ACC Morning Five: 12.22.11 Edition

Posted by mpatton on December 22nd, 2011

  1. Wilmington Star News: North Carolina finally showcased its “championship potential” according to Brett Friedlander in its dominant buzzer-to-buzzer victory over Texas last night. The win also wiped away Roy Williams only winless series (against teams he’s faced multiple times since being in Chapel Hill). I would argue that the Tar Heels performance at Kentucky was nearly as impressive (they didn’t play as well, but it was in a very hostile environment against a much better team). Still, this was the team people expected when they universally picked the Tar Heels atop their preseason polls.
  2. Durham Herald-Sun: This season is the first time in Austin Rivers‘ life that he’s been able to play in front of his dad. Unfortunately, he’ll have to readjust to his father’s absence with the NBA starting back up on Christmas Day. But it sounds like both generations enjoyed Doc Rivers‘ chance to watch his son start his career at Duke. It will be interesting to see how many more Duke games the Celtics’ coach will be able to attend this season, if any, with the condensed NBA schedule.
  3. Hampton Daily Press: For the first time in a few years, Virginia and Virginia Tech appear to be the rulers of the state in basketball, as both ACC teams check in in the top-50 of the RPI. A down ACC will help the teams’ possibilities of making the Big Dance, but I still doubt the Hokies sneak in as an at-large. Last year, neither team made the NCAA Tournament, but five total schools from Virginia did. This year, one or two others may sneak in, but Virginia is the commonwealth’s best shot at an at-large bid.
  4. Pensacola News Journal: Florida State‘s game against in-state rival Florida may not determine the success of a given season (like in football), but you can bet your bottom dollar that the coaches and players on both sides are fired up about the game. For the Seminoles, it’s a chance to touch up three early season mishaps. For both teams it’s a chance at a rival and probable NCAA Tournament team. It’ll be a fascinating match-up: elite offense versus elite defense.
  5. Testudo Times: Maryland takes on Radford tomorrow. To be clear, Radford is not good this year. But Maryland fans are looking forward to this game, as it may be their first look at Maryland’s offense with Pe’Shon Howard (MVPe’) back in the line-up since he was forced to the bench with a broken foot in October. Howard’s return should take some of the pressure off Terrell Stoglin to create everything and possibly open up some looks for Nick Faust and Sean Mosley in the process.
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