Friday, January 27, 2012

Weekend Match-up Preview: January 28-29

This weekend features one good game, one 'I hope they don't screw that up game' and three games with no real implications beyond positioning in the bottom half of the league. In short, its a your average weekend of ACC basketball in 2012.

After a 3-2 week, I'm now 20-12-1 against the spread.

Note: FSU has the weekend off, Duke hosts St. John's in what should be a relatively easy win for the Blue Devils.

Wake Forest at Clemson
Pomeroy: Clemson by 10, 84% chance of winning
Clemson has been consistent so far in league play - very good at home and bad on the road. If not for the two-point loss at Boston College they'd be off to a decent start in the ACC. They should be able to handle a Wake Forest team that has lost by at least 18 points in three of its last four games.

Prediction: Clemson 65, Wake 50

Virginia Tech at Maryland
Pomeroy: Tech by 5, 69% chance of winning
Maryland would like to show some improvement as the season keeps going along, but they've yet to really pick up a good win of any kind. The Hokies are just desperate for wins in any shape or form at this point. I think Tech wins this game as the Terrapins suffer from a little Blue Devil hangover.

Prediction: Tech 70, Maryland 68

Virginia at NC State
Pomeroy: Virginia by 1, 57% chance of winning
Huge test for both teams. Virginia has already lost to one middle tier ACC team in the Hokies (I know they currently sit at the bottom of the ACC standings, but they won't finish there) and would like to prove it belongs in that upper crust with UNC, Duke and Floriday State. The Pack is coming off its worse loss of the season and also wants to think of itself as an upper crust team. Both teams have just a one-day turnaround after playing on Thursday night. Because both teams have been upset already (by GT and VT respectively), they need this game to stay on track for double-digit conference wins.

I actually sort of like this match-up for NC State in that the Cavaliers are great at closing out shooters but are weaker at defending the interior, especially with Sene hurt. That plays to the Pack's strength - the biggest issue for them is going to be getting some offensive rebounds against a Virginia team that sends all five guys to the glass. If the Pack can get somewhere in the neighborhood of 30% of its own misses, I think they win this game.

Prediction: Pack 67, UVA 63

Miami at Boston College
Pomeroy: Miami by 10, 84% chance of winning
I think Miami is the sixth best team in the league and will finish with something close to a .500 record by the end of the year. So I don't envision this one being particularly close. Miami's guards >>>>>>>> BC's guards.

Prediction: Miami 74, BC 60

Georgia Tech at UNC
Pomeroy: Heels by 22, 96% chance of winning
The 'I hope they don't screw that up' game. And honestly I don't see a world where the Heels can screw this up. They have the Yellow Jackets outgunned, out-sized and their at home. That's a pretty impossible combination for the Jackets to overcome.

Prediction: UNC 85, GT 60

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