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ACC Roundup

Other than Duke's rumble with Clemson, there was only one ACC game Sunday, and that saw Sean Mosley lead Maryland past the Yellow Jackets, and possibly towards a renewed identity as a gritty defensive team.

No Monday Games!
Sunday's Results
Maryland 61 Georgia Tech 50
School Conf. Pct. Overall Pct.
Duke 3-0 1.000 15-2 .882
North Carolina 2-1 .667 15-3 .833
Maryland 2-1 .667 12-4 .750
NC State 2-1 .667 13-5 .722
Florida State 2-1 .667 11-6 .647
Boston College 2-1 .667 7-10 .412
Virginia 1-1 .500 14-2 .875
Wake Forest 1-2 .333 10-7 .588
Clemson 1-2 .333 9-8 .529
Georgia Tech 1-2 .333 8-9 .471
Miami 0-2 .000 9-6 .600
Virginia Tech 0-3 .000 11-6 .647

That's something they've struggled with this season, though it was of course their primary identity under Gary Williams: a scrappy bunch of (usually) overachievers.

Maryland held Tech to just 19 in the first half and Glen Rice Jr., who went off on both Duke and State, had just six.

Overall, Tech shot just 33.9%.

Not that the Terps were any better; they were in fact slightly worse at 33.3%.  The Terps did score nine more from three point range though and got to the line far more than Tech making 19 to Tech's 11 attempts.

It was an ugly game unless you like defense.

Afterwards, Brian Gregory gave full credit to one Terp saying "I thought Mosley was the toughest kid on the court. He flat-out won them the game."

The aftermath of the UNC debacle at Florida State continues.  Caulton Tudor flatly disregards them as a Final Four contender, saying that "[s]omething has to be dreadfully wrong. More likely, several things fall into that category."

Maybe. Or maybe they just got complacent and full of themselves and just didn't take their flaws - and every team has some -seriously.

They have, you'll remember, a point guard who while he has prodigious passing skills, has no significant defensive gifts.  Neither starting guard is a particularly reliable scorer.

Tyler Zeller is a well-rounded big man although somewhat stiff and John Henson, who is long and dangerous on defense, is still sort of hard to define, particularly in UNC's system.  He's not a great scorer though he is a solid rebounder and a tremendous defender.

Harrison Barnes is their biggest star, yet he tends to shy from contact and is not particularly ferocious.  That's not to say he's a useless player. Whatever his flaws as a player may be - and like teams every player has some - no one denies his drive and his willingness to work hard at everything he does.

Yet he would have been the guy we would have expected to step up against Florida State in a crisis. If he is a Michael Jordan/Grant Hill sort of a player, Devidas Dulkys would have been stopped at 10 or 15 points.

Still, at the end of it all, Roy Williams is right: the coach is responsible for what his team does, something Jeff Bzdelik, who more or absolved himself of responsibility after Saturday's crushing loss at State, could stand to remember.

Of course, this isn't the first time a Roy Williams-led UNC team showed up and failed to compete, a curious yet undeniable tendency for the Hall of Famer.

Think about the 30+ loss in Cameron a couple of years ago.  Think about the NCAA overtime when Georgetown cleaned their clock.  In a different sense, Charleston.  A 20 point loss to an 8-8 Georgia Tech.

Perhaps worst of all, the annihilation by Kansas in the Final Four.

Clearly, they win far more than they lose.  But teams reflect their coaches.  Under Dean Smith UNC was relentlessly, endlessly competitive, and most dangerous when they should lose.

Williams is a more brittle personality and coach as his sometimes coarse public comments and periodic joking references to suicide over his team's play suggest. His teams, while usually outstanding, reflect his character as much as Smith's reflected his.