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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Nice Vinny D article up at Bulls.com

Vinny Del Negro stressing focus, energy

The article focuses on Del Negro as the new head coach of the Chicago Bulls, how training camp has gone so far, and how he thinks various other teams in the league will shape up.

The real treat of the story, though, is the kick-ass photo of Vinny hanging out with Jimmy V in the locker room and the sidebar that touches on Vinny's relationship with V and his role in the 1987 ACC title.

Wolf Tracks

With the addition of guard Vinny Del Negro, Jim Valvano’s NC State Wolfpack began a run of five consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament, twice reaching the Elite Eight (1985 & 1986), and a Sweet Sixteen appearance (1989) a year after Del Negro graduated.

In 1987, after a sixth place finish in the regular season, Valvano and Del Negro ingeniously directed the Wolfpack to a surprising run through the ACC Tournament, reaching the title game against archrival North Carolina. With only seconds left on the clock, Del Negro calmly stepped to the line and knocked down two clutch free throws to give NC State a stunning 68-67 upset victory over the Tar Heels, who had gone undefeated in conference play that season.

But at the end they kind of kill the buzz with this sobering reminder:

To date, North Carolina State’s Men’s Basketball program has yet to capture another ACC Championship.

Pretty sad that from the time of our last title, a guy can still have one year of eligibility remaining, enjoy a lengthy pro career, then be named head coach of an NBA team. Oy.

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