In ACC action, UNC cruised by State, 93-76, Maryland beat Miami, 73-68, Virginia Tech got crushed at the buzzer, again, this time by B.C. 67-66, and Georgia Tech pulled off the major upset, winning 76-74 over Wake Forest.Â We're not sure if anyone else saw it coming but if you read here Friday, you know we made the case.
For all the talk about how great Wake is, consider this:Â this is the third game in a row where they had real trouble at the end.Â They rallied against Virginia Tech before falling behind again, they let Duke back in the game, and they couldn't put Georgia Tech away.Â Â Great teams generally know what to do at the end.
Wake is really good, but their inexperience is showing up, not least of all when they chucked the ball away twice in the last 35 seconds.
For Tech, what a sweet win, and for the ACC, what a nice thing. It underscores the argument for the ACC as a better conference than the Big East:Â it is very hard to imagine one of the bottom teams in that conference knocking off one of the better teams.Â South Florida, say, is not going to be UConn anytime soon.Â Nor is DePaul.Â Only the ACC can claim that level of competition.
In College Park, Maryland at least stopped the bleeding, getting off their knees for a win over Miami.Â Â To make things even better, Gary Williams got to placate the fans by having big-time recruit Lance Stephenson in for the game, which is somewhat odd.Â To an extent, Stephenson is exactly the sort of guy Williams has always detested recruiting.Â He's a great player, but he also has a substantial ego.Â It's an interesting move to say the least. Who knows?
What is it about Virginia Tech that makes them so uniquely vulnerable to last-second losses?Â It happened again Saturday as B.C. beat them on a last-second tip-in.Â Somewhat distastefully, Greenberg seemed to deflect blame to his team:
"The last thing we talked about coming out of the timeout was, 'The shot's not going to beat you. It's going to be the second shot...You've got to rebound the ball. That's the last thing my guys heard when they left the huddle."
In Raleigh, Tyler Hansbrough got his groove back and lit up State for 31.Â Despite a gimpy ankle, Courtney Fells had 22 for State.
State was close for part of the first half and was only outscored by five in the second, so they lost the game in the latter part of the first half.Â You might think that losing by 17 would kind of keep them from pursuing UNC in the waning seconds:Â think again.Â Ben McCauley saw Michael Copeland heading for a dunk with two seconds left and threw him to the ground.Â That'll keep things lively!