This Week in the ACC - 2/11

'Remember just a month ago when Miami was ranked in the Top 25? Yikes what happened? Stick a fork in Miami, after they failed to beat FSU, who was playing without one of their best players, Isiah Swann.'

This Week in the ACC 2/11—2/15

Biggest win of the Week: Duke "upsetting" UNC 89-78

I put upsetting in parentheses because I question if Duke's win was really an upset. Sure the "experts" had Duke pegged as an underdog, but UNC didn't have their POINT GUARD (or their backup PG for that matter). Since when is having your starting PG out not a big deal? Imagine if the survivors on Lost didn't have Jack with them on the island. It's almost the same thing!

With that in mind I've even heard people say that there's no way UNC would've won that game with Lawson playing. So what you're telling me that starting your 3rd string PG (who committed 6 turnovers) instead of your projected NBA 1st round draft pick PG won't affect the flow of your offense at all? OK, just checking.

That point aside, I have to give credit to Duke for pulling out this win, and in particular Jon Scheyer. No doubt that Scheyer came up huge offensively pouring in 17 points, but I was more impressed with his craftsmanship on the defensive end. Scheyer was a huge reason that Wayne Ellington shot a meager 3-for-14 from the field, as he was in the sharp shooter's face all night long. Ellington couldn't have had more than a few open looks. Every shot was a tough one thanks to Scheyer.

Runner up: UNC coming from behind knockout Clemson

Chalk up another win for the Tar Heels over Clemson. UNC is now 53-0 all time vs. Clemson at Chapel Hill after their epic 103-93 victory on double OT on Sunday. For 37 minutes it looked like the streak was finally going to come to an end until the Tigers couldn't deliver the knockout blow.

In my mind the turnaround for UNC was jumpstarted by a breakdown of fundamentals by Clemson. Down 11 with 3:02 left, Ellington took an off balance 3-pointer that smashed off the backboard. Inexplicably, Clemson G K.C. Rivers failed to box out his man Danny Green, and Green put back the rebound to cut the lead to 9. If Rivers grabs that board Clemson has the ball up double digits, and probably runs the clock down to under 2:30 left in the game. Instead, UNC found themselves right back in the game, and then the following sequences unfolded for Clemson in the final 3 minutes:

1) Cliff Hammonds allowed himself to get trapped and made a bad pass that leads to a fast break hoop for UNC

2) Demontez Stitt dribbled it off his foot leading to a fast break bucked

3) Hammonds committed an offensive foul

4) Stitt missed front end of 1-and-1 with: 36 left

5) Rivers missed a bunny from 7 feet right before the buzzer

I think you get the point. Clemson had no business even going into OT in this game.

Worst loss of the Week: Miami laying down to Florida State

Remember just a month ago when Miami was ranked in the Top 25? Yikes what happened? Stick a fork in Miami, after they failed to beat FSU, who was playing without one of their best players, Isiah Swann.

Runner-up: UNC not holding serve against Duke

I didn't rank UNC here because it was a bad loss, but it might have been a costly loss for UNC. Now, if the Tar Heels don't win @ Duke later in the year, they probably won't win the ACC, and they definitely won't be a #1 seed in March Madness. Why is that a big deal? Because the #1 seed will most likely get to journey through Raleigh and Charlotte on their road to the Final Four.

ACC Power Rankings

1. Duke

2. North Carolina

3. Clemson

4. Maryland

5. Virginia Tech

6. Georgia Tech

7. Wake Forest

8. Boston College

9. NC State

10. Virginia

11. Miami

12. Florida State

Game of the Week: Maryland @ Duke 2/13

The last time these two teams met, Duke overcame foul trouble to defeat the Terps' by 9 at the Comcast Center. Even though Maryland lost by that margin, they looked very good in the loss, and showed they could match up with the Blue Devils. I believe Maryland might even pull off the upset on Wednesday.

Runner-Up: Georgia Tech @ Clemson 2/14

It will be interesting to see how Clemson will bounce back after their heartbreaking loss to UNC on Sunday. GT has to hope the Tigers come out flat because the ‘Jackets need this win badly. The boys from Atlanta probably need to go 7-1 down the stretch to go to the Big Dance.


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