Though there were some dandy match-ups over the weekend, there was something in the water that led to some strange outcomes. The best team in the conference lost to one of the worst ones and the worst team in the conference finally got a win after nine straight conference losses. So sure, things got a little weird, but what did we learn?
- No, Seriously, It’s Hard to Win On the Road in the ACC. Miami learned this the hard way on Saturday after Wake Forest handed the Hurricanes their very first conference loss. It was the first time Miami had lost a game since Christmas. Meanwhile, although Wake Forest certainly enjoyed celebrating the big upset, no one knows the sorrows of the road and the comforts of home better than the Demon Deacons. Wake Forest is 5-2 at home (the two losses were by a combined total of six points) and 0-7 on the road within the conference. Of course, maybe a big part of that is just Wake Forest: Over the course of the season the team has won exactly one true road game, against UNC-Greensboro, thirty minutes down the road (assuming no traffic) at the traditional venue of the ACC Tournament.
- Maryland Is Making Progress On Its Turnover Problem. In a win over Clemson, Maryland had only eight turnovers while the Tigers had 11. That counts for something! Seriously, things were getting pretty ridiculous: On the season Maryland has had 408 turnovers while their opponents have posted only 279. Those extra possessions make winning tricky, and if Maryland wants to keep their bubble from bursting, they need to hold onto the ball if they want any chance of winning critical games against North Carolina and Virginia down the stretch.
- North Carolina State Is Not Making Progress on Its Defensive Problem. NC State made the game interesting for North Carolina, but on the whole, the Wolfpack’s inability to stop an improving but still middling Tar Heels offense made a victory all but impossible. UNC did a fine job at slowing the Wolfpack’s potent offense and managed to do enough offensively to stymie the conference’s biggest disappointment. NC State is still an incredibly talented team, but it also seems like a squad that hasn’t improved as the season has progressed. Something needs to change, but the tail end of February seems like it might be far too late. Read the rest of this entry »