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ACC Roundup - 52 Tourney Links!

With the ACC Tournament upon us, it's time to get cracking!Thursday game times:

  • 12:00 - #8) Clemson vs. 9) FSU
  • 2:00 - 5) Maryland vs. 12) Miami
  • 7:00 - 7) Duke vs 10) N.C. State
  • 9:00 - 6) Georgia Tech vs. 11) Wake Forest

It's not that often that an 8 vs. 9 has great potential, but both teams are desperate for a win to make a better case to the committee. Should be interesting to say the least. But does Clemson have an answer for Al Thornton, who has been superb lately - even more so than usual? Hard to see it right now.

Maryland should beat Miami like a rented drum. Duke-State is still a tossup in our mind. It depends on a lot of factors. But Tech should surely beat Wake Forest.

There are guys every year who it's really easy to admire and pull for individually, even if you don't root for their teams. That's very much the case with D.J. Strawberry. The kid is really impressive. We admire him a great deal and wish him the best of luck as his college career draws to a close. He's passionate, he's solid, he's an emotional leader.

He's also made his own path in life and has refused to be defined by his famous father, Darryl. Like Juan Dixon, he is a Terp the entire conference can take pride in. What a winner he is.

Another guy well worth admiring is Georgia Tech's Mario West. He started life at Tech as as walk-on but has become a gamebreaker and has accelerated the development of Javaris Crittenton. Great story. The guy has become one of the ACC's best walk-ons of all time.

One of the little (so far) discussed issues of this year's tourney is that it's a tough sell. Say it isn't so, Swofford!

But it is. With a longer travel than ever before, an no particular local interest, the ACC is for the first time looking at a lot of potential empty seats.

People get mad that it is usually based in Greensboro, but with seven teams very close by, and Georgia Tech and Maryland not that much further away, the Coliseum is a very central point. B.C. and Miami will have to adjust.

We've had a lot of fun with Gary Williams, who likes to work references to his 2002 national title into conversation whenever possible. So here's the latest:

"We all know it's not the best 64 teams, even though you might be good enough, you might not get picked if you're not an automatic qualifier. Once you win the national championship, the bar changes. Everyone thinks you should be there every year."