Saturday, January 23, 2010

Duke-Clemson Prediction and Other ACC Basketball Picks For Jan 23

I would like to be the first to say, I had the ACC right this season. I mean, who didn't see North Carolina with three losses and in 11th place? Who really thought Virginia would not be undefeated in ACC play and on top by two games?

Parity reigns in the ACC right now and while most college basketball fans don't consider the season to have become important until Duke and North Carolina play, I forge ahead with some predictions for this weekend.

Boston College at Virginia Tech 1:30 ET
Who can figure the Eagles out this season? Obviously not Al Skinner whose team has road wins over Michigan and Miami, but losses to Maine and Harvard. Seth Greenberg is doing a nice job again in Blacksburg and should have his team in NCAA Tournament contention again. I like the Hokies at home where they are 9-0 this season.
Pick: Virginia Tech

Virginia at Wake Forest 4:00 ET
Tony Bennett has his club in first place in his first season in Charlottesville winning their first three ACC games and eight of their last 10 overall. The Deacons throttled the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill and have just one home loss on the season.

Virginia has been such a surprise because of their ability to shoot the three. But Wake is one of the best at defending the arc allowing opponents to hit just 26 percent.
Pick: Wake Forest

NC State at Maryland 6:00 ET
The Wolfpack pulled off a stunner beating Duke soundly in Raleigh this week. Now they take their show on the road to face second place Maryland.

The Terps have just one home loss this season to William & Mary (what is it with 'Ol Bill and Mary; they also beat Wake?). State has done fairly well on the road with three wins including a conference victory at FSU.

The Wolfpack will need another great defensive effort to stop Greivis Vasquez and the speedy Terrapins who are averaging 81 points per game. I think Maryland's scorers are too much at home.
Pick: Maryland

Duke at Clemson 9:00 ET
The fact that ESPN Gameday is at Clemson shows how the balance of power has brought elite teams like Duke back to the pack. The Tigers showed more athleticism and will power last year in dominating the Devils like they hadn't been in a long time.

Both teams play great defense so I would expect a half court grinder. Just like last year, Clemson has more athleticism and has played very well at home.

I like the Tigers with the pressure and inside play to take another one from Duke.

Pick: Clemson


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