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Georgia Tech 69, Maryland 64 Final
Have to believe that Tech has wrapped up an NCAA bid after beating a team that finished first in the regular season standings.
But, it's tough to believe Tech can string together two or three good games in the NCAA Tourney. The Yellow Jackets gave up a 19-point lead and combined for 26 turnovers. The Jackets were also lucky on a few bad calls, most namely, a Derrick Favors dunk that should have been a shot clock violation.
I'll be on our live blog for the FSU-NC State game from here on out. Thanks for reading everyone.
Georgia Tech 62, Maryland 59 2:47 left in second half
If the Yellow Jackets lose they have nobody to blame but themselves. The team has already combined for 22 turnovers, including seven from big man Derrick Favors.
This has also been the most poorly officiated game of the tourney so far. A lot of questionable calls and no-calls, especially that in bounds play where the Terps appeared to steal the ball and score, then the official whistled a dead ball after the basket.
Georgia Tech 48, Maryland 46 11:39 left in second half
Hewitt has already called two timeouts this half and his team hasn't been able to stop the bleeding after either. You have to put a bunch of the blame on the leadership. Tech has lacked composure and consistency all season and this time around it may just cost them an NCAA bid.
Georgia Tech 41, Maryland 25 Half
Should we just go ahead and take the NCAA invite to Tech's locker room right now. Don't see anyway the Terps are coming back.
Tech's guards are getting open looks and knocking them down - the team is a combined 6 of 8 from 3-point land - and when that happens the Jackets can look like the best team in the league. Paul Hewitt's club is also doing a good job getting the ball inside to the big men in good spots, it's led to a lot of high-percentage looks.
Maryland is somewhat the victim of a horrible shooting half - the Terps are 0 for 6 from 3-point range and 9 of 31 from the floor - but their struggling to create open looks and making silly mistakes with the ball.
Georgia Tech 22, Maryland 13 8:46 left in first half
Yellow Jackets are starting to pull away. Their guards have played well so far and anytime that happens they will be tough to beat.
Tech's man to man defense has also been strong. The Terps need to be more patient with the ball and create some more movement on offense. Strangely, the ball hasn't been in Greivis Vasquez's hands as much as usual. Go to think that will change soon.
Georgia Tech vs. Maryland
Just a couple of minutes from tip off here for what is probably the most intriguing game of the day.
Georgia Tech could lock up an NCAA berth with a win while a loss would create some doubt.
The Terps are playing for seeding purposes at this point. Win the tourney, especially by beating Duke in the finals, and they may be able to climb as high as a No. 2 seed.
Moreover, the last time these two teams played it turned out to be one of the best ACC games of the year. There were four lead changes in the last 25 seconds, including a 25-footer from Maryland's Cliff Tucker at the buzzer which gave the Terps a 76-74 win in College Park.
I'm expecting Georgia Tech to pull of the upset. They really out played the Terps on the Terps' home floor and deserved to win. Defending big men Derrick Favors and Gani Lawal should also be troublemsome for the Terps.
Maryland needs to a lot of movement and ball rotation on offense to take advantage of their guards and the fact a number of their players are good shooters.
Miami 70, Virginia Tech 65 Final
Miami's 2-3 zone was even better than against Wake in the first round. Malcom Delaney, the ACC's top scorer at 20-plus ppg, was held to seven points, his lowest total of the season (not counting a one-minute outing vs. Longwood). Delaney was 0-of-8 from 3-point range.
Miami's freshman point guard Durand Scott, who finished with a team-high 17, made a pair of tough bank shots in the final minutes. Both were some of the best plays of the tourney.
Miami freshmen DeQuan Jones and Reggie Johnson played big roles for the second straight game. Jones, whose dunk against Wake still stands as the play of the tourney, had 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Johnson gave the Hurricanes an inside presence, grabbing 12 boards and blocking three shots.
Really felt like Miami's depth wore down VT. Miami played nine guys 15 minutes or more. The Hokies had six players go 17 minutes or more.
This upset was also good news for FSU, which beat Miami twice this year. A couple of more points higher in the RPI could mean the difference between a No. 7 and a No. 8 seed.
Virginia Tech 57, Miami 54 7:35 left in second half
The Virginia Tech fans, which may actually out number what Duke brought (no joke) have gotten really loud in the last minute.
Miami is sticking to that same 2-3 zone that gave Wake problems. Probably going to take Virginia Tech knocking down some outside shots for the Hokies to pull this one out.
Miami is nearing the double bonus. Virginia Tech has eight fouls and Miami just four. That will probably be a big factor too.
