The conference tournament starts Thursday (Spoiler alert: Duke's going to win it.) but before the festivities get underway let's take a trip around the ACC to see what everyone's saying going into the games in Greensboro. We'll also check in with a few teams that are preparing to start spring football practice and see what those crazy hockey-playing BC Eagles are doing going into the only postseason tournament they'll be involved in this spring.
Links after the jump.
Virginia Tech Hokies
Big Dancing (Kyle Tucker)
"And so the Hokies are, against today’s long odds, almost certainly dancing. They are 23-7 overall, 10-6 in the ACC. No 10-win team in this league has ever been excluded from the NCAA tournament field. Virginia Tech also scored its third win over a top-50 team in the RPI. Georgia Tech was No. 35 entering the game and No. 42 immediately afterward."
Malcolm Delaney wanted ACC player of year (Mark Viera)
"Delaney arguably had less to work with at Virginia Tech and he has has been nagged this season by sprains in both ankles, which has adversely impacted his typically dead-on shot. But while Vasquez's selection doesn't come as a surprise, Delaney said he wouldn't have picked the Terrapins guard to receive the award. Delaney would have picked himself."
More honors for Virginia Tech guard Malcolm Delaney (Nathan Warters)
"He was a fourth-team selection on the Sporting News All-America team and was also named to the United States Basketball Writers Association’s All-District 3 team. The junior from Baltimore is the first Hokies player to earn All-America honors since Zabian Dowdell was an honorable mention selection to the 2007 Associated Press All-America team."
Tournament Time (The A-Line)
"Attempting to predict winners in the Tournament is usually an exercise in futility. It does seem safe to assume, however, that the ACC Tournament Champion will not be playing Thursday. History teaches that winning four games in as many days is a tall order bordering on impossible."
ACC Tournament Outlook (Tech Hoops)
"The pros for VT are this is a down year for the ACC and the Hokies can play with anyone. A con is the Hokies’ starters play too many minutes and if they keep winning, may tire as the tournament goes on, especially guys like Hudson and Allen that are battling injuries."
2010 ACC Tournament Preview and Predictions (Tech Sideline)
"Virginia Tech isn't quite as hot as Duke or Maryland, but they are entering the ACC tournament playing good basketball. The Hokies are also in a position they are used to being in: playing with a first round bye in the ACC tournament. Since conference expansion, only Duke and Carolina have a better average seed than Virginia Tech, and only Duke and Carolina have had more top four finishes in ACC play."
2010 ACC Tournament
Hokies just about good to go (D1SCOURSE)
"But that heinous nonconference schedule strength --- checking in at No. 338 of 347 today --- still sticks out. The best thing happening for the Hokies is that while much of the rest of college basketball is frittering away games it shouldn't, they've generally done what they were supposed to do since the start of February."
ACC Tournament Preview: Miami/WF vs. VT (Blogger So Dear)
"Wake definitely wants another crack at Virginia Tech. The game set the Deacs back and started their losing streak and they would love to take down the Hokies in Greensboro. They have a good shot too, especially if Hudson is unable to go or has to play limited minutes. Ish Smith needs to play under control, get in the lane and finish around the hoop, something he did a great job of in the first half of the meeting in Blacksburg."
OTB in Greensboro! (On The B.Rink)
"The best quarterfinal matchup of the day is naturally the 4-5 matchup with Virginia Tech/Wake Forest–I’m excited this potential game as it was great up in Blacksburg already this season. If Miami pulls off the upset–I’m not excited anymore, but good luck to the Canes anymore."
2010 ACC Tournament Preview (ACC Sports Journal)
"What the Hokies must avoid: The Hokies can win with an off game from Delaney or Hudson, but if both struggle in the same game it will be tough to beat anyone."
ACC Tournament 2010: A Brief Primer (Testudo Times)
"History isn't on Maryland's side. The last time Maryland went into the ACC tournament with a 7 game winning streak? Lost in the first round to Miami. The last time Maryland was #2 in the tournament and Duke was #1? 2000, when the Dukies won in the championship game. Maryland, however, did meet up with them in the finals, losing by 13."
