Posts Tagged ‘Tyler Hansbrough’

March Madness Impact Players to Watch

March 3rd, 2009 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on March Madness Impact Players to Watch

The regular season has almost concluded on this exciting year of college hoops and the attention will quickly turn to the conference tournaments games leading into selection Sunday. After selection Sunday, the brackets will be locked in place for the NCAA Tournament and you can already get some of the earliest betting odds for this year’s National Champion at and bodog sportsbooks. The previous wins and losses mean nothing when the playoff style NCAA Tournament begins and it will come down to who can step up on the biggest stage. We take a look at the players that could affect the NCAA Tournament in 2009 the most and if they will have what it takes to have their team compete for a Championship.

Blake Griffin (Oklahoma Sooners)

I believe the entire nation is aware how important Blake Griffin is to the Oklahoma Sooners after the events over the past few weeks. Griffin suffered a concussion and missed most of the game in the Sooners lost to Texas. Griffin would also miss the next game that also resulted into a losing effort to Kansas. However once Griffin returned to the lineup, Oklahoma returned to their regular dominant stature. The talented sophomore could be a lock to win National Player of the Year with 22 points and a 14 rebound average on the season. Not only could he win National Player of the Year, but would likely be a lottery pick if he chooses to leave for the NBA following this season. Griffin will try and lead the Sooners in a big way in March and he can single handedly take control of games. However, Oklahoma as a team I believe does not have what it takes to keep up with the top schools from the Big East and the ACC in March. However, if Griffin could lead Oklahoma to a Championship it would add that much more to his growing resume.

Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina Tar Heels)

Tyler Hansbrough won the 2008 Player of the Year last season and now is the all-time leading scorer in North Carolina history. That accomplishment alone speaks volumes considering the legendary names that North Carolina has produced through their legendary history. Hansbrough got off to a semi slow start to the season, but has been nothing short of outstanding through the tough conference play this season. Hansbrough has posted 21 points and 8 rebounds on average this season. One thing that is great for Hansbrough is he does not have to be great. North Carolina owns probably the most talented lineup in America. Even if Hansbrough was to have an off night which happens as bout as much as a lunar eclipse, North Carolina still has plenty of talent to pick up the slack. The Tarheels are 5/2 favorites to win it all through the NCAA Tournament this season. Hansbrough will just be a big factor in leading the Tarheels towards a Championship run.

DeJuan Blair (Pittsburgh Panthers)

DeJuan Blair is likely the 2nd most impressive sophomore in the nation behind Blake Griffin. Pittsburgh has been stellar all season and they racked up a big win over top ranked Connecticut just two weeks ago. Blair had a solid freshman campaign and has improved in all aspects of his game. Not only has Blair become a very dangerous scoring threat, but he has become a monster on the boards pulling down an NCAA 3rd best 12.7 rebounds per game. In the Panthers big win over Connecticut, Blair had one of the biggest nights of his season with 22 points and 23 rebounds. Pittsburgh will need Blair to have those types of performances in their big games during the Tournament. If that happen, the Panthers will be very tough to beat.

Jeff Teague (Wake Forest Demon Decons)

Jeff Teague is possibly the best young guard in the country. Teague scoring threat was a big contributing factor to Wake Forest’s 16-0 start that put them on top of the polls. Even thought Wake Forest has struggled a big during ACC play, Teague has remained strong averaging 20 points on the season. The sophomore put together his biggest night of the season in one of the Demon Deacons biggest games when he posted 34 points to lift Wake Forest over North Carolina earlier this season. Unfortunately, Teague can only carry the Demon Deacons so far. Wake Forest has really been on thin ice during the latter part of the season and the inconsistent play has left a lot of question marks looming. Wake Forest is receiving 17/1 odds this season making them a team to consider making a gamble on. Teague performance in the NCAA Tournament will go along way in attempting to get Wake Forest back towards top notch play.

Stephen Curry (Davidson Wildcats)

Davidson was the Cinderella story of the 2008 NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats came out of nowhere to earn an Elite 8 appearance. Stephen Curry was a big cause to their late season run. Curry has led the nation nearly all season on top of the scoring charts. The junior guard has posted a ridiculous 28 point average this season that included two 44 point performances. The 44 point nights were not against weak opposition either as Curry put together those performances against Oklahoma and NC State. Davidson has fell victim to some unexpected losses this season and many doubt any big runs this year in March. However, Curry can keep the Wildcats in any game on any given night. Still Curry needs a bit more help from his teammates to really contend with the top teams in the country.

