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The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

Archive for the category “Weekend Preview”

Cards & Noles Frightnight Showdown

Ok, the game is tonight instead of Friday night but it’s close enough to Halloween. The #2 Florida State Seminoles bring their incredible 23 game winning streak into Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium to face the Cards for the 15th time. FSU will be playing for their 13th win in the sereies. With the new playoff selection committee releasing their rankings Tueasday night, the ACC has 4 teams ranked without counting Notre Dame. The Louisville Cardinals #25 ranking only adds to the excitement of this game.
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NC State vs FSU: Let the Season Begin!

Believe it or not, the game between the Wolfpack and the Seminoles on Saturday afternoon is the second ACC showdown game of this season.  The first was FSU/Clemson, but to hear most folks talk, this week’s game will be an FSU romp.

Looking for some Wolfpack love, I went to Backing The Pack over at SB Nation. And there I found this from Akula Wolf.

Like most, the esteemed Mr. Wolf feels that the Pack has played no one (sound familiar?) and will be utterly destroyed on Saturday.  I beg to differ.

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The Tar Heel Jigsaw Puzzle- Replacing PJ Hairston and Leslie McDonald

When North Carolina kicks off the 2013-2014 basketball season tomorrow, they probably won’t know anything new about the status of star shooting guard PJ Hairston and sixth-man Leslie McDonald. Why not? Because the NCAA is involved and they can’t seem to do anything in a timely manner. Both players have been in the news this summer for bad reasons- Hairston for speeding, drugs and rental cars; McDonald for mouth guard endorsement. A decision doesn’t seem to be on the way, even though it should because it’s the start of the season. Since Roy Williams and North Carolina are going to do the smart thing and hold the two players out, there are a lot of holes to fill for the team in both production AND leadership. Earlier today, it was announced that the following players will be starting the opening game against Oakland tomorrow at 9pm-

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Clemson and FSU will set Reputation of ACC for 2013

I can hear the comments now from the four letter network’s talking heads: “The ACC loses more BCS conference match ups….”  The presumption is that the ACC is a weak football conference if they lose lopsided match ups like unranked Virginia Tech vs. #1 Alabama.  I’m not convinced.  Conferences should not be judged by the performance of middle or bottom tier teams.  Would an Illinois victory over Kentucky indicate that the Big 10 is a better conference than the SEC?  No way.

The biggest game this weekend for the ACC is Clemson vs. Georgia.  As a matter of fact, it is the only game that really matters on the national front.

A Clemson victory would likely catapult them into the Top 5, put them in the national title conversation, and set up a nationally relevant game against Florida State on October 18th.  Florida State, the other ranked ACC team, has it’s own responsibility for carrying the ACC flag.  The Noles need to win their games against inferior competition and continue their presence near the Top 10 for a majority of the season.

How many years has it been since an ACC football team has been in the national title conversation in November?  It’s up to you Clemson and Florida State to buck the trend.

Non-Conference Schedule

How many non-conference ranked opponents will be played by conferences this year?

ACC:  11

Big 12: 2

Big 10: 4

Pac 12:  8

SEC:  who cares

Winston Debut

As Florida State finishes up preparations for the Pittsburgh Panthers, most fans are eagerly anticipating the debut of freshman QB Jameis Winston.  Winston has generated a significant amount of hype since his MVP winning Elite 11 camp in 2011.  The hype reached epic proportions after Winston’s spring game performance highlighted by a 58 yd strike against All-ACC conference corner Lamarcus Joyner.

ACC Leads the Way to Omaha and the CWS

The regionals are complete and now its on to the super regionals. This is the last stop before Omaha and the College World Series.  So far there hasn’t been any real surprises this year, aka Kent State last year.  There has been only two upsets with the biggest being Oregon, who was the #8 national seed, being knocked out by Rice. The other is Virginia Tech being knocked out by Oklahoma. Top national seed North Carolina was taken to extra innings by Fla Atlantic in an elimination game but other than that it has been chalk.

The ACC will have their four remaining teams play host in the super regionals while Louisville, a future ACC member, has also earned a spot. The SEC also has four teams remaining but only two of them will be hosting. The Big 12 and the Pac 12 each has two teams remaining. The next round of games will be a beast of three series which will run from Friday, June 7 until Monday, June 10.

Here is a run down on the super regionals.

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Virginia Tech Advances to ACC Baseball Championship

Just moments ago, Virginia Tech beat Georgia Tech in the 3:00pm game of the ACC Baseball Championship. The Hokies advance to the finals on Sunday for the first time ever, already boasting more wins in this year’s tournament (3) than they have ever achieved since they joined the conference in 2004. Virginia Tech’s opponent for Sunday’s game is still to be determined, but is likely to be decided tomorrow night in the 7:00pm sellout (standing room only was running out when I left the stadium) tilt between North Carolina and North Carolina State. Read more…

NCAA Tournament- Round of 32 Conference Breakdown

Now that the real first round of the tournament is done (we won’t count the First Four), it’s time to see how each power conference is doing. While we all love the Cinderellas of the A-10, we’re going to focus on the big guys for now. As usual, the Big East has had a tough first two days.

