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ACC Roundup

The ACC-Big 10/1 Challenge is history, and the ACC again won 5-4. It
should have been 6-3 but Maryland again proved
why they will never win
a national championship, and for that matter
probably not get to a Final Four: they
have almost no idea of how to play in a conservative half-court game
Big games come down to tense moments and valuable offensive possessions, and
Maryland just often seems to have no idea how to do that. Wisconsin
constantly outsmarted them last night.

UNC on the other hand just
got outplayed
, and Brendan Haywood was whining about the refs, but even Matt
Doherty didn't buy it. Barry Svrluga of the N&O had the same take - UNC
was outclassed
, and he say Zach Randolph shoved Brendan around.
Rob Daniels concurs
with the general consensus.

Good news for the Heels: Kris Lang seems to be recovered and capable again.

State, after a truly miserable start to the season, bounced
back a bit to beat Penn State
after the Nittany Lions beat Kentucky at home
behind the Crispin brothers.

UVa on the other hand just
about kicked some bootie last night,
blowing past Purdue the way they blow
past schools like Radford. Out of all the ACC schools, they might have the
most reason to be excited, just as Maryland, likely to fall out of the polls
this week, is the most depressed. Certainly
the fans are pissed.

Down in Tallahassee, John Nogowski says that Steve
Robinson is angry
, but that there's
a surprising amount to work with on this team.
They better get going,
though - right now their record is worse than Maryland's.

So what are the positives for the ACC here? Well, for Duke, they've played
two great games in a row and won them both. For Wake Forest, it's a lot of
respect for a solid, blue collar team which is still minus the starting center
and where the point guard is still recovering from mono. Tech lost but for
much of the game was respectable. Clemson is finding other players than
Will Solomon, including Chris Hobbs, who was overlooked by the NC schools. In an
old ACC dynamic, he headed south, and like a lot of NC kids before him he may
make the North Carolina schools pay. For UNC it's playing the defending
national champions and while losing they played tough and took care of the ball
- despite the point guard concerns and Haywood's disappearing act. For
State, a win is a win at this point. For FSU, they have shown that they
have some talent now, and it's a question of how to harness it to the best
effect. UVa likely staked a claim to a tournament seed with their win over
Purdue. Not that they have it wrapped up, of course, but they seem to be
much improved, like Wake Forest, and they served notice of that tonight.
As for Maryland, there's probably something positive, but we're not sure what it