Tar Takes 4/1: Coby White, Nassir Little, Zion William’s NBA draft outlook, recap from Duke + UNC’s early NCAA exit

Tar Takes 4.1.19

On this week’s episode of Tar Takes, Ryan Lipton and David Matlock give their takeaways from the North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils’ early exits from NCAA March Madness and why the exits might not have been as surprising as one might think.

Tar Takes also examines whether it is the right decision for Nassir Little to enter the NBA draft, if Coby White should follow Little’s footsteps and leave for the NBA, looks forward to possibly landing the No. 1 G in the country in Cole Anthony and Zion Williams/Ja Morant talk.

Tar Takes 4/1 Topics:

Thoughts on UNC’s loss to Auburn in the Sweet 16 and Duke’s loss to Michigan State in the Elite 8.

UNC F Nassir Little declares for NBA draft. Is that the right move for Nassir?

Should Coby White declare for the NBA draft? His decision is still unknown.

What are the prospects for next year’s Tar Heel team? Armando Barcot is committed, Cole Anthony is looking hard at UNC but some think his decision depends on Coby White.

Would a Cole Anthony and Coby White back court work together?

Ryan Lipton is the founder of The JR Report. For more news and The JR Report updates follow him on twitter @rytime98.

Tar Takes 3/4: UNC-Duke preview, do Tar Heels deserve No. 3 ranking, should LeBron finish season?

On this week’s episode of Tar Takes we look back at North Carolina’s 81-79 victory over Clemson, discuss if UNC deserves its No. 3 ranking, other top 5 teams, we preview the Duke-UNC game, and talk about the futures of recently-controversial LeBron James and Antonio Brown.

Tar Takes 3/4

Tar Heels defeat Clemson 81-79. Nassir only scored 5 points. Should UNC fans be worried about Little’s performance moving forward?

North Carolina rolled with 6 men for most of the game against Clemson. Is that the plan moving forward?

UNC now ranked No. 3 in the country. What would be your rankings for the top 5 in college basketball be?

Duke-UNC. Who’s going to win?

Would you trade for Antonio Brown?

Should LeBron play the remainder of the NBA season?

Ryan Lipton is the founder of The JR Report. For more news and The JR Report updates follow him on twitter @rytime98.

Tar Takes 2/25: Aftermath of UNC defeating Duke, FSU, Should Zion Williamson sit out season?

On this week’s episode of Tar Takes we discuss the aftermath of the North Carolina Tar Heels basketball team’s amazing week which included two decisive wins over the Duke Blue Devils and Florida State Seminoles. We also break down what we saw against Duke, who will win on Tuesday in Syracuse vs. UNC, and ask the question should Zion Williamson play anymore basketball games for Duke?

We also start the show by making an apology to UNC forward Luke Maye since he balled out against Duke after Tar Takes was not optimistic in its predictions for Maye against the Blue Devils last Wednesday.

Takeaways and thoughts after UNC’s win over Duke? Florida State?

Is UNC being ranked at No. 5 too high, too low or just right?

What should we expect tomorrow night against Syracuse? Will UNC lose, win by a little or win by a lot?

Should Zion Williamson play another game for Duke?

Ryan Lipton is the founder of The JR Report. For more news and The JR Report updates follow him on twitter @rytime98.

Tar Takes 2.18: Duke-UNC preview, will LeBron/Lakers make NBA playoffs?

On this week’s episode of Tar Takes, we spend most of our time breaking down the matchups when the North Carolina Tar Heels travel to Cameron Indoor to take on the Duke Blue Devils on Wednesday night.

After we break down everything in the tobacco road rivalry, we discuss if LeBron James and the Lakers will make the NBA playoffs.

Can anything be taken from UNC’s win over Wake Forest after tough loss to UVA? Tar Heels defeated Wake Forest by 38 points on Saturday.

Are you worried about UNC’s health heading into the Duke-UNC game on Wednesday? Cam Johnson and Nassir Little dealing with ankle injuries.

Do the Tar Heels have any chance to win on Wednesday against Duke in Cameron Indoor?

Barack Obama will be in attendance for Wednesday’s UNC-Duke game in Durham. Are we surprised?

Will LeBron and the Los Angeles Lakers make the NBA playoffs?

Ryan Lipton is the founder of The JR Report. For more news and The JR Report updates follow him on twitter @rytime98.

Tar Takes 5.6.18: NBA rookie/coach of the year, Matt Ryan contract, Duke lands another 5 star

Ben Simmons and Donovan Mitchell – Bill Streicher, USA Today Sports

Watch the fourth Tar Takes broadcast with Ryan Lipton and David Matlock below! Tar Takes is presented by The JR Report and the brand new app Relevnt!

