Sunday was quite a day for ACC hoops, with three really good games. Duke-Maryland is discussed elsewhere, of course, but Miami knocked off Clemson in Miami, but might not have had the hard-luck Tigers not lost Trevor Booker early in the game to a high left ankle sprain just minutes into the game.Â That could make life really tough for the Tigers, as James Mays is still banged up.
Still, Clemson should really have won the game and might have if Jack McClinton hadn't gotten hot and hit three threes late in the second half.Â Miami then hit 9-10 from the line to close Clemson out.
It's not a fatal loss, but losing Booker really hurts. He's one of the best big men in the conference and the injury will set him, and likely his team, back. They get B.C. and Virginia next, and you'd think they could manage those without Booker if necessary, but then go to UNC, and they will need him in that one.
As much passion as there was in that game - and there was a lot - the end of the Georgia Tech-Virginia game was insane.
First, Tech managed to dribble out the shot clock with the score tied and less than a minute.Â Paul Hewitt was a sight on the sideline, poor guy.Â But he was right - it was massively stupid.
But then Virginia coughed the ball up and Tech scored a layup with 10.4 left. Then Sean Singletary hit one of the most amazing running/flip/finger roll shots we've seen in a while to tie it again.Â Then Matt Causey almost nailed a 40 footer.
As it turned out, that was merely prelude for the remarkable Causey.Â Is there any ACC story right now which is as nearly compelling as his surge to greatness?Â Who does this guy think he is?Â Doesn't he know that transfers to ACC schools from minor league schools, much less guys with bad knees, can't do this?
Apparently, no: Causey scored 12 points in overtime, including nine straight.Â He was brilliant.Â As the conference race goes on, people will likely catch on to him and not let him have these kinds of games.Â But for now, wow.Â Wow. Wow.Â What a gem he's turning out to be - and a lifesaver, and possibly a job saver, for Hewitt.
The camera lingered on Singletary at the end, and maybe it was losing, and maybe other things, but the guy looked absolutely devastated.Â You never know. One Duke player a few years ago learned his parents were considering divorce and his game took a major dive.Â These guys all have lives outside the TV that most of us never think of.
Fans can be pretty harsh sometimes and so can members of the media. This guy comes off as a big goober. He might be right, but it seems a bit severe. Say what you will about Gary Williams and his program, and we've said our share, but he's given Maryland An ACC title, two final fours, and a national championship.
Virginia is a bit stuck at the moment, and while Dave Leitao is a master of tough love, he hasn't yet shown that he has a knack for nursing a sick team to health. His next challenge is Maryland, as the Terps will host the 'Hoos this week.
Though their records don't yet reflect it, we think that Maryland and State are engineering impressive turnarounds.Â State's problems earlier are well-known.Â Dave Glenns says don't blame J.J. Hickson!
It's still too early, but as of now, Duke and UNC are in the NCAA field and fighting for #1 seeds.Â No one is absolutely out except for Georgia Tech, who would need to pretty much run the table.Â Clemson and B.C. have good arguments, and we wouldn't bet against Miami or Maryland.
Football segue - former Wake coach Jim Caldwell is apparently Tony Dungy's heir apparent in Indy.Â Not bad for a second act!