2014 FIBA Women's World Basketball Championship Live Scores


ACC scramble to the finish is critical for NCAA bids

Contributor
February 28, 2013 - 9:07am
Alyssa Thomas of Maryland is the Full Court ACC Player of the Year (Photo by Kelly Kline)

Alyssa Thomas of Maryland is the Full Court ACC Player of the Year (Photo by Kelly Kline)

As the ACC enters its final week, there's not a lot of mystery regarding the top of the league. The only question left regarding Duke is whether or not they can run the table and finish 18-0. We'll see how much motivation and emotion they can summon after beating Florida State and Maryland in the span of three days.  For the rest of the league, there's still a good bit at stake, including jockeying for position in the ACC tournament and the potential for making statement wins to draw the eye of the NCAA selection committee.  I'll also dole out my ACC awards. RPI information was culled from realtimerpi.com.

No. 5 Duke (26-1, 16-0 ACC)

ACC Tournament Status: Duke has clinched the #1 seed and a bye.

Quick RPI Status: RPI #6, SOS 341

Best Wins: Maryland (twice), Cal, Florida State, Michigan

Bad Losses: None

NCAA Tournament Possibilities: Duke is closing in on a lock for a #2 seed and has a small chance of getting a #1 seed, but only if they run the table and they get some help from elsewhere. Look for them to wind up in the Norfolk regional.

Team MVP: Chelsea Gray.  She's the best point guard in the league and was my choice for ACC player of the year before she went down. She's a clutch shooter, creative passer and disruptive defender.

Comments: Duke showed there is life after Gray by knocking off ranked Maryland and Florida State teams.  Freshman Alexis Jones is stepped up big in place of Gray against Maryland and the Blue Devils are starting to adjust by redistributing scoring and passing duties, but Gray's absence will be felt in close games as the season goes on. Duke's schedule was super-soft at the bottom, but their 11-1 record against the RPI top 100, 7-1 against the top 50 and 3-1 against the top ten is quite good.

No. 9 Maryland (22-5, 13-3 ACC)

ACC Tournament Status: Maryland has clinched a bye and can finish no lower than third in the ACC standings.

Quick RPI Status: RPI #10, SOS #31

Best Wins: Delaware, UNC, Florida State

Bad Losses: None.

NCAA Tournament Possibilities: If Maryland runs the table the rest of the way, they could get a #2 seed somewhere. Otherwise, they are locked into a #3 seed.

Team MVP: Alyssa Thomas. She's had to act as point guard, post player and wing. Most teams can't stop her one-on-one because of her ability to handle the ball, shoot and post up.

Comments: The Terps just got wing Tierney Pfirman back to boost their wafer-thin bench. How they'll be able to handle potentially playing three games in three days with such a thin lineup is an open question. To hold onto the #2 seed in the confered, they need to win out and get UNC to lose to Duke.

North Carolina (25-4, 13-3 ACC)

ACC Tournament Status: UNC has clinched a first round bye. Winning out will give them the #2 seed.

Quick RPI Status: RPI #17, SOS #65

Best Wins: Maryland, Florida State

Bad Losses: None

NCAA Tournament Possibilities: If the Heels run the table, they could bump their way up to a #3 seed in the NCAA tournament. Multiple losses could push them down as low as a #5 seed.

Team MVP: Tierra Ruffin-Pratt. She's the toughest one-on-one defender in the league and has proven herself to be a clutch player, as she's had to play out of position at point guard.

Comments: UNC has a lot of interesting parts and could easily pull an Elite Eight run if they get the right match-ups. Don't be stunned if they make a big ACC tournament run, either. They have to keep their turnovers under control and play consistent defense, but their size, quickness and shooting can hurt most any opponent when the Heels are clicking.

Florida State (20-7, 10-6 ACC)

ACC Tournament Status: FSU has not yet clinched a first round bye, but they're still in great shape to clinch the #4 seed, as they own the tiebreaker versus nearest competitor Miami.

Quick RPI Status: RPI #22, SOS #37

Best Wins: UNC

Bad Losses: Wake Forest, NC State, Virginia Tech

NCAA Tournament Possibilities: FSU is almost certainly in thanks to a 12-4 record against the RPI top 100, but it would be in their best interests not to lose their season finale against Virginia. Beating Maryland at home would be even better news. This is likely a #6 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Team MVP: Alexa Deluzio. She's a fine shooter, she can attack off the dribble, she can pass and she's a great leader. She's been doing it all for FSU for quite some time.

Comments: FSU looked very wobbly in their blowout loss to Virginia Tech. They need to regain focus and fast, or they will be exiting from both the ACC and NCAA tournaments quickly.

Miami (19-9, 9-7 ACC)

ACC Tournament Status: Miami has a very small chance of getting a first round bye. Most likely, they will be a #5 seed in the ACC tournament.

Quick RPI Status:RPI #54, SOS #58

Best Wins: Penn State

Bad Losses: None

NCAA Tournament Possibilities: If Miami manages to upset Duke, then they're in. Otherwise, they need to beat Virginia Tech and then win their first round ACC tournament game (most likely also against Virginia Tech) to get in. That win over Penn State really helps.

Team MVP: Morgan Stroman. She's one of the toughest defenders in the league and has really stepped it up as a scorer.

Comments: Losing to Georgia Tech really hurt; that win would have come close to clinching an NCAA tournament berth. They'll definitely be on the bubble; much will depend on what happens in certain key conference tournaments.

