ACC Tourney Live Blog, Day 2
Chronicling the ACC’s best down at the Dome.
by DeMarco Williams
Day 1 of the ACC tourney saw the NCAA tournament hopes of one team (Miami) dashed andthose of three others (Maryland, Virginia Tech and Boston College) carry on for another day. Today, that trio, along with the Cinderella Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, face the big boys. And while we can’t promise any six-overtime thrillers at the Georgia Dome today, UNC, Duke, Wake and all the rest battling for seedings and invitations promise a good day of action. SLAM will do its best to keep up…
Previous ACC Tournament Posts: Day 1
Game 5: No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 8 Virginia Tech
-Know how you can tell that today is different than yesterday? Well, besides the sea of baby blue in the audience, ESPN’s Jimmie Dykes is in the building! Nah, but seriously, the atmosphere is much more lively today than yesterday. I can only imagine how the Deam Dome feels in late February.
-Okay, Ty Lawson. I see him. He’s shadowed by a trainer. He is in uniform. But he is not in the starting lineup… We’ll see how this one plays out.
-It’s amazing how much livelier today’s action is compared to yesterday’s. Every move on the floor, every whistle, is getting some sort of reaction from the clearly UNC-slated crowd.
-I don’t see any early lulls in UNC’sactionwithoutLawsoninthere. They look okay. Just as long as they find an answer for A.D. Vassallo. He’s got five early. 11-4 Va Tech.
-The Hokiesappearconfidentthattheycangivethecountry’stop-ranked team a game. I like this guard Michael Delaney a lot. He’s got a nice, composed game about him. He just found Cheick Diakite, who’s holding his own too, for two quick scores. 18-13 Hokies.
-Tyler Hansbrough hasn’t done much yet. Bobby Frasor, Ty’s replacement, gets the ball into him but he loses it. The next time down though, Hansbrough knocks one down. 23-15 Hokies with 8:19 left.
-There’s a controversial charge call against VA Tech. The crowd doesn’t just erupt; half of the reporters do too. It was a very suspect call. Not a minute later, the Heels are called for one of their own. Aaah, karma. Timeout on the floor. 23-17, Hokies.
-Frasor isn’t Lawson, but he isn’t expected to be either. Score a few points. Get the ball into Hansbrough and Wayne Ellington. Don’t make any mistakes. Move outta the way. Kinda simple, really. And he’s doing just that. UNC’s only down five with five minutes left.
-Delaney drops another one. He’s got six.
-Carolina’s found another answer, freshman Ed Davis. He’s got six too. 34-29, Hokies.
-Ellington hits a long one. The Dome erupts like Matt Ryan just hit Roddy White for 50 yards. Dang, Ellington nails another! He’s got 11. 37-36 UNC with 1:38 remaining.
-Sorry about that. The Dome’s wi-fiwentonthe glitch for a second. I’ll talk to Arthur Blank after the game… 43-42 UNC at the half.
-Vassallo continues what he started in the 1st, getting a couple of boards and a quick bucket. He’s got 12. 47-45 UNC with two minutes gone in the 2nd.
-Still no Lawson. The way he looks (kinda complacent) and way Frasor’s playing (actually, kinda decent), we might not today.
-Hansbrough is starting to get busy. He gets a quick four points. Has 14 now. He wanted 16, but his “Hey!” shout for the ball doesn’t work. The play goes elsewhere. But he gets two more the next time.
-But Va Tech is not quiting . Vassallo is matching Tyler almost shot-for-shot… He’s got 14. Tyler does another of his now-trademark go-up-and-almost-come-back-down mid-rangers with a hand in his face for his 18th… A.D. has a Hokies answer. 58-55, Hokies with 12:48 left.
-Frasor takes a jumper. Misses. The writer behind me: “He is such a bad shooter.”
-A.D. is going in right now. Two more buckets. He’s got 22. 66-60 Hokies…
-Va Tech’s J.T. Thompson has been a consistent interior presence today. He’s got nine points, but his three boards and constant movement may be even more special.
-Ellington gets to the hole with an And 1. Misses it. But almost as important, Vassallo now has four fouls. He goes out. Yikes.
-Hansbroughgoesinforalay-up. It’s blocked, but it looks like a goal-tend. No call. The Carolina Dome cries out… 68-67 Hokies with 7:39 remaining.
-Delaney’s been relatively quiet, but he’s coming alive with the tourney invite on the line. He gets to the lane and is fouled. Only makes oneof two. He’s four of seven from the stripe.