We discuss the latest in the sports world with debate segments of the hottest NBA/NFL topics of the week as well as the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Today, we take a debate the following topics! (Click on links for segments)

Who is your NBA rookie of the year?

Who is your NBA coach of the year?

Is Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan deserving of his new contract?

Duke lands another 5-star recruit, should Tar Heel fans be worried?

For more Tar Takes click the links below!

Tar Takes 4.29.18: NBA Playoffs, Raiders/Falcons 2018 NFL draft recap

Is Patrick Reed’s brother-in-law commenting on Tar Takes?

Ryan Lipton is the founder of The JR Report. For more news and The JR Report updates follow him on twitter @rytime98.

Five takeaways from Week 1 of March Madness

Photo via Michael Conroy / Associated Press

1. The ACC is not the best conference

The ACC was unanimously considered the best conference in all of college basketball. Some dare said that this might be the best conference season of all-time.

People were saying the ACC was a shoe-in for ten tournament teams, and it looked like they would be until Syracuse, who probably got gypped, didn’t make the cut. Nine teams made the tournament from the ACC,  still an impressive feat for a conference, making it the premier conference this season.

However, the tournament proved otherwise. After just two rounds, the ACC is down to just one contestant, the University of North Carolina.

Not only did the teams lose, they were embarrassed. The average margin of defeat for the ACC was 13.9 points per game. Most of the games were never even a contest. Florida State lost to an 11 seed by 25, Virginia lost to Florida by 26, and Miami lost to Michigan State by 20. The ACC lost almost every game they were in, and when they lost, they lost by a large margin.

Even UNC  was minutes away from not advancing to the Sweet 16. They should have been eliminated but got lucky with a 12-0 run and a few good calls from the refs to barely beat out Arkansas.

2. The referees have been horrible

The referees have had an impact in too many games this weekend.

Northwestern’s cinderella story was cut short by the refs. A horrible miscall of goaltending cost NU two points, momentum, and a technical foul leading to more points the opposite way.

With 49 seconds left in the North Carolina Arkansas game, Joel Berry, up by one point, was driving and obviously traveled. The refs didn’t blow their whistles and let Berry throw up an errant shot that was then tipped in by center Kennedy Meeks. The lead extended to three and essentially wrapped up the game.

For more bad calls from this past weekend click here.

3. Teams of destiny move on

March Madness is always filled with “teams of destiny”. Teams that lack the talent to be elite, but seem to make an improbable tournament run.

This year, Northwestern, South Carolina and Michigan are making their cases for this year’s team of destiny.

Sadly, Northwestern’s case ended this weekend because of the poor call mentioned above.

However, Michigan and South Carolina are still alive with a ton of momentum and confidence.

South Carolina knocked off no. 2 Duke by scoring 65 points in the second half in an impressive 88-81 win. They are led by underrated coach Frank Martin and have a realistic chance to continue their run of destiny. With the no. 1 seed also knocked out from their region, their road to a Final Four is that much easier.

They take on the no. 3 Baylor on Friday.

Michigan has also continued their improbable run. It all started with an almost plane crash, to winning the Big-10 tournament and now an appearance in the Sweet 16. It is going to get much tougher with no. 3 seed Oregon on Thursday, but with the feeling of destiny attached to this Michigan team, it wouldn’t surprise me if they upset Oregon.

4. Lonzo Ball is no joke

UCLA’s Lonzo Ball is a stud. Ball played 38 minutes, scored 18 points, had 9 assists and 7 rebounds against Cincinnati. He seems to be the closest thing to LeBron James we have seen in a while, minus the once in a generation athleticism.

Lonzo, who is a better shooter than James, has a very similar play style. He isn’t going to will his team to victory by scoring 35 points on 30 shots. Rather, he is going to fill out the stat sheet like he did against Cincinnati. He is a 6-6 point guard, who can also lead his team in rebounds (averages 6.1 per game), can score when he wants (14.7 ppg), but most importantly, sets up his teammates (7.6 assists per game).

No matter where Lonzo goes he wins. He has turned UCLA back into the big-time program they once were with his arrival. As a member of Chino Hills, his high school, he went undefeated with his two younger brothers and won the California Open Division State Championship. He expects to win every time he steps on the court and it is rare that doesn’t happen.

UNC, Kentucky and Butler better watch out. This man is no joke and he is coming for them.

5. Worst first-round of March Madness followed up by best second-round ever

The first two days of March Madness had barely any upsets. The upsets that occurred were upsets based on seeding. If the number next to their name was taken away, no one would be surprised by the results of those so-called “upsets”.

Nevertheless, it has been worth these first two boring days for one of the best weekends in college basketball history.

We saw powerhouses like Duke, Notre Dame, Villanova, Virginia, Louisville and Michigan State go down, while other top-tier programs, UNC, Kentucky, Gonzaga, Baylor and Oregon, hardly survived near-death experiences to advance.

