Posted on 22 February 2010.
- Joe Lunardi of ESPN has VT as a #9 seed in the West Region, playing baylor in the first round (not sure we’d want any part of them after last year’s beatdown in the NIT). He has seven ACC teams in.
- Jerry Palm has the Hokies as a #10 seed in the East playing old A-10 rival xavier.
- The RPI has Tech sitting at #44 on Monday, seventh best in the ACC. wake fell to #21 and clemson is #35. maryland is #36.
ACC POWER POLL:
What can you say about georgia tech? Not only are they awful on the road, they are also cursed. maryland hit a banked half-courter at the end of the game to beat the jackets Saturday. But Gary Williams had called a timeout. So then they inbounded the ball to a bench player who drained a fadeaway three at the buzzer to win the game for the terps, putting the jackets at 1-6 on the road in ACC play this year and 6-33 over the last five seasons.
Notice the bottom five teams in the poll are the five teams VT plays twice. Not good for the old strength of schedule.
Note: ^ = moved up a spot since the last poll, – = steady, v = moved a spot down; the number next to that is their RPI.
- duke (11-2 | 23-4) (-) (RPI #2): beat unc by 10 and then waxed maryland, last week’s #2
- maryland (9-3 | 19-7) (^) (#36): Won 3 games last week to vault into second all by themselves. Could they be tired by Saturday with six games in 15 days?
- VIRGINIA TECH (8-4 | 21-5) (^) (#44): I think all of us were happy with a split last week.
- wake (8-5 | 18-7) (vv) (#21): Lost at VT and nc state. Not a good week for them.
- clemson (7-5 | 19-7) (^) (#35): Throttled uva but it actually hurt their RPI.
- fsu (7-5 | 19-7) (^) (#40): They swept the jackets so I’ll move them ahead based on that.
- georgia tech (6-7 | 18-9) (v) (#33): The jackets played one game at home and one on the road. If you read this site regularly, you already know what happened in those games based on that.
- uva (5-7 | 14-11) (-) (#108): Something seems strangely normal… ah, there it is, the hoos are sucking it up in a sport people actually care about. They lost their 3 games last week by a combined 61 points.
- bc (4-8 | 13-13) (^) (#104): Beat unc at home to give them momentum and confidence heading into their rematch with VT.
- unc (3-9 | 14-13) (v) (#92): They were chanting “NIT” recently during a unc loss. Ha, they wish.
- miami (3-9 | 17-9) (-) (#88): miami led duke by 12 at the half. If games were 20 minutes, they’d be golden. Instead, the devils egged them in the second half.
- nc state (3-10 | 15-13) (-) (#116): Led maryland by 10 at home and choked, but then blew out wake. Signs of life in Raleigh. Can Sidney Lowe somehow keep his job?
Posted in 2009-10 Season, Around The ACC
Posted on 07 February 2010.
ACC POWER POLL:
The Hokies closed out the first half of ACC play by sweeping unc and clemson at home. Tom Emanski isn’t going to making an instructional videos of the Hokie offense, but Tech found a way to win both games with gritty defense and an inspired effort, fueled by two wild crowds. That puts Tech at 18-4 and 5-3 in the ACC. Only duke has a better record overall at 19-4, and VT now sits in fourth place in the league.
The Hokies were the big movers in my poll, while most of the rest of the league was stagnant. Teams have started to sort themselves out into the leaders (duke and maryland), the middle of the pack (wake, VT, gt, fsu, uva, clemson), and the NIT’ers (unc, bc, nc state, miami):
- duke (-) (7-2 | 19-4): The devils waxed georgia tech at home and then squeezed out a win in Boston. They now face a struggling heels team this week. But the game is at unc so you know heels will give their best, and be the underdogs for once.
- maryland (-) (6-2 | 16-6): The terps rebounded from a loss at clemson by winning at fsu and crushing unc at home. Their offense leads the league in scoring and their veteran lineup is feasting on the young ACC teams.
