ACC M5: 03.21.13 Edition

Posted by mpatton on March 21st, 2013


  1. Potentially huge news dropping from Dennis Dodd Wednesday, as he reports that the NCAA has notified Syracuse of an ongoing investigation into the Orange basketball program. The NCAA wouldn’t comment, but if Dodd’s source is correct this could be big: “Throw a dart at the [NCAA] Manual [and you would hit a violation by Syracuse].” Jim Boeheim swept aside the allegations with his usual surliness, but this definitely brings back his recent insinuations of a nearing retirement.
  2. Raleigh News & Observer: It’s a few days old at this point, but Andrew Carter’s look at fouls in the ACC is worth your time. He reviewed foul discrepancies among different teams, but primarily focused on the overall decrease in fouls called over the last 12 years. Unsurprisingly Duke and North Carolina lead the ACC in foul differential. A popular conspiracy is that this shows the league’s bias toward the two powerhouse programs, but bias doesn’t have to be intentional: better teams are often awarded the benefit of the doubt (reputations go a long way with 50/50 calls), and, in some cases, they can deserve it. The more interesting part of Carter’s article is about the overall decline in fouls called, decreasing from 20.0 fouls a game (per team) in 2000-01 to only 16.8 fouls a game this season. The game is much more physical now and, for better or for worse, the overall game is much different because of it.
  3. Baltimore Sun: A big problem in the NIT can be getting teams hyped for the games. This is especially true for the top seeds, like Maryland or Virginia, where getting excited about not making the NCAA Tournament is a lot to ask from its players. But Maryland’s guys — at least Dez Well and Charles Mitchell — appear to be out for a championship. One interesting side effect to watch is how Maryland’s fans respond. While they didn’t show up in droves for the Niagara game, if this team makes its purpose to win the NIT, it can definitely energize the fan base. Also, no matter what the stage, winning a postseason tournament is an impressive feat that will prepare the younger Terrapins well going forward.
  4. Durham Herald-Sun: The last couple of weeks Rasheed Sulaimon has come off the bench for Duke in favor of Tyler Thornton. It appeared Sulaimon had hit the infamous freshman wall and his struggling shot was starting to affect his defense too. But after an excellent first half against Maryland — really, he was the only really effective Duke player for the first 20 minutes (Plumlee wasn’t bad) — Mike Krzyzewski is giving him the starting spot back. Ironically the move comes after the loss to Maryland; it was a loss where Coach K stuck to his guns and started Thornton again in the second half, not playing Sulaimon in the first five minutes. But as Duke’s most athletic wing, Sulaimon can shoot or get to the rim. He’ll be crucial for that point where Duke inevitably runs into an athletic backcourt in the next couple of weeks.
  5. Georgia Tech: Georgia Tech will be taking Maryland’s spot in the Barclays Center Classic this fall. This was the tournament’s first year, headlined by Kentucky’s close win over Maryland way back on November 9. Next November, the Yellow Jackets will join Penn State, Ole Miss and St. John’s in the new Brooklyn arena. While trending upwards, Brian Gregory’s team will be in for a challenge (but a winnable one) early in the season — especially if it draws St. John’s, who will likely have the NYC-area crowd on its side.

EXTRA: I don’t like to do this, but this article is worthy of some ridicule. I’m hoping it’s a subtle trolling of Triangle teams from Triad-based Yes Weekly, but Brian Clarey’s piece is cringe-worthy. First he insults NC State fans: “The NC State University Wolfpack acts as an outlier in this equation, generating a solid coalition of fans but not nearly the degree of passion evoked by the Tobacco Road rivalry.” That has to be sarcastic trolling, right? Then he goes after Duke with buzzwords of “elitism”, “privilege”, and “favoritism” before closing metaphorically by likening the university (and its basketball team) to a “trust-fund baby.” Finally, he touches on North Carolina’s recent academic scandal before launching into actual coverage of the ACC Tournament. Bravo?

mpatton (576 Posts)

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