banner
Joe Ovies

ACC still a wide open affair

Posted January 15, 2013

Saturday's contest between NC State and Duke was such an impactful local sporting event that folks are still discussing peripheral issues left in its wake. There has been debate as to whether or not the win itself was an upset at all, if the Wolfpack will suffer a letdown against Maryland on Wednesday, if the result would have been the same had Ryan Kelly been healthy and whether or not Duke should still be considered the top team in the country based on their early season résumé. 

And, of course, there's the viral phenomenon of Will Privette, the wheelchair-bound NC State student who had the student body president push him into the center of the post-game pandemonium. Privette has done countless interviews, including a spot on "Today" with Matt Lauer, and inspired an officially licensed shirt with "Roll Pack" emblazoned on the front. 

All of this has taken attention away from what's happening in the rest of the ACC, which has been confusing to say the least. One could run themselves in circles trying to gauge where various teams stand at this point, so maybe all the talk about NC State and Duke is for the best.

Virginia, floated by the Sporting News to potentially finish second in the conference after a home win against North Carolina, was hit with a double-dose of head scratching losses to Wake Forest and Clemson. The Demon Deacons? They've got an opportunity to push their league record to 3-1 with a game against the Tigers Tuesday night. 

Georgia Tech was a trendy selection to make the NCAA Tournament because of its defensive play, but now the Yellow Jackets find themselves winless early in the conference slate. At one point Miami was thought to be in serious trouble because of Reggie Johnson's injury, but the Hurricanes have seen the emergence of Kenny Kadji and have reeled off wins against the Jackets, the Tar Heels, and Maryland. And those Terrapins? The shine has come off rather quickly despite a talented roster.

Of course, it's still too early to make sweeping generalizations about the ACC. All of the above simply illustrates why it's senseless to jump on or off any bandwagons in the middle of January. Don't be like Phillip Bridges, '86 graduate of North Carolina, who wrote a ridiculous letter to the Daily Tar Heel following a win over Florida State.

North Carolina certainly doesn't lack talent. Just compare their roster to programs outside of Durham and Raleigh. Most of them would be more than happy to take the court with that personnel. The issue is execution on both ends of the floor. Some of it relates to inexperience, which is why Marcus Paige has struggled. Most of it relates to staying focused, which manifested itself as North Carolina suffered defensive lapses as Florida State went 6-of-10 from beyond the arc in the 2nd half. However, the Tar Heels managed to avoid the same let downs against the Cavaliers and Hurricanes by absorbing the punches and closing the deal. 

That's why I never understood the existential crisis that unfolded in Chapel Hill following an 0-2 start in conference play. Ultimately, the stupidity of the ACC will save the Tar Heels from a potentially horrendous season. The key is for North Carolina to solidify on-court leadership from Reggie Bullock and PJ Hairston while actually learning some basketball IQ while the conference sorts itself out.

39 Comments

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Heelraiser RIP Jan 17, 1:20 p.m.

    Just like the radio show, Master of the Obvious, Joe is

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again01 Jan 16, 11:16 a.m.

    Miami is the team I'm most worried about as a Pack fan. They are big with, or without Johnson.... View More

    — Posted by Toddler10-21

    Miami is tough.

    But Maryland is, too, and we always have a hard time in their house. I'm still more worried about Maryland than Miami. Maryland is also the hangover game after the Duke win.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Jan 16, 7:24 a.m.

    Sports takes a back seat to Joe's first love --- pop culture.

    — Posted by heelsforever

    .....and Dead Horse Beating.

    — Posted by Hammerhead

    I thought it was his iPhone.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Jan 16, 7:23 a.m.

    Unfortunately, I beleive the State/Duke game solidified my view on the program this year..We... View More

    — Posted by packerbacker1976

    Sometimes very talented teams, which State is this year, have trouble "getting up" for weaker teams. I've seen this a lot with Carolina teams in the past. As a fan, it can be maddening, but I think most fans would rather be in your shoes this year than not. Gott is a good coach, and he can keep them focused, dangling the NCAAT carrot in front of them. I'm not looking forward to seeing the Heels play State this year, that's for sure.

  • Toddler10-21 Jan 16, 6:50 a.m.

    Miami is the team I'm most worried about as a Pack fan. They are big with, or without Johnson. They have soild guard play, and some athletes coming off the bench. Plus they have a solid coach. I think Duke will be fine with or without Kelly, because with more minutes Jefferson will be pretty good. Kelly can shoot the outside shot when open, buut they have enough shooters. Where they need help is on the inside. Plumlee can't be your only inside player. Miami will give alot of teams fits with there inside play.

