Roy Williams

Why UNC’s trip west just got $120,000 more expensive

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The NCAA has ruled on the UNC case, but unfortunately for those hoping that they Tar Heels will finally face the music for their questionable course offerings for athletes, this ruling is only tangentially tied to academics.

You see, the NCAA has a rule in place that says teams cannot travel to a road game more than 48 hours before tipoff. But on Nov. 16th, when UNC plays at Long Beach State, tipoff isn’t until 11 p.m. EST. That means that by the letter of the law, the Tar Heels wouldn’t be allowed to leave for the game until 11 p.m. on the 14th, which is a Wednesday.

Now, Roy Williams wants to leave at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, six hours before he’s allowed to. That’s the time of the last commercial flight out of Raleigh-Durham International Airport. He’s appealed the NCAA about it twice, and both times they’ve told him no.

Here’s the funny part: those six hours the NCAA is holding the Tar Heels hostage over? They won’t affect the amount of class time that the UNC players attend. No matter what happens, they’ll be absent from their Thursday and Friday classes. And whether they leave at 5 p.m. or 11 p.m., every UNC player will finish their course load for the day on Wednesday. The only thing those six hours do is force UNC to spend $120,000 on a charter flight out west.

“You’re telling me we have to spend $120,000?,” an obvious fired up Williams said to ESPN’s Andy Katz. “Last year, we played the Carrier Classic game [in San Diego]. It was well-publicized on an aircraft carrier and one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had. The president of the United States comes to the game, and we were able to leave at 11 a.m. on Wednesday for a game at 4 p.m. on Friday. We didn’t go to any classes on Wednesday. This year we would go to class Wednesday.”

You hear that?

When the President’s going to be in attendance, that 48-hour rule no longer matters.

Maybe Williams should send an invite to the Oval Office.


Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.