Friday is a full day for ACC Basketball but before we get to that, let’s look at ACC Football because there’s an interesting story there.
We sort of heard about it but not really or at least it wasn't fully explained.
If you haven’t heard, a bit of background. Clemson and Dabo Swinney have had a rough year and some (ungrateful) fans are not happy. One guy called into Swinney’s radio show and gave him a hard time and apparently, Swinney was not going to put up with it. All of his frustration boils over to this one unfortunate caller and let’s just say Swinney didn’t hold back very much at all. Watch this - you’ll be glad you did.
Okay, back to hoops.
One game on Thursday as Georgia Tech nipped Kenny Blakeney’s Howard, 88-85. The Yellow Jackets were lucky to win this one - Howard was up by 14 in the second half and led until 2:43 left. It would have been a great win for Blakeney’s team.
For Damon Stoudamire’s young program, it was important too. Tech struggled under Josh Pastner so chances of a quick turnaround are still iffy. It gets tougher if you lose the games you should win.
Speaking of games you should win, most of the games scheduled for Friday should be easy wins - but not all.
The highlight game is Duke vs. Arizona but there are some other decent matchups, or at least the other teams are from decent conferences.
Virginia Tech plays South Carolina, Virginia plays Florida and Wake Forest gets Georgia. Call that the first tier.
On the second tier of possibly decent opponents from lesser conferences, we see Johnny Dawkins taking UCF to Miami, Chattanooga, which is historically dangerous, at Louisville, which is coming off an historically bad year and Clemson hosts UAB, which periodically is tough.
And in the what’s-the-point tier, Florida State hosts Kennesaw State, BC welcomes the Citadel, NC State takes a chance on Abilene Christian while Jeff Capel and Pitt host hapless Binghamton.
The SEC trio are all in rebuild mode with (we think) second-year coaches so it’s hard to know how far along they are.
We’ll see them again soon though - South Carolina hosts Notre Dame in the ACC/SEC Challenge while Florida visits Wake Forest and Georgia will drop in on Florida State.
Not to get too far down the SEC rabbit hole, but Vanderbilt lost to a very weak Presbyterian on Tuesday and that’s bad news for Vandy coach and UNC great Jerry Stackhouse. Vandy will see BC in the finale of the event.
It’s hard to see UCF knocking off Miami Friday, but that would be a great win for Dawkins. Central Florida is now in the Big 12 and they’re probably going to have a rough first year. A win over Miami would surely help Dawkins, who is going to be under some pressure this year.
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