In ACC action Saturday, UNC beat Virginia, 76-61, and Clemson, inexplicably, lost a 19 point lead and fell to Florida State, 65-61, at home no less.
As impressive as the Duke win was, this was just awful.Â There's no way Florida State should have done this on Clemson's home court.Â As K.C. Rivers said, "Wednesday night, we kept our foot on the gas pedal. We seen [Duke] getting weak, we took advantage of it. Tonight, we didn't do that. We seen them getting weak, we let them back in it. We gave them life."
Indeed.Â This win will go a long way towards making FSU's argument to the selection committee.Â It also knocks Clemson back to fourth place, fifth since FSU wins the tiebreaker currently.
UNC beat Virginia, but it wasn't one to write home to Dean Smith about or anything.Â UVa is pretty weak, and they still managed to stick with the Heels for most of the first half.Â They also managed to hit 50% from three point range - 10-20 - and they defended the three reasonably well, keeping UNC to 9-25, which is much better than Maryland did the other night.
We've had some doubts about UNC this year, but give the Heels credit.Â They've lost Tyler Zeller, Marcus Ginyard, kicked Will Graves off the team for the year, and Bobby Frasor and Tyler Hansbrough are not really fully recovered from their injury issues.Â Still, they're rolling right along.Â It's not the season they were expecting, but no matter how deep they were, winning the title always involves grit. They're showing a fair amount in some ways.
The three games on Sunday are all interesting.Â Virginia Tech has had a nasty habit of getting fired up for ranked opponents and letting down for lesser opponents.Â State lately has found some heart. It honestly depends on which Tech shows up:Â the motivated, passionate Tech or the casual, vulnerable Hokies.Â For all their love of the big win, they'll never hit the next level until they win the games they should win, and they're still not doing that on a regular basis. For one thing, they need to rebound better, particularly in crunch time.
Wake is in a bit of a mess right now. They're good and very talented, but ask yourself: when was their last solid game, from beginning to end?Â They've lost three out of four and are lucky it's not four in a row.
Teams have figured out that they have one outside shooter, basically, in Jeff Teague, and no other options.Â So, like Miami, you can cut off penetration and force them to shoot, and they're much easier to deal with than they should be.
B.C. is quietly putting together a superior season.Â After beating UNC, they lost four straight, but then won five in a row.Â Wake would make six, if they can pull it off.Â So who's third in the ACC? It's not Wake, not Clemson, not Virginia Tech or Miami.Â It's B.C.
Finally, Maryland and Georgia Tech.Â Both are showing some signs of life, but Maryland has trouble with big frontcourts and we can't see them matching up with Gani Lawall very well, much less Alade Aminu or Zachery Peacock.
Their guard play is really improved though, and that's Tech's weakness.Â So we'll see who can overcome first!
Interesting article here about Adrian Bowie, whose dad has been around the Maryland program for decades and who dreamed of seeing his son as a Terp.