TWO DUKIES PICK THE ACC
Volume X, Number XVI – January 9, 2007
Welcome to this edition of the tenth (it's crossed the line from generating wan smiles to causing outright grimaces of pain), yes, we said tenth, season of Two Dukies Pick the ACC. Rob and Matt invite you to sit back, lament the fact that the guards ERRRR I mean the inmates in Columbus won't get their daily doughnut fix, keep it down so as not to disturb Bangkok civil servants, and try to keep from nodding off yourself over the offal below.
The TWO DUKIES name and material are, for some absurd reason, affiliated with http://www.dukies.com, and for even more preposterous purposes, copyright 2006-2007 Rigel Enterprises, Ltd. All rights reserved, including the right to offend as we see fit.
Matt's comments in blue.
Rob Mac K's selections in green.
#17 CLEMSON (16-0, 2-0) @ NORTH CAROLINA STATE (10-5, 0-2)
Clemson, shockingly, is now Division I's only unbeaten team. And North Carolina State is just about the only team in the ACC that can guarantee that the Tiggers will not be challenged on the road to blemish their perfect record. However, there is that whole "Clemson in the state of North Carolina" thing to consider . . . it's not just Chapel Hill where they can't win.
Clemson 74, North Carolina State 60.
Clemson 78, North Carolina State 58.
BOSTON COLLEGE (10-4, 2-0) @ WAKE FOREST (9-5, 1-1)
The Hurryclowns should be really embarrassed that they've already boosted the Dorcons to a third of last season's win total, and Wake's win came on the road, no less. Yikes. Boston College, for its past, goofed through its OOC schedule, but now appears to be taking the season seriously. The Sugar Plum Fairies will take this one, or at least, I sure hope they do, because we'll be treated to a raft of "Prosser is a genius"-type stories and "surprising Wake Forest" references from the ACC beat media otherwise.
Boston College 73, Wake Forest 65.
Boston College 71, Wake Forest 63.
#11 DUKE (13-2, 0-1) @ GEORGIA TECH (11-4, 0-2)
So what can we talk about here? Well, that Captain Morgan ad where the guy skipping his SO's cousin's wedding benefits from a whole bar full of patrons faking the sounds of various TV shows is awesome. "According to the Turkish prime minister, the economic situation . . . ." Love it. That's the best ad I've seen in over a year, I'd say. Why can't they turn out more like that? Every ad should be funny, except the PSA that I'm going to have to do to apologize for any apparent trivialization of fetal alcohol syndrome during the remainder of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome's career. *That* should be a somber affair.
Hey, 24 starts Sunday! That's cool. I have missed my Jack and Chloe fix.
Well, the good news is that one of these teams is going to leave the Whopper Dome with its first ACC win. The bad news is, in order to prevent mass suicides among Duke's online fans, that's going to require Georgia Tech going 0-3 at the start of the season.
Possible? Sure. The freshmen are clearly rattled by the schedule that they've played, and losing Clinch to a suspension certainly doesn't help. His absence means that Young and Crittendon will be called upon to increase their scoring load, and Hewitt might turn back to Anthony Morrow, who has been shunted aside in favor of the new blood, and has the lousy stats to prove it.
As I discussed last time out, and Iceman mentioned as well, one of Duke's big advantages this season, which enabled the Blue Devils to stay in the game against VPI despite a heroic effort to hand the Chokies a near-blowout, is rebounding margin. Tech is even better in that category, although this is of course a function of the opponents a team has played. Although it appears that the BugThugs have contended mostly with small teams this season, as it happens, this area is definitely one where Duke needs to show up strong, because the Ambercoats have size at every position.
I don't know what blame can be heaped on Paulus that hasn't already. A Division I point guard can simply not turn in that kind of offensive zerohood while constituting a defensive liability to boot. He should be benched to start this game and be forced to earn his way back into the starting lineup. Unfortunately, Tech's size in the backcourt makes this a poor candidate for a bounceback game from Paulus, although Crittendon is at least not cat-quick - - but he is big. I guess Huey is going with Mouhammad Faye at the other guard spot - - he doesn't have too many other candidates, since he seems to have lost confidence in the semi-injured Morrow and doesn't seem to want to start Mario West. Also encouraging, for Duke fans, is that Clemson outboarded Tech 15-9 on the offensive glass, and forced 17 turnovers against a Jacket squad that has shown a tendency to be careless with the ball.
This is an excellent game to unleash McRoberts and Zoubek together down low, and if I sound like a broken record, I apologize, but at least it's a broken record that is supposed to sound good. Ra'Sean Dickless is not a good post defender, cannot move his feet well, and no one else on the BugThug roster can guard Duke's two big men. DeMarcus Nelson needs to continue his clutch play, and Scheyer, who is 4-20 in his last four games from arcland, needs to rediscover his shot.
Remember, Duke almost won that VPI game in spite of one of the worst turnover margins in the Krzyzewski era and a terrible performance at the stripe. The Hamburglar Haven does not afford a huge homecourt advantage, so hopefully, Duke will not be sporting any deer-in-the-halogen looks in what is (sigh) the Blue Devils' first true road game of the season - - on January 10. That has GOT to stop, but it won't.