-Vassallo is back with 6:30 left.
-Hansbrough hits another one of those darn shots. Has 22 for the day. 72-69 Va Tech with five minutes remaining. It could have been a five-point cushion but Delaney misses a gimmie.
-According to my Hokie hombre next to me, this game is playing out eerily similar to last year’s Hokies/Heel ACC tournament game. The Hokies had a cushion, like in this one, but they ended up losing 68-66 on a Hansbrough last-second shot.
-VA Tech is up 74-71 with 2:23 to go. A win might stamp their ticket to the Dance. They’d have an 19-13 record, with wins over Boston College, Wake Forest, Clemson and two victories over Miami. Whatchu think?
-But scratch all of that! UNC is right there. Hansbrough is putting a No. 1 seed on his back, getting two more buckets for 26 total. UNC’s up 77-76 with 31 seconds left.
-Loose ball. UNC fouls but they’ve only got four team fouls. Time out.
-There’s a battle for another loose ball. The refs probably could have called a foul on UNC. Instead, they call a jump ball. Hokies coach Seth Greenberg goes bananas!
-Hansbrough -who else?- is at the line after a quick Va Tech foul. He knocks down two, giving him 28. 79-76 Tar Heels. 4.6 seconds left… stay tuned.
-Vassallo, the man the Hokies would want with the Madness on the line, takes a three. Misses a three. Va Tech loses by three, 79-76. Good game.
-Coach Greenberg on the questionable jump ball call: “What I saw doesn’t count, so it makes no difference. The only people that count were the guys wearing striped shirts.”
-Vassalloonthe last-second prayer: “I only had three seconds left. I had to make a quick decision. I didn’t think Hansbrough would come out and help. I thought I had the open look, then I saw him. I jumped up over him and had a good look. It just didn’t go in.”
Game 6: No. 4 Florida State vs. No. 12 Georgia Tech
-Just saw former Tar Heel Eric Montross in the media dining room. He was decked out in a shirt and tie. If there’s a slowness in the action of the Tech/FSU game, I’ll Google his current whereabouts for ya.
-Tech comes out to the court to little fanfare at all. I’m sorry, folks, but this is starting to bug me. Aren’t we in Atlanta?
-FSU, on the other hand, has the banner in the tunnel that Seminoles star (and A-town native) Toney Douglas bursts through, leading his squad onto the hardwood.
-When the FSU bandgetstoplayingtheNativeAmericanchanttheschool is famous for, you almost start looking around for Braves Chipper Jones or Brian McCann to pop out.
-Tech’s Lewis Clinch, who did Clemson in yesterday with 32, starts things off today with a dunk.
-But Douglas, the ACC player of the year runner-up, is no slouch. He’s got an early four. 11-5, FSU with 15:38 left in the 1st. Timeout on the floor.
-There’s a Dick Vitale sighting… An FSU fan goes, “Show the Noles some love, Dickie V!”
-The GT frontcourt, with Gani Lawal, Zach Peacock and bench supporter Alade Aminu, is long and pretty athletic. But then again, the Noles’ Solomon Alabi and Ryan Reid are staking their claim in the paint too.
-Though FSU leads 15-12 with 9:47 on the clock, Tech isn’t intimidated by their No. 22 ranking. Maybe they know about their impressive mark against ranked squads with SLAM covering them.
-Lawal is fouled. He airballsthefirst. Makes the second. The embarrassment is short-lived after a crafty hook shot. 15-15 with 7:52 remaining.
-Clinch is struggling a bit out there. The two-for-eight shooting must improve if GT’s to have a realistic shot.
-For some reason Xavier Gibson, Florida State’s gifted freshman center, reminds me of Master P. He’s 6-11 and from Dothan, Alabama, but something about him looks like the Ice Cream Man.
-Douglas is so smooth out there for the Noles. Back-to-back lay-ups give him 10 for the day. 29-20 FSU with 3:30 to go.
-GT’s Iman Shumpertistryingtosetuptheoffense. There’s nothing happening. He backs up his dribble. The FSU band begins a 5… 4… 3 chant but there are, like, 10 seconds left on the shot clock. Hilarious.
-Clinch nails a three. 33-26, FSU. 36 seconds to go in the 1st.
-Shumpert’s fouled on a jumper attempt. He’s got this charity stripe routine where he shoots an imaginary free throw. From start to finish, he’s probably taking about 11 seconds with each shot. Nonetheless, he’s one of two.
