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Thursday, January 21, 2016

ACC Women's Basketball -- Conference race still wide open...THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



SIX TEAMS WITHIN ONE GAME OF FIRST PLACE

A look at the most recent ACC women's basketball standings show five teams with either no or just one loss in conference play. Some of them you would expect to be up in that rarified air...a couple are surprising.

Louisville and Notre Dame are atop the standings...the Cards at 6-0 and Notre Dame 5-0. The Irish are no surprise...but will have a tough test tonight against Syracuse...who invades South Bend for a 7 p.m. tip. After the Cards slow start to begin the season, there may be a few eyebrows raised by the casual observer that they are unblemished in ACC play...but the current Cardinal team has withstood the rigors of tough road contests and is hard to beat in The KFC YUM! Center. 

Miami, Florida State and Syracuse have one loss each in league play...the 'Canes will host the Noles Sunday and Florida State brings in dangerous two-conference loss Virginia Thursday night. 

Beside Virginia, NC State and Virginia Tech have lost twice in conference play. Either the Hokies or Wolfpack will drop to three conference losses tonight...they'll match up in Blacksburg for a 7 p.m. contest. 

Duke and North Carolina have three ACC losses, surprising to some undoubtedly. Duke heads to Clemson tonight and North Carolina will hop on I-40 to visit Wake Forest. If either Duke or UNC lose these match-ups...it may be time to call in the crisis intervention folks. 

Georgia Tech has one conference win and in the cellar of the standings are Boston College, Clemson, Wake Forest and Pittsburgh. 

BIGGEST SURPRISE?

I'll go with Miami...followed closely by Louisville. The Canes have been beating up on the lower echelons of the ACC with wins over Wake Forest, Clemson and Pitt...but they did down NC State and North Carolina...so it's not like they haven't been tested so far. Louisville started the conference with a bang with a convincing win over FSU and romped Duke. The comeback win over NC State was impressive also.

BIGGEST FLOP? 

Duke. A team full of incredible talent and dominating height...the Blue Devils were hammered by Louisville and Syracuse, beat by NC State in Cameron and got wins over Boston College and Wake Forest. Turnovers will keep any coach up at night and JoAnne P. McCauley's squad has been baking up some beauties so far. 

WHERE WE EXPECTED

We didn't let the pre-conference successes of Boston College or Pittsburgh fool us...both have major work to do in recruiting and it's showing so far in conference play. Clemson hasn't been relevant in ACC women's basketball in quite some time and Wake Forest is in that same boat. 

TEAM TO BEAT?

For now...Notre Dame...but we'll know a bit more on how strong Muffet McGraw's team is after their battle with Syracuse. They'll also have to travel to Louisville this season and bring in Miami on Valentine's Day. A trip to Florida State on George Washington's birthday should be a tough test as well. 

The Irish have lost to just Connecticut on the season and handled Tennessee with relative ease earlier this week. They remain the team to topple for claims on the ACC regular season championship. 

There is, of course, plenty of ACC women's basketball yet to be played before the conference tournament. We're sure there will be the upsets and shockers we'll discuss down the road. For now, though...the two teams atop the ACC are nowhere near the Atlantic Coast...just the Great Lakes and Ohio River

paulie
xxxxx












17 comments:

  1. Pitt just got an early start on recruiting landing South Carolina transfer Shay Colley.
    Great write up If Nc State beat us their would be one more team to add to the bottleneck at the top.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Without Faith Randolph Virginia is in huge trouble.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No doubt, Wade. FSU just might put a beat-down on them tonight. Some great ACC games being played tonight...we'll be watching the Syracuse v Notre Dame contest with great interest.

      Paulie

      Delete
  3. I think Muffet is a very good coach year in and year out. And, she should be recognized every year for her ability to squat for long periods on the sidelines while wearing high heels. Paulie, your picture is perfect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Viv. She does have a unique game-watching pose, for sure. I had the chance a few years ago to impromptu interview her years ago in the Pittsburgh airport...they were waiting to fly out like I was. She tells some great stories but the one that touched me the most is that she was actually scheduled to fly out on one of the planes out of Boston that crashed into the Trade Center buildings back on Sept 11, 2001 with an assistant but they decided to drive instead because of some complications. She's very thankful to be alive.

      We should come up with some kind of award to present her for the sidelines squat. Or get her a pair of Tommy Copper knee braces. That's got to be hard on the knees...

      Paulie

      Delete
  4. Nice write-up, Paulie.

    I sure would like to see the Cardinals finish in the top four and earn one of those double byes. It's tough enough to win three straight games in a conference tourney, much less four (or, heaven forbid, five).

    ReplyDelete
  5. Miami, Syracuse and Notre Dame for the Cards will all be tough but if someone guaranteed Coach Walz a 13-3 conference record right now...chances are he'd look long and hard at that deal.

    paulie
    Xxxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He'd be fool to. They will beat Syracuse and Miami.

      Delete
    2. 13-3 gets him a double bye in ACC tournament. I say he takes the deal.

      Blue Lou

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    3. paulie paulie paulie! You know they're going to finish 9-7. Losses to Miami, Notre Dame, Syracuse, North Carolina, Wake Forest,Sacred Heart and Bellarmine

      Matthew Mitchell for Governor

      Delete
    4. Hey guv kitty cat. Can you say Auburn? Oh yeah, Cards barely squeaked by Duke. Which your kitty cats beat by 10. Enjoy watching from home when the Cards again get farther than your kitty cats in the NCAA tourney.

      Delete
    5. Guv Guv Guv - Ole Miss?!?! 21 turnovers...

      Delete
    6. Guv I've always covered your back on here but being the frontrunner I am even the total domination your Cats have had over us can only go so far. I'm cracking. I thought it was a misprint. Please Guv, say it ain't so! It's happening again.

      Delete
  6. There are a lot of games yet to be played. I would grab that in a heartbeat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It appears that 13-3 would be acceptable if a week of skiing is thrown in as well. Deal? I'm thinking yes (as long as I don't have to don them. Accident waiting to happen...)

      Paulie

      Delete
  7. Syracuse laying an egg in South Bend. Irish up 28-11 after first period.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was no egg laying...that was a fox in the henhouse wiping out the entire inventory.

      Paulie

      Delete

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