ACC Tournament Questions

Oh, right, there is an ACC Tournament to be played here.

1. Who has the edge going in?

UNC, Maryland, and Georgia Tech.  The latter two have been playing extremely well heading into the tournament and while momentum often has to be recaptured starting off a tournament, these two looked to be playing up to their potential.  Maryland is getting great senior leadership and the right mix of new talent.  Georgia Tech is simply living up to the expectation that they would extremely dangerous in March.  As for UNC, it is still too early to know if the Duke game was a sign that had cured some of their issues from the previous seven games.  If it is then I expect a great tournament from them.  UNC also must only win three games which alongside their depth gives them an edge.  I also think they draw a much easier Friday game than the other seeds out there.  That is not saying either FSU or Clemson will not come up and bite them, but I like their matchup on Friday.

2. Can someone win four games in four days?

Syracuse did it in the Big East last season.  Roy said a couple of Big 12 schools did it when he was at Kansas.  In short it is possible but difficult.  In fact I am ready to say right now that it will be nearly impossible for Duke to do it given their lack of depth.   Maryland and Georgia Tech are the best candidates to pull it off because they have decent depth.  There is also a bit of a pitfall for the top four teams who play a team on Friday who already has a game under their belt.  Granted they might be worn to some extent but they also may be looser in general.  Of course the four games in four days is really not an issue until they get to the title game since anything before that is normal.  Title games are “anything can happen” affairs and only in the case of a Duke or NC State where there is little depth would a team have an issue of keeping up with a deeper school who may have played fewer games.

3. Which player will simply go off?

In 1993 it was GT’s James Forrest.  In 1995 it was Wake’s Randolph Childress.  The question is whether or not there is a 2007 version of either one of those guys.  In Forrest’s case, he was snubbed as a third team All-ACC selection and played with a chip on his shoulder.  Childress was a senior leader who played flat out insane for 125 minutes of basketball.  Here are the possible candidates:

Zabian Dowdell, Virginia Tech
D.J. Strawberry, Maryland
Jared Dudley, Boston College
Either one of the Virginia  guards
Tyler Hansbrough or Ty Lawson, UNC
Thaddeus Young or Javaris Critteton, GT

4. Can the winner of the 8/9 game make the NCAA Tournament?

Clemson and Florida State are both 7-9 in the ACC and both are on the outside looking in at the NCAA Tournament.  I think Clemson is on the outside more so than FSU despite the fact they have a better record and higher RPI.  The higher RPI for Clemson makes little sense to me since FSU clearly had a better strength of schedule and also had a wins over Florida and Duke.  The problem for both of them is they need to win this game and then beat UNC which is a tough road to hoe.  That being said, if they happen to do just that, they might get in.  They also need a serious absence undue upsets in conference tournaments elsewhere.  If we get a rash of three to four teams who would not normally get in find their way in via the automatic bid then it will not matter what either of these teams do short of winning the whole weekend.

5. How much productivity will be lost to North Carolina employers on Friday?

Yeah, it is not a basketball question.  My guess is a whole heckuva a lot.  I love ACC Tournament Friday.  I am convinced it really should be a state holiday in North Carolina.  Of course they have added Thursday games now which in my opinion just increases the fun and cuts down on the productivity all the more.  At any rate it will be a wide open and wild weekend of basketball.

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13 Responses to ACC Tournament Questions

  1. C. Michael says:

    I would say Ellington is a more likely canidate to “go off” then Lawson. Remember, Lawson usually scores less when UNC is cruising b/c he is dishing so much. Wanye definitely fits the Randolph Childress mold better. I could see Tyler having a Sean May type run.

  2. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Maybe I should have been more specific in saying that I defined “going off” to be more than just scoring. I could see Lawson simply dominating games with penetration and passing with some double figure scoring on top of that. Of course if that happens, it would almost certainly mean Hansbrough would be going off as well.

  3. C. Michael says:

    Or Wright.. or both!

  4. Tar Heel Fan says:

    All of them would be good!

  5. C. Michael says:

    Off topic:

    Am I the only one who thinks these look absolutely ridiculous?!?!

  6. hhn111 says:

    RE: the new gear. I like the look.

  7. Tar Heel alum and fan says:

    Lawson and Wright are the ones we need to look for to “go off” in the NCAAs. Hansbrough is a given but if either Lawson or Wright elevate their game another noche we’ll be hard to beat. We saw a glimpse of that during the second half of the Duke game, when Lawson was basically unguardable. Wright tends to get a relatively quiet double-double in many games – it would be nice to see him take over a few more games. And I hope Roy helps the team develop a killer instinct by leaving “hot” UNC players on the court, whoever that might be, with one caveat: late in games Lawson’s speed can really deflate teams and lead to easy baskets for us.

  8. Tar Heel Fan says:

    I will get into this more later, but the “hot” lineup I hear from the 850 the Buzz talking heads is:

    Lawson
    Ginyard
    Hansbrough
    Green
    Wright

    I am not so sure about the Green over Terry setup there but at the same time if the match-ups dictate it, I could see going small like that. Most people seem to be reaching the conclusion I reached a while back and that is if Ellington is not shooting then he is worthless out there.

  9. buckFush says:

    I totally agree about Ellington THF! I’m convinced Ginyard, Frasor, and Miller (in that order) are better options at the Wing. Everybody’s talking about the Terps, but the team that scares me is Ga Tech—they really match up well with us. Despite what Tudor (and Fudge-Packer) says, Ginyard has an explosive offensive game–just needs some PT & the green light to develop it.

  10. Dr. Seuss says:

    THF,

    That’s the lineup I’ve been wanting to see ever since Ellington sort of lost his mojo, which was probably around the third week of the season. I think Ginyard is probably the best candidate on the team for the unfilled role of primary slasher. Yes Ty has dribble penetration and can finish with a lay-up or give it up to Tyler or BW, but that’s not exactly the same. Terry often commits the charge or other wise turns it over when trying to make a move to basket. And more times than not, I’ve seen Ellington narrowly avoid eating a bunch of leather when has taken it to the hole. In addition to his defensive prowess, I think that would be the best way to utilize Marcus offensively. The only problem with that is with Tyler, BW, and two + defenders in the paint, it’s probably somewhat difficult to utilize a slasher in our offensive set.

  11. Dr. Seuss says:

    I remember James Forrest being a beast. What ever happened to he or Childress? Rodney Rodgers made a little noise at the next level, but there are a lot of players I remember thinking at the time were going to be super stars based on their ACC Tournament performances, only to never hear from them again.

  12. williamodouglas says:

    I predict that Wright will make 2/3 of his free throws this week-end. How’s that for going off.

  13. Dr. Seuss says:

    williamodouglas Says:
    March 8th, 2007 at 12:40 am

    I predict that Wright will make 2/3 of his free throws this week-end. How’s that for going off.

    ROFLMFAO! Hahahahaha!

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