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The Confidential

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The Confidential’s ACC Football Over-Unders: Recap.

Every year, the Confidential does over-unders for each ACC school, based solely on the regular season.  In 2014, we had 6 schools correctly pegged within 1/2 a win of their ultimate totals.  In 2015, we improved to 7 schools correctly pegged within a 1/2 a win of their ultimate total.  And now it is on to 2016.  Remember, these are regular season wins only.  No bowl games or playoffs.  Here is the final tally of the Confidential’s over-unders for 2016, as well as the final results/analysis:

Clemson: 11.5 wins.  CORRECT!  At 11-1, Clemson ended up within 1/2 a win of the Confidential’s projection.  And Clemson certainly could have beaten Pitt.  Of course, Clemson should have lost to NC State, Troy, or both.  It is what it is.

Notre Dame: 10.5 wins.  WOEFULLY INCORRECT.  At 4-8, Notre Dame blew a season with a weak schedule.  They lost to Texas (who fired its coach), Michigan State (down season), and Duke (down season), among others.  Just a horrible, terrible season.

Florida State: 9.5 wins.  CORRECT!  At 9-3, Florida State fell a bit short of the under, but this was always setting up to be a tough season for the Seminoles.  They did fine overall.

Miami: 8.5 wins.  CORRECT!  A streaky season for the Hurricanes, with blocks of 4 wins surrounding a block of four losses.

North Carolina: 8.5 wins.  CORRECT!  UNC fell one game short of its win total, like several of the above teams.  In fact, the ACC ended up fairly down by the end of the year.  However, it it was a decent OOC season and the ACC teams fared well in their SEC rivalry games (3-1) again.

Louisville: 7.5 wins.  INCORRECT!  Many folks criticized this one and perhaps deservedly so.  But Louisville losing to Kentucky should silence Cards fans for a while.

Virginia Tech: 7.5 wins.  INCORRECT!  Like Louisville, the Hokies did much better than expected at 9-3.

Pitt: 7.5 wins.   CORRECT!  Despite the difficult schedule, Pitt fared well at 8-4, including the sole win over Clemson so far.

Duke: 6.5 wins.  INCORRECT!   Duke finished at 4-8, well short of the estimated over-under.

North Carolina State: 5.5 wins.   CORRECT!  This one was correct heading into the surprise  victory over UNC, which pushed NC State into the “over” category.

Georgia Tech: 5.5 wins.  INCORRECT.  The Yellow Jackets did much better than expected with an 8-4 regular season.

Virginia: 5.5 wins.  INCORRECT!  Virginia only managed 2 wins.  On to 2017.

Boston College: 5.5 wins.  CORRECT!  BC had an easy OOC schedule and fared well.  Wins over NC State and Wake Forest gave the Eagles the “over.”

Syracuse: 4.5 wins.  CORRECT!  Losing to USF, Wake Forest, and NC State meant that Syracuse could not get the over, despite the Virginia Tech upset.

Wake Forest: 3.5 wins.  INCORRECT!  At 6-wins, the Demon Deacons went way over and are going bowling!

PRESEASON ANALYSIS: By far, the most controversial selection was Louisville at only 7.5 wins.  However, with road trips to Syracuse, Marshall, Virginia, Boston College, and Houston–it is asking a lot of the Cardinals to avoid tripping up against three of its four easiest conference games and two challenging OOC games.  Meanwhile, Florida State and Clemson remain on the schedule.  Notre Dame at 10.5 wins surprised some folks too, but look at who the Fighting Irish play and where.  In any event, it is what it is.  The Coastal, of course, is a mess.  Would any team winning it be a true surprise?  Meanwhile, the Atlantic has NC State, Boston College, Syracuse, and Wake Forest in a perpetual battle to avoid the cellar, it seems.

POSTSEASON ANALYSIS: Well, the Confidential edged up to 8 teams picked correctly (within 1/2 game of their final win total).  ND and Duke were the biggest disappointments (along with Virginia), while Wake Forest, Va Tech, Louisville, and Georgia Tech all did better than expected.  Louisville ended up handling its difficult road games, except Houston.  And they almost nipped Clemson.  Anyway, it is an improvement for the Confidential!

