ACC Game On: 01.04.12Posted by KCarpenter on January 4th, 2012
Last night, Maryland toppled Cornell to win an uncomfortably competitive (and wholly unofficial) ACC-Ivy League Challenge with another commanding effort from freshman big man Alex Len. Nine rebounds, three blocks, and 15 points on five field goals? I’ll take that any day. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech continues it’s depressing slide into oblivion and irrelevance. Its loss to Alabama, while understandable, makes it three losses in a row for a Yellow Jackets team that kicks off ACC play by taking on Duke. Things are not looking good in Atlanta right now. Speaking of ACC play, tonight is the last night of the non-conference slate (aside from a few oddball non-conference games in the middle of the conference schedule), so let’s enjoy the closing notes of inter-league play.
The Main Event
- Duke at Temple at 7:00 PM on ESPN2
Hopefully, you’ve had this one circled since the schedules were announced. Duke, as usual, is playing very well, and Temple remains one of the most dangerous non-power conference teams in the nation. Duke definitely has the firepower to take down Temple, but Temple is certainly good enough to give the Blue Devils a pretty good game. Factor in that the game is going down in Philadelphia and that Temple’s greatest strength is locking down perimeter shooters and this game suddenly got a whole lot more interesting. Duke has been playing angry since the loss to Ohio State, and I expect them to take care of business. I also expect Temple to put up a hell of a fight.
- Auburn at Florida State 6:00 PM on ESPN3.com
When this game was scheduled, it probably seemed like an easy win for Florida State. Last year’s Auburn team was dreadful and the highlight of the Tiger’s season was probably their surprising home win over Florida State last year. Going into tonight, I’m a little nervous for the Seminoles. Auburn doesn’t have any big wins on their schedule, but they only have three losses: against Seton Hall, Long Beach State, and UTEP. These losses might have seemed embarrassing in December, but in the cold light of January, they don’t seem so bad. All three of these teams have proved they can play, and a loss to any of the three is hardly an indictment of any team. Auburn has played steadily this season, and with Florida State’s offensive ineptitude and the Tiger’s experience taking down the Seminoles last year, I think Auburn has a chance at keeping this close until the end. Make no mistake, I expect Florida State to win, but this game has the potential to be very interesting.
For Fans Only
- Delaware State at North Carolina State at 7:00 PM
Delaware State is 4-8 on this young season with wins over Eastern Kentucky, Maryland Eastern Shore, Philadelphia Biblical College, Wilmington Delaware, and no one else. They are a terrible defensive rebounding team and are playing against a Wolfpack team that has Richard Howell, DeShawn Painter, and C.J. Leslie. It will almost certainly be a long night for Delaware State.