Two tight games and one blowout in Wednesday's ACC action: Virginia fell to FSU in Tallahassee, 69-67, State lost to Georgia Tech at home, 77-74, and UNC ripped Miami, 98-82.
Okay the admiration line for Matt Causey starts behind us: after a huge game against Virginia Tech, Causey scored 18 against State and really led his team well. For a guy who was no sure bet to play a lot, much less start, and for a guy who plays with no cartilage in one knee, he's amazing.
State by contrast...well, they could have won this game. And even at the end they could have tied it. But somehow, with nine seconds left, everyone left the inbounder all alone under the Tech basket. Javi Gonzalez rushed back and brought the ball up, but he was put (and partly placed himself) in a terrible position and he airballed a wide-open three point shot badly.
Apparently, Sidney Lowe thought he told Courtney Fells to bring the ball up. Fells thought Gonzalez was supposed to. Gonzalez heard Fells was supposed to.
Pretty much sums up State's season, really: bad chemistry issues, a bit of hope, yanked away again by...bad chemistry. A great game by Courtney Fells was wasted. State is still only 12-6 but only 1-3 in the ACC, and given the way the game ended, Sidney Lowe is going to face a lot of questions. In a can-you-believe-this moment, as he was giving his post-game explanation of the screwup, the State logo came loose from the lectern and "fell to the floor with a thud," according to Dan Weiderer. What can you say? Well, how about this?
In Tallahassee, two guys who might find themselves on the hot seat saw their teams put on an entertaining game as FSU came back from 10 down to take one away from Virginia. Leonard Hamilton, who has been at FSU for six years now without making the tournament, is fighting for a bid. And at Virginia, with fans questioning his first two classes and Sean Singletary in his final season, Dave Leitao, who appears to be a brittle sort, will not retain his job merely on personal charm, which is not his strong point.
Key player: Toney Douglas. Key play: stripping Singletary at the end of the game.
Leitao has made a name for himself to an extent by refusing to praise his players when they lose. So even if you rack up a 20/20 game, Leitao typically says it doesn't matter since you lost. So it's a bit surprising to see him give Singletary a break, saying that "Sean didn't have his 'A' game tonight. Sean defended himself probably better than any player they had, no disrespect to anybody. Sean wasn't Sean tonight."
Miami gave UNC a game for 20 minutes, but Tyler Hansbrough ate the 'Canes alive in the second half. He finished with 35 points. Ty Lawson had 23 points and 10 assists, and Wayne "A Train" Ellington hit for 12.
After a hot start, Miami has fallen to 1-3 in the ACC.
If you look at it, things are beginning to shake out. Most teams have pretty much found their level, with Miami and Florida State looking like the teams which perhaps are most likely to make moves. Maryland should continue to improve, and Wake Forest has shown some serious potential, although they're still very young.
Here's an interesting story on Maryland's Landon Milbourne and his dad, who still plays overseas.
- Heels bounce back
- Canes fail to slow No. 1 Tar Heels
- Wolfpack unable to fend off Jackets
- 'Noles stuff Cavs
- Wake freshmen give 1-2 punch
- Cavs go flat in stretch
- Hurricanes not at the Tar Heels' level
- Seminoles leave Cavs off guard
- Milbourne into it
- Tigers get a little extra to top Wake
- Heels take care of Miami
- Wolfpack has Cause(y) for concern
- Heels bounce back
- Work ethic, drive to excel is paying off for Howard
- Confused Wolfpack falls to Georgia Tech