Showing posts with label ACC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ACC. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Top 25 Roundup (late games): Clemson Dumped; Duke Tops Terps

Virginia Tech 80, #12 Clemson 77

Malcolm Delaney scored 26 points for the Hokies as Virginia Tech (17-10, 7-6) made its case for inclusion in the NCAA field. It was just the second win for the Hokies over a ranked opponent, though both wins came on the road. Back on Jan. 21, the Hokies stunned then-#1 Wake Forest, 78-71.

Virginia Tech's road to the tournament gets tougher, however, as their remaining ACC games are against Duke, North Carolina and Florida State.

Villanova 74 DePaul 72

The Wildcats won for the 9th time in 10 games, holding on for a Big East win over the DePaul Blue Demons. Villanova improved to 11-4 in the conference and 23-5 overall.

Michigan St. 62, Iowa 54

Tom Izzo used his entire bench, getting scoring from 9 different players, as the Spartans maintained their lead in the Big 10 at 12-3. a hame and a half better than 10-4 Purdue.

Delvin Roe scored 16 points on 6-7 shooting for Michigan State.

#7 Duke 78, Maryland 67

Duke's defenders held Greivis Vasquez to just 10 points, as the Blue Devils dampened Maryland's NCAA invitation hopes, beating the Terps,

Maryland dropped to 6-7 in the ACC (17-10 overall), while Duke moved to within a game of league leading North Carolina (10-3), at 9-4. Gerald Henderson had another solid game, leading the Blue Cevils with 19 points.

In Big 12 action, #11 Missouri cruised past Kansas State, 94-74, getting 22 points from DeMarre Carroll, who led 5 players in double figures for the Tigers. Carroll also corralled 13 boards.

#25 Texas topped Texas Tech, 87-81. A.J. Abrams scored 24 and Damion James had 20 and 12 boards.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Duke Tops Wake Forest, 101-91

Gerald Henderson scored a season-high 35 points, and Jon Scheyer tossed in 30, as the Duke Blue Devils avenged an earlier 70-68 loss, and breaking out of a funk that had seen them lose four of their last seven conference games, whipping Wake Forest, 101-91.

Despite shooting 61% (36-59) for the game, the Demon Deacons found themselves trailing the Blue Devils by 11 at the break, 51-40, but stage a second half comeback.

Jeff Teague and James Johnson, who finished with 28 and 26, respectively, led the rally, cutting the advantage to 3 points on a couple of occasions and down to two with 9 1/2 minutes left, but by 5:21 left, despite their gaudy shooting percentage, they found themselves down 8 points, 88-80.

Duke was being led throughout by Henderson and Scheyer, plus 20 points from their productive bench. Duke also held a massive free throw advantage, hitting on 27 of 36 attempts, to Wake's 14 of 16.

The Deacons only began to wilt in the late stages. Gerald Henderson put a deep nail in the coffin with a three-pointer with 3:07 to go, which made the score 93-82.

Duke joined Florida State and Clemson at 8-4, in pursuit of 10-3 North Carolina, with Wake dropping to 7-5 in the conference.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

ACC: Vasquez Goes for 35 as Terrapins Upset Tar Heels

Maryland's Greivis Vasquez went for a season-high 35 points, as the Maryland Terrapins ended North Carolina's 10-game win streak, 88-85 on Saturday afternoon at the Comcast Center in Maryland.

The Terps struggled through a 32%-shooting first half, but rallied to close to within two points with a minute left when Eric Hayes scored on a driving layup. Then, following an empty Carolina possession, Vasquez tied the game with 11 seconds left on a running hook shot, sending the battle into overtime at 76-76.

In the extra period, Maryland grabbed a 3-point lead on a Vasquez triple, but Ty Lawson retied the game with a long-range bomb of his own, 81-81, half way through the OT.

But, it was Vasquez who responded with a big three with 1:15 left. After Ty Lawson hit a pair of free throws with 35.3 left, the Tar Heels knew they had to foul, a dangerous call against the 77% free throw shooting Terrapins. Carolina let time run down to 11.3 before fouling Hayes, who stepped up and made a pair for an 86-83 lead.

Up three, Maryland chose to foul Wayne Ellington, who dropped in two freebies at 5.9, making it a one-point game.

