2006-07 Around the ACC: February 8th, 2007

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After Wednesday night’s action (Clemson over FSU and UNC beating Duke), the
Hokies are in fourth place in the ACC, two games ahead of their closest pursuers
in the all-important loss column. The Virginia Cavaliers, winners of seven in a
row and heading to Blacksburg Saturday, sit atop the league standings with
Boston College. The rest of February promises to rock and roll in the
conference. See what’s up this week in “Around the ACC.”

ACC Standings
School Conf. Overall RPI
8-2 17-6 27
Virginia 8-2 16-6 30
7-2 21-3 2
6-3 16-7 35
Clemson 5-5 19-5 21
Duke 5-5 18-6 13
5-5 17-7 22
4-6 15-8 56
Maryland 3-6 17-7 39
NC State 3-6 13-9 106
2-8 11-12 136
Miami 2-8 9-15 171
Ratings per RealTimeRPI.com,
as of 2/8/07, 2:45 p.m.
Date Matchup Location
Thurs, 02/01/07 Virginia
68, Duke 66
Sat, 02/03/07 Georgia
Tech 80, Clemson 62
College 80, VT 59
Hill, MA
State 83, UNC 79
79, Wake Forest 72
81, Miami 70
Sun, 02/04/07 Florida
State 68, Duke 67
Tues, 02/06/07 Georgia
Tech 74, N.C. State 65
Forest 87, W-S State 71
69, Maryland 65
Park, MD
Wed, 02/07/07 Boston
College 75, Miami 68
Gables, FL
71, Florida State 58
79, Duke 73
Date Matchup Location Time Television
Sat, 02/10/07 Wake Forest @ North Carolina Chapel
Hill, NC
1:30 p.m. RLF Affiliates
NC State @ Miami Coral
Gables, FL
4:00 p.m. RLF
Virginia @ Virginia Tech Blacksburg,
4:00 p.m. RLF
Sun, 02/11/07 Connecticut vs. Georgia Tech Atlanta,
1:00 p.m. CBS
Boston College @ Florida State Tallahassee,
3:00 p.m. FSN
Duke @ Maryland College
Park, MD
5:00 p.m. FSN
Tues, 02/13/07 Longwood @ Virginia Charlottesville,
7:00 p.m.
Georgia Tech @ Florida State Tallahassee,
8:00 p.m. RLF
Virginia Tech @ North Carolina Chapel
Hill, NC
8:00 p.m. RLF
Wed, 02/14/07 Clemson @ Wake Forest Winston-Salem,
7:00 p.m. ESPNU
Maryland @ NC State Raleigh,
7:00 p.m. ESPN2
Duke @ Boston College Chestnut
Hill, MA
9:00 p.m. ESPN
RLF = Raycom Lincoln Financial; CSN = Comcast SportsNet;
CSS = Comcast Sports Southeast; FSN = Fox SportsNet;
FSNS = Fox SportsNet South; NESN = New England Sports Network;
RSN = Regional Cable Partners (check listings)

A Look Around the League…

Boston College (17-6, 8-2)

Despite losing Sean Williams for the season due to a suspension, Boston
College finds themselves sitting atop the ACC standings, tied with UVA. BC owns
the tiebreaker over the Cavaliers as a result of their 78-73 victory earlier in
the season.

The Eagles had two big victories in the last week. First, they knocked off
Virginia Tech 80-59 on Saturday. Last night they held off the Miami Hurricanes
75-68 in Coral Gables. Jared Dudley has been a big part of both wins. He had 30
points and 11 rebounds against the Hokies, and he scored nine straight points
late in the second half to propel BC against the Hurricanes. He is making a
strong case for ACC Player of the Year.

Boston College travels to Florida State on Sunday. Their first meeting ended
in an 85-82 victory for BC on a dramatic three-pointer at the buzzer by Sean Marshall. After the FSU game, the Eagles will host Duke next Wednesday.

Virginia (16-6, 8-2)

Virginia is the hottest team in the ACC. Led by dynamic guards Sean
Singletary and J.R. Reynolds, UVA has won seven consecutive ACC games. Their
latest two victories came at home against Miami, 81-70, and at Maryland, 69-65.
Singletary is a lock for First Team All-ACC, and Reynolds is making a serious
push for the honor as well.

Reynolds is averaging 25.3 points per game during UVA’s seven game winning
streak. He has scored over 20 points in five of those games and had a
career-high 40 points against Wake Forest. Virginia will go as far as Reynolds
and Singletary take them.

UVA travels to Blacksburg to face Virginia Tech on Saturday in a game that
could make a big impact on the ACC standings. After the Tech game, UVA will host
Longwood next Tuesday in their final out-of-conference game of the season.

North Carolina (21-3, 7-2)

In what came as a total shocker to most followers of ACC basketball, the
talented and deep UNC Tar Heels got knocked off by the depth-shy NC State
Wolfpack 83-79 last Saturday in Raleigh. The loss prevented the Tar Heels from
taking over sole possession of first place in the ACC.

UNC got back on track Wednesday night with a 79-73 win at Duke. The Tar Heels
trailed for most of the game, but their superior depth eventually wore the Blue
Devils down, and UNC rallied in the last few minutes of the game.

Despite the win over Duke on the road, the Tar Heels haven’t played as well
as they are capable the last two games. That has to be bothering Roy Williams.
The Tar Heels have a chance to change that in their next game, when they host
Wake Forest on Saturday.

