Carolina men's basketball team
has never gone on the road and beaten a top 25 ranked team. The Pirates
almost pulled off the feat Tuesday night in Winston-Salem before they
fell to Wake Forest 58-54. The Pirates had the lead with just over
three minutes left in the game, but couldn't muster another field goal
the rest of the way.
Coaches hate to talk about moral victories, but this game was full of
them. Ricky Stokes' team continues to play well since the addition of
Jeremy Ingram, and the narrow loss at Lawrence Joel Coliseum proved how
far this team has come. I am sure they are disappointed by the loss,
but to come that close to knocking off a perennial power has to do
wonders for the confidence of the Pirates. They were at a disadvantage
inside against the taller Deacons and out rebounded by 15, but still
had a chance to win the game. The Pirates forced 21 turnovers (that
included 13 steals) and showed great tenacity from start to finish.
It also had to be a special night for Ingram. The Kinston native
transferred to ECU from Wake Forest, but in his return to
Winston-Salem, he showed his old team what they are missing. Ingram
scored 10 points on four of 11 shooting, but he showed explosiveness
and quickness that caused the Dec's fits. I am sure Ingram was pumped
up to face his old team, and his competitive spirit wanted to show Skip
Prosser that he should have played more in his year-plus with Wake.
Consider his point proved.
Now the Pirates must carry this confidence into Conference USA play,
because that is the real season. If ECU wants to make it back to the
NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1993, they will have to have a
great showing in C-USA. There are no moral victories once Conference