The ACC Makes a Statement
Ask any supposed "expert" that writes for ESPN
or Sports Illustrated. They'll say the ACC is washed up. The
ACC is no good, it's lacking talent, or other conferences
have simply caught up. Apparently, they haven't been watching
the early play coming from ACC teams this year.
The season began with a complete shocker. An ACC laughingstock
for the past few years came out and made a statement against
a heavily favored Pac-10 Arizona team. Led by Sean Singletary
and J.R. Reynolds, Virginia may have the best and most tested
backcourt in the conference, if not the nation. Virginia sent
a statement to the country. The ACC is a conference of teams
that can win on any given day. Even the ones the experts predicted
would be pushovers for ranked teams would come out to play.
In early season tournament play, the ACC made yet another
statement. North Carolina may have lost to Butler in the pre-season
NIT but in their win over Gonzaga for a 3rd place finish,
they showed why some predict a return to the Final Four this
season. Maryland won out the 2K Sports Coaches vs. Cancer
Tournament in dominating fashion. The Terps have become a
bandwagon team that experts have jumped on. Georgia Tech performed
admirably at the Maui Invitational, which was eventually won
by the current #1 ranked team in the nation UCLA. Duke was
very close to claiming yet another early season title for
the ACC but lost to a very talented and ranked Marquette team.
In total, the ACC was able to claim one crown and three runner
up finishes in early season tournaments.
Did they happen to notice who won the ACC-Big Ten Challenge?
A revitalized Maryland team led by freshmen phenom Greivis
Vasquez ended a 47 game Illinois non-conference home court
win streak. Maryland is off to their best start since the
late 90s. Duke outlasted Indiana, playing with composure after
a turnover in the final seconds. North Carolina was dominated
by Ohio State but roared back defeating the Buckeyes, a team
many feel will be the national champions. Georgia Tech, Clemson,
NC State, Boston College and Virginia Tech also pulled off
victories. The ACC simply dominated the Big Ten this season.
Just this weekend, the 2006 National Champion Florida Gators
fell to the ACC's own Florida State Seminoles. Overshadowed
by the BCS controversy, Florida State dominated the national
champions all game and made the clutch plays to seal the victory.
There's no bigger statement than beating the defending national
When the season is over, the ACC will most likely place at
least six teams in March Madness play. The ACC may even have
a #1 seed. The ACC will have members on the All-American teams.
The national champion may be one of those teams down on Tobacco
No team in the ACC is below .500. Six teams have been ranked
this year and seven have received votes for rankings. The
ACC has a winning record against non-conference opponents.
There is a tradition of excellence in the ACC and this season
will be no other exception. I simply wish critics would be
able to open their eye.
By Andy Chang
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