 

 

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The Confidential’s ACC Football Over-Unders

Every year, the Confidential does over-unders for each ACC school, based solely on the regular season.  In 2014, we had 6 schools correctly pegged within 1/2 a win of their ultimate totals.  In 2015, we improved to 7 schools correctly pegged within a 1/2 a win of their ultimate total.  And now it is on to 2016.  Remember, these are regular season wins only.  No bowl games or playoffs.  Here is the final tally of the Confidential’s over-unders for 2016:

Clemson: 11.5 wins

Notre Dame: 10.5 wins

Florida State: 9.5 wins

Miami: 8.5 wins

North Carolina: 8.5 wins

Louisville: 7.5 wins

Virginia Tech: 7.5 wins

Pitt: 7.5 wins

Duke: 6.5 wins

North Carolina State: 5.5 wins

Georgia Tech: 5.5 wins

Virginia: 5.5 wins

Boston College: 5.5 wins

Syracuse: 4.5 wins

Wake Forest: 3.5 wins

By far, the most controversial selection was Louisville at only 7.5 wins.  However, with road trips to Syracuse, Marshall, Virginia, Boston College, and Houston–it is asking a lot of the Cardinals to avoid tripping up against three of its four easiest conference games and two challenging OOC games.  Meanwhile, Florida State and Clemson remain on the schedule.  Notre Dame at 10.5 wins surprised some folks too, but look at who the Fighting Irish play and where.  In any event, it is what it is.  The Coastal, of course, is a mess.  Would any team winning it be a true surprise?  Meanwhile, the Atlantic has NC State, Boston College, Syracuse, and Wake Forest in a perpetual battle to avoid the cellar, it seems.

What do you think?  Would you raise Louisville and Florida State?  Lower Notre Dame or Clemson?  How many over-unders do you think will end up within 1 game (i.e. 5.5 wins resulting in 5 or 6 wins)?

 

Keeping Up With the Over-Unders

Every year, the Confidential does over-unders for each ACC school, based solely on the regular season.  In 2014, we had 6 schools correctly pegged within 1/2 a win of their ultimate totals.  In 2015, we improved to 7 schools correctly pegged within a 1/2 a win of their ultimate total.  And now it is on to 2016.  Here is a running look at the Confidential’s over-unders for 2016:

Notre Dame: 10.5 wins

Florida State: 9.5 wins

Miami: 8.5 wins

Louisville: 7.5 wins

Virginia Tech: 7.5 wins

Pitt: 7.5 wins

North Carolina State: 5.5 wins

Virginia: 5.5 wins

Boston College: 5.5 wins

Syracuse: 4.5 wins

By far, the most controversial selection was Louisville at only 7.5 wins.  However, with road trips to Syracuse, Marshall, Virginia, Boston College, and Houston–it is asking a lot of the Cardinals to avoid tripping up against three of its four easiest conference games and two challenging OOC games.  Meanwhile, Florida State and Clemson remain on the schedule.  Notre Dame at 10.5 wins surprised some folks too, but look at who the Fighting Irish play and where.  In any event, it is what it is.

Still to come: Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Wake Forest

The Confidential’s Take on Syracuse’s Loss to USF

If you are a Syracuse fan, you know that Syracuse lost to South Florida yesterday, 45-24.  If you are not a Syracuse fan, you will look at the score, smirk, and realize that Syracuse is a long way from being nationally relevant.  This is not a knock on Syracuse necessarily, as Miami, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and other decent programs are in the same boat this year.  Frankly, Miami has been in the same boat as long as Syracuse.  But, for Syracuse, the loss shows that it may be premature to ask for time off for a bowl game this year.  And here are the Confidential’s other thoughts on the game.

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Recap of the Confidential Football Over-Unders for 2015

Here is a quick recap of the Confidential ACC Football Over-Unders for 2015… in order by over-under win total:

See the team pages for more analysis.  Welcome any criticism too…

The Over/Under Recap of 2014

As we set forth to do our over-unders for 2015, here is a look at last year’s over/unders:

As you can see, we were within 1/2 a game of the following six schools: Florida State (12 regular season wins vs. over/under of 11.5); Virginia (5 wins vs 4.5); Clemson (9 wins vs. 9.5); North Carolina (6 wins vs. 6.5); Louisville (9 wins vs. 8.5); Duke (9 wins vs. 8.5);

We were slightly off on these five schools: North Carolina State (7 wins vs. 5.5); Miami (6 wins vs. 7.5); Wake Forest (3 wins vs. 4.5); Boston College (7 wins vs. 5.5); Notre Dame (7 wins vs 8.5);

We were way off on on these four schools: Georgia Tech (10 wins vs. 7.5); Virginia Tech (6 wins vs 8.5); Pitt (6 wins vs 8.5); Syracuse 3 wins vs 7.5).

What’s the over/under on how many schools we can come within 1/2 a win of this year?  Ha ha ha.  Just kidding.  Stay tuned for our 2015 over/unders…coming soon!