I think that many adjustments have probably been made in practice since Saturday's debacle. Let's put it this way - - when K openly criticizes one of his favorite players to the extent that he quite honestly ripped Paulus in the postgame presser, and only plays the same guy for 18 minutes in the absence of foul trouble, you know that the problem has been identified. Duke could respond with a huge effort here, as the immovable object of the Blue Devil defense meets the hopefully resistible force of a high-octane BugThug attack, slows it down, hits the key shots (including those at the line) and shepherds the ball enough to ensure a win.
Duke 75, Georgia Tech 72.
Duke 73, Georgia Tech 69.
VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC (11-4, 2-0) @ NORTH CAROLINA-GREENSBORO (7-8, 4-2 Southern North)
What a letdown game this is - - the Chokies come into Cameron, avenge the Dockery Heave, and now they get to play UNC-G on the road? P.S., can the Southern Conference please slow down already? We're just getting started here and they've already played six conference games. I'm suddenly glad we're not "Two Sparties Pick The SoCon," or something, but then, I'm usually glad about that. Surly Seth bags another win in the Piedmont.
Virginia Polytechnic 79, North Carolina-Greensboro 62.
Virginia Polytechnic 74, North Carolina-Greensboro 58.
MIAMI (FL) (8-8, 1-1) @ MARYLAND, COLLEGE PARK (14-2, 0-1)
I see that the coaches put the Twerps in at #25 in this week's poll - - what's that all about, worthy scions? I guess beating the murderers' row of UMKC, American (by only 12, 66-54, at home), Mt. St. Mary's, Siena, and Iona really won a lot of voters over.
It's amusing to me how Sweaty has gone completely minimalist this season - - see also 2002 - - and his team is winning, if against less-than-sterling compo. Basically, the Human Shower just turns in his lineup card and grabs a pina colada with his traveling entourage of Dewey Beach hos, trusting that Stawberry, Jones, Gimme Da Gist, General Greivis, and Ibekwe can get it done with token support from La Bamba, Eric Hayes, and Parrish Brown, the latter two of which must see a court-ordered shrink every week because they don't have exotic-sounding names. At this point, the Twerpies have lost to Notre Dame and Boston College, and their best win came against, well, I guess Illinois, although the Illini have lost to everyone good that they've played and are already in a two-strike hole in the Big Ten standings.
And then, in this corner, we have Miami, which is struggling to adjust to the nettlesome fact that Diaz and Hite are getting their mail . . . well, somewhere, presumably (should I mail them something to find out, like a cc of my letter to ESPN.com explaining to them what a "team rebound" is?), and this team can't snatch a board from a nonagenarian without Anthony King. ATTENTION JACK MCCLINTON: You don't want to take 20 shots and generate 13 points.
It's never fun to pick Scaryland to win anything, but in this case, it's just necessary!
Maryland, College Park 80, Miami (FL) 69.
Maryland, College Park 72, Miami (FL) 58.
VIRGINIA (9-4, 1-0) @ #1 NORTH CAROLINA-CHAPEL HILL (14-1, 1-0)
I don't get why guys like Loveable Len can always design the most amazing game plan you've ever seen against Duke, but when it comes time to play those frightening Tools, they run babbling for the hills, cowed into a mess of goo by the Twinks' dazzling manhood. Trailing 36-30 at the half and having limited Fetal Alcohol Syndrome to five points (and one uncalled travel per possession), you would think that Len would have figured out to make a few adjustments, reinforce the excellent scheme he was employing to deny Handbag the ball, and go from there. Instead, the offense becomes Oochie Koochie Echefu for three (huh??), Swann tosses up a few board-crushing bricks, and all of a sudden the Footmen are deep into the transition section of their playbook, throwing down easy shots at will.
I just don't get it. Incidentally, Horseface made no terrfiying adjustments of his own at the half, other than nailing QT's uniform to the bench and laughing at Brando's combover.
As for Virginia, their loss to twelfth-tier Pac-10 powerhouse Stanford - - I guess Trent Johnson is NOT the next Dan Monson, there, Matty - - was inexcusable. I do like the look of the new building, however, and the fans seemed to be into the game; at least in Virginia's case (this is also true of USC), the new arena cannot be criticized for blunting some sort of homecourt advantage enjoyed in the predecessor facility (guilty of this: UMCP, NCSU). Close Encounters Coliseum was awful.
So what went wrong against the Trees? I have no idea, but I can tell you that Lameo won't have any guess how to contain the Twinks beneath the sea of dirty rafters laundry at the DumpDome. 9-5, here you come!
North Carolina-Chapel Hill 100, Virginia 80.
North Carolina-Chapel Hill 83, Virginia 71.
Last Edition: Rob 3-3 (0.500) Matt 3-3 (0.500) Guests 2-4 (0.333) This Season: Rob 16-4 (0.800) Matt 16-4 (0.800) Guests 3-4 (0.429) TD in Guest Editions 5-3 (0.625)