-FSU’s Derwin Kitchen marches the ball down -3…2… 1…- and makes the shot! The only thing is that the buzzer beats him to it. 33-27, FSU at the break.
-Food Lion has this halftime game called Sink One, Score $1,000,000. Here’s how it works: Two folks who signed up at their local Food Lion are chosen to have a free-throw shootout, with the winner getting a half-court attempt at the loot. Frank from North Carolina wins the free-throw shootout. And with the half-court attempt, he…. doesn’t come anywhere close. Yuck! It actually may go down as the worst half-court shot I’ve ever seen. He goes home with a silly Food Lion jersey and a $4,000 check.
-Dickie V is stting directly in front of me. Mr. “Stump the Schwab” is right beside him. This is why I love my job…
-Alabi muscles in for two. 35-27 State. He follows the shot up with a monster block.
-Tech has had a characteristic this year of turning over the ball more than they’d like. Sadly for the blue and gold, I see some of that happening now.
-FSU’s Luke Loucks drops a nice no-look pass to Uche Echefu. He never watches the shot go in. Gangsta… Loucks follows that up with an alley-oop to Alabi. Gonna keep an eye on this kid.
-During the timeout of a 41-36 game, the Noles’ band is playing a FSU-slanted version of T.I.’s “Whatever You Want.” It’s kinda slick too.
-Newsflash No. 1: That Toney Douglas is official. He’s got 19… Newsflash No. 2: That Lewis Clinch ain’t half bad either. He’s got 16. 47-41 FSU with 13:47 to go.
-Master P Xavier Gibson gets a nice wraparound. He’s gonna be a good one.
-Clinch nails another 3. The “home” team is only down three, 49-46.
-Douglas drops one of his own. Does the ubiquitous fist thumb to the chest. He’s got 22. He can do that.
-Peacock’s getting every board. Clinch is hitting every three. 54-51, Noles.
-Tech’s really 12-18? Really?! They’re losing to the No. 22 team by just three with six minutes left.
-This game is getting pretty (in)tense. Every possession is big now. Clinch wants it. Before he gets it, the ball goes out of bounds. It’s FSU’s. 61-58, Noles with 2:43 remaining.
-61-60 Seminoles. If the ball goes in Tech’s favor, half the Dome explodes. If it goes the other way, the other half screams. This is why March basketball trumps nearly everything else in sports.
-There’s a Clinch miss. FSU’s Kitchen gets the ball but he stumbles out of bounds. Tech’s got another shot and Peacock drains a six-footer. 62-61, Jackets! 24.9 left on the clock.
-Of course, Noles coach Leonard Hamilton draws up a play for Douglas. There’s nothing happening though. Tech smothers Toney. Calls the T. Here we go…
-Kitchen drives, makes the lay-up and gets fouled. Makes the free throw.
-Tech’s got one more shot. Shumpert pushes it, looses it, finds it and takes the floater. Nope. Game over. 64-62 FSU.
-Just got three text messages from folks who said they saw me on TV. Sitting behind Dickie V, indeed, has its privileges.
-Noles fans start up a “Player of the year! Player of the year!” chant towards Toney Douglas. The kid has 25 on 11-of-15 shooting. You could argue it today, for sure.
Game 7: No. 7 Maryland vs. No. 2 Wake Forest
-The crowd is pretty even. See some red. A bunch of gold and black too.
-On paper, Wake should win this one pretty handily. But you know how that goes… 4-4 early on.
-These Maryland fans are a mess. When Wake’s Chas McFarland’s at the lane, they’re screaming “Ogre! Ogre!” so loud they can probably hear it back in Winston-Salem.
-Terp Greivis Vasquez averages 17.2 a night. Wake’s Jeff Teague goes for over 19. Neither has a point at the 15-minute mark. Haven’t really seen them touch the ball much.
-McFarland passes a ball so wildly in Teague’s direction that Shrek would say it stinks.
-Vasquez gets his first two with under 14 minutes left. 12-5 Terps.
-It’s 15-9, but it’s an agonizing 15-9. Nobody’s really doing anything… besides Demon Deacon James Johnson, who’s got three fouls with 10:48 left.
-A Gary Clark to L.D. Williams alley-oopis the first excitement -well, beyond these crazy Terps fans- we’ve seen from Wake this game.
