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ACC Roundup

Lute Olson is a confident man, strikingly so. And with good reason: the program he's built in Tucson is not just one of the best of our time, but one of the enduring accomplishments in college basketball. To understand that, you need to know that before he arrived in Tucson, the joke was that the McKale Center was the best place on campus to study, as long as it was during a game.Arizona's progam was built ground up - from nothing. At least when Coach K arrived in Durham he had a legacy to return to. Not so Arizona, which makes what's happened there extraordinary, and which in which Olson takes obvious (and understandable) pride.

ACC Sunday Action!
Teams Times TV
UVa@Clemson 1:00 RLF
Tech On Tech (Atlanta) 3:30 FSN
ACC Standings
Boston College 6-1 .857 14-5 .737
North Carolina 5-1 .833 19-2 .905
Virginia Tech 5-1 .833 15-5 .750
Duke 4-2 .667 17-3 .850
Virginia 4-2 .667 12-6 .667
Clemson 4-3 .571 18-3 .857
Florida State 3-4 .429 15-6 .714
Maryland 2-4 .333 16-5 .762
Georgia Tech 2-4 .333 13-6 .684
Miami 2-5 .286 9-12 .429
NC State 1-5 .167 11-8 .579
Wake Forest 1-7 .125 9-11 .450

So to hear his press conference after being absolutely destroyed by UNC, to hear this remarkable man shaken to his core, well, it was like he had just gotten news that someone close to him had died.

Under Olson, the worst home loss ever was by 12 to Tennessee, in his second season.

He has, and his program has, no analogous experience, and they have basically freaked out.

And so, by the way, has the entire city. Tucson is unique not in the town's absolute and total devotion to all things Wildcat, but in a relative isolation. It's a long way from anywhere, and the basketball program has become their great point of pride. So when UNC came calling, the idea was that the lads would show the Easterners a good time and then send them packing.

There is in Tucson, the same sense of shock and loss which Lute Olson showed in his first public comments. The loss was ugly. It was complete. And it was with UNC having a short bench due to illness and injuries (Brandan Wright, Marcus Ginyard, and Bobby Frazor didn't play). Greg Hansen is likely to be apocalyptic.

From a more local point of view, UNC staked their claim to greatness with this win. No one has ever done this to Lute Olson before. Not Jim Harrick, not Jerry Tarkanian, not Bobby Knight, not Dean Smith, not Mike Krzyzewski. It was an astonishing performance.

Wake Forest lost to FSU, but they were in the game and had they done some things differently, might have won it. Al Thornton and Toney Douglas did the Deacs in, although they were in the game with five minutes to go.

On Sunday, we get to see if Clemson can bounce back from the tough loss at Duke. They're hosting Dave Leitao's UVa squad. He has some talent on board, but the guy seems increasingly grim. Is he going to turn into a latter-day Doherty? Let's hope not.

And the Tech/Tech matchup is intriguing as well. If the state of Virginny has a bad day, Duke will be happy, and happier still if they win and move into a tie for third.

Realistically, as of today, the top seven teams have a legitimate case for NCAA bids, and Maryland and Georgia Tech aren't dead yet. Miami, State, and Wake are though and will be lucky to make the NIT at their current trajectory.