Thursday, March 10, 2011

Packer: UNC more likely to make Final Four than Duke

Billy Packer says it would be “a shocker” if Duke makes it to the 2011 men’s Final Four. If North Carolina does, however, Packer said it would be “no surprise at all.”

Packer, 71, told me that today while I interviewed him about college basketball. The interview was in conjunction with an event Packer has going this Monday at 7 p.m. at Spirit Square in uptown Charlotte called “Inside the Brackets.” At that 90-minute event, Packer, Bob Knight, Phil Ford and Mike Gminski will talk college basketball and speculate about the just-released NCAA 68-team bracket.

It should be a lot of fun. Tickets are on sale to the general public for $20 at 704-372-1000 or

As part of the interview I asked Packer – who worked more than 30 Final Fours as a TV analyst and broadcast his last Final Four for CBS in 2008 – what he thought about Duke and North Carolina’s chances to reach this year’s Final Four.

Of Duke, Packer said: “Unless Kyrie Irving comes back – and I have no information that he will or anything like that – it would be a shocker to me to see Duke in the Final Four.

“There are certain players that can make a team special. Duke had that player in Irving. He could break down the defense. You had to guard him with two people when he got inside. Now Duke is too perimeter-oriented. To me, Duke has gone from a team that could separate itself from the field like Ohio State is doing now to just a good team among 30-40 other good teams around the country.”

Of UNC, Packer said: “North Carolina has excellent balance. Kendall Marshall has such a high basketball IQ, and is such a good distributor at point guard, that he has made every man on that team half a man better. The Tar Heels certainly could be haunted by a game with poor outside shooting or foul trouble, because their depth is weak, but overall it would be no surprise at all to see them in the Final Four.”

In the current Associated Press poll, Duke is No.5 in the country and North Carolina is No.6. The teams split their regular-season matchups. Both clubs open ACC tournament play Friday and could face each other again in Sunday’s championship game in Greensboro.


Anonymous said...

Billy Packer.....hahaha.Why are you asking him? He is a nobody and a has been.


When the biggest ABC fan of all sees the writing on the wall, the rest of the league better watch out. Go Heels!!

Anonymous said...

sure bet they said that last year at the same time, does anyone know that these are all college kids and crazy things happen in march! gluck on that call

DUKE RULZ said...

"They said" the same thing last year about the Tarholes? Are you high? They were horrible last year.

Anonymous said...

Well to d00k's defense they are 100% more likely to collect "starwarz action figures" or play warcraft or dungeons and dragons + and there are more 40 yr old d00kie virgins ,but i think Packer is right on...The dook nerds are 2 wins and out...1 if the "Battlestar gallactica" marathon is on before there 2nd game...keep eatin boogers dookies!

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows Duke is a team for terrible people. The "Cameron Crazies" are bunch of ugly girls and tremendous douche-bag amateurs.

UNC is and always will be the jam. We represent all that is good. Duke represents all that is gay.

I can't wait to watch us clear the bench on Sunday against Florida State.

Anonymous said...

Packer is a fraud -- HAHAHHA

Who cares what that wshed up idiot thinks?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Okay on an honest note, I just want to say that the guy has worked the final fours for years and years, if anyone knows what they could be talking about, it's him. But I think he might have bumped his head on this one. I don't see UNC making it past the elite 8, Duke might be in the championship, I would say against Ohio State, but UNC is definately not going to make it into the final four this year. Better luck next year, because our guys will be a little older and a little more experienced.

Pack Backer said...

Billy Pack lost his edge years ago. He has always been a homer when it comes to the Holes. What does base this opinion. unc only has eight scholarship players. That's a little short handed to say that they are more likely than Dook to make to the Final Four.

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I wonder if our team will reach the finals or not! awesome analysis thank you!