So now it's down to the old guard in the conference to do some work on behalf of the ACC. Let's start with UNC. The Heels had no trouble with Radford, which was not surprising, although that they won with defense more than offense may have been. The Heels didn't shoot particularly well, and didn't get to the line very much (relatively), but completely shut down Radford's shooting, allowing just 22 makes on 80 shots. About the only time Artsiom Parakhouski got going was against Zeller, as you can see from the +/- below (look allllll the way down at the bottom):
Now, they get a much more difficult opponent in LSU. Handling Marcus Thornton will be a challenge, and in Chris Johnson, the Tigers put out an athletic shot-blocking presence who could give Hansbrough trouble. LSU plays very good field goal defense, and rebounds well, both things that will be heavily tested by Carolina. Now that the 1/16 game is out of the way, UNC's in the territory where any team can beat them, and any absence by Lawson will actually hurt.
Maryland took Cal out of the game they wanted to play and controlled the second half. They avoided turnovers, shot well (for the Terps), and continued to attack the glass (they've gotten 46% of their own misses in the last 4 games). Vasquez turned in a very strong 27-point performance, and everyone but Mosley put in good efficient contributions on offense.
Memphis, though, is a bad matchup for them. Maryland is going to have a very, very difficult time putting points on the board against the Tiger defense that has been completely shutting people down (Matadors excepted). Dozier and Taggart could have big days against a small Maryland front line, and Tyreke Evans is going to get into the land all day long.
Duke came out and looked like a 2-seed. They dominated the matchup with Binghamton, turning them over with frequency and dominating the smaller Bearcats on the glass (17 of 31 offensive, 21 of 27 defensive). - The Bearcats hit shots - nearly a .600 efg% - but did really nothing else. Duke spread the offense around quite well, with 6 guys in double figures, assists on 21 of 28 field goals, and only 1 guy (Henderson) playing more than 30 minutes. Jon Scheyer continued his run of ridiculously efficient performances (15 points on 9 shots, 4 assists, and 6-6 from the line), and Nolan looked sharp attacking the basket. Here's the HD Box from the Binghamton game - as you'll see, the final margin (24) made it look closer than it was, as the end of the bench got outscored by 6 in garbage time.
Now comes a matchup with Texas, the only 7-seed to advance out of the first round (and they did so comfortably). The 'Horns have a dangerous inside/outside combo in AJ Abrams (joining PJ Tucker, TJ Ford, and DJ Augustin in the Texas all-initial hall of fame) and Dexter Pittman. On the season, Texas was a terrible shooting team - 202nd in the country in efg% - but relentlessly attacked the offensive glass, gathering almost 40% of their misses. Duke will have to force misses and box out. Aside from Abrams, there's no one dangerous from 3, and they get a very small percentage of their points from beyond the arc. The 11 threes they hit on Thursday was very much an aberration. On defense, Texas hangs their hat on stopping shots - teams shoot just .458 efg% against them, and they block a lot of shots - but the rest of their defense is below average. Still, Texas has the talent to play like a top-10 team, and can be a very dangerous opponent (particularly with an arena full of Heels fans egging them on).