Vasquez was fouled on the inbounds pass at 5.4, but the ACC free throw leader calmly knocked down another two, for his game high 35 points. Carolina could not get a shot off as time ran out.

Vasquez, who had 16 in the first half, finished with 13-24 shooting, 5-10 from 3-point land, while also dishing 10 assists and grabbing 11 rebounds for the rare triple double.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Xavier Humbled Again; Duke Wins in NY

For the third time in their last four games, the Xavier Musketeers have fallen to an Atlantic-10 foe, falling, 65-60, at Charlotte, dropping them a game behind the 10-2 Dayton Flyers in the conference standings at 9-3.

With an overall record of 21-5, there's no panic for Xavier securing an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, but their path to an automatic berth looked much better just 12 days ago, before road losses to Duquesne, Dayton and Charlotte.

C.J. Anderson was the only Xavier player to tally double figures, scoring 13. The Musketeers still have opportunities to get back on track with games against St. Joseph's and Dayton still remaining.

Duke Cruises Past St. John's

The Duke Blue Devils opened up an 11-point lead by halftime and coasted to a 76-69 win at St. John's.

Gerald Henerson was the game's high scorer with 19, tallying 11 from the charity stripe. Jon Scheyer had 18, Kyle Singler, 15.

Duke is 21-5 overall and 7-4 in the ACC, but trails 10-2 North Carolina for the conference lead.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

ACC Wrap: Duke Bounced by BC; Tar Heels win 9th Straight

The Duke Blue Devils have been through rough stretches before, but the past 18 days and nights have turned the team inside out. Beginning with a January 28 loss at Wake Forest, Duke has dropped four of their last six games, culminating in Sunday night's 80-74 loss at Boston College. In between, the #6 Blue Devils lost to Clemson and arch-rival North Carolina.

Sunday's setback wasn't exactly a thing of beauty, but it was a huge win for BC, as Tyrese Rice made big plays down the stretch in a 21-point effort, aided by Vermont transfer Joe Trapani's 20.

Kyle Singler topped the scoring ladder with 25, but the absence of production from Duke's back court - Jon Scheyer and Greg Paulus - was notable. Paulus had just 2 points and 2 assists in 25 minutes, while Scheyer was completely off his game, scoring 8 points on horrific 3-of-12 shooting, including 0-for-6 on three-pointers.

Duke dropped to 7-4 in ACC play and 20-5 overall. The Eagles, meanwhile, improved to 7-5 and 19-8, and now hold wins over duke and North Carolina, despite a pair of losses to Wake Forest and another to Clemson.

Tar Heels Slip Past Hurricanes

Ty Lawson made a 25-foot three-pointer with 11.2 seconds remaining and hit a pair of free throws with 2.5 left to seal a 69-65 North Carolina win at Miami.

Lawson's 21 pointed paced the Tar Heels, as they held off a determined Hurricane squad led by Jack McClinton's 35-point effort. Virtually unstoppable, McClinton hit 13 of 24 field goals, including 7-of-12 from 3-point range. McClinton's tally was a season high, eclipsing the 34 points he scored in his last game, a 78-75 loss at Duke on February 7. He scored 32 in the game just prior to that, a 79-52 thrashing of Wake Forest on February 4.

After playing three straight top-ranked teams in a row, life gets a bit easier for the Hurricanes, though not by much. They play at Florida State on Wednesday before returning home to face Boston College on Saturday. Miami is 15-9 overall, but just 4-7 in the ACC.

#3 North Carolina improved to 23-2 and 9-2 in league play. They lead the ACC by 2 games over Duke.

Clemson Stunned in OT at Virginia, 85-81

The Clemson Tigers ran into a buzz-saw in Virginia as the Cavaliers took the game into overtime and eventually prevailed, 85-81, as the Tigers missed crucial shots in the extra session.

The Tigers and Cavaliers traded leads throughout the game, which finished at a 74-all tie at the end of regulation. Virginia's Sylven Landesberg was awesome throughout the game, but especially in overtime, hitting a key layup which gave the Cavaliers an insurmountable lead late in the period.

Landesberg led the scoring parade with 23 points. Mike Scott chipped in with a double-double: 18 points and 10 rebounds. Virginia shot 53% for the game; Clemson was limited to 42% on 28 of 66 shooting.

