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ACC Roundup

Close but no cigar: that was UNC's poignant position yesterday when a superb
team effort almost led
to an upset of Virginia.
After being devastated by the Terps, UNC came
out and played with a lot of guts, but just
couldn't seal the deal.
Too bad for them, because UVa was ready to be
taken. They were really not playing well.

at the end of the game,
UNC fouled ace free throw shooter Roger Mason, Jr.
twice, four four points, bobbled the ball out of bounds on a critical possession,
and let Brian Morrison was forced to take an off-balance jumper as time ran out
which would have been meaningless even if it had gotten near the rim.

Conf. Overall
Wake Forest
3-0 13-3
Maryland 2-0 12-2
Duke 2-1 13-1
NC State 2-1 12-3
Clemson 2-2 11-6
Virginia 1-2 10-2
Florida State 1-2 8-6
North Carolina 1-3 5-8
Georgia Tech 0-3 7-9

At the end, according to one paper, Jason Capel was reduced to begging Mason
to miss. Mason demurred. So now UNC is in eighth place, and the win over 9th
place Tech is looking more and more valuable all the time.

Incidentally, and we hadn't thought of this, but for those of you who would
like to get to the ACC tourney, here's how you can do it, assuming UNC continues
on its current trajectory: first advertise, because a lot of UNC fans probably
won't go. And second, stand outside the arena after UNC's first game. If
they lose, you'll see an excellent ticket market.

For Virginia, there's
relief in this win,
but not much comfort. Everyone is lining up to drill UNC
this season. Certainly a top 10 team should win by a reasonable margin.
What happened? You can say offense or defense, and both are part of the problem,
but here's our theory: it's the unis.

Hear us out.

Whenever an ACC team does a big uniform overhaul, the team goes to hell. Duke
gets epaulets on the shoulders and the team collapses. UNC put that big ugly NC
on the front and the decline accelerated. State went to the unitard
briefly and they're still recovering.

Pay attention poobahs! You do major fashion overhauls at your own peril. The
sole exception we can think of was the Alexander Julian redesign of UNC togs.
That actually was pretty cool and worked out well for the Heels.

Here's a question: when Mike Krzyzewski gets pumped up and tries to pump the
crowd up, he gets a lot of criticism. When Matt Doherty does the same thing,
he's enthusiastic. What's the difference?

In Winston-Salem, meanwhile, Wake
Forest just beat the snot out of Clemson.
There's no other way to put
it. Wake is looking more and more formidable and guess who's next up? UVa,
in their ugly unis. It was just
absolute domination,
and Wake is now looking like a serious contender, as we
said we thought they'd be when we did our previews.

Clemson is in the midst of a bizarre season, up and down, down and up. They
beat UVa, give Duke a game, get smoked by Wake, lose to nobodies - not
looking good for Shyatt right now.
Clemson stunk
it up from the free throw line.

Other than Duke-State, Maryland plays Tech today, and that's a potentially
dangerous game for Maryland, not least of all because they
are already talking about Duke.
Just as the Duke students overlooked
Maryland, Juan Dixon says the Terps are using this game to "get ready for
Duke." That might work, but only if you're ready for Tech. Drew
Nicholas gets it.
, more or less: yes, Tech is next, but no, you shouldn't
say they can't play with you.

No matter how you cut it, Maryland is stoking themselves with resentment. Why
play hard against Tech? They beat them last year. Why pound Duke? Same reason.
The point is, they're thinking about failure rather than success - previous
failure. Not a wise move.