ACC

Tournament Teams (4)- Duke, Miami, North Carolina, North Carolina State

Remaining Tournament Teams (3)- Duke, Miami, North Carolina

Verdict- NC State didn’t live up to the hype this year. With so much talent returning, and a highly heralded recruiting class in tow, the Wolfpack were expected to challenge for the ACC title this season. Instead, they stumbled to the finish and played on Thursday in the conference tournament. Fittingly, they lost in the first round of the NCAAs too. Duke and Miami looked strong in convincing first-round wins, while North Carolina can only hope to become more consistent after it gave up a 20-point lead against Villanova. Next up, its tournament nemesis, Kansas.

Big 12

Tournament Teams (5)- Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Kansas

Remaining Tournament Teams (3)- Iowa State, Kansas

Verdict- The first round wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t as good as it should have been for the Big 12. Marcus Smart and the Oklahoma State Cowboys looked lost against an Oregon Ducks team that, despite its decent 26-8 record, wasn’t expected to be much of a force in the tournament. Kansas State suffered a disappointing loss to La Salle, while Oklahoma was outmatched by San Diego State from the stronger Mountain West. All eyes will be on Kansas City as the Jayhawks look to continue their hot streak against former coach Roy Williams and the Tar Heels.

Big East

Tournament Teams (8)- Louisville, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Villanova, Georgetown, Syracuse, Marquette

Remaining Tournament Teams (3)- Louisville, Syracuse, Marquette

Verdict- It’s been another bad tournament for the Big East, which has had very little success in the first round the past few years. Marquette barely squeaked by Davidson, Georgetown lost to tournament first-timer Florida Gulf Coast, Cincinnati couldn’t hold on against Creighton and Villanova’s comeback just wasn’t enough against North Carolina. In the last year of its current configuration, the old Big East went out in typical fashion. The lone bright spots were wins by future ACC members Louisville and Syracuse.

Big Ten

Tournament Teams (7)- Michigan State, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois

Remaining Tournament Teams (6)- Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois

Verdict- The Big Ten has lived up to the hype so far, having virtually no trouble with its first slate of games. Wisconsin’s early exit came at the hands of Marshall Henderson and a hot Ole Miss team who was one three #12 seeds to beat a #5 seed this year.

Pac-12

Tournament Teams (5)- Oregon, Arizona, UCLA, California, Colorado

Remaining Tournament Teams (3)- Oregon, Arizona, California

Verdict- If you had told me at the start of the season that UCLA would lose in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, I would have said you were crazy. Not with Shabazz. Not when they’re starting to turn things around. But the University of Carolina at Los Angeles (See Larry Drew, David Wear, Travis Wear) has just been too inconsistent, despite a late season surge. Coach Ben Howland’s place on the hot seat doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon…unless he’s fired.

SEC

Tournament Teams (3) – Missouri, Ole Miss, Florida, Kentucky

Remaining Tournament Teams (2)- Ole Miss, Florida

Verdict- Where’s Kentucky? The year’s worst (major) basketball conference finished the first round almost exactly as predicted. Missouri lost early and Florida, predictably, blew out their opponent. But Ole Miss’s stunning upset of Wisconsin has the Big Ten on the clock.

So far, the 2013 NCAA Tournament has been one of the most exciting in recent years. From stunning upsets by tournament first-timers, to old-fashioned brawlers, it’s been a perfect way to end an unpredictable season. With five current, or future, ACC teams still in the mix, the conference is in a prime position to bring home another title to college basketball’s greatest conference.

ACC Basketball: Final Weekend of Regular Season Games

Unfortunately, the ACC basketball season–at least the regular season–is about to come to an end.  This weekend will be the second-to-last games for several teams.  However, there is still much to be decided.

The current standings:

ACC
Team Conf. W-L Tot. W-L
Duke 13-2 26-4
North Carolina 13-2 26-4
Florida St. 11-4 20-9
Virginia 8-7 21-8
N.C. State 8-7 19-11
Miami (Fla.) 8-7 17-11
Clemson 8-7 16-13
Maryland 6-9 16-13
Virginia Tech 4-11 15-15
Wake Forest 4-11 13-16
Boston College 4-11 9-20
Georgia Tech 3-12 10-19

The games themselves will sort out a lot today.

The key game, of course, is the matchup between #4 Duke and #6 North Carolina.  It always is.  The intensity is even greater when the two teams enter the game with identical records at 26-4 overall and 13-2 in conference.  And today’s game just happens to be for the regular season title and the #1 seed in the ACC tournament.  So there’s that.