The #12 Tigers lost for just the 4th time this season, all in the ACC. The previous losses were to conference powerhouses North Carolina, Wake Forest and Florida State. They are now 20-4 overall and 6-4 in the conference.

8-13 Virginia won just their second conference game against 8 losses.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tar Heels Gallop Past Duke, 101-87

The annual face-off between Duke and North Carolina at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham was a game with meaning, as two of the top-rated teams in the country turned traded blows. Carolina pulled away late for a convincing win.

Duke, ranked #6 in the latest AP Poll, took a 52-45 lead into halftime, but the #3 Tar Heels stormed back in the second half, outscoring the Blue Devils 25-13 to start the 2nd stanza. North Carolina finally assumed the lead on a Wayne Ellington 3-pointer midway through the second half and extended their edge to 4 points on Ed Davis' short jumper.

Ellington's make was timely, being the only three made from seven he threw up. Carolina maintained their edge from there and expanded it to 78-71, when Ty Lawson hit a pair of jumpers 15 seconds apart with just over 7 minutes left. After Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough hit his only attempt at a 3-pointer at 13:58, making it 83-71, the Cameron Crazies were silenced and North Carolina had cemented their credentials as the class of the ACC.

Lawson led all scorers with 25 points on sharp 8-11 shooting and 9-9 from the free throw line. Kyle Singler led the Blue Devils with 22. Jon Scheyer had 20.

The Tar Heels had five in double figures plus Bobby Frasor with 9. Carolina improved to 22-2 overall, and first place in the ACC at 8-2. Duke dropped to 20-4 and 7-3.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Spartan Defense Clamps Down on Wolverines, 54-42

Michigan State improved to 10-2 in the Big 10 and 20-4 overall, holding Michigan to 35% shooting in a 54-42 road win.

Freshman Delvon Roe scored 14 points and had 10 boards in a season-high effort. Kalin Lucas led the Spartans with 15 points.

It was Michigan State's third straight win and also the third straight game in which their opponent has tallied 47 or fewer points. The Spartans are a perfect 18-0 when holding their opponent to 67 points or less.

Michigan St. leads Ohio State and Illinois by 2 1/2 games in the conference, seeking its first Big 10 title since 2001.

Elsewhere, #25 Florida St. shot a blistering 71% in a 48-point second half, cruising past Virginia, 58-67. #12 Clemson rolled past Boston College, 87-77.

Jodie Meeks hit a pair of free throws in the final minute and banged home a three-pointer with 9.8 seconds remaining to give Kentucky a 68-65 win over the Florida Gators in a key SEC matchup. Florida's Nick Calathes poured in 33 points but misfired on all three potentially game-tying free throws with 1 second left. Meeks led the Wildcats with 23.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Duke is a Fluke

Every year about this time, we see the Duke Blue Devils ranked high in the polls. It's just one of those NCAA customs we're so used to. As long as Coach K is at the front of the bench, the Blue Devils are supposed to put on the floor one of the best teams in college basketball.

Currently, the 8-0 Blue Devils are ranked #6 in the AP Poll and #7 in the USA Today/ESPN poll. Chances are good that this is as high as they'll get because this 2007-08 version is not a powerhouse, nor will they challenge for supremacy in the ACC. They're just not that good.

OK, I hear the Cameron Crazies now. "We just beat Wisconsin by 24 points and we beat Marquette in the Maui Invitational."

Right. And you slipped by Davidson by 6 this past Saturday.

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The remainder of the month is pretty cushy, with only three games total and two that will have much meaning. Michigan comes to Cameron this Saturday and a December 20 game at Pittsburgh are the big ones. The Devils could win both of those, or lose both. It won't matter. They'll still be ranked in the Top 10. Everybody likes Duke, or, they're being kind to them, at least.

The real action begins on January 13, when the ACC schedule begins. Last year, Duke didn't do well, and while the conference doesn't look that strong, there are some teams that are loaded. Virginia, Maryland, Boston College and North Carolina will each pose a problem to Duke.

Why Duke is not that good? First they're thin, having just lost Junior guard Marty Pocious to season-ending surgery. A swingman, Pocius could play either guard or forward, but won't be missed too badly, as he was averaging only 8 minutes per game. The bench is going to be needed, however, and two starters, Greg Paulus and Lance Thomas, have taken early exits in a number of games. Paulus, the playmaker, is averaging just 3.8 assists per game, while Thomas is only hitting the boards for 2.8 rebounds per contest.