 

 

Syracuse Orange On Trial: A 3 Game Case Study

Opening Statement: this season is rustling a few Orange fan feathers. You might describe Syracuse’s overall play somewhere between panic-inducing, gut wrenching and dare I say exciting. Jim Boeheim’s troops currently tout a 14-5 overall record and are 5-1 in ACC play. That fact bears repeating but for the sake of redundancy, I’ll let the readers make that call. For many college basketball teams that record would be a season to tell their friends about. Throw in the fact that Syracuse has just one starting senior in Rakeem Christmas (you may have heard of him) and things might start to take form. So why is it some Syracuse fans are ready to call their doctor for a refill on their anxiety medication? Could it be that we are a spoiled fan base not used to losing a game before January? Or is it the impending doom expected when the NCAA announces its ruling in the investigation of Syracuse? While each of those questions may hold validity, I suggest the answer can be found quite easily. Look no further than the last 3 games on the schedule, two of which are wins! Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present to you the facts in the case of why Syracuse fans that have one foot on the ledge should take a giant step back to safer ground.

Exhibit A: a game dubbed “Wake Forest: The Greek Tragedy That Almost Was”. The Demon Deacons showed up to the Dome with a 9-8 record, two losses coming by the swords of Louisville and Duke. They were well known for employing a fast paced offense and would certainly look to continue that. Syracuse meanwhile was riding a 6 game win streak. Rakeem Christmas was morphing from seedling to fully grown Navel Orange while Trevor Cooney was busy finding his 3 point shot. After the few aforementioned facts presented, for the sake of argument put yourself in a Syracuse fan frame of mind. Now sprinkle in a little math and science of the ACC conference as we know it. After a few pre-game beers, this would surely lead you explaining to your buddy why this game should be a 10 point Orange victory. But you’ve forgotten one thing. Wake Forest rolled in on their Trojan horse and deployed Konstantinos Mitoglou. His 26 point performance helped Wake push the game into overtime. Not to be outdone on his home court Rakeem Christmas put up a career high 35 points and carried Syracuse to a narrow 86-83 victory. Honorable mention to Trevor Cooney with 21 points of his own. Overtime against 1-3 ACC opponent just isn’t acceptable. Albeit thankful for a win, Syracuse fans instantly begin experiencing symptoms of slight chest pains and anxiety.

Exhibit B: Littlejohn Coliseum for a late Saturday afternoon date with the Clemson Tigers. As newcomers last season, Syracuse established who they thought the real Orange around the ACC was with a 57-44 home victory. Fast forward to January 17th 2015. Subtract Tyler Ennis and Jerami Grant and you have an inexperienced Syracuse team in hostile territory. Clemson came in sporting a nice overtime win against a ranked Arkansas team earlier in the season but had losses to teams like Winthrop and Rutgers. If Syracuse fans saw this and were like myself, they might have been slightly bewildered. Despite the inexperience and a road game in the ACC, fans still expected a win. Instead, Syracuse hardly showed up. Clemson began the 1st half hotter than breakfast at a Waffle House. At the under 8 timeout, it was Clemson 21 and Rakeem Christmas 9. Halftime saw the game seemingly already won, 39-18 in favor of the Tigers. I’d bet a shot of Jameson that at this point there was a Syracuse fan watching that had already shut the game off in disgust. Clemson finished with 3 starters in double figures and shot 40% from the 3 point line. For Syracuse, the only bright spot was Rakeem Christmas again. I can’t recall a game where Trevor Cooney played worse. He went 0-5 from downtown and had just 5 points, all coming from the free throw line. Usually sound guard Michael Gbinije struggled. The Orange fell 66-53 and I sensed symptoms stemming from the Wake Forest game were being exacerbated. But a young team on the road played a poor game. They lost for the first time in ACC play. Regardless of the opponent and a few acceptable excuses for a loss, some fans had their hands on the phone ready to call to a physician.

Exhibit C: Let’s examine the most recent game against Boston College. The Golden Eagles entered the Dome at 8-8, without a single ACC Conference win. That fact might have had a few fans and perhaps players alike looking past BC. However, flashback to last year when this BC team came in and unraveled Syracuse’s historic 25-0 start (I still blame the jerseys that were worn that night). Back to present time with many of its players returning, BC came in with something to prove. They could knock off a quality opponent on the road for its first conference win. A recipe for disaster can be seen fairly easily. Meanwhile, Syracuse was looking to avoid a second two game losing streak of its season. There was no way Syracuse could lose. Right? Despite a hot BC start, Syracuse took a 35-17 lead into half. Lacking some depth down low due to a Chris McCollough injury, the team had to avoid foul trouble. In true Murphys Law fashion that I believe is contagious to Syracuse, Rakeem Christmas picked up 4 fouls by the 16 minute mark in the 2nd half. Forced to play without him for most of the 2nd half, Michael Gbinije stepped up big time and ultimately saved the Orange a second straight humiliation. The game ended 69-61 but the score fool wasn’t fooling anybody that watched. Syracuse came gut-wrenchingly close to blowing a late 13 point lead with anything but clutch FT shooting and a couple late turnovers. Fans watched what should have been a blowout turn into a close victory against a team without a conference win. And therein lies precisely my point. The team found a way to overcome adversity and win. It got help from a mostly reliable guard in Michael Gbinije. The score doesn’t matter when a team wins. Sports are beautiful like that. But it was too late for some. The calls were being made and prescriptions were being ordered. Diagnosis: Syracuse induced panic, anxiety and insomnia.

