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ACC Roundup

In ACC action, the road teams won: UNC nipped Virginia Tech in
Blacksburg, 64-61, and N.C. State won their debut appearance in Beantown with
ease, 78-60. B.C. is now 0-3 in the ACC, which is almost certainly an
unexpected surprise for the Eagles. State basically beat the crap out of
them, not to put too fine a point on it, shooting brilliantly.

Games For Wed, January 11!
Florida State at Virginia Nope 7:00
Wake Forest at Clemson ESPNU 7:00
Maryland at Duke ESPN 9:00
<!a href="" target=_top>Duke 2-0 14-0
<!a href="" target=_top>North
2-0 10-2
<!a href="" target=_top>Georgia
2-0 9-4
<!a href="" target=_top>N.C.
2-1 13-2
<!a href="" target=_top>Florida
1-1 10-2
<!a href="" target=_top>Clemson 1-1 12-3
<!a href="" target=_top>Maryland 1-1 11-3
<!a href="" target=_top>Miami 1-1 9-6
<!a href="" target=_top>Virginia 1-1 7-5
<!a href="" target=_top>Wake
0-1 11-3
<!a href="" target=_top>Boston
0-3 11-4
<!a href="" target=_top>Virginia
0-3 10-6

Al Skinner summed it up pretty well:

"This is one that's just going to have to be forgotten. Tonight's
game, there's nothing we did well. Previous games, we put ourselves in position
to win. There's nothing tonight on the stat sheet I can look at as a positive. As
much as I hate to say it, this tape goes in the trash. There's nothing in it for

That pretty much sums up a bad night.

Jared Dudley said "It's definitely embarrassing to come out here for our
first ACC game (at home), and to be 0-3. I expected to do well in this league.
We're 0-3, but we're going to get wins in this league."

Welcome to the ACC. For what it's worth, with UNC's win in Blacksburg,
the cellar dwellers currently are both expansion teams.

As we mentioned previously, what drives the ACC to a large extent is
pressure, and what B.C. will find out now is that if the other schools think
they're vulnerable, it's like blood in the water. Everyone will line up
for a chance to kick them while they're down, and they'll kick them where it
hurts. Classic example: Duke 1995.

Normally we'd say that FSU, next up for the Eagles, is a good chance to
recover, but Florida State may be finding their sea legs.

Virginia Tech, a good but not great defensive team, forced 25 turnovers, but
UNC outrebounded the Hokies 39-26, continuing a trend for VT: in recent games,
the Hokies have been pounded on the boards. Coleman Collins is capable of
getting 15 or 20 rebounds a game, but he has a lot on his mind with his father
dying and can be forgiven for a seven point/three board outing.

Tech had a chance to take the game late, but got pounded on the boards at the
end and faded away, giving the game to the Heels.

That's not to demean UNC. Roy Williams has done a remarkable job with a
very young team, and has them a tourney bid squarely in his sites, fulfilling
the prediction of Jay Bilas, who said anyone who thought they weren't going to
get one was nuts.

After the Gardner-Webb game, it looked like a long season, but the Heels have
found stasis and are prospering considerably.

David Noel has become a tremendous team leader, Bobby Frasor has become a
very steady guard, and Tyler Hansbrough will most likely be the Rookie Of The
Year in the ACC. Toss in some solid role play from the rest, and UNC has a
lot to look forward to.

In the other conference game Tuesday night, Georgia Tech was a rude guest of
the Gentlemen from Centenary, but it wasn't easy. They had a 17 point
halftime lead but the Gents insisted on rallying, and made it a game.

Centenary is 2-12 by the way. Not Tech's best moment of the season, but
a win is a win is a win.

On Wednesday, the pressure falls squarely on Wake Forest, as the Deacs travel
to Clemson, where the Tigers, with a weak frontcourt, meet the Deacs, with a
turnover-prone backcourt. Eric Williams could break Akin Akingbala over
his knee, but he's a wasted resource if the guards can't get him the basketball
- and while Clemson has some real problems, defending the perimeter isn't really
one of them. Lose this game, and Wake has a serious hole to climb out
of. Their schedule isn't exactly vicious, but then again, neither is their
backcourt, and that usually trumps the schedule, doesn't it?

Florida State has a lot of athleticism, and Leonard Hamilton has gotten it
done before at Oklahoma State and Miami. So it seems likely that he will
in Tallahassee as well. Certainly his team should have almost every
advantage at Virginia. Uva's strength is their guard play, and FSU is not
that far off there, although Sean Singletary has proven to be a wonderful
player. But Dave Leitao is forced to play walk-on Billy Campbell, because
his depth is non-existent. Against a deep FSU, that could be terminal.

One final note: the Herald-Sun, which has a tremendous resource in ACC
basketball, seems determined to squander it. With a Top 25 game between
N.C State and conference newcomer B.C., are they really going to go with an AP
story? It can't cost that much to send a reporter to Boston and back for a
night. Maybe they'll post something original later, but we doubt it.
Our expectations are way down, and that's too bad. The H-S sits squarely
atop the greatest basketball in the country and could generate enormous web
traffic. Is it highly lucrative now? Not really. Could it be?
Damn right. But the paper is taking a pass.