Saturday, January 12, 2008

ACC Weekend Predictions

Now that the awful mess that was ACC football is over, we can turn our attention to the conference's bread and butter, basketball.

NC State @ North Carolina 12:00 ESPN
Favorite: North Carolina
The Tar Heels look to continue their undefeated season with a win over triangle park rival NC State. The Wolfpack have been up and down this season with losses to New Orleans, but wins over Villanova. The Pack are led by freshman JJ Hickson and Brandon Costner down low. This should be an interesting matchup with Tyler Hansbrough down low. Where the Heels big advantage is going to be on the perimeter and especially at PG with Ty Lawson. This game will be a contrast of styles as UNC wants to get up and down the floor while NC State would rather slow it down and make it a half court game. The style that wins out will win the game.
Pick: North Carolina

Georgia Tech @ Miami 2:00 Raycom
Neither team was expected to contend for the conference title this year, but both have been surprising in their play thus far. Georgia Tech is struggling to stay above .500 while Miami has just 1 loss on the year. The Yellow Jackets are suffering from inexperience at the point and a lack of post power due to the loss of Re'sean Dickey for the season due to injury. The Hurricanes are led by G Jack McClintock and a defense allowing opponents to shoot just 38%.
Pick: Miami

Florida State @ Clemson 7:00
Favorite: Clemson
The Tigers are trying to avoid what has happened over the last two seasons - fast start, ugly finish with no NCAA Tournament berth. So far they are succeeding at both. Clemson has lost two in a row after starting 10-1. FSU plays a guard heavy lineup led by Toney Douglas, an Auburn transfer. The Noles are getting it done at the line this year leading the nation with 80% FT shooting. Clemson should be able to attack the Noles lack of size on the inside with James Mays.
Pick: Clemson

Virginia @ Duke 8:00 FSN Sunday
Favorite: Duke
The Cavaliers travel to Duke on Sunday night in the ACC opener for both. These teams are almost mirrors of each other statistically. Both teams score above 80 ppg and allow under 70 ppg. Both allow under 42% shooting by their opponents, but are above 40% themselves from behind the 3 point line. Duke will be without their big man Brian Zoubek who is out with a foot injury. The Cavaliers will need G Sean Singletary to have a big game to pull off the upset.
Pick: Duke

Season: 0-0
ACC: 0-0

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