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ACC Saturday - B.C., Terps Lose, UNC Advances

In ACC action Saturday, only UNC survived, as B.C. lost to Georgetown and Maryland bowed to Butler, 62-59.  There was some controversy in the Maryland game with a charging call questioned. When asked about the call, Gary Williams declined to comment, saying, "we need the money at Maryland." Okay, but as was the case in the Duke games in 2001, Maryland failed to box out on a critical rebound, and Butler's 6-0 Mike Green got the board.

They arguably lost the game from the foul line, shooting 7-15, and should have gotten their more often had they pressed their considerable size advantage inside.  They pounded Butler on the boards, 37-23, but a crucial mistake cost them dearly.

Maryland had some nice pieces to this team, but historically, disciplined teams kill the Terps, and this was no exception.

B.C. faced a huge hurdle against Georgetown, as the towering Hoyas had a size advantage which was daunting.  In the second half, Roy Hibbert and Jeff Green just killed them, and Georgetown won, 62-55.

On the other hand, this is the second game recently where Jared Dudley infuriated an opponent with pre-game comments, saying the ACC was much better than the Big East, comments which the Georgetown kids read and responded to, much as the Virginia Tech kids responded to Dudley's earlier criticisms of their defense.  He's a nice player, but it would have helped if he had learned to shut up.

Still, B.C. is a program which never wavers much, is almost always in the game, and wins much more than they lose.  They had an impressive year after kicking big man Sean Williams off the team.  Skinner is a master at finding unappreciated high schoolers.  The future remains bright for B.C.

For UNC, the future is now, and the Heels saw a tight game with Michigan State open up into a fourteen point win. They outrebounded Michigan State, which is never an easy thing to do, and put together one of their more impressive wins.  Tyler Hansbrough took off his mask and just went with the flow.

In other games, Ohio State's comeback against Xavier was remarkable.  Winning without Greg Oden in overtime was as well.   Vandy's game against Washington State was exhilarating.  It's a fun team to watch, and they blow the stereotypes about Vanderbilt away, as they're athletic and tough.  Texas A&M outlasted Louisville, 72-69.  VCU took Pitt to overtime before falling 84-79.UCLA beat IU, 54-49, in a win for ugly ball.

UNC's bracket has broken nicely for them.  Kevin Durant, should Texas advance, poses some problems, but Texas doesn't have enough otherwise.  Vandy is a fun, well-coached team, but we can't see them beating UNC.  And Georgetown?  Well, Jared Dudley's assessment of the conferences could be verified.  Georgetown is a nice team but they're not overwhelming.

Same is true of the Midwest, where we can't see anyone stopping Florida.  Of course you have to play the games, but it's hard to see it.  The West is still fairly open, with Kansas the favorite of course, but they have Kentucky next, and in a conservative, defense-oriented game, UK has a shot.  Virginia Tech will have a tough draw in Southern Illinois.  The Salukis have mastered finding rising young coaches and have been tough for several years now.  Not an easy game at all.

Tennessee and Virginia should be fun.  The contrast in coaches couldn't be more obvious, as the tense and explosive Dave Leitao goes against loosey-goosey Bruce Pearl.

DBR picks for Sunday:

  • Florida over Purdue
  • Oregon over Winthrop
  • UNLV/Wisconsin - too close to call
  • KU over UK
  • Southern Illinois over Virginia Tech
  • Texas over Southern Cal
  • UT over UVa
  • Memphis over Nevada