Three games for Saturday, as Florida State visits Wake Forest, the Techs clash in Blacksburg and UNC hits Miami.
|Saturday's ACC Action!|
|Florida State @ Wake Forest||12:00 PM||ESPN2|
|Georgia Tech @ Virginia Tech||1:00 PM||RSN|
|North Carolina @ Miami||2:00 PM||ESPN|
Interestingly, since January 19th, Florida State has LWLWLW. Given Wake's erratic play, they may break the pattern.
Since upsetting State, Wake has lost four straight, with the only close game being against Duke. They lost to Georgia Tech by 20, Maryland by 26 and UNC by 15.
The pressure is building among Wake fans, many of whom are thoroughly sick of Jeff Bzdelik. Yet A.D. Ron Wellman has been in his corner from day one and shows no signs of backing down.
Needless to say, a win here would be huge for the Deacs.
In the Tech/Tech rumble we'll have to go with the Hokies. We'd be really curious to see what they could do with a little more help for Erick Green.
Since the Hokies lost in Atlanta (70-65 in OF), they've gone 1-5. The win was a one-pointer over Wake.
Other than being crushed by Virginia, every game has been competitive. Clemson beat them by 7, Miami by nine though the game was closer, overtime to UNC and a five-point loss to Maryland.
Given their lack of depth and that they're not a hugely talented team, and that's fairly impressive. It suggests a lot of heart.
As far as UNC and Miami goes, Miami has shown a lot more heart this season. Yet consider this: if UNC can manage Miami and then Duke, they'll be in second place in the conference.
That wouldn't be so bad for a team which struggled early.
Do they have a shot at Miami? Stop for a second and ask that question again: can UNC possibly beat Miami? Has the world turned upside down?
If Dean Smith was coaching this team, we'd say absolutely. Back in the day, it would have been a lead pipe cinch.
Now, not so much.
UNC has to handle Kenny Kadji, Julian Gamble and Reggie Johnson inside. The last two are home-state products who were ignored by the Tar Heels.
Then they have to deal with Shane Larkin, Durand Scott and Trey McKinney Jones.
People tend to forget, but Scott is a senior, Johnson, McKinney Jones and Kadji are fifth-year seniors, while Gamble is the rare sixth-year senior.
That's 25 years of college experience in four players, which might be unprecented.
UNC counters with one senior in Dexter Strickland, who is erratic, juniors Leslie McDonald and Reggie Bullock, sophs James Michael McAdoo, Desmond Hubert,Â and PJ Hairston and four freshmen, none of whom have really set the world on fire although Marcus Paige has really come along.
It's a tough matchup to be sure, but UNC has definitely improved.
Minor point worth mentioning: Joel James, he of the Krytpon-based first name (Jo-El) is playing at home. Young James is a lump of clay, but a big lump: if he gets fired up, he could cause some trouble.
Miami should win, but our gut says don't rule UNC out.
On the other hands, UNC is wearing some Nike novelty uniforms with the interlocking N and C. Last time they tried something like this out, it didn't go very well.
If you didn't see the Virginia game, here's a tremendous play by Justin Anderson. It's not the normal fare from a Tony Bennett team