Tag Archives: North Carolina Tar Heels

Trial By Conference Tourney

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, we have almost reached the promise land of the college basketball season. We are just a few days away from what I call Judgement Day, and what mere mortals call Selection Sunday. But before we have teams find out their region, we have what I consider to be the most exciting week of the year, Conference Tournament week. Let’s start in the ACC, and as always, my picks come at the very end.

643955186

ACC-  When you think of the ACC nowadays, 96% of the time you think of them as the deepest conference in college basketball. This year is no different, with plenty of teams in the running, there is only one favorite in my opinion. That’s the returning conference champs, the North Carolina Tar Heels.

The Heels are hot at the right time, and are the number 1 seed in the tournament. Justin Jackson is, in my opinion, the most reliable player in the conference. The Heels will look to him a lot when the time comes; I also think Joel Berry will be looked to when the time comes.

Also, don’t count out Duke. The Blue Devils with Luke Kennard and Grayson Allen are bound for a third match-up with Carolina. The THIRD team I think that could make waves is Virginia. The Cavaliers led by London Perrantes (yes he is still there) could surprise a lot of people. They have the first round bye then would take on Notre Dame in the third round. The match-up with the Irish is a favorable one for the Cavs.

627403388

Big East- No one, I repeat no one is beating Villanova. The Wildcats will repeat as Big East champs and move onto being a 1 seed in the tourney. That was easy.

during the game at Allen Fieldhouse on February 1, 2017 in Lawrence, Kansas.

Big 12-The Big 12 tournament has been all Kansas as of late. The Jayhawks have won 7 of the Big 12 Tournaments since 2006, as well as 14 straight Big 12 regular season championships. I think that makes the Bill Self’s Jayhawks the favorite.

Frank Mason III and Josh Jackson are a tough duo to beat in the Big 12, and if Devonte’ Graham is on, then the Big 12 is in major trouble.

The only team I think that should at least scare Kansas is West Virginia. Bob Huggins looks to have a team that could stand toe to toe with the Jayhawks. The two are on a collision course for a third meeting; the teams split the two this season. The Mountaineers will need a big tourney out of Nathan Adrian and Jevon Carter; those two are on the warpath right now. I hope we get this third game, it could be a great finale to the Big 12 this season.

638879766

Big 10- Yikes, well I don’t know folks, I have seen wide-open conferences and then I saw this year’s Big 10. I do not like the number 1 team in Purdue. The Boilermakers don’t impress me, I really don’t know why but I am not impressed by them. Also with this tourney, unpredictability comes so often it’s absolutely ridiculous.

I like Maryland this year, which does not come to a surprise to readers who have read my stuff on the Terps before. Led by Melo Trimble, this could be the Terps year to really make a run. Yes they lack Jake Layman and Rasheed Sulaimon, but along with Damonte Dodd, freshmen Justin Jackson and Anthony Cowan, Trimble and the Terps look good.

Another one of the favorites have to be Wisconsin. Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig (both journeymen) look poised to get the Badgers back to the elite. They would run into Purdue, but I like them matching up against Purdue in any tourney style game.

631270412

Pac-12 The Pac-12 is back, and by back I mean the top 4 teams should dominate in this conference tournament. I like UCLA and Oregon based off their guard play. It is no question that Lonzo Ball (UCLA) and Dillon Brooks (Oregon) are two of the top guards in the nation and are on the road to a showdown in the Pac-12 title game.

UCLA has plenty of weapons though. Besides Ball, you have TJ Leaf and Bryce Alford who could be found taking some big shots down the stretch. The one other team that could be found deep in this tourney is the Arizona Wildcats.

The Wildcats, who has Allonzo Trier back halfway through the season, could be the team to beat either UCLA or Oregon. Trier and big man Lauri Markkanen could be what the Cats use to get to the final against the Ducks. One of these three will most likely win the conference, and what could be one of the best finals in the history of the conference.

during the first half at Rupp Arena on January 21, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky.