- wake forest (^) (6-3 | 16-5): wake beat miami and home and held off the hoos in ch’ville in overtime. Big win to move them into third and drop the hoos to fourth. The deacons swept the hoos.
- georgia tech (v) (5-4 | 17-6): Stop the presses – the jackets lost on the road and won at home this week. They continue to be the worst road team ever. I would have put the Hokies here at #4, but VT has to play the other tech in Atlanta, so advantage gt.
- VIRGINIA TECH (^^) (5-3 | 18-4): Solid sweep of the tigers and heels. I’m just surprised the referees’ whistles still worked by the end of the games since the peas had to be worn out.
- fsu (v) (5-4 | 17-6): The noles lost at home to maryland, getting swept by the terps. But they rebounded to beat miami at home.
- clemson (v) (4-5 | 16-7): The tigers lost their only game of the week to VT and now have lost four of five. The good news is PG Demontez Stitt is back.
- uva (-) (5-3 | 14-7): I still cannot get excited about a team where four of their league wins are against nc state (2), unc, and miami, who are a combined 6-19 in league play. And their biggest win came against georgia tech in ch’ville, and we all know the jackets can’t win on the road. Plus, the hoos have to play five of their final eight on the road.
- unc (-) (2-6 | 13-10): The chants of “NIT” rained down on the heels as they lost by 21 points at maryland. Having already lost to VT earlier in the week, the heels have now lost six of seven ACC games. NIT might be a stretch, you have to finish over .500.
- bc (-) (3-6 | 12-11): The eagles played yet another top team tough, missing a three to tie duke at the end. But they lost… again.
- nc state (-) (2-7 | 14-10): The pack got swept this week, losing at uva and georgia tech. They have lost four of five. But why are they confident this week? The Hokies, who have never won at state since joining the league, are coming to town on Wednesday.
- miami (-) (2-7 | 16-7): miami got back to doing what they do best – losing. After beating the Hokies last Sunday, they lost at wake and fsu. The good news is five of their final eight are at home.
Tech sits at #61 in the latest RPI. Not exactly secure in terms of getting a NCAA Tournament bid. The biggest problem is Tech’s schedule, ranked just 180th in D1 (though it moved up a lot this week).
I said 8-8 gets the Hokies in before ACC play started, now I might have to adjust that to 9-7 to be safe. But that just requires 4-4 the rest of the way, certainly doable.
Here are where the Hokie opponents rank in the RPI.
- clemson – 40
- seton hall – 60
- unc – 79
- miami – 83
- georgia – 90
- uva – 92
- bc – 106
- iowa – 196
- campbell – 200
- delaware – 216
- penn state – 224 (psu is 0-11 in Big(11)Ten play)
- unc-g-spot – 248
- longwood – 256
- brown – 269
- charleston southern – 274
- vmi – 324
- umbc – 341
- nccu – 346
- temple – 18
- fsu – 43
- unc – 79
- miami – 83
As you can see, the Hokies have just one Top 50 win (i.e. the pool of at large teams) to date in three tries. They are 6-4 against the Top 100 which is solid. Tech has four more games against teams currently in the top 50:
- duke – 3
- wake – 15
- georgia tech – 25
- maryland – 46
The Hokies must win at least one of those to pad their resume, two should definitely get VT in the dance without a doubt. Unfortunately, none of those games are this week. So all the Hokies can do is go out and keep winning and the rest should take care of itself. The VT strength of schedule will continue to go up the rest of the way.
Posted in Around The ACC, Home
Posted on 01 February 2010.
Parity – plain and simple. Chew on this – every team in the ACC lost a game last week except for georgia tech. And, every team won a game last week except for wake (who went 0-1). Unbelievable. Going 1-1 in conference play each week keeps you in contention. Teams that can steal wins on the road are going to be the schools that contend for the regular season title.
Road teams are starting to do better in ACC play, winning 4 of 10 conference games this week.
