to pursue other opportunities.”

Gottfried was Grant’s predecessor at Alabama, coaching there from 1998-2009.

UCLA defeats Wolfpack 2-1 at College World Series

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Nick Vander Tuig scattered four hits over seven-plus innings and UCLA produced just enough offense to defeat North Carolina State 2-1 in the College World Series on Tuesday night.

UCLA (46-17) moved within one victory of next week’s best-of-three finals. The Wolfpack (50-15) will play an elimination game against North Carolina on Thursday.

UCLA used two walks, two singles and a wild pitch to scratch out a couple runs and go up 2-1 in the fifth. Two innings before, Vander Tuig tagged out a runner at the plate to keep the Wolfpack from adding to a 1-0 lead.

Vander Tuig (13-4) retired 13 of 14 batters heading into the eighth inning. David Berg came on after Vander Tuig gave up a leadoff single to Bryan Adametz. Berg worked out of trouble in the eighth and earned his NCAA record-tying 23rd save.

NC State starter Logan Jernigan (1-1) took the loss.