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DWHoops Presents ACC Women's Basketball Digest

  Weekly ACC WBB Digest for 1/30/2013
Volume 1, Number 12
 
By Rob Clough

ACC Standings, Schedule, & Results

School Conf. Pct. Total Pct.
Duke 8-0 1.000 18-1 .947
Maryland 8-1 .889 17-3 .850
North Carolina 7-1 .875 19-2 .905
Florida State 7-2 .778 17-3 .850
Virginia 6-3 .667 14-6 .700
Miami 5-4 .556 14-6 .700
Wake Forest 3-5 .375 10-10 .500
Boston College 2-6 .250 8-11 .421
NC State 2-7 .222 10-11 .476
Virginia Tech 1-7 .125 7-12 .368
Clemson 1-7 .125 5-14 .263
Georgia Tech 1-8 .111 8-12 .400

Last Week's Results:
Thursday, 1/24
  Miami 79, Wake Forest 78
  Virginia 69, Boston College 57
  Duke 60, Clemson 46
  NC State 58, Virginia Tech 39
  Maryland 85, North Carolina 59
Friday, 1/25
  Florida State 76, Georgia Tech 71
  Duke 80, Boston College 56 - DWHoops Coverage
  NC State 78, Georgia Tech 66
  North Carolina 64, Miami 62
  Virginia 69, Wake Forest 64
  Florida State 70, Virginia Tech 56
  Maryland 80, Clemson 40

This Week's Schedule
Thursday, 1/31
  Clemson @ Virginia Tech, 7:00 p.m. (Hokies All-Access)
  Florida State @ North Carolina, 7:00 p.m. (ESPN3)
  Miami @ Duke, 7:00 p.m. (ACCDN on YouTube)
  NC State @ Boston College, 7:00 p.m. (BCEagles.com)
  Wake Forest @ Georgia Tech, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, 2/3
  Duke @ North Carolina, 1:00 p.m. (ESPNU)
  Georgia Tech @ Virginia, 1:00 p.m. (RSN)
  Boston College @ Maryland, now 1:00 p.m. (TerpsTV)
  Clemson @ Florida State, 2:00 p.m. (ESPN3)
  Wake Forest @ NC State, 2:00 p.m. (GoPack.com)
  Virginia Tech @ Miami, 2:05 p.m. (HurricaneSports.com)

Editor's Note: Our schedule and results are presented in pink in
remembrance of Kay Yow

Parsing The Week's Results: The top six in the league went 8-0 against the bottom six, further rendering the ACC a top-heavy league. That makes games between top six teams all the more important. Virginia quietly went to 6-3 in the league with close wins against Boston College and Wake Forest. The latter game saw the Hoos nearly gack up a 19 point lead late in the game before steadying things by hitting their free throws. Duke beat Clemson in a game that was still close with ten minutes to go, and then pounded BC despite Chelsea Gray's a shooting slump. Maryland somehow continues to play better with yet another player lost to injury. The Terps ripped apart UNC & Clemson behind Alyssa Thomas, their ever-reliable frontcourt, and surprisingly steady rookie point guard Chloe Pavlech. There's not a coach anywhere who's as good as instilling her young players with confidence as Brenda Frese.

Miami was involved in the two most exciting games of the week as they edged Wake Forest thanks to a daring, athletic layup by guard Suriya McGuire. The Canes and Deacs were locked in a late-game scoring duel between McGuire and WF's Lakevia Boykin. Wake really needed to get a win this week to stay relevant in the ACC standings and they came so very close. Florida State beat Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech to keep pace themselves, though they had to come from behind to beat the dangerous but erratic Jackets. At the halfway point of league play, there's a top and a bottom but really no middle in the ACC. It's not inconceivable to say that the ACC will get six teams in the NCAA tournament and none in the WNIT, but we'll see what happens when teams like Georgia Tech and NC State get to play more teams from the bottom six.

