View Full Version : The ACC Season - Midpoint re-evaluation

02-04-2012, 08:35 AM
Since most ACC teams have played 7-8 games, I thought it was a reasonable time to take a look at the ACC standings at (roughly) the midpoint of the season.

The non-surprises: Duke, UNC, and FSU at the top of the charts. It's probably a surprise to most to see FSU the true leader of this cluster, having beaten (brutalized) UNC and beaten (at Cameron) us. I would have expected FSU to have lost at least one of those two, but, there they are, their only loss being an embarrassment at Clemson, and ahead of us blue bloods on the head-to-head. My suspicion is that Duke, UNC, and FSU will battle for the top seed in the ACC Tournament right down to the wire.

Two big surprises follow: UVa at 5-2 and NCSU at 5-3 (very likely to be 6-3 after Wake comes to Raleigh today). UVa starts the second half of their season by going to FSU. I'd expect FSU to win that, but if UVa does, it puts the Cavs squarely in the top tier of the ACC. Whodathunk that at the beginning of the season? On the flip side, if UVa loses, they also have to face a game at UNC coming up shortly (likely going from 5-2 to 6-4 quickly). NCSU has a good chance to be 7-3 coming to Cameron, but then they have Duke, UNC, and FSU in a 3 game murderer's row. Still, with that tough stretch behind them, if they're 7-6 with three winnable games to go, they're doing better than many would have expected.

The next cluster is Miami, Maryland, and Clemson. Miami at 4-3 (hopefully 4-4 by Monday) is doing okay mainly by beating really crappy teams, but at least they're winning more than they're losing against those teams. Maryland is interesting, improving with Stoglin and Len, but obviously a limited team. Clemson is a bit of a disappointment, but still has signs of life.

Finally, it gets ugly. It was pretty well expected that the bottom of the ACC would be the biggest group of atrocious that the conference has seen in, well, ever. What wasn't expected was for VT to be in that group. But there they are, providing a fourth for Wake, BC, and Ga Tech.

On the whole, I see the biggest surprises as Virginia, NCSU, and (on the flip side) Va Tech.

02-04-2012, 08:43 AM
Nice article, and a good summary of the first half's results.

One thing I'd mention is that lots of folks, including me, thought that the bottom of the conference would be worse than it has been. BC was supposed to be completely dreadful, there were questions about how much Wake would improve, and Ga Tech was full of question marks. Yes, Va Tech has fallen down into the bottom group unexpectedly, but I'd argue that the trio that most had picked to be at the bottom have actually played better and pulled off a few wins that not many folks were expecting. They're still far from as strong as we're used to the bottom teams being, but they're not the complete cupcakes that we thought they'd be.

Bob Green
02-04-2012, 09:02 AM
Virginia is a team to keep a close eye upon during the second half of the conference schedule. They have the best player in the ACC in Mike Scott and a solid supporting cast with guys such as Joe Harris, Sammy Zeglinski and Jontel Evans. Those two elements make the Cavaliers a dangerous team. Do I think they are a threat to win the regular season? No. But they are a team that should compete for a bye in the ACCT and could win the whole darn thing. Assane Sene returning to action could be key.

Coach Tony Bennett's squad has a brutal schedule upcoming with two games each against FSU and UNC so it will be vital for the Cavaliers to maintain focus and win all their games against the middle of the pack and bottom tier teams: Wake Forest, Clemson, Maryland (twice) and Virginia Tech. Three of those five games are on the road.

Today's trip to Tallahassee should tell us a lot.