ACC and Opponents
We're Fixin' to Get Hoodwinked (Barrel of Rum)
"Who do we have? You guessed it.....John Swofford. The sound you just heard was indeed a painful groan. John Swofford is heading the charge on our behalf. The same guy that ran the BCS (you may now punch yourself in the groin). This is something akin to the settlers (ESPN) negotiating with the Indians (the ACC) upon their arrival in the New World."
4 questions for the start of Spring camp (OBNUG)
"At this point, it is no longer fashionable to question Moore's abilities or his level of competition...he's met all challenges and legitimately cemented himself into the national discussion. What Moore can do for another encore (don't forget, we have him for two more seasons) will largely be based on how he starts preparing for this next season...and that starts in mere days."
Thoughts as Spring Practice Begins (Shakin The Southland)
"I have a suspicion that Tajh Boyd will be built up so much by writers this Spring that he will be the favorite player on the team this fall by TardNetters, especially if he doesnt play. Everybody loves the backup, and you'll hear people screaming for Boyd at the first sign of Parker struggling. Just remember, Parker has one year of reading NCAA defenses, and that experience counts. I also suspect you'll see at least 10 articles about Parker's baseball/football dilemma."
FSU Spring Football Position Preview: Offensive Line (Tomahawk Nation)
"This season, FSU returns all 5 starters and 6 reserves. The only loss was Senior Brandon Davis, who elected to graduate and pursue employment. The only way this unit can get any better is to become the best offensive line in the country. For Spring then, what questions are facing this unit? Surprisingly, there are a few."
ACC Crown or Shannon Gets the Boot? (AllCanes)
"Entering the 2010 season, logic needs to prevail... which is proving difficult as the Canes' skid is running over half a decade now. The natives are restless - and understandably so. Still, it's not the 1980s and this entitled mindset or cliche sayings ("we only play for national championships at Miami", etc.) - it has to go."
College Hockey's Tournament Selection Process Flawed (BC Interruption)
Brian has much more time for blogging now that Mrs. Brian has replaced him with an iTouch and he isn't needed for social interaction: "College hockey doesn't believe in the subjective merit of arguing the case of Team X over Team Y in an attempt to whittle down the tournament field from 58 to 16. Instead, to do the job, college hockey employs a statistical formula known as the PairWise Rankings. This year, however, I'm here to tell you that the PairWise is failing college hockey. Take, for instance, the case of the Vermont Catamounts men's hockey team."
Living the dream (From Old Virginia)
"Yeah, but that's not the way it works when the school's BMOC (or BMOG in our case) decides .... well, you know that dream you have where you have to go to class, maybe take the final, and suddenly you realize you haven't even been to this class all year and you aren't even sure you know where it is and if you go, you'll probably fail in front of everyone and if you don't you'll definitely fail, and the whole thing really sucks? Welcome to the world of dreams, Sylven Landesberg."
Paul Hewitt, we have given up on you (From The Rumble Seat)
"The worst thing to happen to Paul Hewitt was Paul Johnson. With Chan Gailey swimming in mediocrity it was easy for Hewitt to maintain the basketball status quo as long as he did something that made it seem like we were doing something worthwhile. We never looked at the basketball numbers too deeply because we were all grumbling about the king sport of football."
A Blast from the NCAA Tournament Past (Carolina March)
"There are a lot of similarities between the 2000 squad and this year's team. Both started the season highly ranked, but fell out of the polls in January. What evicted that year's team was a four game losing streak, and although they righted the ship to finish 9-7 in the conference, they lost in the first round of the ACC tournament and were generally though to have only squeaked into the NCAAs on the basis of their name."
Henson: We didn’t care about each other (Tar Heel Fan)
"Personally, I don’t think caring about each other causes defensive lapses or throwing the ball into the stands, but it does figure into how hard the team plays and how they respond to adversity. And for the past two games, Carolina has shown an ability to hold it together that was not there throughout most of the ACC season."