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ACC Roundup

While Duke was tussling with St. John's in the Garden, other
ACC powers sorted out at least part of the race: with Georgia Tech surviving
Miami and N.C. State crushing Virginia Tech, Duke has clinched at least third
place in the conference.

School Conference Overall
North Carolina 11-2 23-3
Wake Forest 10-3 23-4
Duke 10-4 20-4
Virginia Tech 7-6 14-10
Maryland 7-7 16-9
Miami 7-7 16-9
Georgia Tech 6-7 15-9
NC State 5-8 15-11
Virginia 4-9 13-11
Clemson 3-10 13-13
Florida State 3-10 11-1

It's a bit late, and it might not be enough, but when you put
together the wins at Georgia Tech, the big win over Maryland, giving UNC a very
tough game, and now beating a pretty good Virginia Tech team pretty soundly,
well, you know, they might still play their way in. Next up is Virginia,
on the road, and Wake at home to close out the season. If they sweep, and
win one or maybe two games in the ACC Tournament, they have a great argument.

At 14-11, Virginia Tech might be cutting it a bit close, but
4th place in the ACC (they're tied with Maryland and Georgia Tech) is worth
something, and they'd finish ahead of State.

Tech hasn't nailed their bid down yet either, but with a trip
to Wake left and Clemson at home, they're not too far off.

And if State and Tech were both thoughtful enough to beat
Wake, Duke would get the second seed - assuming they beat Miami and UNC, which
is a tall order.

On the other hand, UNC is missing Rashad McCants, who probably
won't play against Maryland today. The Terps desperately need a big win to
impress the committee, and this is their best shot. If they lose and don't
make the NCAAs, can we then call Gary "the-Williams-who-didn't-make-the

In other Sunday games, you can file FSU at Clemson under

Wake will host Virginia as well.

Incidentally, we were surprised and heartened to read this in
the News & Observer:

"The campaign to canonize Wake Forest point guard Chris Paul picked up another convert this week in Sports Illustrated. Judging from the "Saint Paul" headline and obligatory references to the preseason ACC player of the year's gracious demeanor off the court, Paul is one documented miracle -- a Wake Forest national championship perhaps? -- away from VIP seating at the Vatican.

"But the polished Paul has a hard edge on the court, and he picked up his second technical of the year Sunday at Duke. Whenever referees rush in to break up a push-and-shove scrum during a Wake game, you'll frequently spot Paul backing away -- after sparking the tussle with, say, an overzealous dive atop an opponent for a loose ball -- with a "what, me?" expression on his cherubic face."

We've really held off on saying much about Paul, but if you
watch closely, he does do some pretty ugly stuff.