SEC– Kentucky is the clear cut favorite in my opinion. When the Cats get the top spot in the SEC tourney, they rarely, if ever, lose. Coach Cal and Malik Monk are looking like they are on a path to a deep NCAA tourney run. Monk will need De’Aaron Fox as his healthy tag partner in this tourney. When Fox if healthy, he takes a lot of the spotlight off of Monk. Derek Willis will need to be clutch from outside the arch as well.

Florida is the only other team I see taking this conference. But with their path to the final including a possible Arkansas or Missouri matchup, I think the Gators could be in trouble. They’re in contention but I don’t think they are a credible threat to Kentucky.

ACC- UNC over Virginia

Big East- Villanova over Providence

Big 12- Kansas over West Virginia

Big 10- Maryland over Wisconsin

Pac 12- UCLA over Oregon

SEC- Kentucky over Missouri

Those are my picks and I am sticking to them. Next time you here from me, we will be knee deep in the NCAA tourney. So I will probably have pulled my hair out because my bracket is busted.

So try to stay handsome everyone, and happy tourney season!

Advertisements

Inside 50 Days

We are now inside 50 day until selection Sunday. To the common man, that’s just a gentle reminder. But to a guy like me, it’s a day I have circled and highlighted on my calendar.

Selection Sunday is in my opinion, a national holiday, and is one of the best days of the year. There are some teams that I know are legit 1 seeds, then there are teams with resumes worth noting that could get the top seed or even a 2 or 3 seed. This year’s field is one of the most unpredictable, which makes me happy as a clam. It’s going to be an exciting March to say the least. So let’s look at some teams who I think will be a top 3 seed.

Here are a couple notes I have about the 1 and 2 seeds thus far. I am projecting a couple things with them. For the fourth and final one in each one of the groupings, I have created a group called “The CUSP”. Meaning they are on the edge of being a 1 or 2 seed.

1 Seeds:

during the game at Allen Fieldhouse on January 4, 2016 in Lawrence, Kansas.

  • Kansas: Bill Self and the Jayhawks are a perennial 1 seed choice. It seems like these fellas are in this position every season. In fact, they’ve won 12 straight Big 12 regular season titles, and 7 of those regular season titles have transferred into Big 12 Tourney Titles. With just 1 blemish on the record thus far this season, the Jayhawks look to be locking up a 1 seed once again this season.

Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 9.37.19 AM.png

  • Villanova: The reigning champs look as good as ever. Jay Wright’s team looks poised to make another run at the crown. Josh Hart looks like one of the favorites for the Wooden Award as well, as he averages 19 points a night. An interesting matchup with Virginia coming up could really bolster that résumé for the Wildcats. If they do win that matchup, then I will say this, Nova could really take over that number 1 overall spot.

Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 9.37.54 AM.png

  • UCLA: While the Bruins lost a home contest the other night to Arizona, I love their chances to take a 1 seed. Lonzo Ball and Bryce Alford are two names to watch, especially come tourney time. They are an awesome duo to watch. They, along with TJ Leaf and Isaac Hamilton average over 30 minutes a night, so you know the bench could be a factor if they get into foul trouble. But with a stud like Ball, anything is possible.

Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 9.38.35 AM.png

  • The CUSP: In my honest opinion, the final 1 seed could come down to 3 teams. Those 3 teams being Kentucky, Baylor and Gonzaga. My gut feeling says if the Zags stay unbeaten, then they get the 1 seed. But if they drop just 1 game and Kentucky wins the SEC, the Wildcats get it. Baylor is in trouble since they have Kansas and WVU in their conference. I am sorry but whenever Gonzaga a 1 seed, they get to the Sweet 16 and lose. Give the Kentucky Wildcats and the best player in the country, Malik Monk, the 1 seed.

