In Tuesday night's ACC action, Clemson hemmed and hawed but eventually got themselves together enough to beat Virginia, 75-57, and Maryland came close, but still lost to Wake Forest, 65-63.
|ACC Wednesday Night Action!|
|Boston College @ NC State||7:00 PM||ESPNU|
|North Carolina @ Virginia Tech||7:00 PM||ESPN|
|Miami @ Georgia Tech||7:30 PM||ACC Select|
Maryland was close - oh, so close.Â They cut the Wake lead to 59-58 on a Dave Neal tip-in, and when Wake went up 61-58, Neal drove for a layup, but was blocked by James Johnson.Â He hit a too-late three to cut the final margin to two.
It's impossible not to admire the grit of this Maryland team.Â They really have no business competing with UNC, Duke and Wake.Â But there they are.
They have to beat Virginia - this is getting old, we know - or forget it.Â But as far as we're concerned, they should be in.Â They're remarkable and they deserve a shot.
After the game, Dino Gaudio said the Deacs had just recently put in the 1-3-1 zone, and it proved highly effective.Â Good news for the now-third place Deacs; big hit for the Terps.
Check out Dave Neal:
"I'm sure people doubted me from freshman year saying, âDave Neal is never going to play here. He's not that good. He's slow, he's white and he can't play.Â People still talk about it today and say, âDave can't play.' But the fact I'm playing about 25 minutes a game here at Maryland, averaging seven points and four rebounds, is something magnificent."
You know, he's right.
Dave Odom knows more about basketball than we ever will, but we can't see Greivis Vasquez as player of the year.Â Â
UNC and Duke, by the way, have now secured first-round ACC tourney byes. Wake gets Clemson on Sunday, and they could end up tied in the stands.Â Clemson lost to Wake by 10 at home, so if that ends up being the tiebreaker, Wake gets it.
In Clemson, for a half or so, the Tigers didn't seem to care that Virginia was keeping up with them. You would think that they would still be mad about the loss in Charlottesville.
In the second half, Oliver Purnell, apparently no longer making jovial comments about his team starting slow, told them to get going, and they get going they did. They got going over, around and through Virginia's defense for a thorough whipping.Â Â Â It can't be much fun to play for Virginia this season, can it?
Speaking of Virginia, looks like they'll be bringing Dave Leitao back.
In case you were wondering why Hank Thorn sat out when Virginia Tech played Duke, here's your answer: hyponatremia.Â He drank too much water and diluted the sodium in his blood.
On Wednesday night, critical games for Virginia Tech, B.C. and Miami.Â Does Tech have a chance against UNC? We'd say yes.Â They're a tough-minded team and it more or less comes down to this game.Â If UNC is lackadaisical, they could find themselves in a tie for first place with Duke.
B.C. should be in, but if they mess around in Raleigh, they could still hurt their chances. And while Miami is in ninth place, some people still project them as a tournament team.Â Not if they lose to Tech!Â That's a death knell at this point.