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ACC Roundup

Towards the end of the UNC-Maryland game, a fan held up a sign
saying "pretend it's Duke." We're guessing there was a bit of
revelry left in the upsets over Duke this year, but there's some sad truth to
the sign as well: Maryland hasn't been able to get up for anyone else to speak

RPI Turpitude
Jackson State 277
Mercer 196
Memphis 111
Wisconsin 17
George Mason 153
George Washington 67
UNC-Asheville 207
American 154
Liberty 212
Mt. St. Mary's 313
Temple 82
North Carolina 8
North Carolina 8
Duke 6
Duke 6
Wake Forest 2
Virginia 58
Virginia 58
Virginia Tech 100
Virginia Tech 100
Clemson 95
Clemson 95
Miami 54
FSU 136
Georgia Tech 95

Take a look at their opponents and their RPI ratings. Once you get past Duke,
UNC, and Wake, it's not exactly Murderer's Row. The sweeps by Clemson and N.C.
State can't help.

You'll remember - we hope, anyway - at the end of the UNC game in Durham this
year, Raymond Felton passed up a drive which could have won the game, and UNC
lost by one without taking their final shot.

Looks like he learned his lesson, and Maryland paid the price. UNC won
on that layup, and on Sean May's subsequent block of Mike Jone's attempt at the
other end.

Jackie Manuel said, "I knew what Raymond was thinking. I knew he was thinking about the Duke game. I knew once we gave him the ball, he was going to drive."

Michael Wilbon has some fairly strong comments about Maryland
and specifically about John Gilchrist
, saying that "[a]nybody who tells this poor kid he's a lottery pick should be arrested for grand lying."

That's a fair point, and not just for Gilchrist. Unless you're really
exceptional, with athletic ability off the charts, you can't count on the
lottery. With European players and high school players not being fully
evaluated until fairly late in the process, you can't count on anything.
Andrew Bogut could be the first college player to go, and that's far from
certain. But we all saw Gilchrist at the end of last season, and to say
that he was anything less than incredible would be dishonest. At a
minimum, at the very least, he's worth a late first round risk.

Speaking of N.C. State - when you get into the conference standings, below
the top three - Duke, UNC and Wake, not to sound like a broken record - things
get iffy for everyone. But if you're looking for a darkhorse to emerge in
the ACC Tournament, State might be just the ticket.

Since their three-game losing streak to UNC, UVa and Wake, they have
been pretty impressive, winning at Georgia Tech, totally whipping Maryland,
giving UNC a much better game, and then just trashing Virginia Tech. They have
Virginia on the road and Wake at home left before tournament play
commences. We'd expect them to beat UVa, and the Wake game could be

In other ACC action Sunday, Clemson beat FSU 83-74, and Wake throttled
Virginia, 90-68, dropping UVa to 13-12. If it's not the final nail in Gillen's
coffin, the hammer is on the way down.

Unfortunately for Pete Gillen, in this game UVa
pretty much collapsed and players were actually fighting on the court
. Gary
Forbes got yanked after he and Elton Brown got into an argument.

He still has Sean Singletary in his corner, though. You have to admire
the kid's loyalty in dark days:

“Anything can still happen. We’ve just got to listen to our coach. I believe in him 100 percent and I guess I’ve got to get everybody else to believe in Coach Gillen because he’s doing all he
can...The play on the court from our team hasn’t been there. Coach Gillen can’t go out there and play for us. There’s nothing wrong with what he’s telling us. We’ve just got to listen,” the freshman guard said. “He’s not out there playing. When we’re winning, we’re getting all the praise. But when we’re losing he’s taking all the cheap shots. I really don’t like that at all.”

It's sad, though, that at this late date, he can't say his teammates believe
in his coach. Next up for the 'Hoos is State, as we mentioned
earlier, and this is a sad thought, but how up can Virginia get for Senior
Day? Aside from the losing and the discord, the fans haven't been showing
up in droves, either. Devin Smith and Brown are the only seniors, and
while we admired Smith's grit last year, his senior year hasn't been that
great. We would cheer for him, certainly, because we think he's done his
best under extraordinarily difficult circumstances, and not one in 10,000 could
do what he did last year, but Elton Brown? He's been one of our least
favorite players in awhile, and has been at the heart of a lot of Virginia's
problems over the last few years. As a matter of fact, when Gillen was busy
getting rid of deadwood, he probably should have cut Brown loose, too.

After the game,
Chris Paul unloaded,
complaining about how he's getting beaten up as the
season goes on. We're sure there's some truth to his complaint, but it's a
two-way street, because Paul has proven to be a master of the undetected cheap
shot. The question, then, is this: is he retaliating? Or does he do it
first? Retaliating is more understandable, but still a dumb thing to do.
Either way, people are noticing that he's, well, we had to think of a new word:
Chris Paul, studpunk.

There's not a whole lot to say about the Clemson-FSU game. It was
pretty clear going in that Clemson was in a rebuilding season, and that's
certainly been the case. They have a very young roster, and Oliver Purnell
has recruited well, but they're clearly not there yet. But what happened
to FSU?

This team is right up Leonard Hamilton's alley. It's got athleticism
and power and depth. Yet they're a very FSU-ish 11-17. Given what
Hamilton has accomplished at Miami and Oklahoma State - and this was before
Eddie Sutton made them a national power again - we thought they would surely
compete for the upper division in the ACC. There they are, though,
stinking it up. What happened to these guys? It just doesn't make
sense to us. We know they've had trouble at point guard, but at a minimum, this
team has enough talent to be over .500. If they had won games they clearly
should have won - Texas A&M-Corpus Christ, Kent State, Florida
International, they'd be almost there.

School Conference Overall
North Carolina 12-2 24-3
Wake Forest 11-3 24-4
Duke 10-4 21-4
Georgia Tech 7-7 16-9
Virginia Tech 7-7 14-11
Maryland 7-8 16-10
Miami 7-8 16-10
NC State 6-8 16-11
Virginia 4-10 13-12
Clemson 4-10 14-13
Florida State 3-11 11-17

On the other hand, though, they haven't won since January 26th over N.C.
State, losing, in order, to Georgia Tech, UNC, UVa, Wake, UMass, Georgia Tech,
Miami, and Clemson. They visit UNC next, and it's hard to see how they
could pull that off. They close with Virginia, and then to the

It's possible they could end the season with 11 straight losses. How is
that possible? It's mind-boggling. It wouldn't have been for Wake, back before
Dave Odom showed up, and they had to rely on guys who had no business in the
ACC, but FSU has some serious athletes. It's incredible that they have
fallen so far.

Finally, a bit on Maryland miscreants: they didn't riot after the UNC game,
which apparently was news in the area (we hear from e-mail that the non-event
was reported). The Diamondback says that the
county police overreacted
after the last Duke game, and such is our respect
for this paper that we'll take their word for it. Honestly: it's a gutty
student paper, and we do admire them. Here's

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