As most of you are aware, Duke and UNC have not played in the ACC title game in a decade, which is both slightly surprising and a testament to how good these two programs are. Yes, you read that right - this is not a testament to how tough the ACC is (it’s getting worse every season as a whole) or the fact that either of these coaches doesn’t put an emphasis on winning the tourney (despite plenty of media opinions to the contrary, both coaches want to win all of these games and you must be deluded to think otherwise). The fact is that these two programs we cover have consistently been the top two programs in the league, and getting through a host of other teams to meet one another in the conference final isn’t easy year after year. Nonetheless, we are fortunate this year to have a chance to watch another rematch between two top-ten teams that have played tough in both games thus far, and though neither can end the other’s season, there’s still plenty of incentive as they’re playing for high NCAA seeds and (as you’ll doubtless be reminded again, and again, and again), they’re playing for pride. But mostly that high NCAA seed…
A few more links to get you ready as you’re counting down the minutes to the ACC championship:
- Heelsgeek highlights the danger of overemphasizing the RPI in measuring teams for the tournament. I’m pretty surprised any “expert” still has UNC as a 4-seed for the NCAAs at this point.
- Tar Heel Fan’s “beyond the box” for UNC-Clemson highlights that Harrison Barnes pretty much won the Heels that game. No analysis needed on that one, really.
- Apparently Nolan Smith received a shot in his foot before the game against Virginia Tech yesterday, and certainly looked fine.
- Charles Barkley tells Billy Packer what much of the country wanted to tell him already: “Shut the hell up.”
- Jalen Rose really seems to have some grudge against Duke, as I’ve seen plenty of articles like this one in lieu of ESPN’s upcoming documentary about the Fab Five coming out tonight.
- Larry Drew II: now proving he’s more of a tool than ever suspected. Can’t blame his parents for everything, as it turns out.
- The News & Observer has 5 things to watch in the ACC Final. If only they could fly in Gus Johnson for this game, #5 would be in the bag.
Enjoy the rematch, everyone. Plenty of coverage to follow the ACC title game, as well as Selection Sunday.