Here are my updated rankings:
- duke (-) (5-2 | 17-4): beat fsu, lost at g’town
- maryland (-) (4-2 | 14-6): beat miami, lost at clemson
- georgia tech (^) (4-3 | 16-5): beat wake, beat ky state
- wake forest (v) (4-3 | 14-5): lost at georgia tech
- fsu (^) (4-3 | 16-5): lost at duke, won at bc
- clemson (v) (4-4 | 16-6): lost at bc, beat maryland
- VIRGINIA TECH (^) (3-3 | 16-4): won at uva, lost at miami
- uva (^) (4-2 | 13-6): lost to VT, won at unc
- unc (v) (2-4 | 13-8): won at nc state, lost to uva
- bc (^) (3-5 | 12-10): beat clemson, lost to fsu
- nc state (v) (2-5 | 14-8): lost to unc, beat nccu
- miami (-) (2-5 | 16-5): lost at maryland, beat VT
Posted in Around The ACC
Posted on 24 January 2010.
Yet again this week the conference action left you wondering if anyone wants to win the league or even get a first round bye in the ACC Tournament. clemson, who I had #2 coming into the week, lost both their games. duke, who I thought was a solid #1, lost in Raleigh to a crappy nc state team. And georgia tech, who I was going to move up to #2 after beating clemson at home, proved yet again that Paul Hewitt has no idea how to win outside of Atlanta when they lost at fsu on Sunday (the noles swept the jackets). Hewitt and his jackets are now 6-29 over the last five seasons on the road in ACC play.
Games were not as competitive this week. After close bc over miami and gt over clemson games on Tuesday, five of the final seven ACC games of the week were decided by double digits.
uva finally lost, getting blown out at wake thanks to foul trouble for star Landesberg. And they almost lost at home to a lousy unc-wilmington team. Still not buying into them as a contender.
At the bottom, I said whomever lost the miami-bc game would go to the #12. And the u earned that last place moniker by blowing a 17-point second half lead to get swept by the eagles.
With each ACC team having played between four and six games, uva and maryland sit in first place, both at 3-1. Ugh, even though it is early and won’t last, it still stings my eyes to see that.
Here is what I think the ACC rankings should be right now:
- to 9. everyone but bc, nc state, and miami, whom I have 10 to 12.
But let’s go ahead and rank the teams just for the heck of it. Movement since last week’s poll is as follows: ^ = moving up, – = same, v = moving down.
- duke (4-2) (-): lost at nc state, won at clemson
- maryland (3-1) (^^): won OOC, won vs. nc state
- wake forest (4-2) (^^): won at unc, won vs. uva
- clemson (3-3) (v): lost at gt, lost vs. duke
- georgia tech (3-3) (-) – won a home nail-biter vs. clemson, lost a nail-biter at fsu
- unc (1-3) (vv) – blown out by wake at home, but to be fair, didn’t have Zeller or Davis
- florida state (3-2) (^): won vs. gt
- Virginia Tech (2-2) (v): won OOC, won vs. bc
- uva (3-1) (-): won OOC, lost at wake
- nc state (2-4) (^): won vs. duke, lost at maryland
- boston college (2-4) (^): won at miami, lost at VT
- miami (1-4) (v): lost vs. bc
That said, you’d probably have a better shot right now of picking the final ACC standings if you grabbed my flat-brim VT hat, threw each school’s name in the hat, and saw what you got (that is about as scientific as I think you can be right now).
Posted in 2009-10 Season, Around The ACC
Posted on 18 January 2010.
Here is what I learned this week:
- I’m not that smart – I talked all week about how hard it was to win on the road in this league, then clemson wins at nc state, georgia tech takes down unc, and maryland wins at bc to start the weekend. The home teams did win the final three games of the weekend, though, putting home teams at 16-6 in ACC action.
- I’m not that smart, Part II – I dog georgia tech all week for being 5-28 in their last 33 ACC road games, then they win at Chapel Hill, though they blew a 20 point lead and briefly trailed.
- Don’t ever put too much stock in one game or one week, therefore…
- I’m not going to panic about how Tech looked at fsu. But the Hokies may be in trouble against wake, georgia tech, and unc (and duke, of course) with their talented bigs inside. Thank goodness the Hokies have such a weak schedule.
