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ACC Roundup!

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On Saturday afternoon, Wake beat Elon 89-70 to move back to .500 (2-2).  We can say this with some confidence:  Wake is the first ACC team to ever fall behind to Wake Forest, 14-2.

But they did fight back and after a 25-5 run, the game was theirs.

Sunday's ACC Action!
Vandy vs. UNC 5:30 ESPN2
NCSU vs. Georgetown 7:30 ESPNU
Virginia Tech vs. UNCG 1:00 Comcast SportsNet / NESN
Miami vs. Rutgers 2:00 Nope
ODU vs. Clemson 6:00 Nada

Dreadful news:  never a big ticket, Wake pulled in just 2,380 fans at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Back on the bright side, the Deacs may have a budding star in freshman Travis McKie.  If you look down the road a bit and consider him along with Ari Stewart, CJ Harris, Carson Desrosiers and the still-injured Tony Chennault, well, that's not a bad lineup. Unfortunately, it's not really ready for the ACC wars yet.

They've got ten days to get ready for Iowa, where one-time Deac Fran McCaffery is trying to get the Hawkeyes back on track.

In Sunday's ACC action, UNC gets Vandy in the consolation game  of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, State takes on Georgetown in the title game of the Charleston Classic, Virginia Tech travels to Greensboro to prep for March's ACC Tourney, Miami visits Rutgers, and Clemson hosts ODU.

All of these have some interest, with the exception of Virginia Tech and Greensboro, which should be lame (although you can't rule out Tech playing down to competition as usual).

UNC will be annoyed after losing to Minnesota, but Vandy isn't necessarily an easy out. They're very well coached.  And it seems like Vandy is always a sharp three shooting team, which isn't something UNC has traditionally defended well.  They're more athletic than most people think, which should make for an interesting game.

State will take on Georgetown without Tracy Smith, who is out for three weeks or so with a knee injury.

Too bad, but it might not be that big a deal. We're not sold on Georgetown.  They've been erratic lately, and while seniors Chris Wright and Austin Freeman should give them a big advantage, State's increased athleticism will be part of the story.  Can they overcome a smart, disciplined team? How will Georgetown replace Greg  Monroe?

All good questions.  We'll see.  Intellectually, we'd say Hoyas, but the emotion may be on State's side.  It's a young team with a lot to prove, and this is a big chance to stake a claim. We'll see.  The last few years we would absolutely have picked Georgetown though. No question, no doubt. Now? Not so fast.

Like State, Miami has a lot to prove, but with a new system, Rutgers might be a smart team to have scheduled.  They are, just about always acually, rebuilding.

If we were Clemson, we'd be very wary of ODU.  That's a very well coached team.  Both systems are deliberate and while Blaine Taylor's teams are usually awful in December, well, Brad Brownell is just laying his foundation.  You take this team lightly and you'll pay.

Switching over to football for a minute, it's a fun weekend for State: not only are they in the finals of their tourney while UNC is in the consolation round of theirs, the Wolfpack had a thrilling win over UNC in football. They've now won four straight times, and while UNC can pretend they don't care (much like both schools pretend they don't care about losing to ECU), the fact is, losing to State bugs the hell out of people in Chapel Hill.

And losing to Minnesota probably wasn't very appealing either.  Here's the Star Tribune's take on the game, including a spot-on takedown of Ol' Roy's complaint about the media making life hard for Barnes.  As young Harrison himself said last spring, shortly before Skyping  his news to Williams, "without the media that shed light on my skills, I would not be here and I am grateful for that,"

A young Virginia team is off to Maui -- not a bad place to spend Thanksgiving all in all -- where they'll encounter Tony Bennett's old PAC-10 rival Washington, all loaded up with speedy little guards and offensive dynamos.

Bennett says he has a murderer's row coming up. True enough. There are some gimmes mixed in, but they also play Minnesota, Virginia Tech, Oregon, Iowa State and LSU. And after that, they open ACC play with UNC and Duke.

After the the 2K Sports Classic, good guy Seth Davis takes a look at all four teams, including Maryland.  While he is very high (rightly so) on Jordan Williams, he finds these negatives:

Maryland doesn't play offense. They play Oy-fense. The Terps were 2 for 14 from three-point range against Pitt, and they were 5 for 18 against Texas. Against Pitt they were truly atrocious from the foul line, making just two of their 14 attempts, including 0 for 7 in the first half. If the Terps are going to beat good teams, at some point they're going to have to put the biscuit in the basket...The greater issues come from shot selection and playmaking. That all stems from the Terps' primary deficiency, which is point guard play...against the Illini the Terps' trio of starting guards committed eight turnovers to just 11 assists. And Steve Blake is not going to walk through that door...Finally, as one assistant coach who scouted Maryland pointed out, it's if Williams is on the bench, the Terps have no Plan B up front. Better stay out of foul trouble big fella.

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