A few musings on the first day of the ACC Tournament.
Florida State 70, Wake Forest 60
If Wake Forest could find a shooter somewhere, the Demon Deacons could be a dangerous team. Florida State came out in a sagging 2-3 zone and dared the Deacs to shoot over them, and the plan worked.
A lot like Duke’s DeMarcus Nelson, Wake Forest’s Jeff Teague is better when he puts the ball on the floor and tries to go to the rack. And though he did some of that in the game, Wake Forest still settled for too many jumpers.
The Deacs did a nice job getting back into the game a few times, particularly right before the half when they were facing a 10-point deficit and cut it to five in the last minute. But they just couldn’t make enough shots to get past the Seminoles, who got a big second half from Jason Rich.
It isn’t a stretch to think Florida State, the ACC’s ninth seed, has a good shot at knocking off top-ranked North Carolina. The Noles took UNC to overtime in the teams’ first meeting, and Roy Williams poor-mouths the tournament every chance he gets, maybe to set the stage for a convenient UNC exit to rest Ty Lawson.
Miami 63, N.C. State 50
Two points in the first eight minutes for the Wolfpack. Ballgame.
N.C. State somehow got back into the game before the first half ended, trimming the Hurricanes’ lead to just two at one point.
But the rest of the team’s performance, sans J.J. Hickson, was as listless as any in the Pack’s nine-game skid to finish the season. Was there ever a moment in today’s game when you even thought N.C. State had a prayer?
Surely there is some considerable heat on Sidney Lowe, who can put the red jacket away for a while. Something was off with this team all year, what with Brandon Costner and Ben McAuley and Courtney Fells and Gavin Grant all falling apart before our very eyes. Remember the stud Costner was in this tournament a year ago? How was that was only one year ago?
One thing about State. Here they are, in the first round of the ACC tournament, and they get a team that may be headed to the NCAA tournament in Miami. This after the Pack was the only team in the ACC to face UNC and Duke twice during the season.
And a team like Virginia Tech, which may also make the NCAAs, only plays UNC and Duke once each and gets a bye into the ACC quarterfinals. Hmmmm, and Tech coach Seth Greenberg wins ACC coach of the year…
Georgia Tech 94, Virginia 76
Seriously, does anybody want to play Georgia Tech right now? Could the Yellow Jackets be the team that makes the magical run this year?
Boston College 71, Maryland 68
Maryland looked like it was going to run away with this game twice, once in the first half and again early in the second half, building double-digit leads.
But the Terps suffered from another late-game breakdown — this is the team that blew a 20-point lead to Clemson in the second half at home — and they’ll likely be NIT-bound because of it.
A few more ramblings from the first day: Billy Packer told a nice story about 5-foot-3 Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues during the first game. Packer said that when he saw Bogues play in high school, that he thought it was a shame a kid like that would never play at a big-time college. And then after watching Bogues star at Wake Forest, Packer said that it was too bad that Bogues wouldn’t get a chance in the NBA. “Boy, was I wrong,” Packer said. How about that? Billy Packer seemed human. … Jason Capel is handling some halftime and pregame work for JP Sports. Was there a more infuriating player at UNC over the past 20 years than Capel? Not even some weird combination of Reyshawn Terry and Quentin Thomas would have been frustrating as Capel. … Watching the noon game, I couldn’t tell if I was watching an early-round ACC game or the Charlotte Bobcats. All of the empty seats had me confused.