GREENSBORO, NC – Greetings from ACC Central and semifinal day here at the Greensboro Coliseum where your Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are playing N.C. State at a 4 p.m. tip.
Hm. Last time we saw N.C. State, there was a four-minute, 16-point near collapse, and much fretting about inbounds plays and Tech’s press offense.
So who has the mental advantage today, then? Tech? Because the Yellow Jackets know how dangerous the Wolfpack can be? Or State because the Wolfpack came oh so close and fell short at Alexander.
Either way, Tech still looked pretty darn vulnerable to the press last night, when Maryland went fullcourt to start the second half. Need I remind you of the three turnovers in the first 52 seconds of the second half, five by the first media timeout, 14 in the second half in all, and a season-high 25 by the end of the game.
Unlike the State game, when D’Andre Bell took basically initiated all the inbounds plays, last night it was either Zachery Peacock or Moe Miller. Tech finally broke through when it attacked the press aggressively, with a couple of little give-and-goes at midcourt with Iman Shumpert rushing up court after he got the short pass.
Frankly though, with both teams playing their third game in three games today you have to wonder how much energy each team will have to press. It will be interesting to see. I’m told State has been going eight or nine deep, so you wouldn’t think Tech has a huge advantage with depth.
It was a big deal, though, for Tech to have N.C. State to play today, rather than Florida State, which would have played only one game, not two. (Plus there’s that ol’ bugaboo against FSU this year, and five straight losses overall.)
It’s hard to believe that three of the four teams in today’s semifinals are lower seeds, who had to play the first day (Miami, Tech and State). This is actually only the second time in 17 years that the 11th and 12th seeds have advanced to the semifinals of ANY conference tournament.
Since the ACC tourney field expanded in 2005, no team has won four games in four days to take this title. Is this the year? Will somebody take down Duke?
Speaking of, I’ve got to get out on the court to watch the first semifinal. Discuss! What’s Tech got to do to win today?