In no particular order:
- So how about that Thad Young? On his way to a career high 25 points against UNC on Thursday, he hit 10-18 from the field and 5-6 from beyond the arc. He decided to grab some rebounds (2 offensive, 4 defensive) and two steals while he was it. Easily his most dominant performance of the year, it’s something of a double-edged sword – if he keeps playing like that, it’s increasingly likely that he’ll be one-and-done (although in my opinion this was likely even when he wasn’t do so well).
- Speaking of dominant performances, as a team this was easily Tech’s best of the year. Good things tend to happen when you’re shooing over 60% from the field in the first half, of course. Tech shot 10-22 from beyond the arc, which Anthony Morrow rediscovering the stroke in the first half that led him to lead the ACC in 3-point percentage last year. (He ended up 4 of 10, though, but still had a season high 18 points). Perhaps more importantly, Javaris Crittenton had a season high 11-assists and low (for him) 5 turnovers. 3 guys had 6 rebounds each, and Ra’sean Dickey actually acted like a center for most of the game.
- Tech has probably done enough to get into the tournament, but I think everyone would feel better if they beat Boston College today. Winning on Thursday in the ACC tournament would help as well.
- Thanks to unbalanced schedules and the fact no one can win on the road, mad crazy tiebreakers are coming into effect for the ACC Tournament. Tech, with a victory against Boston College, will be a 6 seed if Duke loses to UNC on Sunday. If Tech loses, they’ll end up at 7-9. It’s easy if Clemson loses @Virginia Tech – Tech would be tied with FSU at 7-9, and Tech’s season sweep of FSU would give them the 7 seed. If Clemson wins, it gets complicated and I don’t remember who wins. The top of the ACC is even more confusing since Virginia managed to lose to Wake Forest yesterday. It’s possible for Virginia, UNC, VT, and Boston College to end up at 11-5. They all get byes, sure, but still. Even if BC loses, (and since they’re playing, I hope they do) they’ll still not have to play on Thursday due to a victory over 10-6 Maryland.
- Speaking of unbalanced schedules, I’m glad that Virginia Tech and Boston College are competing in the ACC. I really am. But I still think back to the salad days of my youth (read: my freshman year 4 years ago) when the ACC had a full round-robin schedule. You have a pretty good idea where you stand after playing everyone twice, and it was one of the things that made ACC basketball really special. Of course, the ACC is still the best conference, but yeah.
- What on Earth happened to Conference USA? They had pretty much established themselves as a multi-bid league even after Louisville and Cincinnati left, but Memphis has a ridiculous 5 game lead.
- On Mid-Majors: it appears the only multi-bid mid-major leagues this year will be the A10 (which, at 14 teams, is a much more egregious violation of good naming than the Big Ten), MVC (though only 2 this time, since Missouri St. and Bradly failed to knock off Southern Illinois and Creighton), and probably the Mountain West. In other words, it’s a good year to be a middling major conference team.
- Speaking of the Missouri Valley, why on Earth do they have their own TV station? Several of those games have had margins of less than 7, and they have an absolutely packed house of 16,000 in St. Louis in what is probably the most well-attended mid-major tournament. But thanks to their TV channel, I’ve only been able to see the highlights. Not even the title game will be on ESPN. C’mon guys, let the rest of us see what’s up with MVC basketball and perhaps people will understand it better.
- On the ACC bubble situation: I think FSU and Clemson are pretty screwed unless they make some noise in the ACC Tournament. Hopefully that won’t be at our expense.
- One last thing: being on the west coast and having a job is going to really hamper my enjoyment of the first 3 rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Thank goodness for March Madness On Demand, which will hopefully not get me fired. Sign up soon to make sure you have access to the “VIP” queue when waiting for games.
That’s all I can think of at the moment. It’s nice to be doing this again. Hopefully I’ll have something positive to post about after the game (3:00 EST, FSN).