ACC Game On: 01.25.12Posted by KCarpenter on January 25th, 2012
Last night, Miami slammed a terrible-looking Georgia Tech team. The key with this game was the once again the sterling play of Kenny Kadji who has emerged as one of the clear breakthrough players of this season. The Hurricanes played defense and Georgia Tech’s attack basically degenerated into Glen Rice, Jr., and Mfon Udofia chucking shots like they were the only two players on the team. One day both will get hot simultaneously and the pair will annihilate some hapless team. Most days these two take all the shots, however, Georgia Tech will lose.
The Meanest Rivalry in the ACC
- Duke at Maryland at 9:00 PM at ESPN
Luckily, the Blue Devils don’t have to play at a hostile Cameron Indoor Stadium, and that’s one of the most underrated bonuses of Duke’s yearly schedule. Year in and year out, the most hostile conference venue for Duke is not in Chapel Hill, but rather in College Park. The Terrapins fans are ferocious at home and their hatred for Duke seems to reach beyond the confines of mere rivalry. For the Blue Devils, this is a tough follow-up after the hard loss at home to Florida State, but there is no doubt that Mike Krzyzewski will have his team ready to play. Maryland hasn’t shown they can play the kind of defense needed to stop Duke, but Terrell Stoglin is the exact kind of player who has the skill set to take advantage of a Duke defense that is softer on the perimeter than in years past. Duke wins this game on paper, but if Stoglin gets hot or the crowd gets really into it, this could be a tough road trip for Austin Rivers and company.
- Brigham Young at Virginia Tech at 7:00 PM at ESPN3.com
In the absence of Jimmer, expectations were lowered for BYU coming into this year, but the Cougars were quick to clear those initial expectations with ease. With great ball movement and shot selection, BYU has managed to put together an impressive 17-5 record. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech is hoping to build on an impressive road win over Virginia. The Hokies have the talent to lock down opponents on defense when they concentrate on it and the deciding factor in this game might simply be how well the Cougars can shut down the occasionally one-dimensional Virginia Tech attack. Another fun thing about this game: Neither team plays any really tall players big minutes. If you like watching athletic and rangy 6’7″ and 6’8″ players go at it, this game will be a lot of fun.
This Shouldn’t Be A Must-Win But It Is
- Florida State at Wake Forest at 7:00 PM at ESPN3.com
Between the massacre of North Carolina in Tallahassee and the last-second victory in Durham, you’d think that Florida State would be getting plenty of respect. Yet they remain unranked in the coaches poll. Bizarrely, Florida State has done all it can to prove their worth through beating good teams, but because of the strange logic of poll voters, it looks like the more important way to win respect is simply by not losing. Do you think undefeated #11 Murray State could beat Florida State? If you are a coach with a vote in the poll, you apparently think this is a no-brainer. Two of the most impressive wins in a mere week pale before the simple feat of not losing. So that’s what Florida State has to do from here on out. It’s not about winning anymore, they’ve proved as much as they can by doing that. From here on out, it’s more important that they don’t lose. Florida State should be able to not lose against Wake Forest, but this matchup also has “hangover game” written all over it and the Demon Deacons have a prime opportunity to strike on their home court and confuse the Atlantic Coast Conference more than ever.