ACC Notes – 1/10/05

I’ve complained about ACC expansion many times in the past and I fully promise to do it some more, but this weekend I had a little revelation – two extra ACC teams means one more game over the weekend! That was pretty cool actually, having a fifth game, even if it did bring us Virginia Tech at Florida State as a conference game. Actually, on second thought it sucks.
A quick rundown of those five games, plus Duke’s “legends” game with Tulane.
Carolina 109 – Maryland 75 – Damn. Damn. Daaayum. I watched part of the first half of this game. At the time, Carolina had a slight lead, but looked extremely sloppy, turning the ball over possession after possession. At one point, they had something like thirteen turnovers in eleven minutes. My math’s a bit foggy, but that projects to something like 132 turnovers in a game, and you don’t normally win games like that. Obviously, they turned things around and ran the Terrapins over. Then the Heels turned around and ran the turtles over one more time, just for kicks. Or maybe it was payback for that time a few years ago when Juan Dixon the boys pulled a similar job on Coach Doh’s poor troops.
It got ugly. I mean, Carolina scored 109, the most they’ve ever scored against Maryland and they actually let up in the last few minutes. You’d think that most-points-ever record would be attached to Bob Wade’s picture in the program, not Gary Williams’. And this team is (or was – they might get dropped) ranked!
Carolina is very good. Maryland is not.
Wake Forest 103 – Clemson 68 – This was blowout weekend, wasn’t it? Given how strong some of the ACC teams are and they styles they play, this is going to be a theme. The lesser teams, and that’s everyone not named Carolina, Wake or Georgia Tech right now, better learn to take their beatings and move on. Brush your shoulder and off and get ready for the next game or you’ll likely get whacked again.
Fortunately, Clemson has plenty of practice at that.
Florida State 77 – Virginia Tech 70 – The new ACC! Gotta love it! I wonder if the legions of Hokie basketball faithful will ever get over this crushing loss to their bitter rival from the Sunshine State?
Georgia Tech 92 – Virginia 69 – The Cavs have played two ACC games and gotten smoked twice. Like I said, they better get used to it and move on. As in the Wake Forest game, they weren’t horrible in this one, unless you consider giving up open shots on nearly every possession “horrible.”
The games between the Jackets, Deacons and Heels are going to be awesome this year. Just awesome.
Duke 82 – Temple 74 – This was a good, if not terribly impressive win for the Blue Devils. Sure, Temple has a losing record, but it’s one of those schools that you can never sleep on. They are always tough.
You may have noticed that I left Duke out of a few mentions above of the best teams in the conference. There’s a reason. They are good, but they aren’t really good. I think they are going to have real problems when they go up against a team with great, quick guards and lo-and-behold, Carolina, Wake and Georgia Tech have great, quick guards. Not that Duke can’t beat them, they can, but they could just as easily break down and get spanked.
Miami 67 – NC State 66 – The Hurricanes get a win over a (formerly) ranked opponent in their first home ACC game. Who could have seen this coming? Well, everyone who’s been paying attention, that’s who. NC State is having serious problems in composition and confidence. Without Bethel, they (like Duke) have a quickness gap at the guard spots when compared to most other teams in the league. Also, they just don’t seem to be playing very well, particularly Julius Hodge who inexplicably has turned into Shaq at the free throw line. Hodge missed six of his ten free throws. Last year, he would have hit eight of those and State probably would have won.
The Pack will right the ship, they seem to have this slide every year, but it has to be frustrating as hell for their fans.
As for Miami, watch out. This team has the guns to shoot some good teams down.

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