1. How did your school look this past week–any surprises or disappointments? Are you looking forward to anything regarding your school?
Brian (FSU): I was surprised FSU won 2 of 3 games (counting December 30th for this question), but was disappointed in the loss. FSU in one of the oddest ways you will ever see beat UF on a buzzer beater (FSU player went for a 3 in a tied game at the end of the game and missed short of the entire rim, and then a UF player went up for the rebound and accidentally tipped in the ball for an FSU win as time expire). Then FSU a few days later goes to a 6 win Mississippi State team and gets handled on the road. Then on the 6th of January handles its first ACC team of 2015 in VT. Talk about an up and down year.
I am not sure I am looking forward to anything coming up as I see FSU losing its next two games on the road to Syracuse and Pitt. Seriously with 9 wins, I wonder if FSU can get to 16 wins before the ACC tournament starts. There are 16 games left this year and I only see 3 likely wins, and another 3 to maybe 4 games where FSU has a decent shot to win. For every other game FSU has at best a 25% or worse shot of winning. So the magic number is 7 for FSU to finish 16-15 in the regular season… not sure if they will get there.
Harrison (NC State): This past week we saw two very different NC State teams. Against Cincinnati, the team looked slow and confused. Trevor Lacey only had 6 points, which was obviously an issue, but the team should be able to function even when he has a bad game. After disappointing fans in that game, the team turned it around and played a very impressive game against Pittsburgh. The team was totally different and improved to 2-0 in the ACC. Now comes the real challenge. The Wolfpack face UVA, Duke, and UNC in their next 3 games. I think it’s reasonable say that even 1 win in that stretch would make Wolfpack fans very confident.
Anthony (Syracuse): Syracuse won a tough one in Virginia Tech. And that is all that matters. What is impressive so far this year is the improvement by Rakeem Christmas. He has really developed an inside game. If he can control the fouls, he will be a much-welcomed addition to the ‘Cuse for March.
2. What surprised you or disappointed you with the ACC?
Brian (FSU): I was surprised how much trouble Wake gave to Louisville, but much more surprised that GT took ND to OT… then I was surprised even more when only 2 days removed from a slug fest with GT ND traveled to a ranked, now hot, UNC team and pulled out a 1 point victory. ND is starting to look like the 2014 FSU football team… okay, maybe I went too far there.
Harrison (NC State): I think the biggest story this week in the ACC is Virginia Tech playing a very competitive game against Syracuse. VT is not highly thought of in the ACC and were even down 19 at the half. To come back and only lose by 2 was quite impressive. I still don’t see them contending for a title, but they look like they could pull a few upsets this year. Notre Dame was also a huge surprise at least for me. Going in to Chapel Hill and getting a win is not an easy thing to do. The Irish have quietly risen to contender status.
Anthony (Syracuse): Notre Dame at 3-0, including a win over UNC in Chapel Hill is impressive. Period. The top 7 in the ACC are not surprising. The fact that Notre Dame is atop–and validly atop–the standings certainly is. Watch out for Virginia Tech too. Buzz Williams is sweaty, but he is a good coach.
3. Anything noteworthy outside of the ACC?
Brian (FSU): Kentucky may not be better than the Sixers. Kentucky barely beat Ole Miss, a 9 win team. You know a team with the same number of wins as FSU, and you know how much I think of my Noles. One interesting stat to look at in the game is Kentucky’s field goal percentage. They are not even top 50, and that is a bit surprising considering how much bigger their team is than everyone. I would have thought their size alone would ensure they have an elite field goal percentage. So maybe everyone jumped the gun who said that the Wildcats could take-out the Sixers in a game. Let’s all be realistic… we all know they are only capable of beating the Knicks right now.
Harrison (NC State): More than anyone else, Kentucky contines to impress me. Putting up video game numbers one day against UCLA, and now going into Louisville to beat a top 5 team. I don’t expect them to go undefeated, but I am very interested to see who beats them and how they do it. Also, don’t look now, but Old Dominion is 12-1 and ranked this week. Looking at their resumé, I’m not totally sold on them. However, this has to be the first time in a long time that 3 teams from Virginia are ranked.
Anthony (Syracuse): St. Johns being 0-3 in the Big East is a surprise. That is too much talent for that kind of a start. Michigan State at 10-5 is also a surprise. But smart money is on Tom Izzo figuring out a way to get any 12 D-1 players to be competitive by March.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? LET US KNOW…
It is funny how different some of our takes are on Kentucky at this moment.