Thursday, March 09, 2006

Can't Really Call it Les Robinson Day Anymore

The first day of the behemoth now known as the ACC tourney is upon us, and it has me remembering fondly the days when ol' Les had his Wolfpack as regular Thursday participants. Now, with 8 of the 12 teams playing today, it's much harder to scoff. That said, let's take a look at the slate...

1) Clemson at Miami - Clemson has won 4 of 5 after hitting a big dry spell in the middle of the season, and is playing its best ball of the year. Miami stumbled down the stretch, losing 6 of 7. During that time, Miami's offense really cooled off - they had a 101.8 ORating and shot just 27.9% from beyond the arc, despite having guards in Hite, Diaz, and Harris who love to gun it from there. Clemson is exactly the opposite - they suddenly discovered they had an offense, scoring over 80 points in each of their last 4 wins and posting a 115.8 ORating over that stretch. Akin Akingbala is doing his best Sharrod Ford impersonation, and the guards are nailing the 3 at a 43.7% clip. Both teams should continue the trend today - look for Clemson to keep on winning.

2) Wake Forest at Florida State - Wake had a very nice showing against NC State last weekend, but their season will end with this game this afternoon. Florida State is determined to get an NCAA bid, and they're finally playing with both energy and discipline. The only meeting between the two this season was a relatively easy 7 point win for FSU - they hit 55% beyond the arc and only turned the ball over 9 times, and this was on the road. Expect to be watching a 20-win FSU team take on the 'Pack tomorrow (fun stat of the day - no 20-win team from a BCS conference has ever been denied a tournament bid - FSU and Texas A&M, take comfort, perhaps).

3) Virginia Tech at Virginia - I'd like to say the Cavs win this. I want to say the Cavs win this. They in fact need to win this for an NIT bid (I'm assuming that the new NIT still has the "team must be over .500 rule"). But they've been fingers-to-the-nose stinking the last few games away from U-Hall, with defensive debacles at FSU, Clemson, and UNC. Both games this season between the teams were close and ugly, but both were wins for the 'Hoos. I just have this hunch that they can't pull it off the third time. Also, by the numbers, Tech was 8th in eMargin, and UVA was 12th. When VT lost, it tended to be close. When UVA's lost, they've gotten blown out.

4) Georgia Tech at Maryland - I'm going to go on the record as being shocked (shocked!) that anyone is still legitimately considering the Terps as a tournament team. This is actually a very easy leave-off for the committee, because they get to only consider the Terps sans Chris McCray. And those Terps have been bad. Yes, Gary, you did have to play Duke and UNC twice. But you lost those 4 games by an average of almost 18 points. Tech was finishing its season on a nice run until getting dismantled by Clemson - they had a good win over NC State, and played extremely well in losses to UNC, Duke, and Maryland (in OT at MD). This is a young, talented team that should be trouble next season. They also should end Maryland's season today.

1 comment:

Mark said...

You have to love the ACC tournament. 0 for 3 with Miami, Wake and UVA continuing on =) Like you, I'll also take GT over Maryland.

I was in bed sick this morning and didn't catch UConn leaving NY early. But if there is anytime to be sick, its March =).