The Week That Was – 2/20 – 2/26/2006

02/21/06 Virginia 72, Boston College 58 – Charlottesville, VA
Maybe BC got a bit too lax after winning eight straight ACC games. They certainly didn’t play like they respected Virginia in this one and they paid the price. The Cavs led from the opening bucket and looked impressive all the way.
This win produced a sudden surge in excitement in Charlottesville about Virginia’s suddenly realistic NCAA Tournament chances. Unfortunately for the Cavs, the week had just begun …
02/22/06 Duke 73, Georgia Tech 66 – Atlanta, Ga.
Is the pressure getting to Duke and J.J. Redick? They played tight in both games this week as the media pressure surrounding Redick’s run at the ACC scoring record grew. Most people, including me, thought Redick would get the points he needed in this game, but he didn’t and Duke almost took an L. Fortunately for them, Shelden Williams has been solid all season and kept them in this game.

02/22/06 Miami 70, Virginia Tech 59 – Coral Gables, Fla.
Too little, too late for the Hurricanes, but the win did stop a four-game losing streak.
02/22/06 Wake Forest 74, Clemson 68 (OT) – Winston-Salem, NC
I’m sure before the season Justin Gray envisioned himself hitting clutch threes to save the day for Wake Forest. I doubt he dreamed that those shots would be to force overtime at home against Clemson to help get the Deacs their second ACC win in late February.
02/22/06 North Carolina 95, NC State 71 – Raleigh, N.C.
Oof. I wrote last week that Carolina might well be the ACC’s second best team. Of course, that implied that I thought they were better than both Boston College and NC State, the two teams above them in the standings. I think I was right.
I also wrote last week about the pressure on Herb Sendek to win this game. He’s built State up in recent years and beaten back the howling wolves, but getting your ass kicked by the boys in light blue on your home court isn’t the way to keep the critics away. Consider Herb’s seat maybe not hot, but certainly warm.
02/22/06 Florida State 71, Maryland 60 – Tallahassee, Fla.
This was an official NCAA Tournament elimination game and congrats to the Terrapins who won elimination. It’s not easy feat to miss out on the NCAA Tournament two years in a row with a roster full of high school all-Americans, but the Terps are in the process of doing it. Could they right the ship in their next game in Chapel Hill? (snicker)
02/25/06 Georgia Tech 76, Wake Forest 61 – Atlanta, GA
Wheee! It’s hard to remember, but this was a big game last year!
02/25/06 Clemson 90, Virginia 64 – Clemson, SC
Ouch. Double ouch. That’s what you get when you are a mediocre, but over-achieving team and you get too full of yourself. Virginia may have gotten too excited about their outside NCAA chances and forgotten that they still need to win several games to realize that possibility. Nothing says NIT like a 26-point loss to Clemson in February.
02/25/06 Duke 74, Temple 66 – Philadelphia, PA
Like I said, something’s wrong with Duke. Maybe it was the attention on Redick. Maybe it’s just the late-season doldrums. Or maybe it’s fatigue from being at or near #1 all season while not using the bench very much. I suspect the Devils will play better this week, but Duke fans should be at least mildly concerned.
Congrats to J.J. Redick for finally claiming the ACC scoring title late in this game. He didn’t get it in the manner that many would have liked, but it’s his now nonetheless.
02/25/06 Boston College 74, NC State 72 (2OT) – Raleigh, N.C.
Pretty much by definition, an overtime game is exciting. A double-overtime game is thrilling.
But what about an overtime game where each team scores just four points? And if that was cringe-worthy, what about a second OT period where the winning team outscores the loser 3-1? Are you kidding? One point in overtime? Five points in two overtimes?
It was a bad week for the top league teams. Duke barely beat two weak teams. BC was spanked by Virginia and NC State lost two games.
02/25/06 Virginia Tech 72, Florida State 61 – Blacksburg, Va.
And it was a bad week for the bubble teams as well. FSU really could have put themselves in good position with a win in Blacksburg, but they couldn’t pull it off. And is anyone surprised? Florida State never seems to be able to make things easy for themselves.
This was a good, solid win for the Hokies, a team that could have packed things in by now. It’s been a long, difficult season, but clearly they are still fighting. That’s a good sign for Seth Greenberg.
02/26/06 North Carolina 81, Maryland 57 – Chapel Hill, N.C.
Now that Roy Williams won his national championship, Gary Williams can’t really use his same argument for not being “the other Williams.” Maybe instead he should be “the Williams whose team of experienced players was clearly much less organized or motivated than the one full of freshman and inexperienced upperclassmen coached by the other Williams.” Or is that too long? Maybe it should just be the “good Williams” and the “bad Williams.” It’s not that Gary Williams is a bad coach, he’s clearly earned the benefit of the doubt, but he’s doing a bad job with this team and he did last year as well. I think he’s better suited to being the underdog and getting to the top of the mountain maybe just changed things too much. A couple of years of failure might help that.
There was never a point in this game, a game in which the Heels turned the ball over 17 times and shot just 41%, that it felt like Maryland might win. Sure they trimmed the lead a few times, but Carolina always quickly squashed the rebellion and the Terps seemed content to leave it at that. “Well, we tried.” It was a bit sad, really.

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