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ACC Roundup

What a Saturday in the ACC. First, we said this the other day and it came
true faster than we ever thought: "We haven't watched the [Tech-Clemson] game yet, but a couple of points: first, Clemson is about to take someone out. They're struggling with turnovers and their offense is lousy, but they are hanging around in games, and soon enough, they're going to knock off a major opponent."

basically made road kill out of UNC, shooting brilliantly from three point range
and leaving UNC both fuming and depressed.

Duke 7 0 18 1
NC State 4 2 11 5
Tech 4 3 16 4
Wake Forest 4 3 13 4
UNC 3 4 13 5
FSU 3 4 14 6
Maryland 2 4 11 6
Virginia 2 5 12 6
Clemson 2 6 9 10
  • Roy Williams: "We've got to figure out a way to guard the basketball better, stop dribble penetration, defend the 3-point line better, defend everything
    better. We've just got to figure out a way to play basketball better."
  • Roy Williams: "We don't do a good job of communicating. After [18] games, we need to do a better job of communication."
  • Sean May: "We don't know what it is we're doing. It's something we're not doing. We just have to figure it out. It's eating us alive."
  • Rashad McCants: "There ain't no words. They hit all their shots. That's all I can say."

Clemson, by contrast, was exultant:

  • Sharrod Ford: "This is what Clemson basketball is gonna be."
  • Olu Babalola: "That's pretty unbelievable. When [the 3's] started
    falling, I knew God was definitely looking out for us today."
  • Oliver Purnell: "Basketball is a percentage game, a game of odds. If
    you can shoot a little bit, sooner or later you're going to have a night
    like that. It just happened to be the best night in the history of
    Clemson basketball."

At this point, of the two rookie ACC coaches, you'd have a hard time arguing
that Roy Williams has had a better year than Oliver Purnell. His team is
last in the ACC in scoring defense and field-goal percentage
defense. Amazingly, to us, the announcer said that since Matt Doherty's
memorable fall at Littlejohn when UNC was #1, the Heels have only won two ACC
road games. Is that possible? Wow.

Needless to say, you can toss anything out the window for Thursday's big game
with Duke.

Wake Forest also was brilliant Saturday afternoon, totally dominating
Virginia and likely putting another nail in Pete Gillen's $10 million dollar
coffin. It's hard to understate how thoroughly Wake dominated this
game. They just totally controlled Virginia.

We've made it a point to keep the issue of Maryland fan behavior alive, not
because we have a great desire to do it, but because their local media (not to
mention the University itself) has been absolutely derelict. Apparently,
though, while violence wasn't enough to really get people motivated, chanting
F--- you JJ is. The media continues to respond, with
Fayetteville's Hermann Wendorff weighing in,
and Maryland grad
The Courtmaster, aka Jim Johnston, also teeing off.
Jim is generally a
good guy, but we strongly disagree with him here: yes, Gary Williams should
dedicate himself to his team's preparation, but it takes no preparation at all
to pick up the microphone and say "quit saying that chant or I'll take my
team off the floor and forfeit this game right now!" He only has to
do it once, really. But as we have said before, he either lacks the nerve
to take such a strong stand or simply doesn't agree that there is a
problem. Worse, there's an excellent chance he'd just be ignored, and once
that happens, he really is in trouble - if he doesn't follow through that

It does work. For anyone who was at the laser pointer game, Coach K
went ballistic and threatened to stop the game if it happened again. Rick
Pitino regularly disciplined the UK crowd when needed. Dean Smith was so in
control of his gyms that the fans wouldn't even wave at a foul shooter. To
us, that's more than the extra mile, but you get the point. He could fix
it if he wanted to, and there could be no free speech issues. But we're
not holding our breath.

Maryland plays State in their traditional Super Sunday matchup. If form
follows, State will play a sharp game for a while, then hit a serious offensive
slump for 5-9 minutes. Maryland will pull out in front, then State will rally,
but Maryland will still win. From Duke's point of view, it's best if
Maryland does win. Then Duke is three games in front of everyone, which is
a pretty good cushion.

New road theme for UNC: how about "Highway to Hell?"

You know you're in the Triangle when
a Super Bowl coach is compared to Mike Kryzewski.