This Week in the ACC - 1/28

"With a win on Saturday, the Eagles would've moved up to 4-1 in the ACC, and set themselves up to be able to tread water with the following games upcoming: @UNC, @ Clemson, vs. Maryland, and @ Duke."

This Week in the ACC 1/29—2/4

Worst loss of the Week: Wake Forest blowing a would-be nice win at Clemson

WF (12-6, 2-3) looked poised for a huge road win, as they had an 8-point lead with just over 5 minutes remaining in the game. The Deacons then took a swan dive that was comparable to the career of Tim Allen, surrendering an 11-3 run to end regulation. In that stretch Clemson (15-5, 3-3) pulled down 5 offensive boards that led to 5 second-chance points.

As if that wasn't bad enough, WF star James Johnson grabbed a rebound with ten seconds left and charged down the court leading a 3-on-1 fast break. Johnson bounced a pass to teammate Harvey Hale, who had positioned himself too far under the hoop. Hale couldn't handle the pass and the Deacons didn't even get a shot off of a 3-on-1 break….Yikes!  

Runner-up: BC losing a "must win" vs. Virginia Tech

With a win on Saturday, the Eagles would've moved up to 4-1 in the ACC, and set themselves up to be able to tread water with the following games upcoming: @UNC, @ Clemson, vs. Maryland, and @ Duke. Instead, the young BC squad couldn't put away VT (playing without their starting C), and are now 1 game above .500 in conference play, with a murderer's row ahead of them on the schedule.

The players and coaches have to take the brunt of the blame for this loss, but I'm going to place a small amount of blame on the fans. The BC players came out of the locker room to a ½ full arena, that didn't get filled until the 2nd half. Additionally, the student section couldn't seem to muster any cheering until the 2nd half.

It's understandable that on a Saturday people have plans and either can't attend the game or have to arrive late. However, showing almost no emotion for a game that your team desperately needs is just plain weak. I'm not asking for the atmosphere to be like Panama City during Spring Break but c'mon! This young BC team needs better support from the fans to make it less of a morgue-like atmosphere in Conte.

Biggest win of the Week: Duke winning at College Park 93-84

Probably the most impressive part about Duke's win was down the stretch they had to play quite a bit of time without Greg Paulus, Kyle Singler, and Lance Thomas, who all were in foul trouble. Even without those key players, Coach K's team didn't miss a beat, as they continued to force Maryland (12-8, 2-3) into bad turnovers. The Blue Devils (17-1, 5-0 ACC) forced an astonishing 13 turnovers in the 2nd half that led to 17 points.

The only negative that came out of this game was the Blue Devils having no answers defensively for James Gist (26 points) and Bambale Osby (20 points, 15 rebounds). Duke needs to find a way to shutdown their opposition's top frontcourt players if they're going to go a long way in March. The ACC is not necessarily a good test for those types of opponents, so Duke is going to have very few opportunities to get that weakness straightened out.

Runner up: GT coming from behind on the road against Virginia

Don't look now, but GT just might be the winner of the coveted "4th best team in the ACC" award. The ‘Jackets found themselves down 10 at the half, but fought back to force the game into O.T., where they eventually won the game. Matt Causey was the star of the game for GT, scoring all of his 18 points after halftime.

GT has won three straight after coming off of a 1 point loss against UNC. Coming up on their schedule is: vs. Maryland, @ WF, @ UConn, and @ Clemson. If Paul Hewitt's crew can win 3 out of 4 in that stretch, then GT could be setup for a late season run at March Madness.

ACC Power Rankings

1. North Carolina (1/31 vs. BC, 2/3 @ FSU)

2. Duke (1/31 vs. NC State, 2/2 vs. Miami

3. Clemson (2/2 vs. BC)

4. Miami (1/29 @ WF, 2/2 @ Duke)

5. Boston College (1/31 @ UNC, 2/2 @ Clemson)

6. Maryland (1/30 vs. Virginia, 2/2 @ GT)

7. Georgia Tech (2/2 vs. Maryland)

8. Virginia (1/30 @ Maryland, 2/2 @ VT)

9. Virginia Tech (1/29 vs. FSU, 2/2 vs. Virginia)

10. NC State (1/31 @ Duke, 2/3 vs. WF)

11. Florida State (1/29 @ VT, 2/2 vs. UNC)

12. Wake Forest (1/29 vs. Miami, 2/3 @ NC State)

ACC All-Freshman 1st Team

F- James Johnson- WF

F- J.J. Hickson- NC State

F- Kyle Singler- Duke

G- Malcolm Delaney- VT

G- Rakim Sanders- BC

ACC All-Freshman 2nd Team

F- Jeff Allen- VT

F- Taylor King- Duke

G- Nolan Smith- Duke

G- Terrence Oglesby- Clemson

G- Mo Miller- GT

Game of the Week: Miami @ Duke 2/2

The question for this match up is --- Will the Miami big guys bring their "A" game? Sometimes Dwayne Collins puts up 18 points and 12 rebounds like he did Sunday against Clemson, and other times he puts up 3 points and 4 rebounds like in Miami's loss earlier in the year against Winthrop. The same can be said for Anthony King, who's came close to a double-double several times this year, and he's also had nights of putting up 0 points.

The bottom line is that Duke has trouble matching up against good big men, so Miami has a slight chance to steal a win at Camden.

Runner-Up: Maryland @ Georgia Tech 2/2

It's not so much that this will be a big game in terms of the ACC standings, but I'm thinking more along the lines of this will be an entertaining game. Both teams like to play at a fast pace, so this game should provide some good up and down the court entertainment.

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