  • Hammerhead Jan 16, 6:22 a.m.

    Sports takes a back seat to Joe's first love --- pop culture.

    — Posted by heelsforever

    .....and Dead Horse Beating.

  • packerbacker1976 Jan 16, 12:24 a.m.

    Unfortunately, I beleive the State/Duke game solidified my view on the program this year..We play to the level of our opponent. We have talent galore, enough to run with any team in the nation. But, they don't always show that enthusiasm and passion they showed for the Duke game. Look at the Okla St, BC and GT games. No talk, no hustle, no swagger= no win. Leslie and the group looked disinterested at best in being there. And that's not good this year in a down ACC. Honestly, beside Duke, State and Miami, everyone else looks weak. There are teams that have potential like UNC, FSU and Virginia if they can get everyone on the same page, to be successful. I think State is for real, but we will have letdowns against some weaker opponents, but I think if we make it to the big dance with a mid-range seed, we will be better off than being a 4 and playing an automatic-bid, weaker conference team that we don't get [uas][/u] pumped up for. I'd rather be a 7 or 8 and play a decent middle of the road power conference team with some name brand. I like Lunardi's board right now for the fact that we can face Kansas again. We owe them a little something. Go Pack!!!!!

  • unc70 Jan 15, 11:03 p.m.

    I think there is an even or slightly better chance that State will lose at MD and MD will then... View More

    — Posted by unc70

    unc70. Darn man. Where in the heck have you been lately? I had MD winning a few more in the A... View More

    — Posted by Hokies94

    Had a very busy and intense social calendar last week. We made it to the loss on Thursday, but not able to post afterward. Did finally post late in the main State-Duke story on the WP main page. Will wander over to the Den in a bit. Had to work late tonight catching up from my long "virtual" vacation.

    I still think nearly every ACC team will have 6 or more losses, nearly all on the road.

  • BattlingBishop 5 Jan 15, 10:40 p.m.

    Wait, let me get this straight. With three ACC games played by each team, and 15 still... View More

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again01

    lol

  • heelsforever Jan 15, 9:38 p.m.

    Sports takes a back seat to Joe's first love --- pop culture.

More...

 

 

  • ACC: North Carolina at Virginia

    Today at 12:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • World Series: Kansas City at San Francisco

    Tonight at 7:30 on FOX50

  • NFL: Seattle at Carolina

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Indianapolis at Pittsburgh

    Tomorrow at 4:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Big Ten: Michigan at Michigan State

    Today at 3:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • World Series: Kansas City at San Francisco

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Carolina Panthers vs. Seattle Seahawks

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
12:30pm Today
UVA
UNC
2:00pm Today
NCCU
SAVST
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
12:00pm Today
WISC
MD
12:00pm Today
SMU
MEM
12:00pm Today
ILL
MINN
12:00pm Today
RICE
UNT
12:00pm Today
NEB
RUTG
12:00pm Today
KST
TEX
12:00pm Today
ARK
UAB
12:30pm Today
UVA
UNC
1:00pm Today
EMICH
NILL
1:00pm Today
NAVY
SJST
2:00pm Today
BST
AKR
2:00pm Today
GASTATE
GASO
2:00pm Today
TOL
UMASS
2:00pm Today
WMICH
OHIO
2:00pm Today
COL
UCLA
2:30pm Today
UMO
KSU
3:30pm Today
WAKE
BC
3:30pm Today
BUF
CMICH
3:30pm Today
MARS
FATL
3:30pm Today
PITT
GT
3:30pm Today
SMISS
LATU
3:30pm Today
MSU
MICH
3:30pm Today
KENT
MSST
3:30pm Today
STAN
ORST
3:30pm Today
TCU
TTU
3:30pm Today
OKST
WVU
4:00pm Today
WKENT
ODU
4:00pm Today
UTST
UNLV
4:00pm Today
MIZZ
VANDY
5:00pm Tonight
UCF
TEMPL
6:00pm Tonight
WASU
ARZ
7:00pm Tonight
CLEM
SYR
7:00pm Tonight
LAMON
TXST
7:00pm Tonight
TXSANANTO
UTEP
7:00pm Tonight
COLST
WYO
7:15pm Tonight
LSU
MISS
7:30pm Tonight
TENN
ALA
7:30pm Tonight
AUB
SCAR
8:00pm Tonight
PSU
OSU
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
4:00pm Today
SJS
BUF
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
BOS
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
DET
7:00pm Tonight
OTT
NJD
7:00pm Tonight
MON
NYR
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CHI
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
PIT
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
TAM
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
2:00pm Today
NCCU
SAVST