Around the ACC: January 18, 2010

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Every team has played at least three ACC games this year. This week there
were blowouts, road upsets, and nail biters. Only one team in the conference has
not lost an ACC game, with the surprising Hoos sitting atop the ACC standings
following two home wins this week.

ACC
Standings
Team ACC Overall

Virginia
3-0 11-4

Duke
3-1 15-2

Clemson
3-1 15-3

Maryland
2-1 11-5

Florida State
2-2 14-4

Georgia Tech
2-2 13-4

Wake Forest
2-2 12-4

Virginia Tech
1-2 13-3

North Carolina
1-2 12-6

Miami
1-3 15-3

NC State
1-3 12-6

Boston College
1-3 10-8

 


Last Week’s Results

Date

Game

Location

Jan. 12

NC State 88, Florida State 81

Tallahassee, FL

Wake Forest 85, Maryland 83 (OT)

Winston-Salem, NC

Jan. 13

Duke 79, Boston College 59

Durham, NC

Virginia 82, Georgia Tech 75

Charlottesville, VA

Virginia Tech 81, Miami 66

Blacksburg, VA

Clemson 83, UNC 64

Clemson, SC

Jan. 16

Clemson 73, NC State 70

Raleigh, NC

Georgia Tech 73, UNC 71

Chapel Hill, NC

Maryland 73, Boston College 57

Chestnut Hill, MA

Florida State 63, Virginia Tech 58

Tallahassee, FL

Virginia 75, Miami 57

Charlottesville, VA

 


Upcoming Games

Date

Matchup

TV

Time

Jan. 18

UNC Wilmington at Virginia

None

7pm

NC Central at Virginia Tech

None

8pm

Jan. 19

Clemson at Georgia Tech

ESPN2

7pm

Longwood at Maryland

CSN+

8pm

Boston College at Miami

RSN

9pm

Jan. 20

Wake Forest at North Carolina

ESPN

7pm

Duke at NC State

Raycom

9pm

Jan. 23

Boston College at Virginia Tech

Raycom

1:30pm

Virginia at Wake Forest

Raycom

4pm

NC State at Maryland

ESPN2

6pm

Duke at Clemson

ESPN

9pm

Jan. 24

Georgia Tech at Florida State

Raycom

Noon

 


Virginia (11-4, 3-0)

Virginia had their biggest week of basketball in the Tony Bennett era,
beating Georgia Tech 82-75 on Wednesday, and then blowing out Miami 75-57 on
Saturday night. The Hoos have now won seven games in a row following a
pedestrain start to the season, and the team is playing with a lot of
confidence.

UVA held Georgia Tech start forward Gani Lawal to just 12 points and four
rebounds in Wendesday’s upset. In Saturday’s win over Miami, only two Canes
scored in double figures and Miami shot just 31% from the field. Virginia shot
51.8%, and they got contributions from their bench this week. Mustapha Farrakhan
came off the bench to score in double figures in both games.

UVA will go out of conference to play UNC Wilmington tonight, and then
they’ll travel to Wake Forest on Saturday.


Duke (15-2, 3-1)

Duke recovered from their loss at Georgia Tech quite well. They blew out
Boston College 79-59 on Wednesday before knocking out Wake Forest 90-70 on
Sunday night. Both games were in the friendly confines of Cameron Indoor
Stadium.

The Blue Devils beat BC despite going 1-of-12 from three-point range. It was
their second consecutive bad shooting night from the outside, but the Eagles
weren’t good enough to take advantage. Duke was just 4-of-13 against Wake, but
they showed they could score in a variety of ways against a Demon Deacon team
that generally isn’t great defensively.

Duke got big nights from the Plumlee brothers against Wake Forest. Miles
finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds, while Mason came off the bench to post
11 points and seven boards.

Duke has two road games this week. They are at NC State on Wednesday, then
travel to Clemson for a rematch with the Tigers on Saturday.


Clemson (15-3, 3-1)

Clemson flexed their muscles in ACC play this week, blowing out North
Carolina 83-64 at home, and then holding off a late NC State rally to beat the
Wolfpack 73-70 on the road. The Tigers are one of the top teams in the league,
and they could contend for the top seed in the ACC tournament.

The Tigers crushed North Carolina from start to finish on Wednesday, and the
game was never close. Only one Tar Heel scored in double figures, and that was
backup freshman guard Dexter Strickland. Trevor Booker had 21 points and nine
rebounds against the Tar Heels. He’s short by NBA power forward standards, but
Booker could be considered the best big man in the ACC.

The Tigers play at Georgia Tech on Tuesday night, and then host Duke on
Saturday. ESPN Gameday will be in town for Saturday’s game, and Littlejohn
Coliseum will be the best place to be in college basketball.


Maryland (11-5, 2-1)

Maryland lost a tough overtime game on Tuesday night, falling at Wake Forest
85-83 on the road on Tuesday night. It was a difficult situation for the Terps,
who had played just two nights before and then had to travel. They followed that
up by blowing out Boston College 73-57 on the road on Saturday.

The Terps don’t have a lot of wins overall, but they are off to a good start
in ACC play. They are 2-1, despite playing two games on the road. Their next
three games are at home in the Comcast Center, so they should be in good
position in the ACC standings heading into February.

Maryland plays Longwood on Tuesday, and then hosts NC State on Saturday.


Florida State (14-4, 2-2)

Florida State was upset at home by NC State on Tuesday night, falling 88-81.
It was FSU’s second straight loss, and they played bad defense in both games.
The Noles beat Virginia Tech 63-58 on Saturday. The Hokies played on Wednesday
and then had to travel, and FSU coach Leonard Hamilton used the extra time
wisely, recommitting his team to defensive principles.

