The Time Is Now For a Win in Chapel Hill

I have long ago tired of counting how many victories in a row the North Carolina Tar Heels have amassed against Clemson in Chapel Hill. It's a pointless number. The depth of the despair and embarrassment goes way past what one little number can register.

The point in time comes when you simply get tired of being the whipping boy. That time is now.

The Dean Smith era ended without much fear from the Carolina brethren. "We are Carolina, and our success cannot be defined by a coach", the Billy Goats squealed. We all chuckled. We knew that Carolina's magnificent run of 20 win seasons and NCAA tournaments would one day run out of gas without the politicking Smith at the helm. That time is now.

Cockiness is a good attribute of the mind and soul. Arrogance is kin to stupidity and most certainly causes much disdain from outside the inner circle. North Carolina basketball reeks of arrogance, and we all waited patiently for the mighty fall from that high horse. That time is now.

Watching Matt Daugherty coach is, admittedly, fun to do at times. He reminds me of those UNC scrubs during the Jamison/Carter years that jumped up and down like cheerleaders every time their teammates made a great play. I never thought I would see the day that UNC would hire a basketball coach that appears to have no more coaching ability than I do. That time is now.

Never before, to my basketball knowledge, has Clemson fielded a team that is better (talent wise) than UNC at EVERY position on the court…including depth. That time is now.

Chapel Hill is such an un-intimidating environment, a curious place to have such a desperate streak at. Rarely raucous, the Chapel Hill crowds usually treat Carolina basketball games as if they are watching a golf match. That is even truer when the hapless Tigers come to town, mainly because of a general lack of fear that the Tigers could actually win the game. Never before have the Tar Heels walked into the Dean Dome underdogs to Clemson. That time is now.

Larry Shyatt could use a little good fortune. For all the pros and cons of having Shyatt lead the Tiger basketball program, there can be no denying his heart is in the right place. He needs a break, a stroke of magic to energize his team and his stature at Clemson. That time is now.

Ed Scott has won my heart. Scott is a guy that simply lays everything he has on the basketball court each time he plays. There are nights when some of the other guys seem like they would rather not be playing…but not Edward. If ever Clemson had a hero that has earned the right to throw that ugly monkey off the Tigers back, it is Edward, and that time is now.

When the Tigers travel to Chapel Hill Wednesday night, they will do so with the weight of the Tiger world on their shoulders. North Carolina is a pitiful basketball team that is terribly coached. They also whipped Clemson a month ago by 20 plus points.

Some say if you ever are going to beat the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill, then this is the year. I don't buy it. The Tar Heels will most likely be as bad or worse next year when they lose their two leaders, Jason Capel and Cris Lang. No, the Tar Heels will dwell near the bottom of the ACC for a little while longer…maybe longer than anybody believes. Certainly longer than the Blue Bellys would like to believe.

That is why Wednesday night means so much. As far as the Tar Heels have fallen, they still are an elite program…if only in their own eyes. Beating them this time, this year, ensures for posterity that the streak was broken by the Tigers; not given away by a program run into the dirt by some guy that looks like Vanilla Ice.

Wednesday night is the night. Wednesday, a lifetime of frustration will be temporarily erased with a flood of relief. Now is the time.

And, what pray tell, happens if the Tar Heels defeat the Tigers Wednesday night to extend this pitiful streak of haplessness in Chapel Hill?

Hell will be Vanilla Iced over…. Top Stories