A full slate of ACC games Saturday with some potentially great matchups and some which really suck. Let's get the Suckometer out and deal with those first.
- UNCG vs. Wake Forest
- Cal Poly vs. Pitt
- BU vs. Maryland
Some people might put ECU on this list but having seen them we know that's a well-coached team. So does Mark Gottfried, who told WRAL that he likes playing in-state teams. Fair enough.
For Wake, UNCG is a local game, a vacation gimme, fine. But Cal Poly, Pitt? Why fly in the Little Sisters of The Poor from California? Lots of East Coast teams suck. Why not just save time and fuel? If you believe yourself to be a Top Twenty Five Team, then schedule it like that. What about Howard? Oh, wait, they already played. Savannah State! They'll play anyone! Oh, they already played them too?
Okay, okay, Duq - darn, too late again. Well, there's always Youngstown State - oops, never mind - or Canisius. Canisius! See?
Now there are some nice games. Florida State gets a chance to make a mark against UMass, currently #20/22 in the polls.
Are the Seminoles capable of consistently playing at a high level? This is a great test.
Northern Iowa is a hidden gem, a very competent basketball school stuck in Cedar Falls.
You may remember Ali Farokhmanesh taking his time and hitting a three pointer which knocked Kansas out of the 2010 tournament. That team is never far from being trouble.
And by the way, that's where Paul Jesperson went after he gave up on being a 'Hoo, so he can give some first-hand insights into UVa's collective psyche and Tony Bennett's strategies.
Actually, the Panthers are kind of like Vandy but at a level or two lower.
Vandy is a really fun basketball school. Arguably the only school in the Situational Ethics Conference besides Kentucky which takes basketball seriously, the Commode Doors are always fun to watch, particularly since the three point shot came in. Kevin Stallings is an excellent fit as coach.
We're not sure this is a great matchup for the Yellow Jackets, but at least it's a home game. It's also a good opportunity to build some street cred with those toughs on the committee and some confidence within.
VCU likes the idea of being the dominant program in-state and has already beaten UVa. Given the Hokie's commitment to running and VCU's tendency to mug opponents, it could be a really fun game. Might not be as much for VCU, but still entertaining.
Notre Dame and Ohio State - there's a chance for the Irish eyes to smile if Notre Dame can pull off the upset. It won't be easy on the road, but Notre Dame is certainly capable. Thing is Notre Dame is equally capable of stinking the joint up.
As much as fans might want to hit Notre Dame with a Lithium stick, UNC is far more subject to competitive mood swings. But Davidson picked a bad day to show up in the Dean Dome. UNC will have some emotions to work through and Davidson is likely to bear the brunt of that. It probably won't be pretty.
Then again, given UNC's tendency this season to play up or down to the competition's level and a serious struggle with free throws, not to mention Davidson's understanding of basketball as deception, who knows? You can't rule anything out.