2006-07 Around the ACC: March 1, 2007

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It’s crunch time. We are now entering the final weekend of ACC regular season
play, and there is still a lot to be decided. First and foremost is the ACC
Regular Season Championship. UNC, Virginia Tech and Virginia all find themselves
tied at the top of the conference standings, and tonight’s huge matchup in
Charlottesville will help determine who gets the #1 seed in the ACC Tournament.

ACC Standings
School Conf. Overall RPI

North Carolina
10-4 24-5 3

Virginia Tech
10-4 20-8 20

10-4 19-8 37

Boston College
10-5 19-9 25

9-6 23-7 9

8-7 22-8 13

Georgia Tech
6-8 18-10 63

6-9 20-9 43

Florida State
6-9 18-11 45

NC State
5-10 15-13 110

Wake Forest
4-11 13-15 135

4-11 11-18 149

RPI Ratings per
as of 3/1/07, 12:00 p.m.

Recent Games




Thurs, 02/22/07

71, Clemson 66

Clemson, SC

Sat, 02/24/07

Tech 73, Miami 57

Blacksburg, VA

College 59, Clemson 54

Chestnut Hill, MA

State 78, NC State 52

Tallahassee, FL

75, Georgia Tech 69

Charlottesville, VA

Sun, 02/25/07

67, St. John’s 50

New York, NY

89, UNC 87

College Park, MD

Wed, 02/28/07

74, Miami 70

Clemson, SC

85, Duke 77

Durham, NC

State 73, Wake Forest 66

Raleigh, NC

Upcoming Games






Thurs, 03/01/07

Virginia Tech @ Virginia

Charlottesville, VA

7:00 p.m.


North Carolina @ Georgia Tech

Atlanta, GA

9:00 p.m.


Sat, 03/03/07

Florida State @ Miami

Coral Gables, FL

12:00 p.m.


Virginia @ Wake Forest

Winston-Salem, NC

1:00 p.m.


NC State @ Maryland

College Park, MD

3:30 p.m.


Sun, 03/04/07

Clemson @ Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA

1:00 p.m.


Boston College @ Georgia Tech

Atlanta, GA

3:00 p.m.


Duke @ North Carolina

Chapel Hill, NC

4:00 p.m.


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…

Virginia Tech (20-8, 10-4, RPI #20)

Virginia Tech defeated Miami 73-57 on Saturday afternoon in Blacksburg,
gaining their 20th overall win, and 10th in the ACC. The win over the Hurricanes
basically locks the Hokies into the field of 65 for the NCAA tournament. It also
clinched their first 20-win season since 1995-96.

Tonight the Hokies will play one of the biggest games in the history of
Virginia Tech basketball. If Tech can beat UVA in Charlottesville tonight, and
knock off Clemson in Blacksburg on Sunday, they would clinch at least a share of
the ACC Regular Season Championship with UNC. The Hokies own the tiebreaker over
UNC, which means they would gain the #1 seed in the ACC tournament.

The nation will be tuning in on ESPN at 7pm to see this big time ACC contest.
The Hokies have likely already earned an NCAA tournament bid…now they’re
playing for seeding and the ACC Championship.

TSL NCAA Tournament Prediction: Lock

North Carolina (24-5, 10-4, RPI #3)

North Carolina whipped NC State 83-64 last week in Chapel Hill, but then blew
a 12 point second half lead against Maryland on Sunday, falling to the Terps
89-87 in College Park. UNC is currently tied with Virginia Tech and Virginia for
first place in the ACC. They hold the tiebreaker over UVA, but thanks to their
two losses to Virginia Tech, they don’t hold the tiebreaker over the Hokies.

The only thing UNC can do to guarantee themselves a share of the ACC Regular
Season Championship is to win out. They play at Georgia Tech tonight, and the
Yellow Jackets have lost just one home game this season. The Tar Heels end
regular season play on Sunday.

If the Tar Heels win out, they will be at least the #2 seed in the ACC
tournament. They are also looking at a possible #1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

TSL NCAA Tournament Prediction: Lock

Virginia (19-8, 10-4, RPI #37)

After being upset by Miami last week, UVA staged a late second half comeback
to defeat Georgia Tech 75-69 in Charlottesville. Georgia Tech led 69-62 late in
the game, but couldn’t hold on. The win took Virginia’s ACC home record to 7-0
on the season. They are the only ACC team to not lose a conference game at home
this year.

In yesterday’s game preview, we talked about how the X-Factors would likely
decide the Virginia Tech-UVA game on Thursday night. Keep a close eye on Mamadi
Diane for the Hoos. Diane is the team’s second leading scorer, averaging 10.1
points per game. In ACC play, his average drops to 8.5. He has failed to score
in double figures in UVA’s last four ACC contests, and he has been struggling
with his shot.

If Diane, or Adrian Joseph, can play well tonight for UVA, they’ll have a
good chance to win the game.

TSL NCAA Tournament Prediction: Lock

Boston College (19-9, 10-5, RPI #25)

After losing three consecutive games to Duke, UNC and Virginia Tech, the
Eagles picked up a much-needed 59-54 win over struggling Clemson in Chestnut
Hill. With a good RPI and 10 wins in the ACC, it looks like Boston College has
locked themselves into yet another NCAA tournament appearance.

After knocking off Clemson over the weekend, Boston College has had the
entire week off. They will take on Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Sunday. The Yellow
Jackets are very tough to beat at home, and they’ll be fighting for their NCAA
tournament lives, so the Eagles could have won their last regular season game of
the season against Clemson.

