The wild week that was in the ACC found the team picked for last place winning twice, the team that perpetually sits on the bubble sitting at 0-3 in the conference, and the most shocking upset in the conference in many a year.
Surprise #1: Boston College, predicted to hold down the cellar in the conference, surprised by winning two games in three days. By virtue of two-point home wins over Clemson and Virginia Tech, the Eagles sit in a five-way tie for second place in the standings. It is hard to say whether this is the beginning of a surprising trend, or whether BC will eventually find its way back down to its predicted perch. What it does say is that the Eagles may not be the automatic win most pundits presumed it will be, at least at home.
Surprise #2: Granted, leading scorer Erick Green missed the BC game with a knee injury, but who could have foreseen Virginia Tech at 0-3? With no really great wins to speak of, the Hokies need to win as many games as they can in conference, because the schedule only gives them a few opportunities to defeat top-25 teams in the league. The Hokies do get two chances each at Virginia and Duke, but only one chance against North Carolina. That opportunity comes on Thursday night. Problem is, the Tar Heels are coming off a loss that no one saw coming. Which leads to…
Surprise #3: You can say that Florida State could’ve beaten North Carolina. You can say the Seminoles would have a chance to beat the Tar Heels, especially at home. But could anyone, anywhere, say that FSU would win the game by 33 points? When you talk about the Seminoles, the conversation starts with their defense, and they held the Tar Heels to 57 points by frustrating them at every turn. The real surprise in this one, though, is that the offense scored 90 points, with Deividas Dulkys leading the way with a game-high 32. This, from a team that often struggles to score most nights. Of course the question is, can the Seminoles keep it up? A Tuesday night date with Maryland, also 2-1 in conference along with the Seminoles, may supply some of the answers.
The Tar Heels weren’t the only team to suffer a 30+ point beatdown during the past week-Wake Forest, having defeated Virginia Tech for its first conference win, was bounced by North Carolina State by 36-while scoring 40 points in 40 minutes. Like the Hokies, Clemson also suffered a two-loss week; in addition to the BC loss, the Tigers played close, but ultimately fell to Duke. The Blue Devils sit alone at the top of the conference, the only team without a conference loss. Maryland got its first two conference wins over Wake Forest and Georgia Tech, while the Yellow Jackets did earn a victory over the Wolfpack. Virginia proved it will be a force to be reckoned with in a close 3-point loss to Duke in Durham.
Can North Carolina bounce back? Can Florida State handle success? Will Boston College escape the basement? Will Virginia Tech get out of the basement? Stay tuned for the answers.