We’ve just crossed the halfway point of the ACC basketball season, and we’ve got some mid-season award winners, and on this list that isn’t always a good.
This one was easy. Miami is playing as well ANYBODY in the country. They are 10-0 in the ACC, and flying up the rankings. They are eyeing a number #1 NCAA seed. What else can you say?
Coach of the First Half – Jim Larranaga
Jim Larranaga is orchestrating the Miami surge. He navigated the Canes through games that Durand Scott and Reggie Johnson were unavailable.
Player of the First Half – Shane Larkin
Noticing a trend? If Larranaga is orcrestasting the surge, Larkin is the on the floor leader. Larkin is savvy point guard that shoot, guard, and distribute the basketball. Basically it’s exactly what you want out of your starting PG. Honorable Mention must go to Virginia Tech’s Erick Green the country’s leading scorer. Green gets absolutely no help and is the defensive focus of every opponent the Hokies play. The Canes season has just been so remarkable though, that without Larkin that’s a slightly above average ACC team, and that’s why I gave him the edge.
Most Surprising Team – Miami Hurricanes
The Miami Hurricanes award show continues.
Most Disappointing Team – North Carolina State Wolfpack
This one was tough. I almost went with North Carolina, but the Wolfpack were the pre-season ACC favorite. They also were ranked in the top 10. The problem is they keep losing close games, and they are 1 loss at Clemson on Sunday from going under .500 in the ACC. Yes they beat Duke, but nobody saw a 5-5 conference record at this point. Sorry the Wolfpack get no sympathy points for Lorenzo Brown missing a couple of games. Duke has been without Ryan Kelly and Miami has been without Reggie Johnson for parts of this year.
Best Non-Conference Win – Duke 76 Louisville 71
Before Duke beat Louisville to win the Battle 4 Atlantis Title, many were skeptical that the ACC had any teams that could win a national title. Duke’s been in the top 5 ever since, even with the injury of Ryan Kelly. Honorable Mention has to go to Virginia winning at Wisconsin which in part makes up for the loss below.
Worst Non-Conference Loss – Virginia 61 Old Dominion 63
If they played 20 times, VIrginia wins 19 times, but unfortunetaly for the Cavs the 1 time they did play. Old Dominon has lost 20 games this year, and is killing the Cavs computer numbers. That’s not good for a bubble team.
Trap Game of the 2nd half – North Carolina at Georgia Tech, February 19.
Sandwiched between huge home games between UVA and NC State, the Heels have to go on the road where the Yellow Jackets have already beat Virginia. The Yellow Jackets have won 3 of their last 5 ACC games after losing their first 5. The Heels are in solid NCAA position, but aren’t but a couple of losses from being back on the bubble. This is not a game they want to lose.
Jekyll and Hyde Team – Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
In ACC play the Demon Deacons are 4-7, but they are 4-1 at home with wins over Virginia, NC State, and a blow out of FSU. On the road the Deacs are 0-6 including 20+ pt losses at Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Maryland. That’s as Jekyll and Hyde as you can get.
Game of the 2nd half – Miami at Duke, March 2.
This could potentially be a top 5 matchup. Miami gave the Blue Devils one of the worst beatdowns of the Coach K era in a 90-63 down in Coral Cables. Revenge will on Duke’s mind in the ACC’s biggest game of the year.