Checking in on the… ACC

Posted by rtmsf on December 1st, 2008

Zach Smith of Old Gold & Blog and DeaconsIllustrated is the RTC correspondent for the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).

Power Rankings (Record):

  1. North Carolina (7-0)
  2. Duke (7-0)
  3. Wake Forest (6-0)
  4. Miami (4-1)
  5. Clemson (7-0)
  6. Maryland (4-2)
  7. Boston College (4-2)
  8. Florida State (7-0)
  9. Georgia Tech (4-0)
  10. Virginia Tech (4-2)
  11. NC State (4-0)
  12. Virginia (3-2)

Thanksgiving Tournament Wrap-up

Not surprisingly, the North Carolina Tar Heels took care of business in the EA Sports Maui Invitational. Their impressive 102-87 victory over Notre Dame in the championship game was a good indication of just how impressive this North Carolina team can be. Tyler Hansbrough impressed with 34 points while Ty Lawson contributed 22 points and 11 assists. The Tar Heels are proving early that they are practically unbeatable when at their best.

In the 76 Classic Wake Forest contributed a second preseason tournament championship for the ACC, defeating Baylor in Sunday night’s championship game. It was a breakout tournament for guard Jeff Teague, who leads Wake Forest with 21 points per game, including 29 points in the semifinal against UTEP. Despite some sloppiness, the Demon Deacons proved how valuable their depth, size, and athleticism is going to be this season, and generally passed this early test with flying colors.

Florida State also contributed a preseason championship for the conference in the less-publicized Global Sports Classic from Las Vegas. The Seminoles beat Cincinnati from the Big East and Cal from the Pac-10 to secure the championship. Toney Douglas led the charge with 28 points in the championship game, while Uche Echefu contributed 19. Although it seems unlikely FSU will really challenge in the ACC, this effort indicates they may make things difficult for teams on occasion.

Boston College’s trip to the preseason NIT was less successful; however, their 64-71 showing against #9 Purdue was relatively impressive. BC did manage to beat UAB in the consolation game, but the loss to Purdue means the Eagles have lost eight of their last nine against ranked teams. That won’t bode well in ACC play.

Finally, in the Old Spice Classic, Maryland ran into some stiff competition, falling to #10 Gonzaga (81-59) and #16 Georgetown (75-48) in consecutive games. Both teams are very good, but unfortunately Maryland did not manage to keep either game very close and was relatively disappointing overall. Maryland’s 48 points against Georgetown was their fewest since 1997, and with the losses Maryland has dropped six of their last eight to ranked opponents. Much like Boston College, they’re going to have to do better than that to compete in the ACC.

ACC/Big 10 Challenge Preview

This week boasts the annual ACC/Big 10 challenge, an event consistently dominated by the ACC; the last two years the ACC has gone 8-3 in the tournament. Every season they take the previous year’s final conference standings and match up the top teams, the second ranked teams, third, etc. all the way down to the 11th team. Duke has never lost a game in the challenge (9-0) while North Carolina has struggled, going only 4-5. Wake Forest and Clemson have also been successful, going 7-1 and 7-2 respectively. Boston College is the only other undefeated team, but being a recent addition to the ACC they are only 2-0.

The marquee matchup of this year’s challenge comes Wednesday, December 3 at 9:15 when North Carolina will take on Big 10 power Michigan State at a somewhat neutral site – Ford Field, home of the 2009 Final Four. Duke and Purdue will headline the Tuesday games. Virginia Tech will kick things off tonight against Wisconsin. Here is the complete schedule:

  • December 1: Virginia Tech vs. (22) Wisconsin (7:00 ESPN2)
  • December 2: Boston College vs. Iowa (7:00 ESPNU), Miami vs. Ohio State (7:00 ESPN), Clemson at Illinois (7:30 ESPN2), Duke at Purdue (9:00 ESPN), Virginia at Minnesota (9:30 ESPN2)
  • December 3: Wake Forest vs. Indiana (7:15 ESPN), Maryland vs. Michigan (7:30 ESPNU), Georgia Tech vs. Penn State (7:30 ESPN2), North Carolina at Michigan State (9:15 ESPN), Florida State at Northwestern (9:30 ESPN2)

Looking through these games, another eight wins for the ACC seems quite possible, but it should be an exciting week of basketball no matter what.

rtmsf (3954 Posts)

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2 responses to “Checking in on the… ACC”

  1. Ben says:

    I’ve got a hunch that this is the year that the Big 10 triumphs in the ACC-Big 10 challenge. Thoughts?

  2. Zach Smith says:

    Well they got off to a good start last night, but I don’t see 5 more wins on the schedule for them. Where do you see them?

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