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ACC Roundup

Sorry Wake fans, but with State's victory over Wake Forest, justice was
served. State should have won the game last week. After Chris Paul
sucker-punched Julius Hodge, he should have been kicked out of the game.
Instead, he was around at the end to hit the game-winner.

Without Paul, Wake lost 81-65. They are out of the ACC Tournament,
which means a lot to Paul, and their presumed number one seed may be gone as
well. That's a considerable price to pay for what Chris Paul did last
week, but it's entirely appropriate. We couldn't see it on TV, but Hodge
apparently spent a fair amount of time woofing towards the Wake bench in general
and, presumably, Paul specifically. That's punishment too. Cameron
Bennerman was superb
, by the way.

In the first game, until they gave way at the end as meekly as a lamb at
slaughter, Clemson was superb and disinctly, before the end, Un-Clemson
like. If we're a Clemson fan, between the sensational Virginia Tech ending
the other day and the overall brilliant performance vs. a vastly more powerful
UNC squad, we're extremely encouraged. Oliver Purnell can recruit and he
can coach. His next job is to convince his players that they are just as
good as anyone else, and that they can play with the big boys. We're
assuming he won't whine about where the game is played if they don't win it and
won't campaign to have it in the state of South Carolina in the name of
fairness.

At a certain point in the afternoon, we saw some hideous beast on the screen
and thought: now who the hell let that in?

Needless to say, the ugly apparition was Virginia Tech's mascot, and it
wasn't around much longer than Miami's flying rat.

After an ugly first half all the way round, Georgia Tech dismissed the Hokies
with prejudice, 73-64, as the learning curve, which seemed minimal in the first
half of the conference race, but got steeper towards the end, got even steeper
for both expansion teams in Greens- oops - D.C.

Actually, of the three teams who should have benefited from geography, only
UVa took some advantage.

The bubble picture has also cleared up some as well. Georgia Tech
is/should be in, and if N.C. State isn't, it's criminal. At 15-13,
Virginia Tech is NIT bound. Miami probably is as well, leaving only
Maryland to contend for a sixth bid. Vitale is apparently telling anyone who
will listen that Maryland is actually in, but it's a tough sell and a lot will
depend on how the various tournaments sort themselves out.

If we had to guess from this point, or to be more precise had to wager, our
money would go on N.C. State. They're the most focused team right now, they're
playing brilliantly, and they've been to the finals before. Duke's
performance was not encouraging, and UNC only turned it on the in final
minutes. Tech still has some offensive woes to overcome. Right now,
State fans should be very optimistic. Duke is a huge hurdle, but State is
a team on fire.