2 Seeds:

Embed from Getty Images

 

  • North Carolina: The Tar Heels, in my honest opinion, is the team that has underachieved this season. They lost Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson, who were the top guys last year. Justin Jackson looks to be coming into his own, and with the addition of Theo Pinson, who missed a majority of this season, the Heels look poised to make a run. Kennedy Meeks is a guy who just doesn’t do it for me; he needs to step up big time. And I really think if you can get the young freshman Tony Bradley going, the Heels could even steal a 1 seed. But I like them at the 2 for now.
Embed from Getty Images
  • Creighton: 1 loss on the season for the Blue Jays. Wow is the word I describe them with for their start. I think Coach Mac has something special in guard Marcus Foster, who averages 18 a night. This kid is a game-breaker and reminds me of guards who have single-handedly taken their teams to the promise land. If they can somehow beat Nova again, maybe that run goes even further. Coach Mac has something great over there and something that could continue to be great for years to come.
Embed from Getty Images
  • Arizona: Now you’re probably saying, “Jack are you pulling my leg with this?” I most certainly am not. The Wildcats look legit now that Allonzo Trier is back. Trier was once said to be done for the year due to a suspension. But after he won his appeal, the Wildcats took down UCLA in Triers opening contest and he scored 12 points. Is Arizona back? I think so.
Embed from Getty Images
  • The CUSP: There are plenty of teams that you could make the argument for in this position. I like two teams in this spot right now, those being Florida State and West Virginia. Bob Huggins and WVU look really good, and are looking like they have the goods to go deep. Florida State, in my opinion, is a sleeper. The Seminoles will go as far as Dwayne Bacon will take them, he’s an future star but if he can be stopped, then the Noles are in trouble. For the Moutaineers, a lot more will be needed to be done to stop them. They have somewhere in between 8 and 10 guys who will go out and give it their all. That depth will get Bob Huggins deep into the tourney.

I leave out such teams like Oregon, Duke and Louisville. Oregon is going to miss Dillon Brooks a lot, he takes them to the elite level. Without him, they look very shaky.

Duke needs to figure it out, and everyone needs to get off Grayson Allen’s back. They have a kid in Luke Kennard who can take them places like Allen once did.

Lastly, Louisville needs Quentin Snider to step up, if he doesn’t then the Cardinals are done for. Too bad Damion Lee is a Boston Celtic, that kid would have elevated them into the top 5 and even the top 3 conversation.

So if you have any questions, comments or concerns, tweet at me @jcorsi11 or throw something in the comments. But until next week, stay handsome my friends.

 

Sweet, Sweet November

The final month of the college football season has come once again, and it’s looking like it’s going to be a thrilling one. Alabama is sitting pretty atop the polls (per usual) and looks like the perennial “Could Alabama beat the Browns” question is back again. Behind Alabama, you have the Michigan Wolverines who control their own destiny. Clemson and Washington sit right behind them and also are in the grips of a playoff spot. Those 4 teams are all unbeaten, with 1 loss Louisville, Ohio State and Texas A&M breathing down their necks. One slip up and it could be their downfall.

Last week I went 2-3. Lost on some tough late game heroics, but hey, it happens to everyone, and let’s rebound this week.

486398260

My LOCK of the week is Michigan at home. The Wolverines don’t lose at home, plain and simple. No way they drop this week to Maryland. If Melo Trimble was playing and this was basketball, then I would pick the Terps. But as 31 point underdogs, the Terps really do not stand a chance in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines should roll to a big victory and to 9-0.

Embed from Getty Images

 

Now a game I find interesting early on Saturday has the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets taking on the 18th ranked North Carolina Tar Heels. North Carolina needs to continue to win and needs some help from the teams in the division to take down Virginia Tech. Georgia Tech is on the rise as well, but I think they are a year away from being where they want to be. I like the Heels at home on Saturday and we could see them play Clemson in the big game later this season.

One of two exciting prime time games takes place in Columbus, Ohio as Ohio State plays host to Nebraska. Both teams have 1 loss right now and cannot afford another one. The Huskers nearly escaped Wisconsin still unbeaten last week but just couldn’t hold onto the football. JT Barrett needs to be huge for the Buckeyes because he’s the one controlling this team right now. This game should be a knockdown-drag out fight until the end. I think we could see some overtime in Columbus.

at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 22, 2016 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

LSU and Alabama, a rivalry worth a primetime SEC game. Coach O vs. Nick Saban. Truthfully, I think Alabama may put up 40-46 points on LSU and blow them out in the Bayou. Leonard Fournette needs about 250 yards for the Tigers to stand a chance. But these games have been annually 6-3 or 10-8 games, so we could really see anything in this one. Jalen Hurts will be tested but I think he will be able to withstand the pressure and lead the Tide to victory.

