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Tournament Notes

From an ACC point of view, Saturday was not a very good day. Duke won, and
won big, and Wake won behind an extraordinary effort by Chris Paul.
The bad news was that Maryland lost to Syracuse and UNC lost to Texas.

The Maryland loss was funny, at least if you listened to Billy Packer, who
apparently ignored the ACC Tournament. When Maryland was slicing into Syracuse's
lead, he was oblivious and had no idea the game had gotten close. It was
another impressive comeback, but this one fell slightly short.

John Gilchrist was held to seven points, and since Gilchrist and Smith had
basically carried the team in the last several games, that was fatal. Even
so, remarkably, they almost pulled it off.

The UNC loss was somewhat more predictable: Texas is big and deep and
they pounded UNC. Even so, the Heels made a solid comeback, and like the
Syracuse game, it was a taut ending.

It's a tribute, really, to the conference, and how well it prepared everyone
for hyper-competitive situations. State and Tech get their cracks on

Georgia Tech gets B.C., an ACC-team-in-waiting, who promises to rough up
Jackets. That could work. On the other hand, they might have to rough them
up when they are streaking downcourt after a steal, too.

B.C. mentioned beating N.C. State, the second-place team, as a prime
accomplishment and a reason to be confident about playing an ACC team.

They did beat State, true, but they did so when Ilian Evtimov was not fully
himself yet, and when Engin Atsur was still being incorporated into the
team. They also played on the road, and until pretty recently, that was
all but a guarantee that State would lose.

And State and Tech are very different kettles of fish. State has done
an amazing job this season, and has adapted their talent to their offense

Tech, as B.C. will find out, is a vastly more talented team, much deeper, and
capable of running them straight back to Boston.

B.C. is tournament worthy, but they also barely beat Sacred Heart, UMass,
Kent State, only beat St. Bonnie's by 7, lost to Villanova, and won over a bunch
of mediocre teams by only moderate margins. They also lost to Clemson at
Clemson, 72-62.

They might still win, don't get us wrong, but they shouldn't get cocky.

In the rest of the nation, Stanford collapsed, and as we said several weeks
ago, this team won't be going to the Final Four.

As bad as that was, though, it can't touch what happened to Gonzaga.
The Zags were just punked by Nevada. It was an amazing performance, and
did a lot to set back Gonzaga's reputation, frankly.

State should be ecstatic - their road is potentially much easier, though
they'll have a tough time with UConn, should they get that far. We'd assume the
regional semis would be Alabama, Syracuse, State, and UConn. Everyone's
there already except State, so cheap bet!