Up front, the Blue Devils are not very big nor experienced. Kyle Singler, who leads the team in scoring and rebounding, is, like Thomas, 6-8. They can bring in sophomore 7-1 Brian Zoubek for added height, but he's not very mobile and has seen limited action.

The Blue Devils also rely on the three-pointer quite heavily. Jon Scheyer, Taylor King and Paulus are all shooting over 47% from beyond the arc, but they're heaving up more than 20 per game. Also, the free-throws aren't falling as easily as they could be. Against Marquette the Blue Devils shot 70%. In the win over Davidson, it was 60%.

Duke is a good team, but not one to hang one's March destiny upon. Enjoy the Top Ten ranking for now, because in about 6 weeks, it will be nothing but a fond memory.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Hot Game Picks for Conference Tourneys

With the major conference tourneys underway, the focus shifts to Madison Square Garden, site of the Big East games, LA's Staples Center for the PAC-10, the Georgia Dome for the SEC, Chicago's United Center (Big 10), the Ford Center in Oklahoma City (Big 12) and the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa for the ACC tourney. But first, two more teams snatched up automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament last night:

Central Connecticut State 74 Sacred Heart 70 - The Blue Devils of Central Connecticut got big games from their upperclassmen guards, junior Tristan Blackwood and senior Javier Mojica, who combined to hit 9 of 16 3-pointers and tally 46 points overall. Those efforts led to a win over Sacred Heart in the finals of the Northeast Conference tournament and the right to play on in March. Central Connecticut was easily the class of the conference at 16-2, with a 22-11 record overall.Sports Training Products

The Blue Devils look very much like a one-and-done kind of team, as their record prior to conference play was an underassuming 3-9, with losses to such stellar powerhouses as St. Bonaventure, Lehigh and Harvard (you really have to work to lose to an Ivy League team). Wherever these guys get seeded, they should at least be able to generate some offense. They scored 70 or more points in 11 of their last 13 games.

Weber St. 88 Northern Arizona 80 - Out in the Big Sky, a trio of scorers -
Dezmon Harris (20 points), Juan Pablo Silviera (21) and David Patten (22) - led the Wildcats to victory in the championship game. Weber St. and No. Arizona had tied for first place in the regular season at 11-5, but the Wildcats shot a blistering 66% (29-44) from the field, opened up a 16-point halftime lead and coasted home.

The Wildcats had already beaten the Lumberjacks twice during conference play, so completing the trifecta was a crowing achievement. They finish up at 20-11 and played just one then-ranked team, losing to Washington in December, 80-51.

Conference Tourney Scores -

Big East
Syracuse 78 Connecticut 65
#18 Marquette 76 St. John's 67
Villanova 75 DePaul 67
West Virginia 92 Providence 79

Washington 59 Arizona St. 51
California 70 Oregon St. 51

Today's Tourney Picks
12:00 pm Florida St. vs. Clemson (-1.5) - Take the Seminoles to move on. Al Thornton scored a career high 45 points in the season finale over Miami. The senior forward is a big time scorer and leader. Clemson won their regular season tilts, 68-66, and 71-58 at Clemson, but Florida St. will have home fans on hand in Tampa. Look for Toney Douglas to add some spark for Florida State.

12:00 pm Georgetown (-5) vs. Villanova - End of the line for the Wildcats. If they lose, their 23-10 record could still be good enough to get a bid. The Hoyas are too big up front and should blow 'Nova away.

1:00 pm Kentucky (-4) vs. Alabama - The Wildcats are no great shakes and Alabama's late season woes are also well-documented. Both teams collapsed late in the season, losing 5 of their final 7 games. The only meeting this season was at Alabama, where the Tide prevailed, 72-61. There's a good chance that neither of these teams will make the field of 65. In what should be an ugly (but close) game, you must take the points.

