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Monday, March 28, 2005

Relax and worry

Two different columnists offer radically different analyses of Carolina's return to the Final Four.

As only he can, the N&R's Ed Hardin pooh-poohs the Tar Heels' party. Fair enough: In 13 trips to the Final Four, the Heels have one only three titles, and in all his trips to the Final Four, Roy Williams has zero titles.

Hardin:

"His players know that...and they'll add that baggage to their pile of pressure before the trip later this week."

On the other hand, the N&O's Caulton Tudor says that while the pressure to win titles at Carolina is in the coach's job description,

"Williams should be allowed to relax and enjoy the ride that he's earned. Getting (to the Final Four), in this case, was the ultimate journey for the Carolina program that Williams was handed."

I was also struck by the fact that Matt Doherty's name came up in both columns, although in very different contexts.

Hardin says the Doherty era is now officially forgotten:

"There was no mention of Matt Doherty in the postgame celebration."

Tudor, on the other hand, pays homage to Doherty:

"Doherty's last team, even without (Sean) May most of the season, began to show signs of recovery and finished a competitive 19-16.

"But equally true is the fact that under doherty, the devotion to detail had slipped. Much of it wasn't his fault as coach. He had what amounted to a freshman and sophomore team that was grasping for direction. Doherty just didn't have the experience and coaching background to set that direction properly."

So is the monkey off the Tar Heels' back, or will nothing short of a title restore the faith of the Carolina blue crowd?