Believe it or not this game was tied at 9 at one point, and by halftime the Tar Heels went on a 34-4 run to put the game out of reach. The only word for that is domination.
NC State is supposed to be one of the better teams in the ACC, and they still might be. This game was just another example of how much better UNC is than the rest of the conference.
Runner up: BC bouncing back to roll over Wake 112-73
When you shoot 3's at a clip of 68% you probably won't lose too many games, and BC was a perfect example of that in their demolition of Wake. The Eagles really had to have that game coming off of a horrible loss to Robert Morris.
The win puts BC in a 1st place tie with UNC…for the moment. It's no secret that BC isn't going to stay atop the leader board for long. However, I have a more optimistic viewpoint of BC than most people. I feel like the Eagles will finish somewhere around 5th or 6th in the ACC, and depending on how they do in the ACC Tournament it might be just enough to get them into March Madness.
You can never call a loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium a "bad loss", but any Virginia fan that watched this game had to come away discouraged with their team. The reason for that is that Coack K appears to have a fairly elementary blue print for beating the Cavs' --- simply play hard defense on the perimeter not giving anyone open looks, and force Virginia to beat you inside. The Duke game plan worked perfectly, as Virginia shot 4-for-14 behind the arc, and committed 19 turnovers on the night.
Another weakness in Virginia is how easy it is to rattle their star, Sean Singletary. The Blue Devils played tough, aggressive, and physical defense on Singletary, which visibly upset him on the court. The frustration caused the point guard to make several bad passes accounting for his game high 7 turnovers on the night.
Runner-up: Maryland getting edged by Wake 67-66
Just when it looked like Maryland (10-7, 0-2) was ready to turn things around, they are now right back to square one after a bad road loss in Blacksburg. Once again, it was proved as goes Greivis Vasquez, so go the Terps'. Vasquez had a tough night committing 6 turnovers and dishing out just 3 assists, combined with shooting 2-for-14 from the field. If Vasquez isn't on his game it seems almost impossible for Maryland to win, because they can't seem to be able to find other players (besides James Gist to step up.
ACC Power Rankings
1. North Carolina (1/16 @ GT, 1/19 vs. Maryland)
2. Duke (1/16 @ FSU, 1/19 VS. Clemson)
3. Clemson (1/15 vs. NC State, 1/19 @ Duke)
4. Miami (1/15 @ BC, 1/19 @ NC State)
5. Virginia (1/16 vs. VT, 1/19 vs. BC)
6. Florida State (1/16 vs. Duke, 1/20 @ WF)
7. NC State (1/15 @Clemson, 1/19 vs. Miami)
8. Boston College (1/15 vs. Miami, 1/19 @ Virginia)
9. Wake Forest (1/15 @ Maryland, 1/20 vs. FSU)
10. Georgia Tech (1/16 vs. UNC, 1/19 vs. VT)
11. Maryland (1/15 vs. WF, 1/19 @UNC)
12. Virginia Tech (1/16 @ Virginia, 1/19 @ GT)
Game of the Week: Clemson @ Duke 1/19 ESPN
At this point it's already been established that UNC has about a 99% chance of winning the ACC title. The other 1% allotment is left to see if either one of these teams can step up their game to a whole other level. Regardless of how that pans out this game should be entertaining as it features the 2nd and 3rd highest scoring offenses in the ACC.
Don't forget either how exciting this game was last season, when David McClure hit a layup at the buzzer to give Duke a 2-point win. The loss put Clemson in a tailspin as they won only 3-of-10 games to finish the year.
Runner-Up: Miami @ NC State 1/19
Going into the season, not many prognosticators had high praise for Miami, including the pre-season ACC voters, who picked Miami to finish in the cellar of the league. So far, the ‘Canes have exceeded expectations by going 14-1, and finding themselves ranked for the 1st time since the 2002 season. A big key to the Canes' success is some highly touted recruits like Brian Asbury, Dwayne Collins, and James Dews have developed into some solid players. Those players, along with leading scorer Jack McClinton, have made Miami a legit threat to compete for one of the top spots in the conference. Just look at where Miami ranks in a few of the following ACC statistical categories:
2nd in scoring defense
2ND in FG% defense
3rd in FT %
1st in 3-Point FG%
3rd in Assist/Turnover Ratio
The one big question I have with Miami is --- Can they win tough games on the road? So far the ‘Canes signature road wins have come at Mississippi State and Providence. A win at the RBC Center in NC State would go along way in showing that Miami can win on the road in a tough environment.