This week A.C.C. basketball proved that reputation doesn't win ballgames. Duke dropped its second game in a row, losing to an unranked Miami Hurricanes squad at home. Knocking off the big boys, seems like Miami's role this season as they improved to 12-5 on the campaign. If Miami can continue to notch big time wins against quality opponents, the Canes will have the resume the selection committee is looking for in March.
Virginia continued its impressive undefeated start throttling the Clemson Tigers 65-42. With the bar raised so high, Wahoo nation must now look at this season as a complete failure if the Cavs do not post a deep tournament run. The Cavaliers have a little break with Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech as its next two foes, but with Louisville, North Carolina, and Duke on the horizon, Virginia can ill afford a slip up here. Syracuse also improved its tournament chances with an overtime win over the visiting Demon Deacons to raise their record to 13-5. Rakeem Christmas scored a career high 35 for the Orange, and they capitalized on 13 Wake Forest turnovers to seal the victory.
On Wednesday, two ranked teams got more than they bargained for. Notre Dame edged the Yellow Jackets 62-59. On Tobacco Road, U.N.C. dealt the Wolfpack a heartbreaking 2 point loss. Carolina improved to 14-4 despite losing the rebound edge to N.C. State. In a tale of two programs, Georgia Tech out-rebounded the Irish, but found a way to lose late.
Saturday saw a full slate of games, with the marquee affair pitting two old pros at the table. Mike Krzyzewski led his Blue Devils into bourbon country with atonement on its mind. Duke had dropped its previous two contests, while Louisville was desperately seeking its signature win. The game tipped early for east coasters, and maybe that's why I felt this mega-game had an odd feel. Let's be honest, these early tilts aren't kind for tailgaters, and the crowd at the KFC Yum! Center seemed sleepy at best. If this game was scheduled for 8 p.m. on ESPN, maybe the Cardinal faithful would have participated. I can guarantee you the Cameron Crazies will be more formidable than their new A.C.C. brethren when Louisville visits Durham. Duke controlled throughout and ended up with a 63-52 victory. The game was never in doubt, and Coach K should reach the 1000 win plateau next week.
Virginia Tech held center stage on Sunday visiting the Dean Dome. Unfortunately for Tech, they were without their leading scorer Justin Bibbs. Bibbs missed the game with a concussion. Tech needs to get all the headaches of this season remedied. With a sub 500 record heading into crunch time, the Gobblers will be lucky to net a N.I.T. bid. The Hokies were dominated on the glass by a nearly 2-1 margin. "It's just really hard when you get beat on the glass" like that, Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said. The Hokies look to improve with the next challenge. It doesn't get easier, as the Hokies host the Fighting Irish on Thursday in the Cassell.
Follow me @roybhatfield