ACC Roundup

Two games into the ACC season and Pitt's sitting pretty - Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

First of all, congratulations to Florida State for an - and this word is entirely correct here - epic win over Auburn for the national championship in football.

It's nice to see the SEC dethroned, and even nicer that an ACC team did it.

And also while losing to FSU in the ACC title game wasn't a lot of fun, it's not the worst thing in the world to lose to the best.

Okay, back to basketball.

Going into tonight's chilly game at Pitt, Maryland led the ACC at 2-0.

That didn't last long. Maryland was manhandled like State, and now Pitt and Syracuse, noveau riche, are at the top of the ACC (so are Wake, Clemson, Notre Dame, Virginia and Virginia Tech, but not many will be there after another game or two).

Like State, Maryland hung around for about a half before faltering under Pitt's very physical approach.

Check out how the Baltimore Sun summed it up: "The Terps collapsed amid a second-half meltdown of bad shooting, sloppy ball-handling and lazy defense..."

Pitt outscored Maryland by 14 in the second half. The margin wasn't as severe as it was in the State game, but nonetheless, Pitt smacked Maryland around, and the Terps knew it was a beatdown. Check out Mark Turgeon: "It’s hard to drive on them. You drive you’re going to get bumped, they’re going to reach in, a lot of times they strip it or hit you. I do think we settled for too many jump shots. I won’t mention any names."

So after two games, Pitt has a pretty solid identity. The Panthers are going to beat the holy snot out of anyone and if you can't take it, you lose.

We don't think Wake, who's next up, can fight back on the same level, nor can Syracuse.

Pitt's nothing new to Syracuse. But after that is Clemson, and while the Tigers are not great, Brad Brownell's style is similarly aggressive. That game should be fun. It's January 21st.

FSU should be interesting as well - February 23rd.

Off the court, UNC's woes, which have been followed closely, particularly in some areas of Raleigh close to, say, Hillsborough Street, are getting more and more national attention. So we see the New York Times ripping the Tar Heels athletic program in a Sunday editorial, and NPR posting a report detailing the disgraceful exploitation of athletes on Monday.

The situation has been going on for three or four years, but hey, it's great that people outside the Triangle have taken notice.

Three games on Tuesday as Georgia Tech visits Duke, Virginia Tech welcomes Lower Canada as Syracuse brings the weather and State finds that the Atlantic Coast goes further inland than anyone had ever imagined with a trip to South Bend.

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