New Michael Jordan North Carolina basketball cards: highest value of all time?


The MSN is releasing a new Michael Jordan University of North Carolina Master Collection Set. They claim it will be the highest valued basketball
card set of all time. And of course, we should trust them because they’re not biased at all, right. I mean they’re telling us the truth, correct? No hyperbole here about the Chicago Bulls guard who is in fact the greatest NBA player of all time. No, none at all.

The Upper Deck staff believes individual sets may sell for as much as 5 Gs. And they wouldn’t lie to us, right? I myself have no idea what they’re worth as I stopped collecting sports cards when I was 16. I then moved on to cars and girls.  (Not that I was successful with either endeavor, I just moved on)

The company unveiled the set at the 2013 Las Vegas Industry Summit with four hard-signed Michael Jordan autograph cards, one Michael Jordan logo patch card set, one 1982 National Championship ring and one super premium card from Michael Jordan.

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NBA draft scenarios for Indiana Pacers

The Indiana Pacers are staring the end of the Larry Bird era in the eyes right now.

The 2011-12 NBA Executive of the Year announced his decision to step down as team president Thursday, but he’s not quite done yet.

Bird will conduct the Pacers’ draft alongside Donnie Walsh, who returns to Indiana as president, and newly promoted GM Kevin Pritchard.

The trio could go several different directions, including standing pat with their No. 26 overall pick or wheeling and dealing to move up.

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2012 NFL Draft – Top Linebackers

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2012 NFL Draft – Top Defensive Lineman

Defensive End

1. Melvin Ingram, South Carolina (6-2, 264): One of the most versatile defensive lineman in the draft, Ingram could play in both the 3-4 as an OLB or speed DE, as well as play the traditional 4-3 defensive end. Ingram has pro-ready hand technique and frequently gets his man off balance.    Prediction: Top-15

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#33 North Carolina Tar Heels: College Football 77 in 77

North Carolina cheerleaders

There are times when I wish I didn’t have to rank all my 77 in early June. Because quite a few things happen between then and kickoff. Of course, very few are as dramatic as what’s going on in Chapel Hill. I knew they were a college football program in turmoil, and that Butch Davis was in jeopardy. However, had I knew it was going to be interim leader and former Defensive Coordinator Everett Withers manning the sidelines, I would have ranked them in the 40s or 50s. Not that I’m so down on Withers. It’s just that any team firing it’s coach in August is in well, dire straits.

Still, there’s some NFL talent left on that defense. And I think the graduation of QB T.J. Yates could be addition by subtraction. Yes, I know he broke 37 school passing records, but that’s only because he started all four years. He’s like football Tyler Hansbrough- put up a lot of great numbers because he just wasn’t good enough to leave school early.

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North Carolina Tar Heels Very Impressive; Ready for Test from Kentucky Wildcats

North Carolina cheerleaders

You wouldn’t have thought that the UNC Tar Heels team playing Friday night was the same one that was defensively challenged all year. College basketball teams were able to get up and down on them pretty much at will. But on Friday night, they stepped up and answered the call, holding Marquette to 15 first half points – the second fewest in the program’s storied tournament history.

Not only did their defense click, but as usual, their offense was elite and put the game away early. The big 3 in Tyler Zeller, lottery pick Harrison Barnes, and John Henson put on a clinic against Marquette. They combined to score 61 of the 81 points and kept Marquette from ever making this a game.

By Ryan West

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North Carolina and Duke Fuel Up the Rivalry

Rivalries. It’s what defines sports and in college basketball, there’s not one bigger than Duke and North Carolina.

To each team, the other is the “Evil Empire”. That’s how it works.

UNC dropped early games this season to teams like Minnesota and Vanderbilt. Harrison Barnes was looking more like Marvin Williams and less like Michael Jordan by the minute.

On the other side, after Duke’s fast start, there was talk of Duke going undefeated.

Well, after a Kyrie Irving season-ending injury and an embarrassing loss to St. Johns, the Blue Devils have been knocked off their high horse.

