Like a hyena with a rare shot at a morsel and a team hungry for a speckle of national exposure, Ohio (15-8) fans see their trip to Chapel Hill tonight as a chance to gorge on the Lion of college basketball's safari over the last 45 years. Many of these fans, however, don't exactly view the Heels (7-16) as a worthwhile meal as a trek through the message boards at BobcatAttack.com suggests.
"First of all, NC stinks and we seem to be making them out to be a dangerous team," said a poster who goes by the name of DiamondCat. "If we can't go down there and beat the this year we should stay home. We have one matchup to overcome. I don't think we have to much to worry about."
"This presents matchup problems for UNC as I expect (Kris) Lang to guard (Patrick) Flomo and I don't believe (Jason) Capel has the size to deal with (Brandon) Hunter," wrote a poster named Roger Bailey. "The bottom line is that leaves a back-up on Hunter. They have placed Ohio fans in the rafters for this one so you won't see us on TV but hopefully you'll hear us over the hopefully very quiet Dean Dome crowd!"
As is often the case, any discussion about ACC and UNC basketball would be almost unrecognizable without remark from N.C. State and or Duke fans. This time a Blue Devils chipped in.
"Don't count on dead silence from the ‘wine and cheese crowd,'" said the poster who goes by DevilGrad. "As discovered and reported in the News & Observer of Raleigh last year, they pipe in extra ‘crowd' noice there to make up for the catatonic alums in the light blue polyester leisure suits. I'll be a big Bobcat fan … for one night."
Some Bobcat fans feel they have little – if anything – to gain.
"With the Tar Heels struggling like they have, already losing at home to Davidson and Hampton (I believe), it might be the Bobcats who are in a no-win situation," penned Steven Burkley. "If they (Ohio) win, ‘so what?' So have several other non-league foes. And the alternative is to lose to a sub-.500 team."
Even Ohio U. coach Tim O'Shea has given UNC a reason to post something on their own board, as in bulletin board.
"When Matt Doherty pops in the tape of this game tonight, he's going to be sorry he scheduled the game," O'Shea told the Charleston, W. Va., Gazette about Hunter after winning at Marshall on Saturday. "He's going to see the Shaq of the MAC."
These remarks are just more reminders of how uniquely bizarre this season has been for the Tar Heels.
Andrew Jones is in his sixth year covering football and basketball for Inside Carolina. He is also in his fourth year as a copy editor and staff writer for the Wilmington Star-News and hosts a nightly radio show on WAAV-AM980 in Wilmington. He has also written for ACCNews and once published The College Game and the former Total Sports. He can be reached via e-mail at: AJWAAV@aol.com.