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DWHoops Presents ACC Women's Basketball Digest

  Weekly ACC WBB Digest for 2/20/2013
Volume 1, Number 15
 
By Rob Clough

ACC Standings, Schedule, & Results

School Conf. Pct. Total Pct.
Duke 14-0 1.000 24-1 .960
Maryland 12-2 .857 21-4 .840
North Carolina 11-3 .786 23-4 .852
Florida State 10-4 .714 20-5 .800
Miami 8-6 .571 17-8 .680
Virginia 7-7 .500 15-10 .600
NC State 5-9 .357 13-13 .500
Georgia Tech 4-10 .286 11-14 .440
Wake Forest 4-10 .286 11-15 .423
Boston College 4-10 .286 10-15 .400
Clemson 3-11 .214 7-18 .280
Virginia Tech 2-12 .143 8-17 .320

Last Week's Results:
Thursday, 2/14
  Maryland 75, Clemson 45
  Duke 77, Virginia Tech 33
  NC State 76, Florida State 69
  Boston College 61, Virginia 59
  North Carolina 76, Wake Forest 56
Sunday, 2/17
  Florida State 80, UNC 73
  Clemson 51, Virginia Tech 46
  Miami 79, Boston College 54
  Georgia Tech 79, NC State 70
  Duke 81, Wake Forest 70
  Maryland 73, Virginia 44

This Week's Schedule
Thursday, 2/21
  Georgia Tech @ Wake Forest, 6:30 p.m. (WakeForestSports.com)
  Maryland @ Boston College, 7:00 p.m. (BCEagles.com)
  Miami @ NC State, 7:00 p.m. (GoPack.com)
  Virginia @ Clemson, 7:00 p.m. (TigerCast & ESPN3)
Friday, 2/22
  Florida State @ Duke, 6:30 p.m. (RSN)
  North Carolina @ Virginia Tech, 8:30 p.m. (RSN)
Sunday, 2/24
  Clemson @ Boston College, 1:00 p.m. (BCEagles.com)
  Florida State @ Virginia Tech, 1:00 p.m. (No TV)
  Miami @ Georgia Tech, 1:00 p.m. (RSN)
  NC State @ North Carolina, 1:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
  Duke @ Maryland, 3:00 p.m. (ESPN2)
Monday, 2/25
  Wake Forest @ Virginia, 7:00 p.m. (RSN)

Editor's Note: Our schedule, results, and photos are presented with a pink background in remembrance of Kay Yow

Photos by Orin Day

Duke's Chelsea Gray is helped off the court Sunday after dislocating her kneecap. She'll need surgery and will miss the rest of the 2013 season.
Duke's Chelsea Gray is helped off the court Sunday after dislocating her kneecap. She'll need surgery and will miss the rest of the 2013 season.

Myisha Goodwin-Coleman of NC State is our surprise player of the week; she scored 30 points in State's loss to Georgia Tech Sunday.
Myisha Goodwin-Coleman of NC State is our surprise player of the week; she scored 30 points in State's loss to Georgia Tech Sunday

Sue Semrau's Florida State squad bounced back from a loss to NC State to defeat UNC Sunday in Tallahassee.  Both teams are likely to be seeded in the 4-5 range in next month's NCAA tournament. She'll lead her team into Cameron Indoor Friday to face Duke.
Sue Semrau's Florida State squad bounced back from a loss to NC State to defeat UNC Sunday in Tallahassee. Both the Heels and Noles are likely to be seeded in the 4-5 range in next month's NCAA tournament. She'll lead her team into Cameron Indoor Friday to face Duke.

Virginia will likely need an ACC tournament run to earn an NCAA berth. The loss of Kelsey Wolfe to a knee injury will make that task even more daunting.
Virginia will likely need an ACC tournament run to earn an NCAA berth. The loss of Kelsey Wolfe to a knee injury will make that task even more daunting.

After making an early exit in Cameron, Maryland's Brenda Frese and her Terps will get another shot at Duke on Sunday, this time in College Park.
After making an early exit in Cameron, Maryland's Brenda Frese and her Terps will get another shot at Duke on Sunday, this time in College Park.

