What’s happened and to come in ACC basketball right here with the weekend wrap-up edition of the ACC B-Ball Report…
One Virginia win down, trip to Blacksburg next for NCAA Shot (BC Raycom Blog)
The Hokies and Eagles rematch tips off at 9 p.m. Tuesday – here’s my keys for each to stay in the hunt…
Keys for the Hokies
1. Forget about Duke
It was a big win – a program-defining win, but the hangover effect going into the BC game could throw off the Hokies.
2. Keep the starters fresh
Delaney and co. played a lot of minutes against the Blue Devils – keep them fresh and they will feed off the Cassell crowd.
3. Let offense flow through Allen
Jeff Allen led the Hokies to that win they should be forgetting Saturday – surprisingly, not Delaney. Delaney will have the ball for most of the game, but Allen needs to touch the rock early and often to get him in rhythm.
Keys for the Eagles
1. Ugly it up
BC successfully won a slow game against the Hokies up at Chestnut Hill – they almost pulled off a road win at UNC that way too.
For Senior Night, Bennett speaks highly of the emotional Mustapha Farrakhan (Streaking the Lawn)
Two years ago, when Tony Bennett came to Charlottesville and took over at the helm of the Virginia men’s basketball program, then junior guard Mustapha Farrakhan had only averaged 10.4 minutes and 4.3 points per game from his sophomore season. Now, as he is reaching the end of his college career at Virginia with senior night on Tuesday against N.C. State, the captain from Harvey, IL is the undisputed leader of the Cavaliers.
“He’s stuck it out,” Bennett said. “That’s the thing I’m most proud of. He didn’t play much his first two years, even his third year with me, but he’s stuck it out. He’s taken some big steps in his game, even with this season with some injuries on our part that maybe have affected us.”
Now, Farrakhan leads the team, averaging 13.2 points in 30.5 minutes per game. He has scored in double figures in 21 of the 28 games this season.
Brackets and bubbles…
I’m not here to rain on everyone’s parade, but be aware, we can still miss the tournament. This is a cautionary tale, warning those who think we are a lock to tone down your level of certainty and replace it with optimism.
Argument #1- Out of Conference wins- Tech has for the fourth year in a row really hurt itself by not beating any world-beaters out of conference. This year we drastically improved our OOC SOS, but we didn’t manage to beat any big whigs, laying a duck against Purdue (with some of the worst ball-handling I’ve ever seen), Kansas State (some of the worst officiating I’ve ever seen) and letting another opportunity slip by, losing to UNLV. Right now our best OOC win is either Oklahoma St. or Penn St., and to the committee, that’s not very encouraging. However, by scheduling some of these programs alone, Tech may be able to overcome not having a real and true quality OOC win.
Bracket Projection, Feb. 28 (D1scourse)
(1) MOUNTAIN WEST/Brigham Young vs. (16) BIG SOUTH/Coastal Carolina
(8) West Virginia vs. (9) Tennessee
(4) Louisville vs. (13) ATLANTIC SUN/Belmont
(5) ATLANTIC 10/Xavier vs. (12) Clemson/Colorado
(3) Georgetown vs. (14) PATRIOT/Bucknell
(6) Texas A&M vs. (11) Virginia Tech
(2) Purdue vs. (15) SUN BELT/Florida Atlantic
(7) Georgia vs. (10) Washington
ACC Bubble Watch for Week of February 27 (All About Sports)
Bubble But In
Bubble But Out
(44) Boston College Eagles 17-11 (7-7)
Boston College surprised me a little bit. After a disastrous 73-64 loss to Miami at home, BC won by 19 at Virginia to stay on the fringe of the bubble. If they could win at Virginia Tech it would do wonders for their NCAA resume.
Next Games: 3/1 @Virginia Tech, 3/6 Wake Forest
Good Wins: (29) Texas A&M, (67) California, (81) Maryland, (85) Bucknell, (52) Virginia Tech, (81) Maryland,
Bad Losses: (153) Yale
Later, with just over two minutes to play, Delaney knocked down the game’s biggest shot. Despite being 3-for-13 from the floor at the time and looking like a player that lacked confidence, Delaney stepped up calmly hit a three that put Tech up, 62-57. It turned out to be the difference as the Hokies held on for the upset.
The shot redeemed Delaney’s night. He had missed his first five attempts from behind the arc and struggled to get quality shots against Duke’s Nolan Smith. Smith did an exception job on Delaney and the Devils were also able to hedge on Delaney off screens and force him to give up the ball or take a low-percentage shot.
Then came the three, which sent Cassell Coliseum into frenzy for the umpteenth time Saturday night and made even the most cynical fan believe that the Hokies were going to beat the nation’s No. 1 team.
UNC 87, Maryland 76 (Carolina March)
I’ve given it a fair amount of thought, and despite there being a fair number of flaws in UNC’s play tonight, I think this the most complete game the Tar Heels have put together since before Duke. Carolina came out strong – Harrison Barnes scored nine of the Heels’ first eleven points – and although Maryland tied it at 13-13, and again cut the lead to two at 25-23, UNC went into the half up 43-31. At that point, Maryland’s perimeter shooting was nonexistent, and the only thing they had going for them were Terrell Stoglin’s 13 points and Jordan Williams 10 plus 15 rebounds.
Tigers keep NCAA hopes alive with methodical 63-49 win over Wake Forest (OrangeandWhite.com)
Saturday afternoon, the Tigers didn’t have their usual intensity or defensive energy. They weren’t particularly sharp. No matter.
They slogged through a 63-49 win over Wake Forest before 10,000 at Littlejohn Coliseum, improving to 19-9, 8-6 in ACC play.
The Demon Deacons lost their ninth straight, falling to 8-21, 1-13. Clemson – squarely on the NCAA Tournament bubble – kept its hopes for an at-large bid alive entering the last week of the regular season, which will feature a trip to Duke’s Senior Night and a Senior Day home finale against fellow bubble-dweller Virginia Tech. The Tigers have won 14 of their last 19 games.
“I thought our team really just had a blue-collar win,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. “That’s the best way to describe it.”
FSU Starts Strong, Holds Off Miami (ScalpEm)
Leading by twenty points at intermission, 36-16, Florida State saw its lead nearly evaporate on a barrage of circus like three pointers as the ‘Canes closed to within three, 62-59, with just under a minute to play.
But thanks to a very timely bucket by Okaro White and a defensive effort by Michael Snaer on the subsequent inbound play that forced Miami to call its final timeout, FSU held on for what Leonard Hamilton described “as close to a must win as you can get” winning by the score of 65-59.
N.C. State works for it, wins 79-74 (Charlotte Observer)
Scott Wood’s 20 points helped N.C. State to a 79-74 win over Georgia Tech on Saturday at the RBC Center.
Coming off disappointing losses to Maryland and North Carolina, the Pack got its fifth ACC win of the season, but the Yellow Jackets made them earn it.
Every time State (15-13, 5-9 ACC) got hot and stretched out the lead, Georgia Tech answered back. It wasn’t until Wood’s steal and layup with 1:51 left that the Pack could breathe easy.
Full Weekend Slate/Our Picks
(48-17 on picks so far)
Check us out on Twitter @accblogger for updates/links about and from the big games this week!