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ACC Roundup

Duke to the - oops! due to the importance of Saturday's dual ACC losses, we're posting this a bit early. We'll be revising it as we go, so check back.
(Revised 3PM Sunday.)

Maryland and UNC both took tough losses Saturday, and while UNC's
is no doubt galling,
Maryland's may be worse. They
lost in their own "classic,"
and lost to Danny Miller's new team
as well. Miller, you'll recall, left Maryland after their initial Final Four

As we suggested previously, having seen it happen at Duke, winning a
championship makes it really difficult to win a championship, for a number of
reasons. First, you get an enormous amount of attention and your focus is very
hard to maintain. Along the same lines, you are constantly being told how
great you are, and the natural tendency is to believe it and relax.

In Maryland's case, not only do they have to navigate a tough psychological
roadmap, but they also have to do it without four starters, and while one of
them was assassin Juan Dixon, the
inside guys may be harder to replace,
according to Mike Preston of the
Baltimore Sun.

For UNC, getting back-to-back trouncings after looking like absolute
world-beaters previously must have been startling. Their shockingly easy victory
of Kansas was perhaps diminished when KU was also shocked by Florida and
Oregon. And come to think of it, Kentucky hasn't exactly set the world on
fire lately, either.

How would you like to be Sean May (or Damion Grant or Byron Sanders) and read
that your coach said this: "They have a couple of things we don't have. They have talented big guys who can score.''

Pardon us for pointing this out, but isn't it the coach's job to a) find
talented big guys and b) teach lesser talented big guys to be fundamentally
sound? Doherty's had three years to deal with this. And come on -
it's not like Sean May just sucks. He's big, he's talented. What
gives? This is guaranteed to make your guys feel like crap and to resent
you. Doherty appears to have learned some things, but not the most
important thing, which is that the coach is always responsible. Always.

For many of us, UNC-Kentucky brings up an awkward quandary. Yes, we hate our
neighborhood rivals, but do we hate Kentucky more? The schools are at
times similar with a certain class of stuffy fans who have convinced themselves
that not only is their school good at basketball, but that it has a right to
be good at basketball.

In other, crappy, we-beat-second-rate-schools type news, Tech beat Marist and Clemson beat Maine. But who really cares about these glorified scrimmages? Maryland and UNC both lost, but at least gave themselves opportunities for greatness.

More on the Carolina loss:

  • N&O
  • Herald-Leader
  • H-S
  • H-S

More on the Maryland loss:

  • Washington Post
  • Baltimore Sun
  • Chicago Sun-Times
  • Chicago Tribune (Note: You'll need to sign in after today)
  • South Bend Tribune

In a bit of good news for the Terps, their soccer team beat Connecticut , 3-0, to reach the Final Four.

Visiting the Triangle todat is South Carolina, coached by former Wake Forest coach Dave Odom, who professes to miss the ACC.