January has nearly come and gone, and we are entering the stretch run of conference play. Who will announce themselves as contenders entering March? Who will wane down the stretch? Who will give us bizarre Vines of noted coaches staring through brick walls while children cry beside them? So many questions, and so few answers.
1 – Virginia: In football, Virginia allowed Georgia Tech to score 35 points this season. On Thursday, Virginia allowed Georgia Tech to score 28 points in basketball. We knew the Cavaliers had a stout defense, but … what? How?
2 – Notre Dame: Despite trailing 40-22 at one point, Notre Dame rallied Sunday to defeat NC State at PNC Arena. Was it Luck of the Irish or #NCStateSheet? You decide!
3 – North Carolina: UNC played three games in five days, but had no problem taking the win in all three. They are rolling entering their matchup with Louisville.
4 – Duke: While I didn’t get to see Coach K’s 1,000th win, the NASCAR fan in me assumes Fox kept cutting to commercial every 12 minutes regardless of whether or not there was a timeout on the floor. “While you were away, Duke stopped losing to St. John’s!”
5 – Miami: The Hurricanes return to the AP Top 25 with two wins this week. Granted, one of them was against Syracuse. But hey, two wins!
6 – Louisville: It was looking sketchy for a time, but Louisville appears likely to play Boston College tonight despite the snowstorm that hit the northeast. Duke may have beaten the Cardinals on the court, but Louisville gets the win in bad weather travel.
7 – NC State: The Wolfpack had two chances to pick up résumé-building wins this week, and blew both shots. It’s not a season-killer, but it makes February very important for them.
8 – Clemson: Backing The Pack, SBNation’s NC State offering, titled their Clemson preview “Previewing Clemson: The modern college basketball offense as confused basketball-hurlin’” So there’s that succinct description of this team.
9 – Virginia Tech: Frank Beamer may not have given us a great Hokies football squad this season, but he has given us two memorable internet moments by being more emotionally moved about a scoreless draw than a little girl bawling beside him while VT gave Virginia a run for its money.
10 – Boston College: It would have been a deflating experience for the Eagles if they had lost a nail-biter to Georgia Tech Sunday. There won’t be as much pressure on them tonight against a better Louisville team. Get it, I’m still making Patriots jokes!
11 – Syracuse: Googling to see if I missed any big Syracuse news informed me the aforementioned winter storm was named Juno. I know this isn’t exactly a new trend, but I’m so glad that the northeast has embraced joining the ACC so much they treat their snowstorms like our hurricanes.
12 – Florida State: In a day with five ACC basketball games, FSU-Wake is the only one that starts at 7:00 PM and the only one I have zero desire to watch. Television scheduling is a strange world.
13 – Pittsburgh: For Pittsburgh sports fans, a January that began with a come-from-ahead loss to Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl ends with a loss to Virginia Tech and Sidney Crosby getting his name misspelled in the Penguins’ game program.
14 – Wake Forest: We spend every football season bashing teams that schedule FCS teams or weaker FBS teams, and then Wake Forest schedules a non-conference home-and-home with North Carolina and everyone loses their mind. The internet is a strange place.
15 – Georgia Tech: At this point, we might as well fast-forward to the Yellow Jackets introducing a new basketball coach this offseason.
Until next week, peace, love, and #goacc.