During that same time period, the Tarheels turned things around with a 7-1 ACC record and a No. 20 national ranking. Barnes has gotten rid of his freshman fears and looks comfortable – more than before at least.

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Bucks Draft Report: Scheyer highlights workout of second rounders

Jon Scheyer

The second of three days worth of Milwaukee Bucks prospect workouts featured what scouting director Billy McKinney called “a group of very solid second round players.”

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UNC Quartet helped NBA Draft Stock by returning to School


By Paul M. Banks

In 2006, Joakim Noah, Al Horford, and Corey Brewer all decided to return to Florida in hopes of winning back-to-back national titles, a feat that came to fruition.

Last summer, North Carolina faced a similar situation.  The Tar Heels saw sophomores Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington, and junior Danny Green declare for the NBA Draft, but later pull their names out in hopes of bringing a championship to Chapel Hill.  Also returning to UNC was National Player of the Year Tyler Hansbrough.  With all that experience returning, the Heels did what they set out to do, breezing through the NCAA Tournament and defeating Michigan State in the championship game.  Now the four Tar Heels will try to follow in the footsteps of the Gators, when Horford, Brewer, and Noah were three of the top nine picks in the 2007 NBA Draft.

“We all accomplished something very special and now we’re here this year trying to take that next step,” Wayne Ellington said at the NBA Draft Combine before discussing how playing another year in college and winning a title helped their stock. “We definitely didn’t hurt ourselves at all, we all got better individually and as a team and we did it on the biggest stage, and that definitely helps your resume.”

Tyler Hans….must I actually type out his name?
Off the four Heels that will be drafted, Hansbrough is obviously the most heralded (and over exposed).  But despite all the accolades (and the ridiculous amount of coverage) this polarizing player received during his collegiate career, scouts question how his game will translate into the NBA.  We all became nauseuous from incessantly hearing about his hustle, heart, determination, blah, blah, blah and how his fearless attitude on the court earned him the nickname “Psycho T.”  But those attributes will only take you so far in the pro game as raw talent tends to take over.  Duke N Carolina Basketball

“I’m not going to work out for a lot of teams, probably about 8, I’ve played for four years, these guys have seen me play, and I don’t think they’re going to judge me by one workout,” Hansbrough said at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago. Everyone’s favorite player to hate will certainly be a first round pick, likely going as high as 16th overall to the Bulls and dropping as low as the mid-20’s, but his outlook at the next level is more of a role player, an energy guy who can come off the bench, grab rebounds, and do everybody’s favorite cliché, “the little things that don’t show up in the box score.” Hansbrough gave a mind-numbing cliché when asked about where he might end up. “I’ll work out with these eight teams that I think I fit in best with and we’ll go from there,” Hansbrough said.

Ty Lawson

Lawson is a tough prospect to figure out.  Because the point guard class is so deep this year, it is hard to tell where teams will rank him compared to others.  I would not be surprised if Lawson went as high at number ten to the Bucks, but also wouldn’t be shocked if he fell into the early 20’s. “I’d love to play there,” Lawson said about Milwaukee, “I talked to the coaches yesterday, and their ones play up and down, that’s my type of game. They have a lot of weapons, Michael Redd, Richard Jefferson, Andrew Bogut, so there are a lot of options and I wouldn’t mind going there,” the student of the game said.

Whoever drafts Lawson will get a proven floor leader and someone who understands how to run an offense.  He is lightning quick with the basketball and a great distributor.  The biggest concern regarding Lawson last year was his inconsistent outside shooting, but he increased his three-point percentage from 36% to 47% during his junior campaign, proving he can knock down big shots when needed. Lawson himself is pretty confident in his J. When I asked him what are the best things he brings to the NBA table Lawson responded, “probably my speed, leadership, I think I can shoot with the best of them, me and Steph Curry are probably the best shooters out of the group, and I can take care out of the ball, so I think that separates me from the rest of the group.”