2:00 pm Notre Dame (-1.5) vs. Syracuse - The Orangemen got hot at the right time, winning 5 straight before dropping their season finale at Villanova. Their win yesterday over UConn was a nice start and they're fully loaded for this one. The Irish beat them 103-91 at the Carrier Dome earlier in the season, one of only three Notre Dame Big East road wins. The Irish ride a 5-game win streak and look good off the first round bye. Tough call, as the Irish don't generally play well at the Garden, but they have the firepower to prevail. Syracuse should get a bid even if they lose here.

3:00 pm Arizona (-2) vs. Oregon - Arizona struggled through the PAC-10 schedule, but won 5 of their last 7 to finish 10-8. One of those wins was a 77-74 win on February 10 at Oregon. Following that game, the Wildcats lost at home to USC and UCLA, but finished up with three straight road wins. Oregon also lost their first meeting, 79-77 at Arizona, so they really are up against it. I'm taking the Ducks to pull off the upset. They can't be too happy losing two close games to the Wildcats.

7:00 pm Duke (-9.5) vs. North Carolina State - The Blue Devils have struggled all season mostly because they don't have a third scoring threat after DeMarcus Nelson and Greg Paulus. Duke finished with losses to Maryland and at North Carolina and are really not on the bubble, though they should be. They crushed NC State back in January, 79-56, and the Wolfpack has been a blowout victim to most of the better teams in the ACC. Duke should handle this one with ease.

9:45 pm Tennessee (-2) vs. LSU - LSU has Big Baby Glen Davis in the middle, but the Vols have Chris Lofton on the perimeter and he should prove to be the decisive factor. Tennessee closed out the regular season with four straight wins including triumphs over Alabama and Florida, so they are rarin' to go and should seal a tourney bid with a win here. The last meeting between these two resulted in a 70-67 Volunteer win. At 16-14, LSU must win the tournament to get an NCAA bid, but dreams die hard this time of year.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Cavaliers streaking through ACC; Bruins back on top of Pac-10 heap

Virginia 68 Duke 66 - The Virginia Cavaliers won their 5th straight ACC game - and the second consecutive over a ranked opponent - beating #8 Duke in overtime. After winning at #25 Clemson on Sunday, the Cavaliers returned home for the Blue Devils, rallying from 7 points down at the half to tie the game at 61 and then win it on Sean Singletary's shot with one second left. Singletary, who scored 17, also hit the game-tying shot in regulation.

The Cavaliers were led by the man with the best name on Tobacco Road, J. R. Reynolds, who had 25 points, including 10 of 11 free throws. Neither team could find the range from beyond the arc. Duke hit 5-18 (28%), while Virginia managed only 4-13 (31%). The win moved Virginia past Duke in the ACC standings and into a tie for second place (6-2) with Boston College and Virginia Tech. Duke fell to 5-3 in conference play.

Washington St. 72 Arizona 66 - #20 Arizona lost for the 6th time in 8 games and their 2nd straight at home as Washington State completed a sweep of the Wildcats for the first time in 24 years. The Cougars improved to 18-4 and into a tie with Oregon and USC at 7-3 for 2nd place in the Pac-10. UCLA leads the conference at 8-2.

The #18 Cougars shot 51% from the field, including 7-14 3-pointers and 9-9 free throws. Senior forward Ivory Clark scored 18, hitting 7 of his 9 shots.

The loss dropped Arizona to 14-7 and 5-5 in the conference.

UCLA 69 Oregon 57 - The Bruins are very tough at Pauley Pavilion. Ranked #5 in the nation, UCLA has not lost at home this season, making the #9 Oregon Ducks their 11th straight victim on Pauley's legendary hardwood last night.

The Bruins avenged a 68-66 loss at Oregon on January 6, took sole possession of 1st place in the conference and cemented their claim as one of the best defensive teams in the country. The Ducks were limited to 39% shooting while the Bruins hit 57% (28-49, 8-14 3s).

UCLA's backcourt did most of the offensive damage. Darren Collison scored 12 points and dished 4 assists. Arron Afflalo led the Bruins with 17, while forward Luc Mbah a Moute added 15 points and 12 rebounds.

USC 73 Oregon State 56 - The unranked Trojans had five players in double figures and improved to 7-3 in the Pac-10 and 17-6 overall but have a tough week ahead. On Saturday, they host #9 Oregon and then travel to #5 UCLA on Wednesday. If they can win at least one of those games, the Trojans have a legitimate chance of breaking back into the Top 25.