-Okay, here’s some more action. Al-Farouq Aminu provides two nice-looking baskets. This kid is the real deal. Please tell me ESPN is saying the name right: Al Fuh-ruke A-me-nu… 17-16, Wake.
-Teague’s still scoreless. Good thing the Deacons have Williams andIshmael Smith. Both are playing a pretty good game. Love their intensity. Ish is only 1-of-6 from the field, but it’s hard to keep a tab on the guy’s energy out there… Look, there he goes with a steal. 26-25 Wake after two Aminu free throws. 4:27 left in the half.
-Terp Dino Gregory flicks a good-looking floater with under three minutes left.
-The “Ogre!” heckles keep coming at Chas’ direction. Wake’s media relations guys begin to turn aroundindisgust. 33-29, Maryland.
-Wow, we haven’t seen Teague struggle like this since… hell, I don’t know. He’s 0-for-6 from the field with more turnovers (1) than free throw attempts (0). When was the last time the scoring juggernaut had a donut for the opening half? Tonight… 36-31 Terps at the half.
-Son, Maryland’s Vasquez has missed three or four easy lay-ups. How in the world does he have 12 points?
-Two and a half minutes gone in the 2nd and the Deaks need a timeout. They’re down 40-31 and the folks in red are starting to get even louder.
-40-31 has turned into 48-33 just like that. Vasquez hits a three. So does Sean Mosley. Umm, Wake, you’re No. 9 in the country.
-The Deacons are starting to do a lot of pouting after calls. Never a good sign. They’re also shooting 25% from the field. Says here that’s not a great sign either.
-Teague scores! Teaguescores! 52-39, Maryland. Need more! Need more!
-Teague with three free throws and a steal. He’s. Waking. Up. 10:28 to do it in.
-Vasquez doing a lil’ this and a lil’ that to come up with his 22 points. YouTube some of his clips if you aren’t familiar with the Venezuelan guard.
-Johnson doing a lot of dunking to get his 16… Maryland up 64-52 with 6:56 to go.
-Ish knocks down a big three. 64-56 Terps. Gonna use the “M” word here- momentum. Might it be changing to Wake’s side? We’ll see how the squad comes out of this timeout.
-Nothing really happens. 67-58 now. Wake’s gotta make some stops if their comeback’s to have some legitimacy.
-Maryland’s band just got done playing the theme to “A-Team.” Kids, do y’all even know the great 80s action series I’m talking about?
-Maryland’s bandisnowplaying Michael Jackson’s late 70s/early 80s banger “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.” Good stuff. If you’re under 25, you probably wouldn’t understand.
-The Terps’ Eric Hayes goes 2-for 2 from the line down the stretch. Mosley goes 3-for-4. This one’s a done deal. 75-62, Terps with 25 seconds left.
-Teague’s fouled behind the arc. Goes 2-for-3. Finishes with 11. Can’t win that way. And they don’t. Final score: 75-64, Maryland “We’re Going to the Big Dance” Terrapins.
-Teague’s post-game thoughts on his off game: “Sometimes you know you’re going to get off to a good start but sometimes when you come out missing shots you try to look for other ways to get involved in the game andgetyour teammates involved. But tonight nobody was really attacking until the second half.”
-Vasquez’s take on the game: “We are a proud team. We’ve come a long way. We have worked really hard to get into this position. We are trying to win the tournament. We are going to keep working and wait to see who we play tomorrow.”
Game 8: No. 3 Duke vs. No. 6 Boston College
-When the Duke Blue Devils come out for their shoot-around, they are booed like none other. In the five previous games I’ve witnessed here, not once has their been such a cascade of disapproval. Coach K’s team must be pretty good this year.
-ESPN announcer Len Elmore just seems like a really nice guy. He’d be the cool uncle you’d watch Green Bay/Detroit with on the couch during Thanksgiving.
-BC fan to star guard TyreseRiceduring shoot-around: “Tyrese! Tyrese! We’re Facebook friends!”
-Gerald Henderson picks up the quickest two fouls you’ll ever see. There’s 19:25 on the clock.
-Rice on Duke’s Nolan Smith could be a fun match-up.
-Jon Scheyer, who’s about 37% from outside, knocks down his first one. 8-2 Duke with 15:13 remaining.
-BC’s Joe Trapani looks just like a young Wally Szczerbiak. Of course, a young Wally Szczerbiak was averaging about 24 points at Miami (OH). Joe will get you half of that.