Virginia Tech 50, Miami 48 12:09 left in second half
Sorry I've been away. Just posted a preview of tonight's FSU-NC State game on the front page. Got new quotes in there from NC State and FSU players.
Looks like Miami continues to play well without their top big men Dwayne Collins. Miami freshman DeQuan Jones seems to really be breaking out in the ACC tourney. He had a big game yesterday and leads the 'Canes with 11 right now.
Miami has a lot more depth than the Hokies, who play their guards Malcom Delaney and Dorenzo Hudson almost all game long every game, so maybe that will show up here down the stretch.
Duke 57, Virginia 46 Final
Duke's big three of Nolan Smith (15), Kyle Singler (18) and Jon Scheyer (15) combined for 48 of Duke's 57 points, which makes me wonder just how long the Blue Devils can keep winning with such little help from their supporting cast, especially against better teams.
If Virginia's Sammy Zeglinski hadn't had such an off shooting game the Cavs may have won. Zeglinski missed all nine of his field goal attempts and had five turnovers. Of course, some of that was because of Duke's D, which was very good.
Duke 46, Virginia 39 7:40 left in first half
You can feel the momentum slipping steadily onto Duke's side here. If UVa doesn't get some big baskets soon this game is going to get out of their reach.
Duke 27, Virginia 27 Half
It's tough to explain this score. Virginia is a huge underdog and is missing two of their top players. On paper, they should be down by 15 by now.
I'd say Virginia's defense is keeping them close more than anything. They have been very sound and haven't given up a single easy basket.
For Virginia to keep this up and pull off the upset, which would be the biggest of the postseason by far, they are going to have to hit a few more 3-pointers and continue to keep the place slow.
Here's perhaps the scariest stat for Duke fans: UVa point Sammy Zeglinksi, who had 22 points yesterday, has yet to score.
I'm fully expecting Duke to take control in the second half. Look for the Blue Devils' defense to generate some turnovers that lead to transition baskets and get their fans into the game.
A Duke loss here would likely cost the Blue Devils a No. 1 seed but they can't do any worse than a No. 2 in the NCAA tourney. And, really there isn't that much of a difference between a 1 or 2 overall seed in the Big Dance.
Duke 12, Virginia 6 11:20 left in first half
Virginia is hanging around, thanks to some scrappy defense and some layups that were created by breaking down Duke's press.
Going to be interesting to see if Duke continues to press. It doesn't seem to be helping much. Virginia has three guards who are each solid ball handlers.
You still get the feeling Duke is going to explode offensively soon. They have too many weapons to stay cold for too long.
Duke vs. Virginia - Day 2, Game 1
We're about 15 minutes from tip off for the start of the second day of the ACC Tournament. Fans are filing in and the arena is about 1/3 full.
All signs point towards Duke winning in a rout. The Blue Devils have far more talent, depth and size and a far better body of work this season as well.
Virginia pulled off a surprising upset yesterday by knocking off Boston College behind some great shooting from their point guard Sammy Zeglinski. But with thier best player (Sylven Landesberg) and another starting guard (Calvin Baker) both out it will be an extremely tough task just to keep it close. The Cavs need Zeglinski and big man Mike Scott to play the games of their life to have a chance.
NC State 59, Clemson 57 Final
Well, we finally know who FSU is playing tomorrow night. It would been nice for the Seminoles to have a chance to beat an NCAA Tournament-bound team, but you have to think playing the Wolfpack increases their chances of advancing in Greensboro.
NC State used a stingy man-to-man defense to frustrate Clemson for most of the night. The Tigers never got in a rhythm offensively.
Defending Tracy Smith, who had a game-high 19 points, will be a huge key for the 'Noles.
I'll have a story up on the site tomorrow detailing the NC State-FSU matchup tomorrow night.
NC State 42, Clemson 37 10:37 left in second half
NC State big man Tracy Smith has been the best player on the court so far. Smith leads all scorers with 15 and has hit a number of tough shots while also managing to slow down Clemson's Trevor Booker, who has 10 points.
While playing Clemson would have given FSU another chance at a 'quality win,' I think facing NC State gives them a better chance to advance.
FSU's interior defense is so strong that I think they would neutralize Smith, which would make it tough for the 'Pack to score.
NC State 25, Clemson 21 Half
Total team effort by Wolfpack so far. It seems like they are getting contributions from just about everyone in their rotation. They look like a far more confident team than a month ago.
Clemson has to do a better job getting the ball to Trevor Booker. Don't want to lose his last ACC Tournament game without getting him enough touches.
Gonzalez hasn't looked good since coming back. He's a little tentative and has hasn't been looking to penetrate off the dribble.
