Happy New Year...now let the real games begin.
- NC State handled upstart UNC Wilmington 72-51 though based on the Seahawks' record I do not think they are as good as they have been in the past few years. The Wolfpack continues to get huge games from Brandon Costner and Ben McCauley who are obviously much better utilized in Sidney Lowe's system.
- Virginia Tech continues to dig a very large hole as far as the NCAA Selection Committee is concerned dropping another "bad" game, this one to Marshall, 59-58. The Hokies are going to need an exceptional ACC season to sniff any tournament with the initials NCAA in front of it.
- Miami sucks. Canes fall to Nebraska 82-67 and are now at .500.
- Georgia Tech ran over St. Francis(PA) 87-43 and appears to be tracking much better since the little tailspin they went through right after the Maui trip.
- Boston College almost lost another game they should have no business losing beating 3-9 Northeastern 87-82 at Chestnut Hill. The fact of the matter remains I have no idea what to make of BC or which version will show up on any given night.
- Maryland found themselves tied at half with Siena who was probably in the game far longer than any reasonable person might expect. The Terps opened up the game in the second half and won by 19. Maryland's big issue continues to be turnovers with 20 in this one and the most turnovers on average in the ACC. The only upside they are enjoying is they are causing so many turnovers it keeps the margin in check.
- Clemson beat Georgia Southern 67-57 adding to the contiual mystery as to whether the 14-0 Tigers are leigimate contenders or not. I would think they would deal a much harsher hand to Ga Southern but that turned out not to be the case.
- UNC continues to gel as a team, especially on the defensive end with a 81-51 over Dayton.
- And finally let me say Duke is a very borderline team in my opinion and it will be interesting to see how well they keep up in the conference season. Yes they got to 12-1 on Sunday with a 70-51 win over San Jose State but the manner in which they won should be a matter of concern for Duke fans. Why? SJS is 1-11. In fact Duke only led by eight at halftime and did not open things up until inside the 10 minute mark in the second half. Now, I have often heard it said when a team is playing a stiff defense and a deliberate offense then a 19 point lead translates to a 30 point margin. That being said, SJS is 1-11. Let's be clear they have one freaking win in 12 games(which is more than the Duke football team can say but I digress.) They have a whole host of very bad losses including a 104-77 smackdown at the hands of Cal State Fullerton and a loss by 12 to Herb Sendek's woeful Arizona State team. So on one hand, yes Duke is a little less potent offensively but there is no reason they should not have blown this team slam out of Cameron by halftime. There is no way this team should have had a chance to pull within three two minutes into the second half. There is little doubt Duke has the defensive part of the game figured out but there does not appear to be a whole lot of separation between the Devils and pretty much anyone else. In most cases Duke is just better coached(see the Indiana game) or simply has better personnel which means they can grind games out by getting the upper hand at a crucial moment. However, as was evidenced today, Duke is walking a very fine line and apparently does not possess what it takes to utterly dominate even really horrible basketball teams.