Parsing The Week's Results: The big news this week came out of Durham. Chelsea Gray stepped on Wake Forest's Dearica Hamby and came down very wrong on her knee, dislocating her kneecap. On Tuesday, Duke reported in a carefully worded release that Gray would be out for the rest of the 2012-13 campaign, with surgery pending to to correct the dislocation. No ACL or MCL damage was mentioned, but for a Duke team that was cruising toward a fourth consecutive regular season title, and was the prohibitive favorite in the ACC tournament, losing their point guard and potential ACC player of the year suddenly brings them much closer to the rest of the pack. At the time of the injury Gray was leading the Blue Devils comeback against a highly motivated Wake squad, and Tricia Liston took over, scoring 29 points to continue the Blue Devils' 20-year mastery over the Deacs (39 straight victories). Earlier in the week, Duke easily crushed a slightly intimidated Virginia Tech team in Blacksburg. Duke has four games left in the ACC, three of which are against ranked opponents. Their two-game lead over Maryland is starting to look a bit tenuous, especially with a trip to College Park looming Sunday.

Indeed, Maryland is in good shape to catch up, especially since UNC just faltered (see below for more on both teams). Florida State didn't help themselves in their loss to a motivated NC State squad, as Kody Burke had 26 points and the Noles just just 37% from the field. Star guard Alexa Deluzio particularly struggled against the Pack, going 0-7 from the field. FSU is a team that's relied on its offense the whole season, and when a couple of key cogs don't shoot well, they are vulnerable -- especially against an opponent with skilled size. UNC easily crushed that same Wake team that gave Duke fits, but then gave up 80 points to the Noles, one of Carolina's worst defensive showings of the season. In a statistical oddity, it was also their first loss of the season by fewer than ten points.

In other games, Miami quietly took care of business against Boston College to solidify their fifth place standing, and Clemson came from behind to win a battle between ACC also-rans against Virginia Tech. That loss will probably cement the Hokies as the last place team in the league come seeding time for the ACC tournament. I predict that the current standings in the ACC will likely hold for the ACC tournament overall.

Best Win: Florida State, 80, UNC 73. The Noles caught a break in that starting UNC center Waltiea Rolle was sick and played just 17 minutes. That neutralized the Heels' frontcourt edge, which had allowed them to comfortably defeat the Noles just a few days earlier. The other key to the game was that FSU's ballhandling allowed them to withstand UNC's pressure, especially when the Noles hit a few shots and took a late lead. Unlike the Heels' other comebacks, UNC's pressure wasn't effective -- FSU's guards handled it. This is a major win for FSU's resume' in the NCAA tournament with regard to seeding, especially after their unexpected loss to NC State.

Worst Loss: Georgia Tech 79, NC State 70. It's one thing to lose to a mediocre ACC team (one coming off a loss to Virginia Tech, no less). It's quite another to lose in that fashion hosting the Play4Kay game on Kay Yow Court in Reynolds Coliseum. Star forward Kody Burke somehow ended up with 0 points against a team without a real frontcourt player. This turns Kellie Harper's coaching hot seat temperature up another 50 degrees or so. After an inspiring win over Florida State, this was a major step back for the Wolfpack.

Trending Up: Maryland. After demolishing Clemson with little fuss, the Terps not only crushed a good Virginia team on the road, they even got seven minutes out of injured forward Tierney Pfirman. If she can return from her dislocated kneecap to get back into their regular rotation by the end of the season, the Terps will be in much better shape for the ACC and NCAA tournaments.

Trending Down: Virginia. This was an absolutely brutal week for Virginia's NCAA tourney chances. First, they were beaten by double digits by a bad Boston College team, a contest in which Virginia was unable to crack the 50 point mark. UVa's four starting perimeter players combined for 9-46 shooting (20%) against a slow team that can give up open looks from three. The Hoos followed that up by meekly surrendering to Maryland at home, scoring just 44 points. To add injury to insult, starting guard Kelsey Wolfe (one of the ACC's most improved players) went down with a knee injury and is likely done for the year. The Hoos desperately need quality wins, and soon, or the they will surely be in the WNIT.