PICKING TIME!

LOCK: (2) Michigan 48-Maryland 14

(18) UNC 31-Georgia Tech 17

(9)Nebraska 24- (6) Ohio State 21

(1) Alabama 41- (15) LSU 20

(5) Louisville 62-BC 10

That last one I did not dare to talk about, Lamar Jackson might have 5 TD’s before the end of the first quarter.

607332506

Heisman race is run by Jackson, and his biggest competition is himself. All he has to do is keep putting up numbers and he’s got the crown. But behind him are Deshaun Watson and Jake Browning. Browning could be the next number one pick, but as a Sophomore, he might be back with the Huskies next season.

619197360

Until next week college football fans, Jack “The Emperor of Handsome” Corsi is out!

 

CFP Contenders and Pretenders

Week 5 is now and the books and more questions, or prayers, have been answered. This was a huge week for the landscape of college football and giving us a better understanding of who is a pretender and who is a contender in this year’s college football playoff race. The committee is quietly waiting in the wind for November 1st to release the first college football playoff ranking, but it is never too early to speculate what they might be thinking. What we learned last week is Stanford can’t win the big game, Clemson still rules the ACC, and the Michigan vs. Ohio State game in late November will decide everything. So let’s see who the contenders and pretenders are for this year’s college football playoff.

Contenders:

Embed from Getty Images

SEC:

Alabama: Roll Tide is rolling once again and there is no surprises about that, Nick Saban and the boys are cruising to an SEC west title once again. They haven’t faced there toughest opponents just yet, but based on everything I have seen they will win out and get into the playoff as the number 1 seed. Bama puts up plenty of points and smothers opponents constantly on defense. Their kryptonite the last few years has been Ole Miss, and the Tide took care of them already this season. I hate Alabama with pure passion, but we’ll be seeing them in the playoff.

Tennessee: The Volunteers are flying high after a huge last second Hail Mary victory over Georgia last week, and the Vols have had Lady Luck on their side all year. To me Tennessee was a pretender before last week, but Josh Dobbs is balling out so far this year, and as long as he keeps it up Tennessee is on the fast track to the SEC title game against Alabama. The reason they aren’t a pretender still is because anything can happen in a title game. Alabama will probably beat Tennessee by 28+ but you just never know.

Embed from Getty Images

ACC:

Clemson: First and foremost I am still shaking from Saturday’s game against Louisville. Clemson put on an absolute show in the second quarter to get themselves to a 28-10 halftime lead, and I was well aware it wasn’t over. Louisville fought back aggressively in the third to regain the lead 36-28, but Dabo rallied the boys for the fourth quarter and led them to a 42-36 victory in Death Valley. Clemson was supposed to be this good and they are finally playing like it again. A tough road test in Tallahassee in a few weeks stands between Clemson and the ACC title game, assuming no slip ups from here on out, but let’s all knock on some wood.

Louisville: What Louisville proved to me on Saturday night was that if they win out, which would mean a huge road victory over Houston, they could potentially be a top 4 team in the country by the final college football playoff vote. They need Clemson to lose twice to get into the ACC championship game, so that seems unlikely, but the committee could absolutely put in a 1 loss Louisville team with Heisman frontrunner Lamar Jackson at quarterback. Louisville gained enormous amount of respect from me after Saturday, but better luck next year Cardinals.

Embed from Getty Images

BIG 10:

Ohio State: Need I say more? It just comes with the name at this point, but the Buckeyes are nasty yet again. JT Barrett is having a stellar season and has led OSU to number 2 in the nation to this point. What will get the Buckeyes into the college football playoff? A big win over…

Michigan: A tough road lies ahead with Michigan St, Iowa, and Ohio St all on the schedule but I believe the Wolverines will get to the final week of the season undefeated. And as it is for Ohio State, Michigan needs a win in that huge rivalry game to get into the playoff. I really hope we get those two undefeated for that game.

Embed from Getty Images

Big 12:

Better luck next year!!

