Can NC State stay atop the ACC with a trip to Chapel Hill Thursday? It’s one of a few intriguing midweek games…
(18-10 on season)
9:00 PM ET – Miami 68 GT 63 (Atlanta) – Miami leading scorer Malcolm Grant (12.9 PPG) hasn’t scored in double-digits five of his last six games, including his 5 points in the 78-73 home loss to NC State Sunday (0-5 on 3-pointers), meanwhile, junior forward Kenny Kadji posted double-figure scoring in nine of his last ten (20 points and 11 rebounds against NC State). If it wasn’t for Glen Rice Jr.’s 19, Georgia Tech would’ve been blown out again at Clemson (64-62 loss) after the 70-38 home defeat to UVa last week. I’m saying Miami’s guards get back in action here, while Kadji and Reggie Johnson feast inside to a conference road win.
7:00 PM ET – FSU 68 Wake Forest 59 (Winston-Salem) – You know the story with this FSU team right now – they’re winning…by…scoring. Through five ACC games, the ‘Noles are at 74.4 points per game – 83.3 PPG in their last three wins (at Duke, Maryland and UNC). The Deacs have been up-and-down, losing to Duke and NC State by 27 PPG, and drilling BC on the road Saturday, 71-56. Jeff Bzdelik and co. have to hope the ‘Noles are a bit road-weary and reading their press clippings.
9:00 PM ET – Duke 72 Maryland 64 (College Park) – Both can share stories of their losses to Temple (Duke, 78-73, and Maryland, 73-60). Traditionally, College Park is a tough place to play for the Blue Devils, but I’m not sure Maryland can score with them in this edition.
7:00 PM ET – UNC 75 NC State 68 (Chapel Hill) – As we stretch into late January, NC State is looking down on the Tar Heels in the standings – something we haven’t been able to say in quite a while, but they stay on the road after a 78-73 win at Miami en route to Chapel Hill Thursday. UNC struggled for a half and eased to a 82-68 win in Blacksburg last week before taking the weekend off, and play their first full game without guard Dexter Strickland, who’s out for the season with a knee injury. The Wolfpack have scored 77 PPG on the road in the ACC so far (2-0, 76-40 win at Wake the other game), while the Tar Heels have held conference opponents to 58 PPG in the Dean Dome. Bottom-line, winning at Wake or Miami isn’t winning in Chapel Hill, and while I’m a big fan of the new and improved Pack, UNC edges them out here.
9:00 PM ET – Virginia 66 BC 55 (Charlottesville) – *Thud* <— That’s Virginia’s ACC title chances smacking into a brutal, ugly 47-45 loss to rival Virginia Tech at home over the weekend. By their loss and FSU’s triumph in Durham, the ‘Hoos went from top-3 to the back of a five-team group atop the conference, but they have a nice tune-up with BC on Thursday, where they hope to get in the 50s.