I missed the first weekend, so I won't actually pick every game. That said, I watched every game and only one surprised me. I thought we would beat Miami.
Jan 8 – Clemson @ Duke – I am not sure what the line on this game will be, but this will be a fun night for the Crazies in Cameron. Clemson has not won in Durham since 1995 and this will not be the year to break that streak. Duke by 32.
Jan 9 – Boston College @ Virginia Tech – The Eagles gave NC State all they wanted this weekend, but the season has been a roller coaster thus far. After a rough early OOC schedule, they hit hit their stride and were on a winning streak before coming up just short at home against the Wolfpack. The Hokies are headed in the opposite direction. After being 7-0 they have lost five of the last seven games, including an ugly loss to Georgia Southern at home. BC will win this by seven points in spite of a big game by Erick Green.
Jan 9 – Florida State @ Maryland – The Noles have been this season’s mystery team. No one expected them to struggle early with a soft OOC schedule, but struggle they did, losing at home to Mercer and South Alabama. Maryland is also a surprise. A 3-point loss to Kentucky in their opening game is the only thing between them and an undefeated record. They can shoot, rebound and defend. They run the floor and complete almost every break. It’s hard to find a flaw in their game. Maryland will cruise and win by 17.
Jan 9 – Georgia Tech @ NC State – We were shocked by the uptick in the competition against Miami, but here comes another uptick. Fortunately, the Pack is not as physical and our young guys will not be as overwhelmed by the experience of the Pack. Skill wise, State is clearly better than us, but they depend on speed rather than size. Physically we match up well with them, but Leslie and Howell and Wood and Brown are all good athletes. And, Rodney Purvis, a 5-star rookie is their sixth man. I think we will play them close, but wither at the end, losing by less than ten points.
Jan 9 – Virginia @ Wake Forest – The Cavaliers played a sloppy game at home against UNC and won. They were abetted by Carolina’s ugly play, but win they did. They remind me of Ga Tech in that defense and a methodical half court offense are their strengths. Wake is a team trying to find itself. Beyond McKie and Harris, they don’t really have much offense. As a result, this could be a really good game to bet the under. UVa to win by 12.
Jan 10 - Miami @ North Carolina – Miami is what UNC is not – a confident team with experience and lots of skilled athletes. UNC is confused and frustrated by their inability to beat good teams. They have lost four of five to teams in the top 50 in RPI, beating only a suspect UNLV team at home. This game will be no diferent. Miami will get separation in the second half and win by ten.
Jan 12 – Duke @ NC State – This should be the best game of the weekend. Duke is never quite as good in Raleigh as they are elsewhere and the State crowd really hates the Dookies. The emotions will be sky high for this game. I am picking Duke, but it will be very close until the end, where free throws will widen the gap to about 10 points.
Jan 12 – Virginia @ Clemson – The Tigers will be rested after the beating in Durham, but Littlejohn will not seem like home against UVa. The Cavaliers will wear them down and win by 15.
Jan 12 – North Carolina @ Florida State – Carolina has had trouble on the road, losing their last three. FSU has had trouble everywhere. This will be a panic game for the Heels. If I am right, a loss at FSU will put them at 0-3 with Maryland up next. I cannot recall a year when Carolina was 0-4. I think Roy Williams will salvage a road win here, but it could be sloppy. UNC by less than five.
Jan 12 – Virginia Tech @ Georgia Tech – We will happy to be back at home after a tough game in Raleigh. The Hokies will seem more like our OOC opponents. We will be more comfortable playing a team that depends on one or two guys to carry the load. Green will have another big night, but the real Tech will hold serve at home. The Jackets will win by eight points.
Jan 12 – Boston College @ Wake Forest – This is a “nobody really cares” game. Wake will protect their home court and win by seven.
Jan 13 - Maryland @Miami – This will be the first road game for Maryland since November, and only the second of the season. They played two games at neutral sites, losing to Kentucky and beating George Mason. Miami has played only two home games since November, but home for the canes means playing to a half filled arena and fans who are constantly checked their iPhone for Heat scores. I think it will be a struggle, but Maryland will win by less than five.
OK, guys. Your picks in the comments. You can also tell me what you think of mine. I will keep score and publish the results each week.