Embed from Getty Images

Pac 12:

Washington: I never thought Stanford was going to lose to Washington, let alone that badly, but here we are with Washington as a legitimate college football playoff contender. The Huskies have gotten extraordinary quarterback play from Jake Browning. The Huskies just need to win out and they are in no questions asked, but can they do it?

Group of 5:

Houston: Win out, beat Louisville, and pray to God that Oklahoma wins out as well. Houston can go undefeated but being in the AAC is making it tough for them, time to move to the Big 12. Good luck Houston, you deserve to get in if you are undefeated, but will the committee allow that?

Pretenders:

Embed from Getty Images

SEC:

Texas A&M: The Aggies are good don’t get me wrong, but they cannot beat Alabama, and that is what separates them from the playoff. A&M has a huge home game this week against Tennessee and they could absolutely win that, but being in the SEC west is tough because of the likes of Alabama. I actually see the Aggies winning against Tennessee, but not the SEC west.

Florida: A huge lead over Tennessee wasn’t enough for the Gators to win, so they are out, unless by some miracle they win out and Tennessee loses twice and the Gators beat Bama, good luck to them.

Embed from Getty Images

ACC:

Florida State: 63-20 loss to Louisville and another loss this week to North Carolina, smell ya later Seminoles.

Miami: Plain and simple this team hasn’t really beaten anybody that great and I don’t think they’ll even get to the ACC title game. I believe North Carolina will beat the Hurricanes and then Miami will probably fall off and finish like 9-3 or something.

North Carolina: They must win out and then beat either Clemson or Louisville in the ACC title game, no chance they do both.

Embed from Getty Images

BIG 10:

Nebraska: 5-0 isn’t bad, playing Michigan or Ohio State in the B1G title game is.

Wisconsin: They have the best chance out of the B1G west, but Wisconsin couldn’t beat Michigan last week on a bad day for Michigan. But there is a chance, if they get to the title game anything could happen, but I don’t see it for the Badgers.

Iowa: They lost to North Dakota State, a very good team mind you, but how you going to lose to the Bison at home and expect to beat Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Michigan and then win the B1G title game? Answer is you’re not.

Embed from Getty Images

Big 12:

Baylor: Narrowly escaping Iowa State, real impressive.

West Virginia: Apparently they are 4-0, but who knew.

Embed from Getty Images

Pac 12:

Stanford: We all saw what Washington did to them, that’ll demoralize any team, they’ll lose again, I promise.

Utah: The Utes love having a solid start and then falling off the face of the earth once people start to recognize them. They won’t do anything with their season, maybe win the Las Vegas Bowl over New Mexico or someone stupid.

My playoff prediction after week 5 is Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, and Washington. Who do you have?

Trial By Fire: NCAAF Week 1

Months and months have pasted since Alabama defeated Clemson, but now our college football fix will be fed this weekend. How so Jack? Is ESPN Classic running a classic games marathon or is ESPN running those spring game replays? NOPE! WE ACTUALLY GET REAL LIFE COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEXT WEEKEND. Yes, I needed to use all caps because I am as hyped as Rob Gronkowski, Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder combined (I don’t get hyped, I stay hyped).

The opening weekend of games will be dubbed “Trial By Fire”. Some of the top teams in all of college football will immediately be put to the test. Dream games, games you could only think of happening on NCAA 2014 (I think that was the last one). So let’s get to it with our first game of the few I will speak of.

Embed from Getty Images

 

“The number 1 team in all of the land.” The Alabama Crimson Tide will take on the 20th ranked USC Trojans. This game will take place from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, home of the Dallas Cowboys. This game will be a true test for the Tide and the throne that they will be defending. ‘Bama comes in with a new QB, but with Nick Saban at the helm, they should come in looking pretty darn good. USC comes in coached by a man named Clay Helton. Helton took over mid-season last year due to the firing of Coach Steve Sarkisian. I am not going to lie to you, this one could get ugly quickly. I think the Trojans are lucky to be playing in Arlington instead of Tuscaloosa. If this game was in Tuscaloosa, then I think that the Tide win this game by 25-30 points. Even now with it being at a neutral site, I think the Tide could have this game won by halftime.