NC State 13 Clemson 10 12:37 left in first half
NC State point Javier Gonzalez limped off the court with what looked like a bad ankle injury a couple minutes ago.
Gonzalez got ice and tape on the ankle on the bench, put his sneaker back on and then headed to the locker room. If he can't come back it would be a huge blow. He is a key part of their offense and his ball handling can't be replaced.
Game 4 - Clemson vs. NC State
We'll find out who FSU plays in about two hours, providing there's no overtime here. Tip off is just seconds away.
I think FSU matches up better with NC State although Seminoles fans should probably be rooting for Clemson because it would give the 'Noles a chance to boost their resume more by beating another NCAA Tournament-bound opponent.
I'm picking NC State in the upset. The Wolfpack are hot, having won three of their last four, and when hot from the outside they can beat anyone (beat three ranked teams this year, including Duke).
Georgia Tech 62, North Carolina 58 Final
Is this win enough to put Georgia Tech in the NCAA Tournament field? That is the big question of Day One here in Greensboro.
I think it all depends what happens with the other conference tournaments. More than likely I think Tech gets in but they probably need to beat Maryland in the quarterfinals to feel completely safe.
That puts an end to a dreadful season for UNC. Going to be interesting to see what happens next year because much of the same personnel will likely be back.
Georgia Tech 58, North Carolina 56 3:31 left
UNC fans are really getting into it. This arena was louder than its been all day long just a second ago.
Unlike last game it seems like the effort is there on both sides. There have been a lot of scrappy plays around the basket. You get the feeling this is coming down to the last possession.
On a side note, the FSU team has shown up and is sitting directly behind the Georgia Tech bench. I believe that will put them behind the Clemson bench for the second game.
North Carolina 49, Georgia Tech 49 11:47 left
UNC is winning all the hustle plays and that is why this game has been so close. That should be surprising since Georgia Tech is on the NCAA Tournament bubble, but the Yellow Jackets have horribly inconsistent virtually all year long.
With the possibility of Lawal and Favors both leaving for the NBA (both are probable first-round picks) this game holds even more importance for the Jackets. This is a year where the program really needs an NCAA berth.
North Carolina 34, Georgia Tech 24 Half
Game got off to a pretty sloppy start but UNC has been the more scrappy team so far.
GT needs to do a better job getting the ball inside. UNC doesn't have anyone who has the size or athleticism in the post of Derrick Favors or Gani Lawal.
GT has nine turnovers with just three assists. For those of you counting at home, yes, that is a 1-3 assist-to-turnover ratio. UNC has a 26-18 rebounding edge.
I'm seeing a handful of FSU fans pour in one of the sections in the lower bowl. The Seminoles should be rooting for the Yellow Jackets since they beat them twice and only beat UNC once in their lone meeting.
Game 3 - Georgia Tech vs. North Carolina
We are about three minutes from tip off for the second session of games tonight. The arena is about 2/3 full and it's more of a mix this time around. Was expecting more Carolina Blue in the stands but perhaps the rough season has kept many Tar Heels fans away. Or they are just running tardy.
Going to be interesting to see how UNC reacts to playing on a Thursday game and against a team that has beaten them twice.
UNC needs better play out of their guards, especially when it comes to outside shooting. Georgia Tech needs to avoid turnovers.
They have been having internet problems here at the Coliseum so I may be gone for a few minutes but I'll be back as soon as possible.
Singleton: 'Trying to Bring A Title Back to Tallahassee'
Spoke with FSU forwards Ryan Reid and Chris Singleton and coach Leonard Hamilton about a half hour ago after the Seminoles had a two-hour practice. They spent time working on some of the things that both NC State and Clemson like to employ. The team will have a shoot around tomorrow afternoon. I put a few of the quotes below and will have a story tomorrow ...
Singleton on today's practice:
"We worked on what both teams will throw at us. Clemson really likes to press a lot so that was a big focus. We're all looking forward to playing. We're ready. We'll have to bring our 'A' game no matter who it is."
Singleton on how approaching his second ACC tourney compares to his first:
"We've got a lot more confidence and the experience of having another year helps. I think we are a much more versatile team than last year. We are trying to make a championship run and bring a title back to Tallahassee."
Hamilton on trying to prepare for two opponents in one practice:
"We're very familiar with each other. We all have plenty of film on one another. It's been a little longer since we played NC State but we were 0-3 against NC State and Clemson. We didn't play very well in any of those games. It's more about what we do. We need to focus on our system and our fundamentals to be successful."
Hamilton on grabbing a first-round bye for the second year in a row:
"I think we have a certain level of confidence but we can't let our whole body of work let us lose focus. We've got to put the losses behind us, realize we could played better and go out there and do a good job executing."
