I just finished watching 12 hours of ACC basketball this weekend. Every team in the league played over the last 48 hours. I can sum it all up in one statement: anything goes in the ACC this year.
Gone are 12 of the 15 players that made first, second, or third All-ACC last year and it has created tremendous parity in the league. All you have to do is look at the standings after just 10 total ACC games to see that. Check this out:
- 8 teams have played 2 ACC games
- Of those 8 teams, 7 of them are 1-1, and the other (nc state) is 0-2 (i.e. no one is 2-0)
- 10 of the 12 ACC teams have won a league game, only VT and nc state are winless
Here is what I learned from each game:
- uva (1-0) 70, nc state (0-2) 62: uva has more options on offense (2 – Landesberg and Scott) than state (1 – Smith). The pack are really bad, blowing a 10 point second half lead. They will finish 11th or 12th in the league. I see uva as a solid 10th, so getting a road win is a big deal.
- ga tech (1-1) 71, duke (1-1) 67: I thought duke was head and shoulders the best team in the league. They are still a lock to get at least a bye and should be in the top 2 in the league, but they are beatable as this proves. The jackets, as usual, are bi-polar – great at home (beat duke) and terrible on the road (lost at georgia). They are just 5-27 on the road in the ACC over the last four years, so until they win some league games, I still have them around 6th or 7th in the league. And they still have 8 games left against duke, unc, clemson, fsu, and wake. FYI: Gani Lawal might be the best player I’ve seen in the ACC to date this year. He looks great on offense. Yet the jackets don’t feed him the ball nearly enough.
- clemson (1-1) 72, bc (1-1) 57: bc is not good. They are offensively challenge. It will be a real battle between them and state to finish last. state and bc play the last game of the year in the 11/12 game! clemson showed the loss at duke was just an off night. I still think the tigers have a strong shot at a bye (top 4 seed).
- miami (1-1) 67, wake (1-1) 66: I wasn’t buying into the canes before this game. I think they are solid and could finish in the upper half of the league. Grant is a good guard and Collins was the beast he can be on Saturday. The canes are really going to kick themselves for losing to bc. wake is a middle of the pack team also.
- maryland (1-0) 77, fsu (1-1) 68: I was on the noles bandwagon before this game. This was the first time I’ve seen them and they are a pretender. They just don’t have the offense. Alabi was out most of the first half with foul trouble and their vaunted defense goes way downhill when he’s not in. The terps hit over 50% in the first half. I’m still not sold on the terps, just too weak inside. But their guards stepped up tonight and when that happens, they can play with anyone.
- unc (1-0) 78, VT (0-1) 64: We’ll talk about this game plenty. All I’ll say about the Hokies is the game at home against the canes on Wednesday is HUGE. Cannot afford to fall to 0-2 the way the league is this year, especially since the Hokies are on the road next weekend again. unc really is loaded inside but their guards are a weakness. Zones will give them fits, especially if Graves isn’t deadly like he was in the second half. But they are a lock for a bye along with duke, in my opinion.
So here are my Power Rankings after the first full weekend of ACC play:
- georgia tech
- VIRGINIA TECH
- nc state