Embed from Getty Images

 

Let’s stay in Texas but head over to NRG Stadium in Houston for the tilt between the number 15th ranked Houston Cougars and the number 3 ranked Oklahoma Sooners. Houston was robbed of a perfect season last year by a trick play courtesy of the UConn Huskies. But folks the Cougars look pretty good again. Many are saying that Houston could be the next addition to the BIG 12, and a win at NRG Saturday afternoon could be the icing on the cake. But there is only one problem, and that problem is the Oklahoma Sooners. The last time the two met, the Sooners skinned the Cougars 63-13. Yes that was in 2004, but if history repeats itself, the Cougars will most certainly look weak after a triumphant 2015 campaign.

Embed from Getty Images

 

Texas is hosting another one of the big games this weekend, as the 10th ranked Fighting Irish of Notre Dame head down to take on the Texas Longhorns. I will be honest, this game is the biggest game of the Longhorns season, and it will prove to be the test on whether or not Charlie Strong keeps his job. It is just plain and simple, this is the biggest game of Strong’s career as coach of the Texas Longhorns. I am shocked that the Irish have yet to pick a QB heading into this season. You have DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire, who are both capable of being stud QB’s for the Irish. But coach Brian Kelly has yet to make a decision. Could this be costly for the Irish on Sunday night? Yes this game is our FIRST official Sunday Night game of the football season.

Embed from Getty Images

 

Now we head to the Georgia Dome for an ACC-SEC matchup between the 18th ranked Georgia Bulldogs and the 22nd ranked North Carolina Tar Heels. I am thrilled by this match-up and think we are in for a real treat with these two clubs. I really don’t know who I like in this game. Last time the two met was in 1973 and the final score was 7-3 in favor of UGA. So let’s not take that score into consideration at all. This should be a great football game with a lot of playoff implications on the line. The loser of this one might as well look at the bowl schedule for around Christmas time. Why? You lose this game and you can kiss this playoff hopes goodbye.

Embed from Getty Images

 

Then we get a game on Monday night! Yes! Three nights of college football! The 11th ranked Ole Miss Rebels travel to take on the 4th ranked Florida State Seminoles. I LOVE this match-up for Florida State. The ‘Noles has arguably one of the toughest teams and one of the best running backs in all of the nation. So why not put them to showcase on Monday night against Ole Miss? The Rebels will rely on the QB play of senior Chad Kelly. Kelly is a gunslinger and could easily keep the Rebels alive in this game. He will need to be at his best just to keep up with the explosiveness of Dalvin Cook.

MY PICKS:

‘Bama over USC 43-17

Oklahoma over Houston 31-20

Notre Dame over Texas 28-10

UNC over Georgia 24-21

FSU over Ole Miss 38-28

Follow FI on Twitter @FIsports and on Facebook

-Jack Corsi (@corsi_light)

ACC Preview: Who is the Favorite?

To some, it’s just a regular Saturday of doing yard work and drinking beer. But to me, Saturday, beside being for the boys, is all about college football. College football during the fall is easily something I look forward to every week. Never a bad match up, and always, I mean always, a chance of someone getting upset. This week I take a closer look at the ACC, or to the yuppies out there, the Atlantic Coast Conference. Real football fans know this conference as the ACC, those fans tune into them every Saturday.

504777620
CREDIT: Al Tielemans (Photo by Al Tielemans /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

Last season, the ACC had Clemson go nearly all the way, too bad they ran into Alabama. Deshaun Watson, the Tigers QB, is back again this season and looking to wreak havoc both on the ground and threw the air. Coach Dabo Swinney is going to need a lot of guts on defense, the man is known for BYOG, he will bring it. Losing Shaq Lawson could be bigger than what we think since he was a pivotal piece to the Tigers attack. I like Clemson to be the team to beat again in the ACC.

