Upsets abound

Well, well, it looks like the Proletariat is rising up. Last night Georgia Tech ended Duke’s 41 game home winning streak, temporarily keeping the Dukies from clinching the ACC regular season title. Hours later, Maryland won at NC State, eliminating State’s chance of catching Duke at the top.
The Georgia Tech win was interesting because they again looked like the team they were early in the year, using their depth and quickness to flumox the opposition. Back in January, GT was as hot as any team in the country and a favorite on SportsCenter (well, Isma’il Muhammad was). Then, they added Arizona transfer Will Bynum to their lineup. I was worried at the time, and my concerns seemed to come to bear. It’s always dangerous to add a significant piece to a team that’s already playing well. Bynum is very good and he quickly took key minutes from both Jarett Jack and Muhammed. Both Jack and Muhammad had been key pieces to Tech’s early success, forming (along with BJ Elder) one of the top backcourts in the country. So, while Bynum looked really good, he affected the team chemistry. Particularly, I think he hurt the team because he’s a strong scoring guard, a Stephon Marbury type, who looks good, but hurts his team because he doesn’t pass enough. When the point guard is driving and shooting every time he has the ball, the other guys start standing around on offense and get frustrated.
Back to last night – Bynum played only 14 minutes and GT looked like the team of old. Coincidence? Maybe, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see his minutes stay down below 15 for the rest of the season.
As for the MD – State game, it goes back to what I’ve always said. In an ACC game, if one team clearly needs the game more than the other, that team usually wins. MD had to have that game to keep their NCAA hopes strong, while State really didn’t have much to play for. They were pretty much locked into second in the conference and their NCAA bid was locked up long ago.
So, now there are three ACC teams at 6-9 (FSU, MD and UVA) with one game to go. UVA plays at MD and FSU travels to GT. It’ll be interesting to see which combination of 1 or 2 of those teams makes the tourney. I’ll post an RPI analysis a bit later.

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