Let’s take a break from discussing the Super Bowl and run through this exciting edition of the WFNZ Weekly ACC Basketball Report. This week’s report is full of upsets, rivalry games, a Twitter contest, and all the information you could possibly need about the Atlantic Coast Conference.
REVIEW: We start with Tuesday as #6 UNC went to former rival Wake Forest and beat the Demon Deacons 68-53 behind Tyler Zeller’s 18-point, 18 rebound performance. The night was capped off with #18 Virginia holding on to beat Clemson 65-61 in Charlottesville. On Wednesday NC State won at Boston College 56-51 while Miami won a double overtime thriller at home against Maryland 90-86. Hump day also gave us #24 Florida State taking care of Georgia Tech 68-54. The lone game on Thursday was #5 Duke winning on the road at Virginia Tech 75-60. Saturday gave us five games including Georgia Tech 51-47 over Boston College, Virginia Tech beating Clemson 67-65, and North Carolina State winning a home game 87-76 against Wake Forest. #6 UNC had to rallied at Maryland 83-74 while #24 Florida State knocked off #18 Virginia 58-55 to keep their share of the ACC lead. The most important game of the past week was in Durham on Sunday as Miami beat #5 Duke for the first time ever in a nail-biting overtime 78-74 game.
PREVIEW: Maryland plays at Clemson on Tuesday. The main course of the week’s menu is Wednesday night. Not only will #20 Virginia host Wake Forest, #17 FSU heads up to Boston College, while #9 Duke battles #5 UNC in Chapel Hill (more on this game later). On Thursday NC State goes to Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech travels to Miami. Saturday gives us #20 Virginia at #5 North Carolina, Maryland at #9 Duke, Miami at #17 Florida State, and Clemson at Wake Forest. The only game on the first ‘no-football’ Sunday is Boston College at Virginia Tech.
CONFERENCE LEADERS: Terrell Stoglin - Sophomore, Guard, Maryland – 21.7 points per game. John Henson – Junior, Forward, North Carolina – 10.0 rebounds per game. Kendell Marshall – Sophomore, Guard, North Carolina – 9.8 assists per game.
CURRENT STANDINGS: #17 Florida State 7-1, #5 UNC 7-1, #9 Duke 6-2, NC State 6-3, #20 Virginia 5-3, Miami 5-3, Maryland 3-5, Clemson 3-5, Virginia Tech 2-6, Wake Forest 2-7, Georgia Tech 2-7, and Boston College 2-7.
STREAKS: #17 Florida State – 7 game winning streak. Boston College – 6 game losing streak.
BOX SCORE OF THE WEEK: The biggest stat of the week has to be #9 Duke’s shooting problems in overtime. Everyone is focusing on their 0-6 performance from the charity stripe, but I would like to point out their overall shooting in the extra frame. The Blue Devils were only 2-7 overall for a measly 5 points. Of course Miami would’ve won by a larger margin if they would’ve converted more as well. Nice win for Miami’s program but a worse loss for Duke, a team struggling to find themselves this season.
MY THOUGHTS & DUKE at UNC PREDICTION: I would just like to point out that as bad a Boston College, Wake Forest, and Georgia Tech are this year, none are as bad as Binghamton of the America East conference. The Bearcats are 0-11 in conference play and 0-23 overall (a complete contrast to the Murray State Racers who are 23-0). They own the longest active winless streak in Division I basketball. The Bearcats didn’t schedule tough opponents either as they play a lot of Ivy League, Colonial League, and obviously America East foes. They only have played one school ranked in the top 25 all year. This doesn’t bode well for a team that made it’s lone NCAA Tournament appearance just 3 years ago (a 86-62 1st Round loss vs. Duke). Speaking of Duke, Coach K takes his boys to the Nose Dome to wage war with rival UNC on Wednesday night. In this rivalry anything goes, however I will keep it real and point out that I’m not sure Duke has what it takes to win this game. Their chemistry seems off, their intensity is down, and UNC is playing well right now (including a perfect 14-0 home record). I will still root for my Blue Devils and probably place a wager on them (yes I still have money in my sportsbook account after winning a lot of Super Bowl prop bets), however it won’t surprise me if they lose. There is a chance I may make it up to Chapel Hill to attend this game for the first time in 14 years. If things don’t go as planned it won’t be Mike Krzyzewski with the back pains, as I may have to get WFNZ to push any remaining blogging “loses” onto Chris Johnson.
TWITTER CONTEST: I want everyone to Follow me on Twitter @BruceRWilson . Everyone needs to tweet me their prediction and final score. The person who correctly guesses the winner and score closest to the final will win an item of Duke/UNC from my personal sports collection. Everyone who tweets will be entered into a second chance drawing as well, so tell your friends and spread the word.