The ACC returns to the hardwood in a big way on Thursday, with seven schools
in action. Georgia Tech gets Troy State, B.C. gets Duquesne, State gets
ECU, UNC, takes on Rutgers, Virginia entertains American, and Maryland hosts
Mount St. Mary's.
A few of these are dogs, but some jump out anyway: the best/most
important is likely to be Clemson and Georgia. If the Tigers win, they're
off to the races. Georgia is well coached and will be a challenge.
The Tigers are not that far off of an NCAA bid, which isn't something you can
say of them in December very often. 13-0 means you have to really fall
apart to not be seriously considered. They could very plausibly go to
The next intriguing game is American and Virginia. Jeff Jones has been
gone for a while now, but this has the elements of a grudge match. With
UVa coming off of a truly wretched performance in Puerto Rico, and the holiday
break compounding that, an upset is not out of the question. The
'Hoos will also be without 6-9 Ryan Pettinella, who had an injury in Puerto
B.C. should certainly beat Duquesne, but most of their frontcourt is
And ECU always relishes a shot at an ACC team. State is game but thin, so
we'll see. They should be favored, but it's an opportunity ECU won't overlook.
There's no way Tech, UNC, or Maryland should be even slightly
challenged. UNC is
still getting over some injuries, however.
We're not picking on Maryland's Ralph Friedgen, but this is a man whose
health is has to be in serious question. Take
a look. A man that size in a high stress position - it's just not
Finally, Georgia Tech is getting a lot of negative press for
losing football players to academics, including quarterback Reggie
Ball. We say that's great. It's too bad they're going to be
shorthanded, but there's no question that Tech is taking academics
seriously. Benching these guys right before a bowl game takes some
courage. Good on Tech.