Reid on playing in his last ACC Tournament:
"There is a lot of emotions. Guys are going to go really hard. We all want a title, especially me since it's my last year. We got to the title game last year and that has given us a taste of it. Now we really want to win it and make history. I told the freshmen you can't be freshmen anymore. You've got to knock down open shots and play like you've been here before."
MVP of First Session: Miami's Reggie Johnson
The play of Johnson may be even more shocking than Miami or Virginia's upsets. The big man came into the tourney averaging 5.6 ppg and exploded for 22 without missing a single shot. He went 8 of 8 from the floor and 6 of 6 from the free throw line and added a couple assists.
If Johnson plays like that again, Miami will have a chance to beat VT in the last few minutes.
Miami 83, Wake Forest 62 Final
Hurricanes didn't just come away with an upset but dominated, which is a bigger surprise than Virginia beating BC. Nobody was expecting the the 'Canes to win by 21.
The big story here is Wake's lack of effort. They didn't just play bad. They didn't even seem to care. The Deacs had just six assists and were outrebounded despite having a big size advantage on the inside and Miami's top post player Dwayne Collins missing due to injury.
Miami, which boosted its NIT prospects with the W, will face Virginia Tech tomorrow in what should be a competitive game.
Miami 41, Wake Forest 27 Half
That dunk by DeQuan Jones right before the half is the play of the tourney so far. The freshman double pumped, seemed to almost stop in midair to avoid a defender flying by and then threw down with some power. Impressive stuff.
I'm thinking a Miami upset will boost FSU's RPI and Strength of Schedule a little more since the Seminoles beat Miami twice and beat Wake once in their lone meeting with the Deacs.
The most telling stat of the first half may be the fact that Wake has combined for only two assists, with both coming from point guard Ishmael Smith. It shows just how inactive their offense has been.
Miami 37, Wake Forest 26 3:23 left in first half
Certainly looks like we have upset No. 2 brewing here. Miami has dictated the pace from the start and is doing a much better job defensively.
Wake looks frustrated. Center Chas McFarland was just called for a loose ball, where he appeared to shove a Miami player under the basket.
Wake will probably make the NCAA tourney even if they lose - their non-conference resume is very strong - but tough to see this team even winning a first-round game right now. You get the feeling they peaked about a month ago and their confidence is shot.
Miami 13, Wake Forest 8 14:07 left in first half
Wake looks like the team who lost four straight before beating Clemson on Sunday - which gave FSU a first-round bye incidentally. Point guard Ishmael Smith is making bad decisions with the ball and they are gambling too much defensively.
Miami big man Dwayne Collins did not dress out due to injury but so far the other big men have been contributing and they haven't missed him.
The energy in the arena is starting to pick up, although all these Wake fans are waiting for something to cheer about.
Virginia 68 , Boston College 62 Final
Don't see anyway UVa can upset Duke in the next round, especially without Landesberg's offense. But it's a big W for a program that desperately needed some good news.
Virginia 58, Boston College 52 4:14 left
Bottom half of the arena is starting to fill up with a good number of Wake fans. The Deacs play Miami around 2 p.m.
I'm going to talk with Chris Singleton and Ryan Reid around 3:30. This will be Reid's fourth ACC tourney and I think it will be interesting to hear his take on how this one feels compared to the previous three.
Virginia 34, Boston College 27 Half
UVa point Sammy Zeglinski may have just had the best half of his life. He's got 16 points and is 4 of 7 from 3-point range.
The Cavs are doing a great job protecting the ball and staying patient as well, racking up nine assists and committing just two turnovers.
BC's Joe Trapani, the team's top scorer, has just two points and is 0 of 6 from the field.
If Zeglinksi keeps shooting like he is and Trapani doesn't turn things around the Cavs will be in the quarterfinals.
Virginia 29, Boston College 25 3:01 left in first half
BC is struggling to get open looks or create easy baskets. They look frustrated on both sides of the ball.
Game 1 - Boston College 23, Virginia 17 9:46 left in first half
Virginia is playing pretty well, considering their best player and one of the ACC's top scorers (Sylven Landesberg) is suspended. They look a lot looser than a team whose lost eight straight. Wouldn't be surprised if they pull the upset off.
Since FSU has the day off they are practicing at a nearby gym from 1:30 to 3:30. I'll be talking to a couple players afterwards and have some fresh quotes.
3/11/10: Andrew Skwara is in Greensboro to cover the ACC Tournament for Warchant.com. Here is his first story - a quick preview of FSU's possible first round opponents: Tall order for FSU in ACC Tournament
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