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ACC Roundup

In Saturday's ACC action, everything went according to form: UNC had no
problem with UNCA, winning 93-62; UVa let Hampton hang around in the first half,
but won by a similar score, 91-62; 91-69; State beat Mount St. Mary's 85-60; and
Miami beat Stetson, 89-64.

State has some serious problems this year. They only go six deep
currently, and one is, or was a walk-on. Their best player is out with an
injury. Yet Sidney Lowe has them playing with confidence and verve.
Mount St. Mary's hung around, but State put them away eventually.

ACC Sunday Action!
Games Times TV
Sacred Heart@B.C. 1:00 fuggetaboutit
Wake@Va. Tech 5:30 FSN, of course
Atlantic Coast Conference
<!a href="">Virginia 1-0 6-1
<!a href="">Boston
1-0 6-2
<!a href="">Miami
1-0 7-4
<!a href="">Clemson 0-0 10-0
<!a href="">Duke 0-0 9-1
<!a href="">North
0-0 8-1
<!a href="">Florida
0-0 8-2
<!a href="">Virginia
0-0 6-3
<!a href="">Wake
0-0 5-3
<!a href="">Maryland 0-1 10-2
<!a href="">North
Carolina State
0-1 7-2
<!a href="">Georgia
0-1 6-3

Unlike Herb Sendek, who often seemed to play (and schedule) to not lose,
rather than to win, Lowe has his team playing aggressively and, despite the
limited talent, running hard. They're responding very well to his style
and personality, and within the next few years, watching State play Duke and UNC
is going to be a lot of fun again.

We're not sure what happened in Charlottesville, but Dave Leitao didn't make
it to the end of the first half, getting ejected with 4:43 left. Odds of
anyone beating Gary Williams early exit a few years back in Cameron are minimal,
but leaving that early is pretty impressive. We'd love to know just what
happened if anyone was at the game.

Miami's Frank Haith was pretty upset after the last game, but looks like his
team played better Saturday. Talented but reticent Brian Asbury had a grat game
(7-9, 4-6 on threes), and Jimmy Graham, who earlier had some hopeful comparisons
to Ben Wallace, grabbed 13 boards. Jack McClintock's scoring declined for
the fifth straight game, although certainly that can be a good thing,
particularly if a team is overly dependent on one player. It would have been
very healthy for Duke last season, for instance; when Gary Williams had nothing
but Walt Williams, he would have been very happy if someone else had
emerged. It's kind of an odd situation for Miami in that McClintock is a
transfer and in some senses a bit of an unknown quality still. He's been a
real find so far, but what happens when ACC play starts? It'll be
interesting to say the least.

Think about this: when was the last time you read a story about UNC and only
saw Tyler Hansbrough's name mentioned once?
Last year, the Heels had
to rely heavily on Psycho-T; this year, they have the luxury of Brandan Wright,
who has emerged as nearly his statistical equal. We're betting he's not
his emotional equal - Hansbrough's great advantage is his intensity, which is
incredibly high - but Wright has considerably more potential and will get a lot
of interest from the NBA. UNC will have to consider the prospect of both
big men leaving after this season. It could happen.

Roy Williams is a great coach, and we've talked before about how he is
different from Dean Smith, which in many ways is a good thing, if only for the
sake of change. But one way he is distinctly inferior to Smith is in how
he discusses his team in public. Smith once in a great while had a biting
comment, but he was absolutely loath to rip his players in public. Not
Williams. His players have driven him to jokingly contemplate some
suicidal thoughts; he's told them to ask for brains for Christmas, and in this
past game he said they "stunk it up." Not quite as harsh, but
we're forgetting a few.

Still, Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach is right: when the freshmen get up to
speed, this team, if it reaches it's potential, should have to at some point
play Ohio State in the tournament.

Greg Oden is pretty quickly showing people why he's considered the next great
big man. Count
Pat Forde among the believers.
A lot of people are still expecting
Florida to repeat, but since Corey Brewer got mono, and Al Horford has a high
ankle sprain, and Joakim Noah has a respiratory infection, problems are stacking
up quickly. Noah will recover quickly, but mono can linger and slow a
player down for weeks if not months, and a high ankle sprain is a hard-to-heal
injury. So our money, right now, is on UNC and OSU.

In one other ACC note,
Bob Knight has now moved within one game of Dean Smith's all-time win record.

Like Smith, Knight says he doesn't care about the record. But like Smith,
Knight is a man with a healthy ego and a high regard for his own ability.
We're not buying it this time, either.

In Sunday ACC action, B.C. gets a typical post-exam tuneup with Sacred Heart,
and Wake and Virginia Tech square off in Blacksburg. Whoever loses is
creeping close to .500 and early intimations of mortality.