Just another ho-hum weekend in the ACC. Duke survives a scare at home, Virginia continues to roll, Louisville gets their revenge against Pitt, BC pulls one out they had to have, State breaks Clemson hearts with an 8-0 run in 19 seconds, and the Hokies continue to look untouchable in Blacksburg. Just like we all expected…right?
With eight more games on the docket in the next four nights, don’t go anywhere. I also want to extend a warm welcome to our newest member, Kinchen Taylor. If you haven’t already, check him out on twitter @kinchen1andonly and keep an eye out for the exclusive content he’ll be providing right here at ACCBR in the days and weeks to come.
For my fellow basketball statheads out there, I’m going to start reaching out beyond just KenPom for these previews and incorporating the work of another of my favorite follows: Erik Haslam (@haslametrics). The way he breaks down play-by-play data goes way beyond simple points-per-possession and I’d encourage anyone who’s interested to read up on his methodology at haslametrics.com.
Picks to date: 25-7
Against the ‘analytic’ spread: 17-14-1
Sunday, January 27:
#33 Florida State at #86 Miami, 6pm
Haslametrics projection: FSU 74, Miami 70
Is Florida State finally turning the corner? A strong run to close out Clemson at home is a good start, but carrying that momentum into Coral Gables against a Miami team who gave the Seminoles all they could handle a few weeks ago will be no small challenge. Miami has dealt with plenty of adversity of their own this season, and will be looking to even the score against their in-state rivals.
After a frustrating trip to Syracuse on Thursday, I like Miami to get back up for this one. Florida State will have the edge in the paint and on the boards, but the Canes can nullify some of that if they can recover their stroke from downtown after shooting a painful 27% in their last outing.
Pick: I want to trust the Noles, but something tells me this may be one of the best nights we see from Miami all season. Canes +4, and a big win for the #12 team in our power rankings.
Monday, January 28:
#4 Duke at #74 Notre Dame, 7pm
Haslametrics projection: Duke 87, ND 69
Tre Jones made a welcome reappearance for the Blue Devils yesterday, but that didn’t stop the Yellow Jackets from trying their best to spoil the party for 25 or 30 minutes. With the exception of the UVA win (and it’s a huge one), Duke hasn’t looked as dominant as many expected in recent weeks, though admittedly they have little to complain about from a results perspective at 6-1. This Notre Dame team, while 1-6, has proven to be a tough out at times, perhaps most impressively in Chapel Hill, where the Tar Heels were only able to separate from the Irish late (and would have trailed at half were it not for the heroics of Brandon Robinson off the bench.)
Pick: Virginia and Duke on a Saturday-Monday turnaround is a brutal draw for the Irish. Wouldn’t be surprised to see this one closer than most expect at halftime, but even so the Blue Devils roll to 7-1 here. Duke -18.