Which of these players would you most want on your team for this year's NCAA tournament?
(You can tell us who you chose and why in the comments section below)

  • Blake Griffin (40%, 8 Votes)
  • Stephen Curry (30%, 6 Votes)
  • Tyler Hansbrough (20%, 4 Votes)
  • DeJuan Blair (10%, 2 Votes)
  • Jeff Teague (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 20

The Rivalry; Duke vs. UNC

February 10th, 2009 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   1 Comment »

When you think of college basketball perhaps you think of the great teams throughout the years like UCLA, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Duke. Then when you throw the world rivalry into the phrase with college basketball two names standout far more than the rest and they are the North Carolina Tarheels and the Duke Blue Devils. These two highly successful teams have the most brutally intense rivalry in college basketball fueled by years of close games with anywhere from Conference to National Championship implications. These two programs rivalry burns like no other match-up in basketball and they will reignite the flame this Wednesday night.

It may be hard for those that do not understand the history to fully grasp the significance in this annual rivalry meeting which happens twice a year. North Carolina and Duke rank in the top 4 of schools in NCAA History on the all-time wins list not to mention both schools have combined for 7 National Titles. 5 of those National Titles have also come in the last two decades and only twice since 1990 has a Duke or North Carolina team not won or shared the regular season ACC Championship. The battles that take place twice every year always have extreme implications on the line. Nearly every year these two schools are battling for ACC supremacy or games with National meaning. This Wednesday night’s match-up is no different as these two schools are tied for first place in the ACC and they will take center stage in front of the nation to battle it out once again in one of the most highly anticipated games of the year.

If you could imagine battling the same team year in and year in these type of high pressure meaningful games, you can quickly understand why this game has become a rivalry. Add to the fact that both schools are from the same conference and they meet twice a season and you can see why this is a big rivalry. Finally, throw in the fact that these two campuses are separated by only 8 miles of Tobacco Road and you can perhaps understand why this has become one of the biggest calamities in sports. If you have not witnessed these games first hand, you could not imagine the animosity between the two fan bases. A spectacle that will once again be seen Wednesday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium at the home of the Blue Devils.

The rivalry has become of the rarest forms of true hatred between two teams in college sports and quite possibly it is all due to the success of both programs. When you combine 28 Final Four appearances from the Universities, and have to go back over 50 years to 1955 to find the last meeting that occurred when neither team was ranked in the top 25 in the Associated Press polls so you can just get a glimpse at the high profile type of play. In 2006, the rivalry hit one of its climax moments when it turned in to a bloodshed battle between two of the current standout players for each team. The Blue Devils Gerald Henderson went up to test a shot with North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough and the outcome was a scene for the ages. While the act did not look intentional, Henderson frustratingly swung to block the shot when he made a direct hit on Hansbrough’s nose. Hansbrough lied on the floor for a moment before hopping up with a nasty flow of blood streaming from his nose. This moment in time epitomized the rivalries intensity and the hatred between the schools. The 2006 game between North Carolina and Duke was later claimed to be the most watch college basketball game in NCAA history. In case you were missing from the basketball world in 2006 or just want to rekindle the moment here is the video.


The history between the rivalry is fascinating especially when you consider names like Michael Jordan, Jason Williams, Antawn Jamison, Christian Laettner, and many more have participated in these events then you can appreciate both teams and their significance to college basketball. As far as the recent history goes, North Carolina has won the last 4 of 5 games and they will be the favorites to win on Wednesday night despite Duke is a perfect 14-0 at home this season. Before the impressive run by the Tarheels in the rivalry, Duke put together one of the most impressive streaks in the rivalry when they put together wins in 15 of 19 meetings from prior to the 2006 meeting. The Tarheels lead the all-time series that started back in 1920, by a record of 128-97. However these two elite teams have met a total of 64 times when ranked in the top 25 and they are split even at 32-32. Be sure to tune in late Wednesday night as these two teams return to the spotlight and catch all of the magical moments from the best rivalry in college basketball.