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ACC Roundup!

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It's amazing how quickly things can change: between Florida State's upset at Duke and UNC's loss of Dexter Strickland (ACL), the ACC race has been torn wide open.

Sunday's ACC Action!
Teams Times TV
NC State @ Miami 12:00 ESPNU
Virginia Tech @ Virginia 6:00 ESPNU
Saturday's Results
  • Temple 73, Maryland 60
  • Wake Forest 71, Boston College 56
  • Clemson 64, Georgia Tech 62
School Conf. Pct. Overall Pct.
Duke 4-1 .800 16-3 .842
Florida State 4-1 .800 13-6 .684
North Carolina 3-1 .750 16-3 .842
NC State 3-1 .750 14-5 .737
Virginia 2-1 .667 15-2 .882
Maryland 2-2 .500 12-6 .667
Wake Forest 2-3 .400 11-8 .579
Clemson 2-3 .400 10-9 .526
Boston College 2-3 .400 7-12 .368
Miami 1-2 .333 10-6 .625
Georgia Tech 1-4 .200 8-11 .421
Virginia Tech 0-4 .000 11-7 .611

A few weeks ago, Florida State seemed like a basket case, pun intended, but with victories over two Top Ten teams in the space of a week and in the driver's seat for now in the conference, the Seminoles are in great shape.

Speaking of things changing quickly, Maryland took two hits, one in their loss to Temple: first, Alex Len injured his ankle although it's not clear just how serious it is yet. The second? Critical assistant Dalonte Hill picked up a DUI.  You will recall that Hill came home from Kansas State, taking a paycut.  He and fellow assistant Bino Ranson should, over the next several years, start to clean up in Maryland's rather fertile backyard.

Still, all that aside, Mark Turgeon was not entirely displeased with the Terp's effort, saying that [w]e actually looked like a team today."

Injury aside, Len's had trouble adjusting to the ACC level of play.

Against Temple, Len played seven minutes and picked up a turnover and two fouls. In his first four games, Len averaged 13.5 ppg. His last four? Two per game.

In fairness to Len, he'd certainly be further along if he had the entire season under his belt instead of just eight games.  Maryland fans shouldn't worry too much.  He'll be fine.

Although they lost, Georgia Tech should feel better about things after a superb rally against Clemson: down 16 with less than six minutes to go, the Yellow Jackets nearly pulled off a remarkable comeback. It was mostly Glen Rice Jr.'s doing, but as admirable as it was, tiny Tiger Andre Young was in control of this one, scoring 19 on 9-12 overall and 7-9 from three point range.

Georgia Tech has four guys on the way who are all probably capable of starting. They'll also have Rice, Jason Morris, Mfon Udofia, Kammeon Holsey and Julian Royal back. They'll have some more difficult days this year, but better days are ahead.

A win over BC this year might not sound like a big deal, but for Wake it is.

First, they would have blown this game last year.  Second, it's the first road game the Deacs have won over Jeff Bzdelik. Third, they lost their last two league games by an average of 27 points. And fourth, five games into their ACC schedule, Wake is still over .500. That might not last long: Wake gets Florida State, a trip to Clemson, UNC, and then trips to State and Virginia. That's a brutal stretch. Still, the Deacs are trying and likely improving, which is a departure from last season.

On Sunday, State can claim a share of first if they can beat Miami, a task made tougher without CJ Williams, who is listed as doubtful. Still, it's a game they could win, though it won't be easy given Miami's size and also a talented backcourt. We'd rate this a toss-up although at this point, State's the better coached team.  It's been a long time since you had to take State seriously, but you certainly do at this point. Mark Gottfried is doing a tremendous job of teaching his charges to be a team and to play hard on both ends. It's nice to see.  State has been the sick man of the ACC for far too long.

The Virginia-Virginia Tech game is more interesting in many respects.  First, it's obviously a keen rivalry.  Second, Virginia's ascent is almost precisely mirrored by the Hokie's descent and almost total eclipse by Virginia. If you'll recall, over the last several years, while Tech has flirted with the tournament and been very competitive with Duke and UNC, Virginia has struggled. Prior to this season, Tony Bennett's breakout year, the Cavs have struggled. Even last year, when they were competitive, Virginia collapsed in the ACC Tournament against Miami.

So what to expect now? Our normal instinct is to go with Tech because it is a rivalry game and because the Hokies are desperate. Plus Virginia's inside game took a hit with the absence of Assane Sene, who is out for six weeks with an ankle injury.

Our inclination here is to take Tech.  But Virginia has been playing too well to pick against them, and Akil Mitchell and Darion Atkins are both better basketball players and very good athletes to boot. They'll be adequate replacements.

As we suggested recently, if either Seth Greenberg or Tech tires of their partnership, Archie Miller is a guy we'd keep an eye on as a replacement.  After knocking off Xavier, 87-72, Dayton is in first place in the A-10.  That's pretty good for a guy in his first season as a head coach. Then again, he's been training for this for his entire life.

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