02/21/06 Boston College @ Virginia – Charlottesville, Va. RSN (XM 191) 7:00 PM
(I’m going to pretend that this game hasn’t happened yet and write what I planned on writing before the game. My thoughts about the actual game will go in the comments.)
This game doesn’t really have any particular meaning, but that probably goes to Virginia’s advantage. Virginia actually matches up well with BC because they have opposite strengths. BC will win inside and if UVA can win outside, they have a real chance
(See, I’m a real Nostradamus.)
02/22/06 Duke @ Georgia Tech – Atlanta, Ga. ESPN (XM 191) 7:00 PM
This one could get ugly. The one redeeming aspect of this game is a big one though – J.J. Redick will very likely break the all-time ACC scoring record here. He needs 31 and that’s pretty much an average game for him these days. Believe me, he, his coaches and his teammates are very aware of how many points he needs. Late against Miami, they ran a few set plays to try to spring him for a three so he could catch Johnny Dawkins. Look for that again tonight.
02/22/06 Virginia Tech @ Miami – Coral Gables, Fla. ESPNU (XM 193) 7:00 PM
The Hurricanes should win by a touchdown, but keep an eye out for a big play from the special teams.
02/22/06 Clemson @ Wake Forest – Winston-Salem, NC (XM 192) 7:00 PM
Don’t put the kids to bed early tonight! Set your TiVo!!! This one’s gonna be a classic!
Actually, the game does have some meaning, as it’s Wake Forest’s best, last chance for a second ACC win. Go team.
02/22/06 North Carolina @ NC State – Raleigh, N.C. RJ* (XM 192) 9:00 PM
Herb Sendek has very slowly but steadily built up the NC State program to the point where I think he’s finally won over the majority of Wolfpack supports. Even his most ardent detractors would have to admit that things have been getting better over the past 4-5 seasons. Sure, they’d rather see greatness than very goodness, but there’s no denying that things are headed in the right direction.
But here’s the catch. There are always two measures of success at State – how a team does overall (winning percentage, NCAA tournament success, bowl games, etc) and how the team does against UNC. Les Robinson was an awful basketball coach, but he somehow kept beating much better Carolina teams and he ended up coaching a year or two more than he should have. Mike O’Cain was a pretty good football coach, but he couldn’t beat the Tar Heels, so he was shown the door. Chuck Amato came in, beat the Heels right away and was an instant star. His light shined even brighter, because he came just when Carolina was hitting a deep slump. Unfortunately for Chuckles, the Heels have (somewhat) righted themselves and have beaten his teams twice in a row now. Any surprise that the Wolfpack nation is no longer in love with the Chest?
A few years back, when Carolina was crumbling under the iron fist of Matt Doherty, State fans were cautiously optimistic that Sendek could take advantage and overtake his rivals. And he did. For a couple of years. Things reverted back to normal last year and it looks like the future will be just like the past. But this year, State has the better team. Or at least, they should. They have better, more experienced players. But that didn’t produce a win in Chapel Hill. If it doesn’t produce a win in Raleigh tonight, all of Sendek’s slow wood chopping might just amount to a pile of kindling.
02/22/06 Maryland @ Florida State – Tallahassee, Fla. RJ* (XM 191) 9:00 PM
Now, this is an interesting game. Consider it an elimination game. A first round tourney game, if you will (and I know you will). The winner keeps its NCAA Tournament hopes alive, while the other prints up NIT tickets. Sure, the loser could still go with a late hot streak, but that’s probably not going to happen. Hell, the winner’s not guaranteed of anything either, but you better believe that they’d both rather be 7-6 than 6-7.
It should be pretty damn fun for those of you who get to see it.
02/25/06 Wake Forest @ Georgia Tech – Atlanta, GA ABC (XM 192) 1:00 PM
One team is young, talented and aggressive but not too productive. The other is experienced, talented and somnolent but not too productive.
I’m going with the young guys.
02/25/06 Virginia @ Clemson – Clemson, SC (XM 193) 2:00 PM
If UVA wins this game, they’ll assure themselves of at least a .500 ACC record. On top of that, their RPI will probably climb into the low 50’s. Shhhhhh.
02/25/06 Duke @ Temple – Philadelphia, PA ESPN (XM 191) 2:30 PM
Temple’s not exactly having a great season, but you never feel too comfortable playing them. The A-10 is really, really weak this year, so this game won’t really have much impact on the ACC’s overall strength. Well, unless Duke loses. But that’s not going to happen. Temple has scored in the 50’s four of their last five games. You can’t score 50 and beat Duke unless we are only talking about the first half.
02/25/06 Boston College @ NC State – Raleigh, N.C. CBS (XM 192) 3:45 PM
Two big home games for the Wolfpack this week! State completely took BC apart in their first meeting, running their offense to perfection. My guess is that after BC’s loss last night, they’ll be a bit more fired up for this one. I still think State matches up well with them though. Simmons can guard Smith inside and BC doesn’t play good enough perimeter defense. State’s guards will find a lot of daylight to shoot their threes.
02/25/06 Florida State @ Virginia Tech – Blacksburg, Va. ESPNU (XM 191) 7:00 PM
An absolute must win for the Seminoles. The Hokies are pretty much only playing for pride at this point, but given the NIT’s new rules, that tournament is not out of the question. After starting 0-6 in the conference, Tech is 3-3 in their last six games. This will be no pushover for the Noles. In fact, I bet the Hokies take it.
02/26/06 Maryland @ North Carolina – Chapel Hill, N.C. FSN (XM 191) 5:30 PM
I’m really looking forward to this game, but that’s mainly because I’m going to be in the Dean Dome. The Terps really need a late signature win and this is the only game on their schedule that offers them that chance. The thing is, I don’t think they’re going to get it done. Not in the Dome this year. The Terps are just too damn inconsistent and disorganized. The Heels defensive pressure will cause problems for Maryland who often finds it hard to score if Nik Caner-Medley isn’t hitting jumpers.