Nevertheless, the Ealges should be safely in the Big Dance.

TSL NCAA Tournament Prediction: Lock

Maryland (23-7, 9-6, RPI #9)

Maryland has certainly turned their season around. At one point they were 3-6
in ACC conference play and destined for the NIT. Now they have won six games in
a row, including back-to-back wins over UNC and Duke, and are a lock to be
selected for the NCAA tournament.

A big part of the reason for Maryland’s turnaround has been the recent good
play of freshman point guard Greivis Vasquez. Vasquez played great in his first
appearance in Cameron Indoor Stadium last night, scoring 13 points, dishing out
12 assists and grabbing nine rebounds, nearly getting the triple-double.

The Terrapins will look to add to their NCAA tournament resume by knocking
off NC State at home this Saturday afternoon.

TSL NCAA Tournament Prediction: Lock

Duke (22-8, 8-7, RPI #13)

Duke had won four games in a row until last night’s 85-77 home loss to the
Maryland Terrapins. The Blue Devils were swept by the Terps during the regular
season, and they have now lost five of their last seven meetings with Maryland.
Duke will be hoping to avoid a meeting with Maryland in the ACC Tournament.

There’s not that much to say about the Blue Devils. They are much better now
than they were at the beginning of the season, but they still struggle with
experienced teams that have better athletes. Maryland and Virginia Tech are the
perfect examples.

Duke will travel to UNC on Sunday to conclude the regular season. Even if
they lose to the Tar Heels, they have still done enough to earn an NCAA
tournament berth.

TSL NCAA Tournament Prediction: Lock

Georgia Tech (18-10, 6-8, RPI #63)

The Yellow Jackets had played their way back into the NCAA tournament
picture, and they held a late lead at UVA this past weekend. However, GT blew
the lead and lost the game. Had they beaten UVA, I’d have them in the
tournament. It is highly unlikely that they’ll lose their two remaining games,
both of which are at home.

Georgia Tech plays UNC tonight, and hosts Boston College on Sunday. The
Yellow Jackets’ only home loss of the season came to Virginia Tech. If they can
knock off both UNC and Boston College, they’ll very likely be dancing come
Selection Sunday. If they can win one of the two, and get a win in the ACC
tournament, they’ll still have a shot.

TSL NCAA Tournament Prediction: Just Out

Clemson (20-9, 6-9, RPI #43)

The Clemson Tigers have a really nice overall record and a solid RPI, but
that conference record has been holding them back. They barely knocked off Miami
74-70 in overtime on Wednesday night, and the Canes are missing most of their
frontcourt, as well as starting guard Denis Clemente.

The Tigers are struggling, losing nine of their last 11 games before
defeating the Hurricanes. But because of their overall record and RPI, they can
still make the NCAA tournament. However, to do so they’ll have to beat Virginia
Tech and their five seniors in Blacksburg on Senior Day, and win a game in the
ACC tournament. That will be a tough chore.

TSL NCAA Tournament Prediction: Out

Florida State (18-11, 6-9, RPI #45)

Without point guard Toney Douglas, Florida State lost five games in a row.
They finally got a win against NC State over the weekend, knocking off the
Wolfpack at home 78-52 on Al Thornton’s senior day. They still don’t’ have
Douglas back from his hand injury, but they have a great chance to pick up
another much-needed win at Miami on Saturday.

The Seminoles are a good basketball team, but losing their point guard has
left them short-handed. There is a chance that Douglas can make it back for the
ACC tournament. If he does, Florida State will be a sleeper team in that
tournament. If they beat Miami on Saturday, they’ll still have a chance to make
the NCAA tournament with a win or two in Tampa. With the way the ACC has gone
this year, that’s certainly not out of the question.

TSL NCAA Tournament Prediction: Out

NC State (15-13, 5-10, RPI #110)

NC State is the first ACC team in the standings that stands basically no
chance to get an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. The Wolfpack lost at FSU
78-52 over the weekend, but rallied to complete the season sweep of Wake Forest
73-66 on Wednesday night.

The Wolfpack still has a chance to make the NIT. They have one more regular
season game remaining, at Maryland. After that, there’s the ACC tournament.

TSL Postseason: Possible NIT berth

Wake Forest (13-15, 4-11, RPI #135)

How the mighty have fallen. It was just two years ago that Chris Paul played
point guard for the Demon Deacons and they were ranked in the top 10. Now they
are battling Miami for last place in the conference. Last year the Demon Deacons
went on a big run to end the regular season, and won two games in the ACC
tournament. With that, they earned a spot in the NIT.

That’s not likely to happen this year. Wake Forest is too young, and they
really haven’t showed any ability to defeat any of the better teams in the ACC.
Skip Prosser will have to wait to next season to take his team back to the
postseason. They have one home game remaining against Virginia.

TSL Postseason Prediction: None

Miami (11-18, 4-11, RPI #149)

Miami was already missing most of their frontcourt because of injuries and
suspensions. Earlier in the week, the news got even worse. Starting guard Denis
Clemente was suspended for the rest of the season for a violation of team rules.
His loss probably cost the ‘Canes a win over Clemson last night. Miami lost
74-70 in overtime.

The Hurricanes’ season is basically over, although they host Florida State
this weekend. The Canes’ are likely the last seed in the ACC tournament. 2006-07
will be a season that Miami supporters will want to forget quickly.

TSL Postseason Prediction: None

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