February is an amazing time in ACC basketball. Some teams start to excel unexpectedly, some become resigned and some are just desperate. And of course some just keep flying along.
On Saturday we get a bit of everything.
UNC has hit its stride in recent days and hosts Miami. Last time out, Miami decided it had had enough losing and took it out on Notre Dame.
That’ll be harder to do against UNC but not inconceivable. Miami would need some help from the Tar Heels though.
Virginia Tech is 18-4 but the impressive depth they started the season with is gone and the biggest loss is Justin Robinson.
Out with a foot injury, it’s not at all clear when he’ll be back and without him, the Hokies have a six-man rotation. They’re still 18-4 but may not be for long. Clemson at Clemson is never easy for anyone.
On the other hand, it’s a chance for Virginia Tech to establish a kind of toughness it has so far lacked.
Things don’t get any easier: between the 13th and the 18th they have three games, finishing with Virginia at home.
A gutty stand by the Hokies could redefine the program for years.
Syracuse is again flirting with the bubble while Boston College, well coached and capable, has struggled since Wynston Tabbs was injured.
NC State has had a bad stretch recently and Pitt has struggled since hitting ACC play. Mostly the Panthers have struggled inside but conveniently, NC State has a weak front court. If State doesn’t pick things up they could be in trouble here.
Louisville and Florida State should be a fun one. The Cardinals have exceeded expectations while the Seminoles floundered for a while after losing to Duke.
They seem to have found themselves again and as February drags on, depth has its advantages.
About this time of year we start to draw a line in the standings - well, two lines.
The first line is under the last team that could possibly make the NCAA Tournament. Right now that line is under NC State at 16-7 (4-6).
The NIT candidates right now would include Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Pitt and possibly Miami.
Wake Forest is going nowhere after it loses in the ACC Tournament.
- No. 11 Virginia Tech at Clemson preview
- Suddenly thin Virginia Tech looking to reinvent itself
- Virginia Tech-Clemson men’s basketball preview capsule
- FSU finding its range with Louisville looming
- Syracuse basketball betting line: Orange a double-digit favorite to rebound against BC
- Syracuse basketball vs. Boston College: 10 things to watch for
- Who wants to be ACC points king? Tyus Battle, Ky Bowman jockey for position
- Why the NCAA’s NET system is NC State’s new best friend as Pack fights for tournament bid
- Where will UNC be seeded when the selection committee reveals its top 16 teams Saturday?
|SATURDAY'S ACC ACTION|
|Miami @ UNC||12:00||ACCNE|
|Virginia Tech @ Clemson||12:00||ESPN2|
|Boston College @ Syracuse||2:00||ACCNE|
|NC State @ Pitt||2:00||ACCNE|
|Louisville @ Florida State||4:00||ESPN2|
|Duke @ Virginia||6:00||ESPN|
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