500987076
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

North Carolina, yes I said it, the Tar Heels are another team to watch. The Heels nearly knocked off Clemson in the ACC title game last season. But some suspect officiating cost them late. Coach Larry Fedora had a team full of fighters last year and will probably look to capitalize on that this season. The Heels finished the year with a tough loss to Baylor, but let’s just say if that call isn’t blown against Clemson, they could have made a case for the playoff. They lost Marquise Williams, their starting QB, so their will be a competition there before the season begins. The Heels could be in or out of contention solely based of their QB play.

497174384.jpgThe cream of the crop is usually Florida State, coached by Jimbo Fisher. Jimbo and the Seminoles fell victim to Clemson last season and will look to rebound this time around. Dalvin Cook is a Heisman hopeful and was everything for them last year. This kid is a purebred running back and Fisher has something special in Cook. Fisher will probably trot out Sean Maguire to start the year, but their is a freshman hopeful in Deondre Francois. Fisher has a lot of thinking to do before his Seminoles take on Ole Miss.

The team who I think could return to dominance is Virginia Tech. Frank Beamer retired and retired in style with two huge wins to end the year. Justin Fuente is the new coach, Feunte coached Memphis the last two seasons and was impressive for the Tigers. But this is big boy ball now, the American Conference is weaker than the ACC. Feunte will need that style to transfer if not, Tech could be in trouble. This team nearly beat Ohio State too last year, hmm maybe Hokie football could be back.

500248560For us New Englanders, we have Boston College. BC had one of the best defenses in the country last year. But their offense was about as good as my whiffle ball record against my younger brother (not good). Steve Addazio is on the hot seat, but I really can’t place a majority of the blame on him. The Eagles had a few chances last year in big games, but the offense cost them majorly. Hopefully Addazio and the new Offensive and Defensive Coordinator can bring the Eagles out of mediocrity. I like the Eagles to get at least a conference win this year.

My pick right now for the Atlantic division will be Clemson. Watson is too good to pick against. For the Coastal division, I really want to pick Virginia Tech. But I like Carolina and coach Larry Fedora, the Heels are a team on the rise and could be the 1 loss for Clemson.

Atlantic Division

Clemson 12-0 (8-0)

Florida State 10-2 (7-1)

Louisville 9-3 (5-3)

Wake Forest 6-6 (3-5)

NC State 4-8 (2-6)

Boston College 3-9 (1-7)

Syracuse 3-9 (0-8)

Coastal Division

North Carolina 11-1 (8-0)

Pittsburgh 8-4 (6-2)

Virginia Tech 8-4 (5-3)

Duke 8-4 (4-4)

Miami 6-6 (4-4)

Georgia Tech 4-8 (2-6)

Virginia 3-9 (1-7)

Conference Championship

North Carolina over Clemson

Follow FI on Twitter @FIsports and on Facebook

-Jack Corsi (@corsi_light)

 

Heels Make History

History was made in the college lacrosse world on Memorial Day. Never before had a team with 6 losses won a National Championship. Well no one told the North Carolina Tar Heels that. They shocked the world, and me as well.

Carolina came in as big underdogs against the Maryland Terrapins, who were ranked 1st overall. The Tar Heels didn’t care what their rank was as they came, and conquered the Terps.

A thriller in the city of Brotherly Love, a 14-13 OT victory was what the Heels would need to do it all. Chris Cloutier is a name that sports fan need to recognize. During the championship weekend, Cloutier scored 14 goals, yes you’re reading that right, 14 goals. Joe Breschi has to be the coolest coach on the Earth too. Guy screams awesomeness, I’ve got a lot of respect for that guy.

For the Terps, nothing you can do. A bad penalty late killed them. Their goalie on the other hand may have made the greatest save in sports history. Kyle Bernlohr made an acrobatic save to keep the hope alive, but just couldn’t find the howitzer from Cloutier in the extra time.

I’ve never been a huge lacrosse guy. I played a few years of youth lax, and have been on and off with it. But now after this game, I got to say, I’m becoming a bigger fan. That game showed sports excitement and intensity all in one. Got to say the announcers gave the game some of its best moments. Hats off to the gentlemen, they are champions of their craft.

So next Memorial Day, I will have my eyes glued to the screen. After this exhibition of the sport, I will most definitely be watching the tournament. Don’t blink, you might miss the entire game. I sure know I won’t be.