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Senior Nite Comeback Shocks Heels, 81-79 (OT)
Photo Gallery
Balanced Devils Pound Cavs, 76-53
The Nutshell
2009 ACC Tournament - Rounds 1 & 2
By Rob Clough & Orin Day
March 4, 2009

DWHoops Breaks Down and Recaps the First Two Days for the Field of Twelve

Note: We have updated this page to reflect results of the 1st round and quarterfinals - eliminated teams are crossed out.

Group 1: (5) Georgia Tech, (12) Clemson and (4) UNC

The Jackets will likely force a number of turnovers against Clemson, who could make it interesting for awhile if Lele Hardy has a big game. The Heels and Jackets split during the regular season and both play a physical brand of uptempo basketball. Look for the over/under on total turnovers to be around 60 in this game. The Heels' shooting will ultimately allow them to prevail.

Thursday: Hardy gets 10 points, 8 boards, and 7 steals as Clemson ousts Georgia Tech 81-69.

Friday: Clemson stays with the Heels for a half, then gets blown out in the second - final score 74-55. The rebounding total was similar, 59-33 favoring the Heels.

Group 2: (8) NC State, (9) Wake Forest and (1) Maryland

State swept the Deacs this season, though Wake was without senior center Corrine Groves in those games. The Wolfpack Women are playing inspired basketball and Wake has been reeling of late. Expect a close game that could go to OT. In any event, neither team has the firepower to keep up with Maryland.

Thursday: Wake avenges their two losses to State, turning things around with a gutty 59-54 win. Corinne Groves tallies 18 on 8-11 shooting while State's Lucy Ellison is held scoreless. Would an upset of Maryland be enough for an NCAA bid?

Friday: Wake's glass slipper crumbled late in the second half as Maryland's 19-2 run turned a 12 point Deac lead into a five point deficit. Three minutes remained, and both teams went cold until Corinne Groves hit a bucket with 48 seconds left. Wake's defensive stop was wasted by a subsequent empty offensive possession, and the Terps' ACC title hopes endure. Maryland and UNC collide Saturday at 1 PM.

Group 3: (7) Boston College, (10) Miami and (2) Florida State

Miami can attack BC's weakness (quickness at guard and wing) with their dynamic frosh duo of Shenise Johnson and Riquna Williams. On the other BC will exploit Miami's weakness: lack of quality size. The Eagles' Mickel Picco likes the ACC tournament and will be the deciding factor as BC wins without much trouble. BC's size advantage will be negated against FSU, who has post players to match BC and quickness besides.

Thursday: BC dominates the boards and beats Miami 76-59, setting up the battle of the redheaded three point specialists - Freshour vs. Picco. Katie Meier and the 'Canes had no answer for Swords inside (16 of her 20 in the second half) to finish their season on a six game losing streak.

Friday: FSU plays an extremely solid first half of basketball for a 42-25 halftime lead, then coasts to an 83-71 victory. The final score was only so close because BC's second five outplayed FSU's second five after the benches were cleared. The Noles shot nearly 50% from the field including a scorching 11-18 (68%) from long range. Tanae Davis-Cain and Mara Freshour each had 20 to lead all scorers. Mickel Picco was 3-8 from long range in the first half but oddly didn't attempt any more. BC was a step slower to the loose balls throughout and when Carolyn Swords fouled out with over 10 minutes remaining there was little hope for a BC rally. Failing to value the ball was a general Eagle woe -- 19 turnovers including 11 in the first half was far too many for the deliberate Eagles to overcome. FSU advances to meet the UVa/Duke winner. DWHoops "bonus" photos of this game.

Group 4: (6) Virginia, (11) Virginia Tech and (3) Duke

Virginia Tech doesn't have the size or firepower to compete with Virginia, but they will make it interesting for a while based on pure grit. The Hoos are tough to stop with their wing/forward duo of Monica Wright and Lyndra Littles, both of whom are big-time scorers. Look for Duke to try to exploit the same matchups as last time, especially at guard. If Duke uses a freer-flowing offense that allows Jasmine Thomas to attack off the dribble, the Devils will be in good shape.
Thursday: Virginia takes down a game Virginia Tech squad who battled back from a 21 point deficit to fall 66-57. A full recap of the game is here by Katrina Waugh of the Roanoke Times (she regularly covers both of these programs).

Friday: Duke crushes Virginia with a huge opening run, then cruises to a 76-53 victory. Our full coverage including photos starts here

You can relive the 2008 ACC Tournament with over 1000 DWHoops Photos.

Due to various constraints on time and resources our photo coverage will focus more on Duke in 2009 and not include Thursday's games. We have hopes of once again covering all 11 games in 2010, but increased reader support through subscriptions and other channels will be needed for us to reach that goal.

Senior Nite Comeback Shocks Heels, 81-79 (OT)
Photo Gallery
Balanced Devils Pound Cavs, 76-53
The Nutshell

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