The last two days were amazing to watch with almost every game coming down to the last few minutes with many resulting in major upsets of the most recognizable college basketball programs.

Grayson Allen Leads Duke to Victory over UNC

Photo via Duke's Men Basketball

Once again the Duke-UNC rivalry lived up to the hype. The game was at Cameron Indoor Stadium in front of what seemed to be the loudest Duke crowd in recent memory. The recent struggles, suspension of Grayson Allen, and Coach K’s leave of absence seemed to add fuel to the already loud Cameron Crazies making life very difficult for the Tar Heels.

The game was what everyone expected. Both teams getting out to a quick pace early. Duke is going to shoot the 3 ball well behind Allen, Kennard, and Tatum. There will be many runs, by both UNC and Duke, which will either quiet the crowd or transform it into a jet engine. UNC will look to use their size to their advantage by playing through Meeks, Hicks (was out last night with an ankle injury) and Bradley. And as always, even though it is just one game, it carries the weight of both student bodies and alumnae that will make or break their week, possibly their season.

It was high-scoring, uptempo, and neck to neck going into the halftime with Duke up 40-39. The game then went down to the wire, but Duke’s star power, Grayson Allen and Jason Tatum, overwhelmed the Tar Heels, led by Justin Jackson and Joel Berry.

Highlights from last night’s game, Duke 86 UNC 78


The main difference in the game was Duke’s top players. Grayson Allen played out of his mind. That shouldn’t come as a shock because everyone knew Allen was going to come in laser focused with the recent struggles as a team and the controversies regarding his foul play. Allen was the best player on the floor the entire night. He scored 25 points on 7-12 shooting from distance despite his limited minutes because of foul trouble. In these big games, 3’s are often worth more than the 3 points on the scoreboard because of the momentum gained by the crowd’s eruption every time Duke cashed in from deep. Allen started the game strong by hitting a few deeps threes, but also closed the game off with a big dunk to go up by 6 with just a few minutes left. Allen was the star from the tip to when he fouled out and was much better than any other player on the court last night.

In addition, Kennard had a quiet 20 points, only making 2 three pointers, but was efficient the entire game. Jason Tatum also had a huge night making highlight plays with his dunk on Kennedy Meeks and a game-clinching three to go along with his 19 points.

For North Carolina, they were led by Justin Jackson, who had the tough task of guarding Grayson Allen for the whole night, and Joel Berry, who put up nice numbers, but his impact was barely noticed. It should be noted that UNC was without their big man Isaiah Hicks. Hicks would have given UNC a big advantage inside that might have been the difference in the game. However, he wasn’t able to go and the pressure shifted to Tony Bradley, a freshman, and senior, Kennedy Meeks. Over the past few years, UNC has dominated Duke inside, but Meeks and Bradley struggled mightily to do anything against Duke’s frontcourt. Meeks had only 9 points, and more importantly, only 5 rebounds, whereas Bradley contributed 8 points off the bench, but only hauled in 3 rebounds. UNC, without Hicks, couldn’t take advantage of the glass greatly diminishing their chances of winning Thursday night.

Justin Jackson needs to be commended for his incredible game last night. He guarded Grayson Allen the entire night, and because of the lack of offensive firepower, had to carry the team offensively by scoring 21 points. However, this ended up being very detrimental to the outcome of the game. While Allen and the rest of the Duke stars had a lighter workload, Jackson had to carry the team for most of the game, making it difficult to preserve the energy needed to hit clutch shots down the stretch. Therefore, Duke took advantage and won the game with clutch plays from Allen, Kennard, and Tatum.

In the end, Duke has more star power than UNC. Berry and Jackson are great players, but they haven’t shown the ability to take over games like Grayson Allen, mostly because they are good shooters, not great. They can’t create any shot they want and knock it down like we saw last night with Grayson Allen. However, UNC has much more depth than Duke (UNC played 10 players, whereas Duke only played 8) and that should only improve once Pinson gets healthier and Hicks returns from his ankle injury.


What’s Next:

After Duke’s rough start to the ACC season, they are still in a tough position to compete for an ACC regular season title. However, if they play like they did last night, it will be tough for any team to beat them. UNC is still sitting in the driver’s seat of the ACC and shouldn’t feel down about last night’s lost. They lost on the road in the toughest environment in sports to their number one rival. It happens to almost every UNC team that plays in Cameron. They have a tough schedule coming up, opening the possibility for a Duke-UNC showdown March 4th for the ACC title. It is unlikely, but possible if Duke wins out and UNC drops a few games because of their brutal remaining schedule (without including their game against Duke, 3 of their next 5 games are against top 15 teams.)