Wayne Ellington

Ellington is a pure shooter who had one of the prettiest strokes in college basketball.  He has a great mid-range game, knows to move without the ball, but is too often streaky from downtown.  His athleticism isn’t ideal for most NBA two-guards and hasn’t shown a tenacity to attack the basket.  More than likely, Ellington will be a solid role player at the next level because of his ability to shoot the rock, but it is doubtful that he will ever become a go-to player.  He could realistically go as high as #12 to Charlotte, but more than likely falls into the late-teen’s/early-twenties. Ellington was asked where he might fit in within the big picture, “Right now all you can do is work, I’ve been working hard and getting ready and preparing myself,” he responded.

Danny Green

Partially due to the ridiculous amount of unnecessary hype surrounding Hansbrough, perhaps no player in college basketball did more for his team and received less attention for it than Green.  He isn’t going to blow you away with any particular part of his game, but does a little bit of everything truly earning the title “glue guy.”  Green validated this concept when I asked him what his most saleable skill is. “I don’t like to categorize myself in one area or be put in one category, I’m a basketball player. Whatever a team needs me to do, I’ll do. Whether it’s box out, grab rebounds, play defense, get steals, block shots, spot up shooting, whatever it is, I’m going to try and do,” Green said.

Offensively, he is a solid shooter, decent ball-handler, and can post up small defenders on the block.  His defense is what will likely allow him to stick on an NBA team because he can guard on both the perimeter and the post.  If he lands in the right situation, he could be an invaluable bench player and a steal of a second round pick. I asked Green who people compare his game to. “My younger brother likes to compare me to Brandon Roy and hopefully, I can do some of the things that he can do because we’re the same height, same build,” Green responded.

South Regional Bracket Breakdown

By: David K.

Overview: This is hands down the toughest bracket. North Carolina and Oklahoma are the #1 and #2. If Blake Griffin didn’t suffer a concussion a couple weeks ago, odds are the Sooners would have been a #1 seed. What I hate about this bracket is that it has three teams I was considering Final Four sleepers; Syracuse, Gonzaga, and Arizona State. I am giddy at the thought of watching two of my favorite teams Cuse and ASU go at it in the second round.

This all hinges on the fact that UNC point guard Ty Lawson is healthy. Lawson was held out of the ACC Tournament and the Heels barely beat Virginia Tech in the first round and then lost to Florida State in the Semifinals. Cuse spent a lot of energy in getting to the Big East Tournament Finals, playing eight overtimes in four games so people are questioning how fresh they will be for the tourney. Judging by their will and desire, I doubt that will be a concern. Cuse makes it to the Elite Eight because they are a more balanced team than Oklahoma and have the bigs who can bang with Griffin down low.

Sleeper: (6) Arizona State
I have not and will not hide my affection for James Harden. He has the ability to take over a game with not only his scoring, but his ability to distribute the basketball. For the Sun Devils to make a run, he will need to be a very aggressive scorer and the complimentary players around must knock down their open shots. Their pesky 1-2-2 zone with mantoman principles tends to bother teams and will need to be effective.

Early Exit: (5) Illinois
Not having their senior floor leader and defensive sparkplug Chester Frazier hurts them. They are in the dreaded five seed and have a very tough first round match-up against Western Kentucky. WKU made a run into the Sweet 16 as a 12 seed last season so they know what it takes to pull off an upset or two. Even if the Illini get past the Hilltoppers, there is no chance they knock off the four seed Gonzaga.

Most Intriguing First Round Match-Up: (8) LSU vs. (9) Butler
The committee obviously didn’t think very high of the SEC as the top team in the conference, LSU only got an eight seed. Despite a 26-4 record, Butler also got little respect, receiving a 9 seed. The Bulldogs only lost at Ohio State by three and won at Xavier by nine so they have played decent competition outside the Horizon League. Keep an eye on Butler freshman swingman Gordon Hayward if you have yet to see Butler play, and LSU shooting guard Marcus Thornton who is a big time scorer.