- I wonder if Jeff Allen is struggling because of nagging injuries. I know he was battling knee and other issues coming into the season, but Greenberg said he would play through them this year. With his struggles the last few games, I can’t help but think if injuries are affecting his play.
- The Hokies had put together six strong first halves in a row before Saturday night. But Tech played two bad halves at fsu, and have still yet to have a 40 minute strong game, other than maybe seton hall.
- Gani Lawal and Trevor Booker are my front-runners for ACC Player of the Year right now. Both are in the top 10 in the league in scoring, rebounding, and blocked shots, and Booker is also up there in steals. They are both beasts and have a very diverse offensive game, plus are monsters in the paint (and the press in Booker’s case) on defense.
- Malcolm Delaney, Jon “Crazy Face” Scheyer, and Al-Farouq Aminu round out my ACC First Team to date.
Here are my updated ACC Power Rankings (my ranking for each team going into ACC play is in parenthesis):
- duke: 3-1 (1) – bc and wake hung tough for a half with the devils but duke blew both teams out in the second half with their depth. They aren’t as far ahead of the rest of the league as I thought, but they are still the clear cut #1.
- clemson: 3-1 (3) – The tigers nearly blew huge leads against unc and nc state, but held on to win both games. They don’t play unc again so they have the tiebreaker now. Tough week for them this week – they play georgia tech and duke.
- unc: 1-2 (2) – The heels lost both games this week with Tyler Zeller out injured. They just aren’t matching the intensity other teams are playing them with. They had that for their ACC opener (Hokies drew the short straw on that one), but haven’t since. They have to realize every team is up for beating the defending national champs.
- maryland: 2-1 (8) – The terps are just a jump shot away from being 3-0. Instead they lost by 2 in OT at wake forest. They rebounded to wax bc.
- georgia tech: 2-2 (7) – You can sum up the jackets in one term: bi-polar. They lose at uva, then come back and win at unc for just their sixth win in their last 34 ACC road games. They’ve beaten duke and unc, and lost to fsu and uva. That’s freshmen and bad coaching for you.
- wake forest: 2-2 (6) – Nice win against the terps but then playing at duke was too much for them.
- VIRGINIA TECH: 1-2 (5) – Hokies looked great against the canes, building a 30+ point lead in the first half and Tech held serve at home. The florida state game exposed a lot of Hokie fans’ worst fears as the noles completely shut down Tech inside. The Hokie big men were just 3/17 from the floor. But the Hokie D was solid and losing on the road is never a disgrace in this league.
- florida state: 2-2 (4) – The noles lost at home to nc state. That’s not good. They then beat the Hokies at home. That’s good. Don’t know what to think of this team. Their offense is terrible, but their defense is fantastic. They’ll be in every game but without a go-to guy at the end of games, I don’t like them, especially against the teams that can match their bigs.
- uva: 3-0 (10) – I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid yet. They’ve beaten the #10 and #11 teams on my list. The georgia tech win was nice, but as I’ve pointed out, the jackets suck on the road unless it is against a top name team.
- miami: 1-3 (9) – The canes had about as bad of a week as you possibly can. They fell behind by 35 to VT and lost by 15, then followed up that turd-worthy performance by losing by 18 at uva. They have bc at home this week. bc beat them earlier in the year. The loser of this game will be #12 in my power poll next week.
- nc state: 1-3 (12) – Movin’ on up! The win at fsu was a big one for this team. Scott Wood, a freshman, went nuts with 31 points, more than doubling his previous high. They then almost beat clemson at home after falling way behind… but they didn’t.
- boston college: 1-3 (11) – Wow, is this team bad. They have to travel to miami and VT this week after losing by 20 at duke and 16 at home to maryland (it wasn’t that close).
Posted in 2009-10 Season, Around The ACC
Posted on 10 January 2010.
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
Posted in 2009-10 Season, Around The ACC