Happy MLK Day to everyone! This week’s ACC Basketball Report is packed so let’s get right to it.
Opening Saturday, January 7th saw five conference games. All three ranked teams won including: #3 Duke at Georgia Tech 81-74, #4 North Carolina vs. Boston College 83-60, and #23 Virginia survive at home 52-51 against Miami. Wake Forest held off Virginia Tech 58-55 at home and Clemson took care of Florida State 79-59.
The lone Sunday game saw North Carolina State defeat Maryland 79-74 in Raleigh.
On Tuesday #3 UNC beat Miami 73-56 in Chapel Hill while Florida State won on the road at Virginia Tech 63-59.
Wednesday night gave us a Maryland home win against Wake Forest 70-64 and a Georgia Tech road victory 82-71 at NC State.
Thursday’s games were a little too close for comfort for the home teams. #6 Duke held off #17 Virginia 61-58 and Boston College beat Clemson 59-57.
On Saturday the 14th, NC State bounced back with a road win at Wake Forest 76-40 and Boston College won another close home game, this time against Virginia Tech 61-59. The biggest news was the 90-57 thrashing of #3 North Carolina by Florida State. The 33-point loss is the worst loss by a top-three school in the 15-season history of the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, topping #1 Duke’s 31-point victory against #2 Texas in 05-06.
We finished the long opening week Sunday with #6 Duke winning at Clemson 73-66 and Maryland holding serve against Georgia Tech 61-50.
With 12 conference games this coming week, we will see the top-tier teams in the league emerge from the pack. The action will be highlighted by Thursday with four marquee match-ups. Wake Forest travelling to #4 Duke, #8 UNC going to Virginia Tech, and #17 Virginia heading to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech. Meanwhile NC State can build on its opening week momentum with a home game against Boston College.
Current Standings: Duke 3-0, UNC 2-1, Maryland 2-1, NC State 2-1, Florida State 2-1, Boston College 2-1, Virginia 1-1, Wake Forest 1-2, Clemson 1-2, Georgia Tech 1-2, Miami 0-2, and Virginia Tech 0-3.
Conference Leaders: Terrell Stoglin, Maryland, 20.9 points per game. John Henson, UNC, 9.7 rebounds per game. Kendall Marshall, UNC 9.6 assists per game.
Box Score Line of the Week: Only 5 assists by the UNC starters during their 90-57 loss at Florida State. The Tarheels have too much athletic talent on the court to not distribute the ball more for open looks.
Quotes of the Week: WFNZ’s own Brett Jensen (@Brett_Jensen) said to me last night “In my 15 years of covering the ACC, I truly don’t believe it’s ever been this bad. At least in 2001 and 2002, when only three teams went to the NCAA Tournament, the league still had the national champion. This year, even the ‘good’ teams aren’t that good.”
His opinion was also shared by freelance ACC writer Bryan Nichols (@Bryan_Nichols) when he texted me this morning “Top to bottom the ACC is worse in basketball than it was in football.”
I’ll be back on Thursday with the Weekly SEC Basketball Report and then again on Monday with more ACC news. You can follow my on Twitter @BruceRWilson