Shanoff's W.U.C.: UNC, Davidson, A-Rod, T.O.

Today's Calls: Tyler Hansbrough vs. Stephen Curry, Louisville vs. Pitt, Gonzaga vs. St. Mary's, A-Rod vs. Chipper, T.O. vs. L.T., Magic vs. Celtics, Florida State vs. the NCAA and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Tyler Hansbrough could be the greatest player in UNC history. Or he could be UNC's equivalent of Ralph Sampson, who for all his college dominance is widely considered one of the sport's biggest losers. ↵

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↵Let's say it again: For all of his on-court success, records and accolades, if Psycho-T doesn't win an NCAA title, his career is -- if not quite a failure -- plenty incomplete. ↵

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↵Yesterday's win over Duke was a nice home send-off to his career, a good win over the rival -- it may have even secured a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, regardless of how UNC finishes in the ACC Tournament. But it doesn't mean squat for Hansbrough's legacy, which for now is based mostly on three years of choking exits from the NCAA Tournament. ↵

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↵No player has more pressure on him heading into the NCAA Tournament than Hansbrough. It's arguable no player has EVER had more pressure on him heading into the NCAA Tournament than Hansbrough: ↵

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↵Title or bust. ↵

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↵What we learned this weekend ... ↵

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↵• Is the most exciting player/team from the 2008 Tournament not going to be in the field in '09? I could see the Committee putting in Davidson; they're no lock, but simply for their run a year ago and Stephen Curry's star power. (McKillop: Stop crowing about the quality of your losses.) ↵

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↵Here is the big argument against giving Davidson an at-large bid: If they can't even win the Southern conference tournament (can't even get to the finals), why should they earn a bid over a team from a much tougher conference? (My guess: They get an at-large bid.) ↵

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↵• Louisville should be the No. 1 team in the country. (With Pitt right behind them. ↵

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↵• The not-quite-Bubble pops for Northwestern. ↵

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↵• You always have to watch the Mo Valley champ in the NCAA Tournament. ↵

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↵• Championship Week tonight: Gonzaga-St. Mary's in an epic West Coast final. The Zags edged the Gaels twice this season, but without St. Mary's star Patty Mills, who returned last night to lead his team into the finals. Gonzaga is an at-large lock already; St. Mary's needs a strong showing, although I'm not sure they need to win to be in -- with Mills back, pushing Gonzaga to the limit may be enough to impress the Selection Committee. ↵

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↵• More: Colonial (George Mason-VCU) and MAAC (Siena-Niagara). Same as the other title games this past weekend (Morehead!): Winner gets into the NCAA Tournament; the loser gets regrets. ↵

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↵A-Rod out 6-9 weeks for surgery: It beats him struggling through the pain for a few months, then missing August and September. The mission for the Yankees is to stay in contention without him, then put together a surge when he returns. (It will help if AJ Burnett proves himself worth the offseason payday he got.) ↵

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↵Perhaps even more important: So what do I do about A-Rod in my fantasy draft? ↵

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↵WBC Watch: What was that folks were saying about the only thing that matters is that players not get hurt while participating? D'oh. ↵

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↵T.O. goes to Buffalo: Clifton Brown is spot-on -- the Bills may or may not get more competitive in the tough AFC East. But T.O. makes them "must-follow"; it puts them on the radar in a way they haven't been since the great Jim Kelly teams of the early ‘90s -- maybe even more. ↵

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↵The media will swarm; the Bills will be among the first teams to be featured in every NFL highlights package. Of course, we are not doing that because they will be good -- we are doing it because we want to see just how insane T.O. will make things. ↵

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↵And I'm quite sure he sees himself as the person to give a "personality" to the Bills, which will only delude him into even more crazy. Good luck with that, Bills fans. Two weeks ago, you despised T.O.: Now, you're going to buy his jersey (whatever number it is!) and cheer him on. ↵

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↵NFL Must-Read: Florio's 10-Pack, all about where LaDainian Tomlinson might end up. (Hint: Not San Diego.) ↵

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↵NBA Instant History: ↵

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↵• The Cavs might not be able to take out the Celtics (particularly if it involves winning a game in Boston), but the Magic might be the team that can do it... ↵

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↵(&bull- That last point comes with the caveat that in addition to being without KG, Boston played without Rondo -- arguably more valuable to them than KG right now) ... ↵

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↵• How competitive is the playoff race in the West? This close. (That said: No one is beating the Lakers, so does it really even matter? OK: So maybe the Spurs have a shot.) ↵

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↵• Kevin Durant can't be THAT good: The Thunder continue to be more successful without him on the court than with him. (You can argue "Ooh: Just think how good they'll be when he returns!" Or, alternatively, his style held them back.) ↵

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↵Florida State scandal: Revoking wins is mostly an empty punishment by the NCAA -- who makes good to the team that lost to FSU and, because of it, wasn't bowl eligible or didn't qualify for a bowl with a higher pay-out? ↵

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↵But in this case, it hits FSU where it really hurts: Bobby Bowden's legacy. He would always go down in history for running a program with a checkered history of following the rules, but to punish him through the all-time wins list -- he is in a battle for 1st where every game matters -- is serious. ↵

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↵Tebow Watch: So if, say, a shoe company gives this charity a million dollars today and Tebow signs with them as an endorser next January, the NCAA is OK with that? ↵

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↵CFB Recruiting: Georgia lands a very good TE-WR hybrid in Orson Charles. ↵

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↵The Last Word: St. Augustine's College, take your 15 minutes. Two no-hitters in a row is worth the coverage. ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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