Surprise Player Of The Week: Myisha Goodwin-Coleman, NC State. With a career-high 30 points and 9 three-pointers, MGC was the only redeeming factor in NC State's loss to Georgia Tech. Armed with one of the most baffling head-fakes in the ACC, the diminutive guard still manages to get her shot off against nearly anyone.

Stat Of the Week: RPI. The Ratings Percentage Index is one of many factors the NCAA committee considers when selecting one of its 33 at-large bids. Strength of schedule, record over the last ten games, road record and record vs other top teams are also very important. That said, RPI is a useful kind of shorthand that takes a number of these factors into account. Let's take a look at the ACC teams, their current RPI and (per RealTimeRPI.com on 2/19/2013) and where they might wind up:

Duke: RPI # 9, Strength of Schedule #64. Duke has the lowest Strength of Schedule (SOS) of any team in the RPI top 15, which is why they're ranked low relative to their record. Duke will have a chance to boost this down the stretch with games against #10 Maryland, #17 UNC, #19 Florida State, and #53 Miami, plus there's the possibility of facing more of those teams again in the ACC tournament. Duke is a solid 2 seed with an outside chance of a 1, but the loss of Gray could knock them all the way down to a 3 seed if they don't respond well.

Maryland: RPI #10, SOS #31. The Terps are likely headed to a 3 seed, unless they managed to tie Duke for the ACC regular season title and then win the tournament. They can certainly do it, but winning three games in three days for this short-handed bunch will be a challenge.

UNC: RPI #17, SOS #54. Losing to FSU might mean dropping to a 5 seed, but they have chances to boost their profile with a game against Duke and the ACC tournament, where they usually tend to play well.

FSU: RPI #21, SOS #41. This is a classic 5 seed, and getting that big win over UNC really helped their cause. Beating Duke could push them up to a 4.

Miami: RPI #53, SOS #58. This is very much a bubble team that needs a signature win (a home date with suddenly vulnerable Duke could be the one) to separate themselves from a large pack of tourney pretenders. By my estimation, there are seven potential bid-stealing conferences; that is, seven leagues that have one team good enough to get into the NCAA tourney without winning their conference tourney. Each could wipe out one of seven at-large bids for power conference teams, and the Canes are quite likely to be one of those teams in such jeopardy.

Virginia: RPI #68, SOS #57. Virginia's current profile is that of a typical WNIT team. There are some good wins but no great ones. There are a few bad losses, and there are injury issues. Barring a miracle run in the ACC tournament, the ACC will get four teams in the NCAA tourney and might get five.

Three Games To Watch (2/20 -2/26/2013):

  1. Florida State @ Duke, 2/22, 6:30 PM (RSN) . This will be Duke's first game after losing Chelsea Gray, giving FSU a chance to follow up on its big upset over UNC. Sue Semrau has won in Cameron once before, and her team's excellent guard play has a chance to give Duke fits. The Devils will need a great game from Elizabeth Williams in order to win.

  2. NC State @ UNC, 2/24, 1:30 PM (ESPNU). If Kellie Harper's crew can pull off the upset, then their rapidly-fading WNIT chances will get new life. Considering that they had the Heels on the ropes in their first meeting, it's simply a matter of motivation and focus for the Wolfpack. Meanwhile, the Heels want to continue to stay ahead of FSU in league standings and solidify a better NCAA tournament seed.

  3. Duke @ Maryland, 2/24. If Duke wins this game, they're likely to win the ACC regardless of what happens the rest of the way. A loss makes things much more interesting, especially since the Terps have an otherwise easy schedule down the stretch. Throw in the fact that this could be the last Duke-Maryland game in the Comcast Center, and there will be a lot of emotion on the part of the Terps -- especially after coach Brenda Frese was ejected in Cameron.

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