Closing argument: we see reasons why there is panic among the fan base. All of which can be argued as valid concerns. The team struggled to close out a couple sub par ACC opponents. While there are the almost automatic double-doubles coming from Rakeem Christmas, players like Trevor Cooney, Michael Gbinije and Tyler Roberson are grasping for consistent performances in the last 3 games. Late game free throw shooting and carelessness are rearing their ugly heads. But aside from the struggle to find a consistent good team performance, the fact remains that Syracuse has won two of its last three. How some fans can still be pressing the panic button is slightly maddening to me. Most likely it’s the ACC schedule that lies before us but as we’ve seen with games like NC State beating Duke, there are never any cupcakes in the ACC. I believe Syracuse fans need to slow down and look at the facts. The team has 14 wins and is 5-1 in conference play. They’re dealing with the loss of a starting freshman that before injury was a probable one and done and still winning without him. But most importantly, it’s time to remind themselves that no matter how ugly, a win is still a win. To quote BC head coach Jim Christian, “they’re 5-1, guys. I wish I was struggling like that.”

Will The Cards Fly South From Here?

First off, hello to all the subscribers to ACC Confidential.  My name is Kevin Wright and I will be the new and second contributor to this blog representing the University of Louisville.  With that said, I will get right to the point with my first blog entry……..

After attending the UofL/Duke tilt this past Saturday at the Yum Center, my biggest fears as a long-time die hard Cardinal fan became a reality: the Cards may have deficiencies this season that cannot be overcome by X’s and O’s or the good ole post game “players only” locker room meeting.  The fact is, this UofL basketball team simply labors to put the ball in the basket.  Back in December when UofL played in-state rival Kentucky, one was left to wonder if the Cardinal’s abysmal shooting performance that day was due to UK’s astounding length and defensive prowess.  Not to take anything away from Kentucky, but after watching the Cards miss numerous well manufactured open mid-range jumpers and attempts from beyond the arc on Saturday (mind you against a make shift zone defense orchestrated by Duke and Coach K), the hard truth hit home.

Through the years Rick Pitino has built his offensive systems around multi-dimensional players who could score in all facets of the game.  I don’t need to remind other UofL fans of the likes of former players such as Luke Hancock, Russ Smith, Kyle Kuric, Taquan Dean and so on……all reliable perimeter players who consistently made their teammates better by making open shots when they were afforded to them.  This year’s Rick Pitino team, his 14th since coming back to The Bluegrass State, is unique in the fact that there are no real true shooters on the roster.  One could argue that Terry Rozier is a good perimeter player, and while I could agree with such an assertion I would not list that as his biggest offensive strength.  Other perimeter players on the Cardinal roster have proven to be unreliable, erratic and at times downright bad.  The same can be said for Louisville’s lineup of frontcourt players which is hampered by a lack of offensive skill and playing experience.

Luckily for the Cards they have a some time to lick their wounds following a convincing loss to the hands of the Blue Devils.  Upon return, however, will they be able to continue to win games while finding ways of off setting their lock of scoring by being meticulous in all other facets?  March has been a kind and rewarding month for Louisville basketball teams in the past several years.  Getting to the end of the regular season finish line this season may be more taxing and trivial for this current groups of players.  The ACC needs UofL to thrive in the same vein that the Cards needs their conference mates to help maintain conference strength.

Hopefully UofL fans will see their Cards rising and flying high in the weeks to come.

Florida State-Syracuse Recap

If you think Matt Millen is better as a TV announcer than a General Manager, you are probably wrong.  And Florida State fans were quick to criticize Millen’s color commentary yesterday.  However, those fans are pretty quick to take any media member to task who fails to bask in the glory of all that is the Seminoles.  So take that for what its worth.  The game?  Pretty good for both teams, actually.

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Syracuse-Notre Dame Recap: Beware Fool’s Gold

The Confidential was tweeting aplenty during the Syracuse-Notre Dame game.  Indeed, the Confidential got into a twitter-battle (which always makes me think of Dr. Seuss’s “Muddle Puddle Tweetle Poodle Beetle Noodle Bottle Paddle Battle”) over the Syracuse defensive performance.  The upshot is that the Confidential has some legitimate concerns that this Syracuse coaching staff will be seeing Fool’s Gold with the 5 turnovers, just like there was Fool’s Gold with the nearly 1,000 yards of offense the past two weeks. 

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