We are under three weeks to Selection Sunday. No team really seems to want to hold onto third place in our poll. So, as we did last week, we alter the third, fourth, and fifth place teams in the poll.
The March 2 game between Miami and Duke is MASSIVE. The winner will have an inside track to a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament (yours truly will be in Blacksburg for Erick Green’s senior night game – but will make time to watch that game). This is a game that’s going to be on the national radar.
Without further ado, here we go:
- Miami – So, the Canes are learning what it’s like to be the hunted. Miami pulled out a tough game at home vs the Hoos (who pretty much always control the tempo of a game) and then played against a Wake team who had an awesome YOLO offense (h/t @TheDevilWolf). The Canes have this week to get refocused – they’ll get some momentum playing Virginia Tech (unless the Hokies can pull performance out of their sleeve like they did vs. FSU) – and then they take on the Devils on the road in Durham
- Duke – The Blue Devils are playing quite well right now. In both of their games vs. Boston College and NC State (both wins), Duke shot almost 54% from the floor. Just wait until Rasheed Sulaimon gets the keys to the car next year – and doesn’t have to defer to Seth Curry or Mason Plumlee. As we stated above, a huge game looms with Miami – win that and we move the Devils to the top spot in our poll.
- North Carolina – The Tar Heels picked up two big wins this week – one on the road vs. Georgia Tech – and got some revenge at home vs. NC State. UNC has a couple of very winnable games this week – at Clemson – and at home vs. FSU. The Tar Heels are in very good position to have one of the first day byes at the ACC tournament.
- Virginia – The Hoos came up short in a loss at Miami (the W might have been enough to push the Hoos into the tournament), but they blew Georgia Tech out of the water. We see a lot of parallels between this Hoo team – and the 2009-2010 Virginia Tech team. Hoos piling up wins against teams on a bad schedule – and not getting enough good ones. Their next game vs. Duke, however, provides an opportunity for a big win. Hoos got a lot of work to do if they want to be in the NCAA tournament.
- NC State – Never thought I’d say this – especially with the Wolfies being picked ACC preseason #1 and all – but they are fighting for their NCAA tournament lives at 8-6 in the ACC. At the very minimum, NC State should be in 2nd place. This is not acceptable. Winning every remaining ACC game on your schedule is core value for us, Wolfies – or you’re going to be left out of the NCAA tournament.
- Maryland – The Terps stand at 7-7 in the ACC (the very definition of all that is bubblicious). They pick up their best win in the Mark Turgeon era vs. Duke – and promptly lose to Boston College (a performance that seriously reminded us of the 2010-2011 Virginia Tech Hokes). The Terps, however, closed the week strong with a win vs. Clemson. Maryland must win every game on their schedule to get NCAA tournament consideration – losing to BC killed much of the goodwill that game from the Duke win.
- Florida State – We wanted drop the Noles this week, who now have their NCAA tournament hoops on life support after losing in Blacksburg this week (but they are just a little better than Clemson so we could not do that). Granted, the Cassell can be a house of horrors for many teams (historically, the Hokies play quite well at home) – but the Noles never should have lost there.
- Wake Forest – The biggest win in the Jeff Bzdelik career came on Saturday when The Demon Deacons took down #2 Miami. We have been really hard on Bzdelik on this page – but the Deacs have been very good at home – and @accsports’ Wake Forest Insider presents some thoughtful arguments on why the coach might be retained.
- Clemson – Clemson has lost five of six games – and could slide even further if they overlook any of the opponents on their schedule. While they could go .500 in their remaining games (we see losses to both UNC and Miami), the Tigers are quite capable of losing to Virginia Tech and Boston College. As @LonelyTailgater indicated, a Clemson loss to the Hokies in Blacksburg would not be an upset.
- Boston College – Steve Donahue’s young team is growing up – a huge win vs. Maryland. We repeat this weekly, but we are big fans of Donahue. BC scored a winner when they hired him. Olivier Hanlan quickly becoming a guy that many like for ACC freshman of the year.
- Virginia Tech – So, we pretty much saw the Hokies play their first complete game since January – and had multiple players in double figures – so the Florida State win was not a surprise. Imagine if Erick Green had that support of support all the time. We’ve been hard on the Hokies here – but we were impressed by the play of C.J. Barksdale and Robert Brown vs. FSU. Play like that – and no team will want to meet Virginia Tech in the first round of the ACC tournament. FWIW, @AaronMcFarling is right here – Loyalty should be rewarded to those people that have gone to the Cassell for every game.
- Georgia Tech – The Jackets could not score in a brothel right now (h/t @LakeRosenberg).
Thanks for checking out the post – and have a good week ahead!!