The strategy paid off, and the Noles blocked nine shots against Tech, while
holding the Hokies to 34.5% from the field. FSU’s small forward (Chris
Singleton) is taller than Virginia Tech’s post players, so the Noles definitely
had the advantage in this game. Their backs were against the wall, they were at
home, and they couldn’t afford to get off to a 1-3 start in the ACC.

Florida State will now take the entire week off, and then play host to
Georgia Tech in another big game on Sunday.


Georgia Tech (13-4, 2-2)

It’s been an up and down week for the Yellow Jackets. After upsetting Duke
last week, Georgia Tech went on the road and lost at UVA 82-75, thanks in part
to going 3-of-11 from the free throw line. They followed that up with a rousing
73-71 win against UNC in the Dean Dome on Saturday.

Tech led UNC by as many as 20 points, but the Tar Heels were able to rally.
However, Zachery Peacock made the game-winning basket with 25.7 seconds
remaining, and the Yellow Jackets got away with a big road win. Georgia Tech
played two ACC road games this week, and came away with a 1-1 record. That’s a
pretty good week, and now they must hold serve at home.

GT will host Clemson on Tuesday, and then travel to Florida State on Sunday.
The Yellow Jackets have already played Florida State, Duke, Virginia and UNC,
and now must face Clemson and Virginia again. That’s not exactly an easy start
to their ACC schedule.


Wake Forest (12-4, 2-2)

Wake Forest split their two games this week, beating Maryland 85-83 in
overtime at home, and then losing 90-70 at Duke in overtime. Wake was very close
to losing three games in a row, but they managed to pull out the overtime win at
home against the Terps, who had to travel on just one day of rest.

The Demon Deacons have been struggling defensively as of late. In their last
four games, they’ve allowed at least 83 points three times, and 90 or more
points twice. That’s not a new trend for Wake, who is generally a more offensive
oriented team. However, their defense needs to improve rapidly if they want to
make the NCAA tournament.

Wake plays at North Carolina on Wednesday, and then hosts red hot Virginia on
Saturday. If they can go 2-0 this week, they’ll be right back in the thick of
things.


Virginia Tech (13-3, 1-2)

The Hokies whipped Miami 81-66 at home on Wednesday in a game that wasn’t as
close as the final score indicated. On Saturday, they lost a close game at
Florida State 63-58. That ended a tough start to conference play, in which Tech
had to play three games in six days, including two on the road.

The Miami game was a blowout from the opening tip. The Hokies led the Canes
by as many as 35 points in the first half, and the game wasn’t as close as the
final score indicated. Tech had their chances against Florida State, but went
just 11-of-21 from the free throw line and couldn’t get anything established in
the paint against the taller Seminoles.

Tech gets two home games this week, and they’ll be the heavy favorite in both
games. They host NC Central on Monday night, who has not beaten a Division I
team this season. On Saturday they play Boston College, who looks like the ACC’s
worst team at this point.


North Carolina (12-6, 1-2)

It was an uncharacteristically bad week for UNC basketball. The Tar Heels
were drilled 83-64 at Clemson on Wednesday night, and then lost at home to
Georgia Tech 73-71 on Saturday. They find themselves in the bottom half of the
ACC standings, which is very rare.

UNC isn’t getting consistent performances from anyone right now. Freshman
guard Dexter Strickland scored 17 against Clemson, but had just three against
Georgia Tech. Will Graves dropped 24 points on the Yellow Jackets, but only
managed nine points on 2-of-11 shooting against Clemson.

The Tar Heels have lost three of their last four games. They play host to
Wake Forest on Wednesday, and then they’ll take the weekend off. A loss at home
to Wake would put UNC in a very bad position in the ACC race.


Miami (15-3, 1-3)

The Hurricanes are probably glad they don’t have to travel to the state of
Virginia anymore this season. Miami lost at Virginia Tech 81-66 on Wednesday
night, and then were beaten by Virginia 75-57 on Saturday. Neither game was
close at any point, and the Canes are reeling after entering the week ranked #23
in the country.

Miami has to figure out some way to put the ball in the basket. In their four
ACC games, they have scored 60, 67, 66 and 57 points.

The Canes have to get better in a hurry if the want a chance to make the NCAA
tournament. Fortunately they host last-place Boston College on Tuesday night.
However, BC’s one ACC win came 61-60 against Miami in December, so it’s not a
definite win. After the BC game, Miami will have the weekend off.


NC State (12-6, 1-3)

NC State got a big 88-81 win at Florida State on Tuesday. It was a must-win
game for the Wolfpack, who started their ACC schedule 0-2. However, they
couldn’t follow it up, falling at home to Clemson 73-70 on Saturday. NC State
rallied from a 21-point first half deficit against the Tigers, but couldn’t
complete the comeback.

The Wolfpack haven’t quite been eliminated from NCAA tournament contention,
but they aren’t too far away. However, that could happen in their next three
games against Duke, Maryland and North Carolina.

NC State hosts Duke on Wednesday night, and then plays at Maryland on
Saturday. If they can split these games, the Pack can stay alive in their quest
to make the NCAA tournament. However, they can’t afford to start 1-5.


Boston College (10-8, 1-3)

BC is out of the NCAA tournament picture after losing four of their last five
games. Their one win in that span came against NJIT (New Jersey Institute of
Technology), and they also lost at home to Maine. This week BC lost to Duke
79-59, and then fell to Maryland 73-57.

BC has failed to score 60 points in their last four losses. They are a very
bad offensive team right now, and things could get even more difficult this
week. The Eagles play on the road twice, against Miami and Virginia Tech. Two
losses will probably condemn BC to the bottom of the ACC standings for the rest
of the season.

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