-Duke fans easily have the most chants and sideline gimmicks out the ACC. And their Blue Devil mascot is without question the most animated of the conference’s costumed characters. (If you haven’t seen this great new NikeID commercial with said mascot, well, here.)
-Scheyer’s last two have rimmed out. 13-6 Duke though with 8:30 left.
-Duke’s Gerald Henderson makes a hard runner. Smith misses an easy lay-up. 17-11 Duke though with 5:44 left.
-Both teams are right around 28% so far from the field. Sadly, that’s been the theme for most of the day.
-The Eagles cheerleaders just did this crazy Cirque du Soleil twirling thing at half-court. Maybe 50 people were paying attention.
-Rice averages about 17 per. He just got his first three. Oddly though, Biko Paris, with five points and a handful of crisp passes, has had more of a backcourt presence this game. Still, the score is an ugly 19-19 with under two minutes to go.
-As you might expect, Duke’s Kyle Singler has his 11 first half points.
-But surprising to some, BC’s winning by four with 20 ticks in the half.
-Make that seven after Rice’s grown-man trey at the buzzer. 29-22 Golden Eagles. Tyrese lets the world know with some R-rated phrasing towards the Duke faithful that this is no fluke, friends.
-Gerald Henderson opens things up with a colossal one-handed jam!
-Josh Southern, BC’s big man, has been solid. The numbers -five points, two boards, one block- aren’t gonna light up tomorrow’s Boston Globe, but he is putting in work in the paint. 34-32 BC with 15:45 left in the game.
-Duke snatches the lead back after Nolan Smith’s first three points of the game.
-Southern gets it back for the Eagles. Back and forth.
-Scheyer goes long. Back and forth.
-Rice weaves in for a quick two. Back and forth. Timeout. 38-38. 14 minutes of back and forth to play.
-Rice’s got 12. Singler’s got 18. We’ve got another tie.
-Another guy who’s played pretty well for BC is Corey Raji, a sophomore forward from Dirty Jersey. He’s only got six points but he’s been around the ball every minute he’s been out there. 43-42.
-Some Georgia Dome employee just came by all nervously and confiscated my empty cranberry juice bottle off the table. WTF? A writer nearby informs me that the ACC tourney is a Aquafina-sponsored event. Can’t have the rival beverages getting any airtime, ya dig?
-Henderson misses two free throws but he hustles to the loose ball. He’s fouled again. He misses again. Makes the second. That 1-for-4 mark might come back to haunt the Dukies. 48-43 Blue Devils with 10:30 to go.
-Rice is fouled on a three-point attempt. Tyrese just missed two straight at the stripe. One down. Two down. Three down. 48-46 Duke.
-Henderson drains a three. A few seconds later, he’s at the line for two. Makes one. He now has 12. The Cameron Crazies like what they see on the scoreboard: 54-46 with eight remaining.
-With all the stomping and chanting that the Duke faithful is doing, you’d expect the score to look differently than 57-56 Blue Devils. But that’s just what it is after Paris’ three for BC.
-Singler puts some space between Duke and BC with a sweet turnaround J. He’s got 25.
-Paris keeps the score close with two free throws. He’s got 12. One point game.
-Goes to three after Henderson’s I-walked-but-it-wasn’t-called shot. He’s got 15.
-Puh-leeze don’t let this game go six overtimes!
-Awful shot from BC’s Rakim Sanders. Every ball needs to touch Tyrese Rice’s hands here on out, young man… The next time down, it does. Rice nails a three, of course. 63-63 with 1:19 on the ticker.
-Singler makes one of two from the line. 26 for the Oregon product.
-Trapani’s at the line now. Knocks down one. Same for the second. BC’s up 65-64. Back and forth.
-Henderson gets to the lane waaaay too easily for the finger roll. 66-65 Blue Devils. Back and forth for the next 34.6 seconds, I guess.
-Where in the world is Greg Paulus? The kid’s played about 45 seconds tonight.
-Just got word that Syracuse is heading to overtime again. Day-um! We might be headed that way if BC does something with it.
-Nope, no OT for us. Rakim Sanders misses the jumper. Duke goes on to meet a confident Maryland tomorrow. Final: 66-65 Blue Devils.
-3600 words later, the day of blogging has come to an end. The ACC is down to its final four: Duke, Maryland, North Carolina and Florida State. Should be quite the Saturday. “The Dome will be closing in 15 minutes,” says the PA announcer. Guess that’s my cue…