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ACC Roundup!

In Tuesday night ACC action, State took a breather and crushed NC Central, 87-59.  In the other game, UNC beat Maryland, 108-91, and there's lots to talk about in that one.

After the game, UNC announced that Will Graves will not play again this year, basically because, according to Roy Williams,  he did not "maintain the standards we expect of a Carolina basketball player."

ACC Wednesday Night Action!
Teams Times TV
Boston College @ Virginia 7:00 ESPNU
Wake Forest @ Miami 7:30  ESPN2
School Conf. Pct. Overall Pct.
Duke 6-1 .857 19-2 .905
North Carolina 6-2 .750 20-2 .909
Clemson 4-2 .667 18-2 .900
Wake Forest 4-2 .667 17-2 .895
Boston College 5-3 .625 17-6 .739
Virginia Tech 4-3 .571 14-7 .667
Florida State 3-3 .500 16-5 .762
Miami 3-5 .375 14-7 .667
Maryland 3-5 .375 14-8 .636
NC State 2-5 .286 12-8 .600
Virginia 1-5 .167 7-10 .412
Georgia Tech 1-6 .143 10-10 .500

Why him and not Rashad McCants?

UNC also announced that Marcus Ginyard will redshirt.  That puts them down to eight players, basically, and minimal points off the bench (they only got seven from the bench).  Perhaps more importantly, it means their defense will continue to lag behind their considerable offense.

It's almost impossible not to measure Duke and UNC against each other at times, so on the one hand, while Duke destroyed Maryland defensively, holding the Terps to 15 first-half points and 44 for the game, UNC, as they usually do, chose to outscore Maryland, and did so with ease.

The Heels scored 48 points on three-pointers, with Wayne Ellington hitting seven, and Ty Lawson and Danny Green hitting four each (Tyler Hansbrough popped in one late).  It was an impressive performance, particularly from Ellington, who finished with 34 points.

But assume, for argument's sake, that either Maryland had adequately defended the three or that they weren't falling.  Take a third off of that 48 and you're looking at a one-point game.

Moreover, the team that couldn't hit anything at Cameron had no problem scoring in Chapel Hill, not even inside.

Especially inside.  Maryland, severely undersized all season, had little trouble scoring around the basket.  At times, they ripped off some impressive runs.  They never really threatened UNC, but they never really were completely put away, either.

Somehow, they managed to nearly match UNC in rebounds overall (35-37) and did match them offensively (16-16), which never should have happened.  Amazingly enough, UNC's leading rebounder was Ellington with nine.

In fact, other than being destroyed from three point range (admittedly a big exception), it was a surprisingly close game.  Maryland looked like we've come to expect Maryland to look over the years, and if they could have controlled the three point shootin, were a lot closer to winning this game than we ever thought they could be.

This was not the same team we saw in Durham, which leads us to ask two questions: 1) is this because Maryland is so much better? or 2) because UNC's defense - and now depth - allowed them to keep up?  We honestly didn't see any way this bunch would score 91 points in Chapel Hill.

Part of it is definitely that Maryland is playing better. Here's a quick way to measure that: they were almost totally reliant on Greivis Vasquez earlier.  In this game, he could be invisible periodically and not hurt the Terps (actually he hurt them more when he asserted himself).

Maryland had five guys in double figures and Landon Milbourne just missed with nine. Sean Mosley, in particular, had a solid game.

Also impressive:  pretty much everyone grabbed between three and five boards. More impressive:  four guys had at least four assists.

It's hard to say whether UNC's defense was that porous or Maryland had improved that much, but at least Terp fans (not to mention the Terps) have something to build on.

Whatever else you can say about this curious game, it was a career performance by Ellington.

In a most interesting note, UNC now may be having second thoughts about redshirting Tyler Zeller.

In Wednesday's games, B.C. could really use a win against Virginia. That would put them at 6-3 and in good shape for a bid.

By contrast, Miami, which started the season with such optimism, desperately needs a win.  Wake is a tough draw, but on the other hand, the Deacs haven't played all that well lately, and might present an opportunity to Miami.  If they can't pull it off, Miami faces Duke this weekend, at Duke, with the prospect of leaving at 3-7 in the conference and 14-9 overall.  That would just about spell N-I-T.

Arguably, these are the two most critical games of the year for the 'Canes.