Talking Points: Basketball Bermuda Triangle
Posted January 12, 2014
1. PNC Arena will host second and third round games of the 2014 NCAA Tournament. At the rate Duke and North Carolina are going, It's entirely possible the "home teams" we all thought would be sticking around for the opening rounds will be shipped elsewhere in March. No doubt event organizers are starting to sweat.
Throw in NC State and the locals are just 2-7 in the ACC after a full week of conference play. Fans are starting to look at college football national signing day and getting hype for baseball season just to feel optimistic about something.
2. Duke's woes with interior defense are well documented and it popped up Saturday against Clemson. KJ McDaniels, Jaron Blossomgame and Landry Nnoko powered the Tigers to 38 points in the paint and 17 second chance points. The Blue Devils were out-rebounded 48-30.
While the Blue Devils are who they are defensively, the offense should be good enough to keep them in the game. Duke short-circuited in the second instead, going just 8-for-32 from the field and none in the final 6:23 of the game.
"We are not a very good team," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said after the game.
The Blue Devils can be, even with their physical limitations. It will have to start with getting tougher defensively and not allowing teams the ability to drive with ease.
3. Syracuse and Pittsburgh are currently the only teams in the ACC living up to their preseason expectations. And don't think for a second the irony of imported Big East basketball taking care of business in the newly expanded ACC will go unnoticed by the national media.
After sustaining an early 15-11 lead by North Carolina, the Orange zone eventually put a stranglehold on the Tar Heels. With no production in the paint, an inability to get to the free throw line and little perimeter help for Marcus Paige, the outcome seemed inevitable.
4. After Virginia opened up a 21-4 lead of NC State by the first television timeout, the game was effectively over.
The Cavaliers made TJ Warren a non-factor. The sophomore made his only jumper with 5:14 left in the first half and finished 1-for-9 from the field.