While #22 Florida State has third place all locked up, there is a 4-way tie for 4th place between Virginia, North Carolina State, Miami, and Clemson.  Miami has the easiest path, playing 9-20 Boston College.  Clemson has the toughest opponent, traveling to #22 Florida State on Sunday.  On Sunday, #24 Virginia will travel to Maryland for its finale, while North Carolina State travels to Virginia Tech.  The only other game features Wake Forest and Georgia Tech.

Meanwhile, #2 Syracuse will conclude its regular season on Saturday by hosting #17 Louisville.  Pittsburgh will travel to Connecticut in a battle between two disappointing teams.

 

ACC Basketball Recap: February 25, 2012

A very exciting day of college basketball in the ACC on February 25, 2012.

The day began with #5 Duke hosting Virginia Tech and getting everything it could handle in a 70-65 overtime win.  Once again, it was Austin Rivers and Seth Curry stepping up for Duke, scoring 23 points and 19 points, respectively.  Of course, it also helps to have a 34-16 free throw attempt advantage.  Mason Plumlee added 15 rebounds as Duke stayed atop the ACC with a 25-4 overall record and 12-2 in conference play.  For the Hokies, it was another tough loss, dropping them to 15-14 overall.   Dorenzo Hudson, Erick Green, and Cadarian Raines each scored 16 points for Virginia Tech.

In another overtime game, Clemson once again pulled off an upset–beating North Carolina State, 72-69.  At 18-11, North Carolina State suffers a defeat that will hurt their Big Dance chances.  But credit pesky Clemson for winning and matching the Wolfpack’s 7-7 conference record.  At 15-13, the Tigers are not going to be part of March Madness, barring an ACC tournament victory.  Milton Jennings led Clemson with 17 points.  North Carolina State was led by CJ Leslie and Lorenzo Brown, who each scored 18.  With games against Miami and Virginia Tech, North Carolina State can still get to twenty regular season wins.

In two games of lesser importance to the conference and post-season picture, Wake Forest dominated Boston College, 85-56.  CJ Harris scored 23 points for the Demon Deacons, while Ryan Anderson scored 18 for the Eagles.  And Georgia Tech upset Maryland, 63-61.  Kammeon Holsey had a double-double for Georgia Tech with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Terrell Stoglin led Maryland, as usual, with 18 points.

ESPN Game Day was on hand for the night game featuring #2 Syracuse and UConn, which Syracuse won 71-69.  Viewers got their money’s worth as Syracuse jumped out to a 14-point halftime lead, UConn rallied to tie it last in the second half, and the game came down to the final possession.  Syracuse was led by Kris Joseph’s 21 points.  With the win, the Orange improve to 29-1 on the season and clinch their status as regular season champions of the Big East.  The ACC cannot get these guys here soon enough.

Finally, the big match up of the day featured #7 North Carolina and #25 Virginia.  As expected, this was a game of contrasts, with Virginia hoping to control tempo.  The Cavaliers certainly did that, holding the Tar Heels to 54 points.  The problem was that Virginia only scored 51, resulting in a loss.  Virginia had multiple opportunities in the final seconds to tie, but fell short.  Still, it was an impressive game for Virginia as they get prepared for the Big Dance.  Jontel Evans led Virginia, who dropped to a very respectable 21-7 overall, with 13 points.  Tyler Zeller led the Tar Heels with 20 points.  North Carolina improved to 25-4 overall and 12-2 in conference play–the exact same records as Duke.  Both teams hope to win their midweek games, resulting in a match up for the conference title next Saturday.

Weekend Preview: February 25-26

Although the basketball season is, unfortunately, winding down… there are a number of ACC games this weekend (February 25 & 26, 2012).

Saturday

The day begins at noon with Virginia Tech traveling to #5 Duke.  The Hokies’ Big Dance bubble has all but burst, but getting a win here could lead to big things in the ACC tournament.

At 1pm, Wake Forest hosts Boston College.  Both teams are 3-10 in conference play and playing for pride.  And for next year.

At 1:30 pm, North Carolina State travels to Clemson.  Clemson has surprised some teams this year.  And, at 18-10, the Wolfpack do not have a huge margin for error.

At 2:30 pm, Georgia Tech hosts Maryland.  At 16-11, all games may be must wins for Maryland.  Losing this one would be terrible to the post-season chances though.

The big game of the day, however, is the 4pm matchup between #7 North Carolina and #25 Virginia.  The host Cavaliers are 21-6 but certainly could use an upset win like this to improve its seeding prospects.  At 24-4, the Tar Heels look to keep momentum going.

In another big game, #2 Syracuse travels to Connecticut for a 9 pm game.  At 28-1, Syracuse is looking to set a record for most regular season wins.  Although UConn is struggling, they also play Syracuse tough at home.

Sunday

At 2p.m., disappointing Pittsburgh takes its 15-13 record into #17 Louisville.  The Panthers are playing for pride right now.

The Sunday game of the week is a rivalry matchup between #15 Florida State and host Miami.  At 19-8, the Seminoles would like to get that 20th victory on the season.  At 16-10, Miami really needs this win.  This game should be quite a battle.

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