Best Win: UNC 64, Miami 62. The Canes had a 4 point lead with under 30 seconds to go, but the never-say-die Heels pressured Miami into back-to-back turnovers that turned into fouls. Suriya McGuire had a chance to put Miami ahead with 5 seconds to go but missed a layup; UNC's Danielle Butts sank a jump shot at the buzzer given that extra chance. Charles Barkley, back when he was playing for Phoenix, said of the Houston Rockets: "They won't die. You have to kill them." The same is true of this year's Heels. They may win ugly, but if you allow them to hang around, Tierra Ruffin-Pratt and UNC's pressure defense will find a way to beat you. There's no question that Pratt has earned her way on to the All-ACC first team at the midway point of the season thanks to her clutch defensive play and shot making. Butts may have hit the game-winning shot, but that was set up by Pratt getting steals and going to the foul line.

Worst Loss: Maryland 85, UNC 59. At the same time, the Heels are limited. Despite being limited to six real players, Maryland's frontcourt laid waste to UNC's post players with relentless play. The Heels are vulnerable to teams that can make tough shots and get lots of second-chance opportunities. UNC is also a very streaky shooting team and can go through long scoring droughts. Going up against Alyssa Thomas, those droughts doomed them.

Trending Up: NC State. All season long, Kellie Harper has talked about how front-loaded State's ACC schedule is and that she thought her team would be OK once they started playing lesser opponents. So far, so good on that claim: they held Virginia Tech to just 39 points in a blowout and then came back from a 6-point halftime deficit to wallop Georgia Tech. What's changed for State is that Marissa Kastanek is actually getting some good looks at the basket and is in a much better offensive rhythm. Markeisha Gatling is also feasting on smaller frontcourts.

Trending Down: Georgia Tech. The Jackets have also played a tough schedule but now find themselves dead last in the ACC at 1-8. They certainly had their chances to win their last couple of games, as they led FSU 68-65 with under six minutes to go in that game and had a six point lead over NC State at the half before things fell apart. GT's best defenders can't shoot, and its best shooters can't defend or dribble. No one seems to be able to play defense. Things don't get much easier for them anytime soon.

Surprise Player Of The Week: Who else could it be but Danielle Butts of UNC? She had 7 points and 11 rebounds against Miami, including the game-winning buzzer-beater that she'll never forget. It's especially surprising given the fact that Butts is not much of a shooter (45%, mostly on layups) and is instead known as an energy player. She certainly gave the Heels a jolt with that big-time shot.

Stat Of the Week: As we reach the halfway mark of the season, the ACC's haves and have-nots are starting to emerge more clearly. Duke, UNC, Maryland and Florida State are the four NCAA tournament locks and all are within a game or two of the top. Virginia is solidly enmeshed in fifth place, followed by Miami. Those six teams have combined for 41 league victories. The bottom six teams in the league (Wake, BC, NC State, Virginia Tech, Clemson and Georgia Tech) have combined for ten ACC wins. . Fourteen games remain between teams in the top six. More than half of those involve Duke, who will play eight of their last ten games against the other top teams.

Three Games To Watch (1/30 -2/5/2013):

  1. FSU @ UNC (Thursday, 7 PM, ESPN3). The ultra-resilient Heels will be going up against a team that matches them in terms of pure speed and is their superior in terms of ballhandling. UNC will need to rely on their size and rebounding to punish the Noles, who have a chance to climb the ACC ladder if they win.

  2. Wake Forest @ Georgia Tech (Thursday, 7 PM, no TV). Wake also has a chance to climb the ACC ladder this week with games against GT and NC State. Those teams represent the ACC's most disappointing clubs, but they still have plenty of talent. The Deacs, who just missed beating MIami, have a chance to leapfrog the Canes if they win twice.

  3. Duke @ UNC (Sunday, 1 PM, ESPNU). The old rivalry has a lot of meaning this year, as the Heels and Devils are fighting for first place. In the McCallie era, Duke has just one win in Chapel Hill (last season), and the Heels have displayed a knack for winning close, physical and ugly games. The key to this game will be rebounding.

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