It was a big week for the Hokies, as they won home games against North
Carolina and Clemson to move to 12-0 in Cassell Coliseum this season. They also
greatly improved their chances of making the NCAA tournament, and they now find
themselves in the top four of the ACC standings.
If the season ended today, Virginia Tech would have a first round bye in the
ACC tournament, and would wear their home whites in the quarterfinals on Friday.
The Hokies are one of five teams in the ACC with three or fewer conference
losses. Duke, Maryland, Wake Forest and Virginia are the other four teams. The
Hokies have four games remaining against those teams.
As it stands now, eight teams are still in the running for an NCAA tournament
berth. BC, UNC, NC State and Miami are now extreme long shots, and would have to
either go on an amazing winning streak or win the ACC Tournament to get a ticket
to the Big Dance.
Here’s a look at the upcoming games for this week:
Boston College at Wake Forest, Feb. 9, RSN, 7pm
Florida State at Clemson, Feb. 10, ESPN2, 7pm
Georgia Tech at Miami, Feb. 10, No TV, 7pm
Virginia at Maryland, Feb. 10, ESPNU, 7pm
Duke at North Carolina, Feb. 10, Raycom/ESPN, 9pm
Virginia Tech at NC State, Feb. 10, ESPNU, 9pm
Miami at Clemson, Feb. 13, RSN, Noon
Maryland at Duke, Feb. 13, CBS, 1pm
NC State at North Carolina, Feb. 13, ESPN, 4pm
Georgia Tech at Wake Forest, Feb. 13, Raycom, 8pm
Virginia at Virginia Tech, Feb. 13, Raycom, 8pm
Boston College at Florida State, Feb. 14, FSU, 7:30pm
There are some big matchups this week between contenders, including Florida
State at Clemson, Virginia at Maryland, Maryland at Duke, Georgia Tech at Wake
Forest and Virginia at Virginia Tech. We could see some more separation in the
ACC standings following another week of basketball.
There’s also that Duke-UNC game on Wednesday night. Even though it’s not
going to mean as much as usual in the ACC standings, it’s still Duke and
Game of the (Past) Week
Wake Forest knocked off Virginia 64-61 in Charlottesville on Saturday
afternoon, earning the season sweep of the Cavs. UVA has lost just three ACC
games this year and two of them have come against Wake. The other has come
against Virginia Tech, and those losses could seriously hurt the Cavs in ACC
Virginia got 28 points from Sylven Landesberg, and Mike Scott added 10, but
Wake Forest played very well defensively for the most part and shut down the
rest of the UVA team. Wake point guard Ish Smith was the difference maker for
the Demon Deacons. The fastest player in the ACC, Smith got into the lane and
made big shots late in regulation and in overtime.
Game of the (Upcoming) Week
Maryland plays at Duke this Saturday at 1pm on CBS. Those two teams rank #1
and #2 in the ACC standings. The Blue Devils are a very good team at home, but
Maryland has an outstanding backcourt led by Greivis Vasquez. The winner of this
game could take over first place in the ACC, depending on their other games this
This game will be televised by CBS at 1pm, so everyone should be able to get
the game. For those fans outside the ACC region, this is a great opportunity to
finally get to enjoy some high-level ACC basketball.
UNC is Just Plain Bad
At first Roy Williams couldn’t get his players to understand the intensity
level at which they need to play to be successful in the ACC. The Tar Heels have
played very hard the last two games. They were in the game at Virginia Tech, and
they were in the game at Maryland on Sunday for the majority of the second half.
But wow, when things started going downhill for the Tar Heels against the
Terps, things got really ugly. When the Tar Heels stopped scoring, they stopped
playing defense. They compounded problems by turning the ball over and giving
Maryland extra possessions. They don’t have perimeter players who can make
“basketball plays”, and though their post players are outstanding,
it’s guard play in the ACC that wins games.
UNC still has two games against Duke, road trips to Georgia Tech and Wake
Forest, and a home game against Florida State. This team will be in the NIT, if
they are lucky.
Mid-Year All-ACC Team
Not that it matters at this point, but here’s my mid-year All-ACC team:
G Greivis Vasquez, Maryland
G Malcolm Delaney, Virginia Tech
G/F Sylven Landesberg, Virginia
F Kyle Singler, Duke
C, Tracy Smith, NC State
Other guys I really wanted to have on there: Ed Davis of UNC, Trevor Booker
of Clemson and Jon Scheyer of Duke.
ACC Lacks Good Offensive Teams
Every ACC team has played at least eight conference games so far, so there is
enough information to conclude that the conference is pretty bad offensively
this year. Only four league teams average 70 or more points in ACC games.
Despite being the worst shooting team in the league, Virginia Tech is third in
points per game thanks to their turnover margin, and I don’t think anyone out
there would consider the Hokies anything but somewhat limited offensively.
That actually sets Tech up pretty well. Even though the Hokies are limited
offensively, so is most everyone else, with the exception of Maryland and Duke.
If Tech keeps playing good defense, they’ll have a chance to win every game they
play simply because other teams are not very potent on offense.
Player of the Week
Greivis Vasquez had 23 points and seven assists against Florida State on Thursday
night, and followed that up with 26 points and 11 assists against North Carolina
on Sunday. He was 6-of-11 from three-point range, and was a thorn in the side of
the Tar Heels all afternoon.
Vasquez is having a terrific senior season, and at this point he’s a strong
candidate for ACC Player of the Year. If Maryland keeps winning, he might find
himself at the top at the end of the year.