ACC openers fill weekend hoops slate
Posted January 4, 2013
Updated January 5, 2013
As the 2013 ACC basketball season gets started Saturday and Sunday, familiar match-ups and road tests are on tap for the Triangle-area trio.
Duke and Wake Forest will tip at noon Saturday at Cameron Indoor Stadium to get conference play underway. The meeting will be the 238th in the series’ history – the most against any opponent for the Blue Devils. Duke has won the last five of those games and holds a 160-77 advantage all-time.
For Duke, they open ACC play at home looking to make amends for an unusual statistic from a year ago. While the Blue Devils went 8-0 on the road in conference play last season, they lost three times in Cameron to ACC opponents. The upperclassmen like Ryan Kelly have not forgot that.
“We feel like last year, we did not play well, especially on our home court,” Kelly said. “We played well on the road, but not at home and that’s something that we need to take care of.”
Saturday afternoon, NC State will take the court at Boston College following a perfect December that has the Wolfpack out to an 11-2 record.
Despite taking on an inferior Eagles team, the Pack coaching staff is looking for the veteran leaders to show the younger players that ACC play, no matter the opponent, is a different ball game – especially on the road.
“(The seniors) have been on the road everywhere in the league,” NC State said head coach Mark Gottfried. “They understand there are no easy ones. Last year we went to Boston College and won, but it wasn’t easy.”
North Carolina will wait until Sunday to begin their ACC season and will be doing so in Charlottesville to take on Virginia. The extra day will also give Reggie Bullock an extra day to recover from a concussion.
Bullock missed the UNLV game on Dec. 29 with a concussion that he suffered in a collision with teammate James Michael McAdoo in practice. The Tar Heels were able to beat UNLV without Bullock, but are hoping to have a full roster come Sunday.
“If he doesn’t have any headaches or any recurrence of symptoms that they worry about, I would expect him to completely practice tomorrow (Saturday),” UNC head coach Roy Williams said. “If he does the same thing after that, I would expect him to play Sunday. Everyone uses the term ‘cautiously optimistic’ so I guess that’s where we are.”
Other games across the conference Saturday to get things started in earnest are: Virginia Tech at Maryland, Miami at Georgia Tech, and Florida State at Clemson.