Virginia (15-12, 7-9 ACC)

ACC Tournament Status: Virginia will likely be the #6 seed, but they could slip as low as #8.

Quick RPI Status: RPI #90, SOS #69

Best Wins: Vanderbilt

Bad Losses: Alabama, Boston College, Clemson, Wake Forest

NCAA Tournament Possibilities: They need to win the ACC tournament. Otherwise, this team is headed to the WNIT.

Team MVP: Ataira Franklin. When she is aggressive with the ball, UVa can compete with most anyone.

Comments: Injuries ravaged this team down the stretch, as an already-thin roster was decimated and lost some close games.

Georgia Tech (13-14, 6-10 ACC)

ACC Tournament Status: Anywhere from the #6 to the #8 seed.

Quick RPI Status: RPI #72, SOS #14

Best Wins: Washington

Bad Losses: NC State, Virginia Tech.

NCAA Tournament Possibilities: They need to win the ACC tournament, with four wins in four days. They nearly did this last year.

Team MVP: Ty Marshall. After a very slow start, Marshall has been putting up monster numbers of late.

Comments: This is a ridiculously young team with unsteady post play, but their shooters, depth and defensive pressure give them a puncher's chance on any given night.

North Carolina State (13-15, 5-11)

ACC Tournament Status: They could reasonably wind up anywhere between #6 and #12.

Quick RPI Status: RPI #112, SOS #56.

Best Wins: Florida State

Bad Losses: Auburn, Wake Forest, Boston College

NCAA Tournament Possibilities: They need to win the ACC tournament. Otherwise, they will most likely be out of postseason play.

Team MVP: Marissa Kastanek. The shooter had trouble getting open looks at times, but she never gave less than her best in every single game.

Comments: This is the most disappointing team in the ACC, considering their size, depth, shooting and experience. They could easily make an ACC tournament run if they could figure out how to finish games. Don't forget how they surprised Duke last year.

#22 Lakevia Boykin led Wake Forest with with 14.8 points per game. (Photo by Michael Crouse)

Wake Forest (12-16, 5-11)

ACC Tournament Status: Somewhere between the #8 and #11 slots, most likely.

Quick RPI Status: RPI #150, SOS #59

Best Wins: Florida State

Bad Losses: Virginia Tech, Clemson, NC State

NCAA Tournament Possibilities: They have to win the ACC tournament.

Team MVP: Lakevia Boykin. Though wildly inconsistent, she could go off for 30+ points on any given night.

Comments: Boykin and Chelsea Douglas are a dangerous 1-2 backcourt punch. Wake has one of the least productive benches in the country, however.

Clemson (9-18, 5-11)

ACC Tournament Status: Probably between and #8 and #10 seed.

Quick RPI Status: RPI #167, SOS #40.

Best Wins: None

Bad Losses: Lots

NCAA Tournament Possibilities: They have to win the ACC tournament.

Team MVP: Nikki Dixon. The inefficient guard has had to score, pass, rebound and defend. It's taken a toll on her shooting numbers, but she competes hard every game.

Comments: It's a miracle that Clemson has won 5 league games, given that they lost three starters early in the year. They definitely try hard.

Boston College (10-17, 4-12 ACC)

ACC Tournament Status: Somewhere between #10 and #12.

Quick RPI Status:  RPI #128, SOS #36

Best Wins: Rutgers

Bad Losses: Wake Forest (twice), Clemson

NCAA Tournament Possibilities: They have to win the ACC tournament.

Team MVP: Kristin Doherty. This wing is playing power forward for this team with a paper-thin roster, and she's done well as a rebounder, shooter and defender.

Comments: BC's been punching above their weight the whole year. It's really caught up with them in the last month. Still, a team with this many good shooters can pull an upset.

Virginia Tech (9-18, 3-13 ACC)

ACC Tournament Status: Somewhere between #10 and #12

Quick RPI Status: RPI #135, SOS #7

Best Wins: Florida State

Bad Losses: Many

NCAA Tournament Possibilities: They need to win the ACC tournament.

Team MVP: Monet Tellier. She has had to be a volume shooter for a team that really struggles to score.

Comments: VT defends hard, but only Tellier and post Uju Ugota can really score.

#12 Chelsea Gray of Duke was named to the Full Court first team All-ACC Team. (Photo by Jon Gardiner/Duke Photography)

FULL COURT ACC AWARDS

All-ACC First Team

Alyssa Thomas, Maryland

Chelsea Gray, Duke

Elizabeth Williams, Duke

Tianna Hawkins, Maryland

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, UNC

Second Team

Ty Marshall, Georgia Tech

Haley Peters, Duke

Leo Rodriguez, FSU

Alexa Deluzio, FSU

Morgan Stroman, Miami

Third Team

Tricia Liston, Duke

Natasha Howard, FSU

Lakevia Boykin, Wake

Xylina McDaniel, UNC

Ataira Franklin, Virginia

All-Rookie Team

Xylina McDaniel, UNC

Alexis Jones, Duke

Nicole Boudreau, Boston College

Chloe Pavlech, Maryland

Aaliyah Whiteside, Georgia Tech

All-Defensive Team

Elizabeth Williams, Duke

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, UNC

Waltiea Rolle, UNC

Natasha Howard, FSU

Morgan Stroman, Miami

Sixth Player of the Year: Chasity Clayton, FSU

Rookie of the Year: Xylina McDaniel, UNC

Player of the Year: Alyssa Thomas, Maryland

Defensive Player of the Year: Elizabeth Williams, Duke

Coach of the Year: Brenda Frese, Maryland

 


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