FOUR STILL UNDEFETED IN ACC PLAY
Now that all but one ACC WBB squad has at least one conference game in, let's take a look at the updated standings. Only Miami hasn't played a conference game yet, not due to COVID issues or anything health related, it's just the way the Canes are scheduled this season.
Four schools are still undefeated in ACC play (North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia Tech and Louisville) and one team (North Carolina) is still undefeated overall -- at 13-0. At least one will drop out of that undefeated conference status tomorrow night, since UNC and 3-0NC State are ue to match up in Raleigh. Virginia Tech brings Virginia in to Blacksburg and the Cards will host Pitt.
Here the full standings:
TEAM ACC Record Overall Record
UNC 3-0 13-0
NC State 3-0 12-2
Va. Tech 3-0 11-3
Louisville 2-0 12-1
Notre Dame 2-1 11-3
Duke 1-1 10-2
Ga. Tech 1-1 10-2
Wake Forest 1-2 11-3
Syracuse 1-2 8-5
Miami 0-0 7-3
Virginia 0-1 3-8
Boston Coll. 0-2 9-4
Pitt 0-2 9-4
FSU 0-2 6-6
Clemson 0-3 6-8
Looking at the whole of the conference, there are really no surprises that stand out so far. Notre Dane is maybe a little better than I expected, Freshman Olivia Miles has become a force and "go-to" for the Irish.
North Carolina is getting exceptionally good play out of.Deja Kelly, Alyssa Ustby and Eva Hodgson. Hodgson is a transfer from William and Mary and sat out last year. Kelly and Ustby are sophomores who were on the UNC roster last year and made significant contributions to the Tar Heels. You had to wonder how Courtney Banghart's squad would fare after the graduation of Janelle Bailey and Stephanie Watts, but things appear to be "so far, so good" for the Chapel Hill school. Boston College gave then a test in their first ACC game, falling 76-73, a contest held up in Chestnut Hill. Syracuse and Clemson proved to be no match for the Heels.
NC State is a top 10 team and, despite the loss to #14 Georgia, the Wolfpack has glided through early ACC , soundly defeating Pitt, Virginia and Clemson. Elissa Cunane leads the way in Raleigh with the usual suspects Raina Perez, Jakia Brown-Turner, Kayla Jones and newcomer Diamond Johnson, a transfer from Rutgers.
Virginia Tech has conference wins at Wake Forest and Florida State and a home win over Duke. Elizabeth Kitley and Aisa Sheppard are the big stories again in Blacksburg, but Kenny Brooks does have Kayana Traylor (previously at Purdue) and Georgia Amoore putting up significant numbers.
Six ACC WBB squads are in the AP Top 25. #3 Louisville, #5 NC State, #16 Georgia Tech, #17 Duke, #19 North Carolina and #20 Notre Dame.
Thursday night brings seven ACC contests. We've mentioned the UNC-NCState, Virginia vs. Virginia Tech match ups -- in addition, Florida State hosts Clemson, Syracuse goes to Boston College, Wake Forest heads to Miami and Georgia Tech visits Duke. I'll take NC State, Va Tech, FSU, Boston College, Wake Forest, Louisville and Georgia Tech (but that GT vs. Duke game is a toss up in my opinion). In case anyone is tracking these, I did go 7-0 when I picked the Dec 30th. slate.
Jared will get you read for Pitt vs. Louisville in tomorrow's column.
(Just an explanation, I'm not referring to the old Sam Cooke song, also covered by Three Dog Night and Greta Van Fleet, just to name a few).
Attendance at indoor sporting events. We've seen Michigan put restrictions out on who can attend...requiring vaccination proof or negative COVID test within 72 hours. Stanford went one step further, limiting attendance to player's families. Will we see a reduction of fans in the stands for ACC hoops?
The Omicron strain is spreading faster than most expected. Although it doesn't appear to be as serious as Delta has been, hey, it's COVID. You don't wanna go there. My wife's work has quite a few out as of yesterday and they're all masking during work hours and sanitizing like crazy.
What threats do 5,000-7,000 in the YUM! Center bring? Should it be a mask-wearing policy? With spacing and limited attendance? Will the ACC come out as a league and mandate a policy? It should be interesting to see who else follows and how soon it happens. Obviously, the health and safety of the players, staff, fans and workers should be the prime concern and be the guiding principal in any decision.