ACC Tournament – Day Two

After impressively missing on three of my four predictions yesterday, I’m sure you all can’t wait to see what I can get wrong today. In my defense, I nearly had the courage to pick Wake Forest to upset Florida State. Unfortunately, I have no more heart than the Seminoles and went with the chalk.
The one game I got right was Maryland smacking Georgia Tech around. Considering the circumstances, that might have been the Terrapins’ most impressive game of the year.
03/10/06 Miami @ Duke Greensboro, N.C. – 12:00 p.m.
Duke has obviously been wobbly of late, but I’m guessing they found their legs at some point during their five days off since losing the Carolina. Miami made a strong comeback against Clemson, but I’d be shocked if they kept this game within single digits. I think Duke will come out with the defensive intensity they’ve been missing.

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An Email On The ACC Tournament

One of my Dave Sez readers sent in a lengthy and thoughtful email on the new structure of the ACC Tournament. His points center around how the new larger tournament makes it harder for all of the teams, including those at the top, to win. With more teams comes more likelihood for unexpected results, which is both good and bad. We like our tournaments to include some upsets, but we also like having a few established power programs. Will those powers be less dominant with more teams in the mix? And how will it affect mid-level programs and mid-level coaches that their chance of winning an occasional tournament has now dropped by about 33%?
I won’t chime in any more and let his words stand. Feel free to discuss in the comments.

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ACC Tournament – First Round

How weird is it that there are four games on Thursday? It just doesn’t seem right. It was mildly odd way back when Florida State joined the league and they had to add the one bastard child Thursday night game. Being the lone game made it stick out like a sore thumb, kind of like putting the bad teams in stockades in the town square. But then, that game became the Les Robinson Thursday Night Invitational Play-In Game, and that made it a bit more fun (unless you were a State fan).
But now, there’s a whole day of games, but without any of the best teams. It’s funky.
Funky, but fun. Instead of digging up a jillion links for to read through, I’m going to be lazy and point you towards The Duke Basketball Report’s page of links. They always do a good job of finding a lot of sources.
And for my brief, but amazingly insightful and accurate predictions of today’s games.
03/09/06 Clemson @ Miami – 12:00 PM
Clemson has been hot, and don’t forget what I wrote about their unmentioned, but still possible, chance at an NCAA bid. Yeah, it’s a long shot, but it’s there. I think the Tiggers will take out the stumbling Hurricanes.
03/09/06 Wake Forest @ Florida State – 2:30 PM
Wake has been playing somewhat better of late, but so has Florida State. The Seminoles need to win this game to sew up their NCAA bid, while Wake really has little to play for, except and outside shot at and NIT bid. Generally, when one team has more to play for and that team is the better team anyway, it’s an easy pick. But I have a nagging feeling that this game could be an upset.
Screw it, I’m ignoring my gut and going with my head on this one. Florida State.
03/09/06 Virginia Tech @ Virginia – 7:00 PM
I wish I could say that I think Virginia was going to take this game, but I can’t. The teams are fairly evenly matched – Tech has a better team, but Virginia’s had a better year. The Cavs won both regular season matchups, but both games were very close. It’s hard to beat a team three times in a season, particularly when the two teams are fairly evenly matched.
I think the Hokies will pull out a close win here (although I hope I’m wrong).
03/09/06 Georgia Tech @ Maryland – 9:30 PM
Maryland’s back is to the wall and they have the blindfold on, but the firing squad hasn’t shot yet. This game could be that “fire!” command, or it could mean that the blindfold comes off. The Terrapins are the better team and they should win this one. I think they will.

Final Regular Season Prouty Ratings

As I promised yesterday, I calculated the final regular season Prouty ratings for all ACC players. As I expected, the Prouties accurately picked four of the five first-team All-ACC performers. The one exception is Sean Singletary, who comes in 15th in Prouty, but the ratings don’t take into account leadership, toughness or offensive burden, other than in the catch-all category of Win Effect (see this explanation of the ratings).
One player I pointed out yesterday as being undervalued by the league’s voters was Jared Dudley. Just as I suspected, the Prouties backed me up. Dudley comes in fifth place overall in the league, which makes sense, as his numbers are fairly close to his teammate Craig Smith’s.

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ACC Expanded Standings – 3/6/2006

This is really the last time that these standings will have much meaning. Obviously the regular season results are now set. The ACC tournament could have a critical impact on a few teams, but we’ll know just what that impact will be by next Monday. I doubt I’ll get a chance to rerun the numbers during the tournament.
Suffice it to say that there are two (three? See below) ACC teams who need to put forth a strong ACC Tournament showing to get into the NCAAs. Four teams are absolute locks and are just playing for seeding, and in Duke and NC State’s cases, trying to find their games.

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The Week That Was – 2/27 – 3/5/2006

02/28/06 Boston College 80, Wake Forest 65 – Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Clinical. Predictable.
03/01/06 Clemson 86, Virginia Tech 81 – Blacksburg, Va.
Don’t look now, but the Tigers seem to be finishing quite strongly. Road ACC wins are always something to be proud of, particularly for a team that had a pretty recent five game skid.
03/01/06 Florida State 79, Duke 74 – Tallahassee, Fla.
How about those Seminoles? Everyone has been pointing to this game as a possible upset. Usually when that happens, it ends up being a blowout for the favorite. Not this time. What struck me about this game was how FSU came out absolutely fired up and almost cocky and Duke seemed to let them set the tempo. It was like Duke was in a fight and instead of coming out swinging, they just braced themselves to take the punches. Not what I’m used to seeing.

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To Hate Like This

That article I linked to a few minutes ago was part of a series of excerpts that Inside Carolina is running about the soon-to-be-released book To Hate Like This Is To Be Happy Forever, by Will Blythe. Evidently, Blythe has a number of short pieces that he couldn’t fit into the book and so he’s sharing with IC.
They are fantastic.
The first of his articles is one on Melvin Scott and other former college players trying to hone their games for some unknown future. It’s a great read.
Article III (the Chronicle one was II) is about UNC walk-on Philip McLamb.
Article IV is about going to a UNC-Duke game in Cameron (the most amazing athletic spectacle I’ve ever been to, by the way) and an encounter with Speedo Man.
I expect there will be one more piece today. I certainly hope so!

Digging Up Dirt: K and the Chronicle

Inside Carolina has an interesting article looking back Coach Krzyzewski’s infamous tirade against the Duke Chronicle editors. Of course, you have to consider the source here – the author is an unabashed Carolina fan and this was printed in IC. That said, much of the content of the article is direct quotes from the Chronicle editor at that time, Rodney Peele.