Virginia Tech (16-7, 6-3)

Virginia Tech is in a slump. After falling to NC State at home, the Hokies
went on the road to Boston College, fell behind early and could never rally,
losing 80-59 and slipping to fourth place in the ACC standings. The off week is
coming at a perfect time for Seth Greenberg’s team.

The Hokies need to get back to the basics to beat UVA. They need to regain
their defensive intensity and get the job done on the boards. Virginia Tech has
been out-rebounded by 18 over the past two games.

Saturday’s UVA-Virginia Tech game will be the biggest game in the rivalry in
the past decade. Both teams are coming into the game with NCAA tournament
aspirations, and both teams are at or near the top of the ACC standings. This
one could be one of the best games in the history of the rivalry.

Clemson (19-5, 5-5)

After starting the season 17-0, the Clemson Tigers dropped their fifth game
in six tries over the weekend, when they lost to Georgia Tech 80-62 in Atlanta.
It was possibly the low point of the season for Clemson. Many people assumed
they were finished, with such a bad streak.

On Wednesday night, the Tigers showed everyone they aren’t finished. They
knocked off Florida State, winners of five of their last six, 71-58 at home. It
was a perfect example of two teams going in the opposite direction, but this
time it was the team that had been losing that came up with the victory.

Clemson takes the weekend off. They will travel to Winston-Salem to take on
Wake Forest next Wednesday.

Duke (18-6, 5-5)

With the 79-73 loss to UNC at home on Wednesday, Duke has lost three ACC
games in a row. The last time that happened was 1996. I was in the seventh
grade, and TechSideline.com was still a twinkle in Will Stewart’s eye (it was
founded later in the year, on March 12, 1996).

This is a strange year for Duke, who projects to go deep into the NCAA tournament each and every year.
They won’t be be the case this March. Their next two games are road contests
against Maryland and Boston College, and they still have road games at Clemson
and UNC as well.

It’s been a long season for Duke fans, and it might get even longer.

Florida State (17-7, 5-5)

It was a good week — and a bad week — for the Florida State Seminoles. The
good part came on Sunday when they knocked off Duke 68-67 in Cameron Indoor
Stadium. It was a huge win for the Seminoles, who started off 0-3 in ACC play.
After the Duke win, FSU had won five of their last six games, with their only
loss coming via a last second three-pointer at Boston College.

On Wednesday night, FSU traveled to Clemson, losers of five of their last
six. Still basking in the glow of their win at Duke, Florida State was beaten
rather handily by the Tigers, 71-58.

With 17 overall wins and sitting at 5-5 in ACC play, Florida State still has
a good chance to make the NCAA tournament. In their last six games, they play
just two teams ranked in the top half of the ACC standings. They host Boston
College on Sunday and Georgia Tech on Tuesday.

Georgia Tech (15-8, 4-6)

After losing four straight games, including an 85-75 game to bottom feeder
Wake Forest, Georgia Tech looked like they were done for the season. They have
rallied to win two consecutive games. They knocked off Clemson 80-62 and used an
18-0 second half run to defeat NC State 74-65.

Both of those victories came at home in Alexander Memorial Coliseum, where
Georgia Tech has been nearly unbeatable this year. Their only home loss came to
Virginia Tech 73-65.

Georgia Tech likely fell too far behind in the standings to have a good
chance to make the NCAA tournament, but they do appear to be NIT bound. They
will play UConn in an important out-of-conference matchup this Sunday in the
Georgia Dome.

Maryland (17-7, 3-6)

It’s all but official at this point: Maryland is heading back to the NIT. The
Terrapins beat Wake Forest 79-72 on the road over the weekend but lost at home
to Virginia 69-65 on Tuesday. With home games against Duke, Florida State and
UNC remaining, as well as road games at Duke, NC State and Clemson, Maryland’s
chances of an NCAA tournament berth are virtually gone.

The Terrapins next two games will be tough. They host Duke on Sunday and
travel to rapidly-improving NC State on Wednesday. Maryland is a talented team,
but they just aren’t getting it done.

NC State (13-9, 3-6)

NC State did the unthinkable. They were the dead-last team in the ACC when
they knocked off conference leader Virginia Tech last week. Then they took on
UNC, the new conference leader, over the weekend and knocked off the Tar Heels
as well. The Wolfpack is playing much better since Engin Atsur returned.

Things looked like they could go really well for NC State, who appeared to be
on the verge of winning their third straight game against Georgia Tech. NC State
was firmly in control in the first half, but the Yellow Jackets rallied for the
74-65 win in the second half. Despite the loss, NC State is still moving in the
right direction.

Their next two games are very winnable. They travel to Miami on Saturday and
host Maryland next Wednesday. With a couple more wins, NC State should be an NIT

Wake Forest (11-12, 2-8)

In the past week, Wake Forest lost at home to Maryland and then knocked off
Winston-Salem State 87-71. With a record of 11-12, and with a tough schedule
down the stretch, Wake Forest is in danger of being one of two ACC schools to
not make the postseason. With the way last season went, and the number of young
players on this year’s team, that’s hardly a surprise.

The Demon Deacons play at UNC on Saturday and host Clemson on Wednesday. They
need to find a way to win one of those games to stay in the postseason hunt.

Miami (9-15, 2-8)

The poor Hurricanes are still playing very hard, but it’s just not enough.
They lost yet another frontcourt contributor on Tuesday, when forward Raymond
Hicks was suspended indefinitely for an unspecified violation of team rules.

Miami recently lost to Virginia 81-70 on the road and then lost a tough one
to BC and Jared Dudley 75-68 at home. They host NC State on Saturday and then
get a much-needed week off. At 9-15 on the season, Miami won’t be playing past
the ACC tournament.

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