The Morning After Recap: Sunday, January 15

... the safe, smart AM read for college basketball fans

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Okay, now where did THIS come from? A kid averaging less than seven points per game flat-out torches one of the nation's best squads, prompting one of most ridiculous blowouts in recent memory? Yeah, go ahead and act like you saw it coming, we'll believe you.

Saturday's epic Florida State victory over the third-ranked Tar Heels was one of those rare times when college basketball forced us to reexamine whether or not we believed what our eyes were telling us. Almost as if the score on the screen had to be a misprint. Had to be. One of the most historic programs in the sport, North Carolina just doesn't get whipped like that. Ever. And especially not by a team who was already labeled as nothing more than a defensive specialist.

For the Heels, yesterday's debacle brought a whole new meaning to the term 'awful basketball'. It was the worst loss in Roy Williams' UNC tenure. It was the worst offensive performance in two years (0.76 PPP). It was the worst defensive performance in two years (1.20 PPP). And above all, seeing Williams send his star players to the locker room with 14 seconds on the clock was all too fitting since everybody on his bench had mentally checked out long before. But leaving his subs on the floor to deal with the ensuing melee while the coaches and key guys scurried away to the locker room? Bush league, even if FSU coach Leonard Hamilton supposedly gave the green light or not.

The ACC: A Parody of Parity. And we seriously can't get enough.

The Local Guys

* Be careful, SEC: Jarnell Stokes has arrived, and he's a beast. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

* Bill Carmody: "We had two agonizing losses. I told the guys at halftime: 'You can't just compete, you have to be the aggressors and go after it.' And I really thought they did." (Chicago Tribune)

* SDSU's Jamaal Franklin rolled his ankle, instantly came back into the game and then hit a game-winning layup to sink UNLV. Not bad. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

The Blogosphere

* Lon Kruger can finally exhale: The Sooners beat a relevant program (Crimson and Cream Machine)

* UNC reserves were forced to deal with the court-storming in Tallahassee (Tomahawk Nation)

* We though Boston College was supposed to be really, really bad this year. What gives? (BC Interruption)

Who Won It Best

Northwestern - Oh the agony. Right when another Big Ten loss would've nearly killed Northwestern's chances at March Madness, the Wildcats go out and beat Michigan State, the No. 1 team in the league. This is either the start of something big, or a carefully executed trap to rip the hearts out of NU fans all over again. Whatever the case, Bill Carmody's team is 2-3 in conference play and doesn't have to face another ranked Big Ten school until Indiana on February 15th (whoa).

Who Lost it Worst

North Carolina - The 90-57 final score is painful. It's also easy to overlook how the Heels trailed by just eight points at the intermission. This was a ballgame for 20 minutes, even if the side with the advantage looked much, much better in virtually every facet of the game. But when the second half got underway, it was fair to assume the Tar Heels would eventually pull closer and either make a game of it or turn on the jets and leave Florida State in their dust. Instead, the opposite happened. It was the Seminoles who mashed the hell out of their turbo button, en route to the route of all routes.

MVP

Deividas Dulkys-Florida State - Start with the 32 points on 12-of-14 shooting. Toss in four steals. Then four assists. Cap it all off with eight three-pointers on ten attempts. All of it adds up to the single most impressive player of the day, bar none. And because we know you were wondering, go ahead and pronounce it "David Us Duel Keyys". Probably should get used to saying it, too. Don't worry about those middling per-game numbers on the year, this kid can ball.

By The Numbers

11 - Blocks by Green Bay's Alec Brown in a win over Wright State. Brown, a 7'1" sophomore, also finished the game with nine points and eight rebounds.

This Really Happened

Insanity in the NAIA. This is must-watch material. (H/T Ballin' is a Habit)

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