With Conference Play on Horizon, Checking in on the Rest of the ACC

Maryland has another week before the ACC season kicks off, but, with nothing else to do between then and now, it's an excellent time to take a look at what the rest of the ACC has accomplished and preview the conference struggle for the Terps.

This doesn't need much more of an introduction. Without further ado, check the jump for a team-by-team breakdown of how the rest of the ACC has fared, very roughly in order of team quality:

Duke Blue Devils
Record
: 12-1 (1-0)
Notable Wins: UCONN at home by 9, Gonzaga (neutral court) by a bazillon, blew out Clemson
Notable Losses: Wisconsin on the road by 4
Times Maryland Plays: 2 (@ MD 2/13, @ Duke 3/3)
In a Nutshell: Duke is in the top 10 for a reason. We'll still give them crap, but they're a very good team. Kyle Singler has stepped up in place of Gerald Henderson, and Jon Scheyer is playing out of his mind at the moment. With North Carolina below-average, I'd be very surprised if the Dookies don't run away with the conference.

North Carolina Tar Heels
Record
: 11-3 (0-0)
Notable Wins: Michigan State at home by 7, Ohio State (neutral) by 4
Notable Losses: @ Kentucky by 2, Syracuse (neutral) by 17
Times Maryland Plays: 1 (@ MD 2/7)
In a Nutshell: UNC is as talented as ever, but much younger. They'll go through their growing pains while showing potential at the same time. Maryland's guards should be able to match up with Larry Drew II and Dexter Strickland, but Ed Davis might have his way with Jordan Williams. Still, an upset wouldn't be surprising at this stage.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Record
: 11-2 (1-0)
Notable Wins: @ Gonzaga by 2, NCSt. by 8, Richmond & Xavier at home
Notable Losses: William and Mary at home by 10, Purdue by 9
Time Maryland Plays: 1 (@ Wake 1/12)
In a Nutshell: A lot of people kind of wrote off Wake Forest when they lost to W&M before winning a meaningful game. Since then, though, they've been one of the ACC's best, and might be able to sneak above UNC for the second spot. Al-Farouq Aminu has become an all-conference performer while Ish Smith and freshman C.J. Harris anchor the backcourt. Chas Macfarland is still at center, thankfully.

Florida State Seminoles
Record
: 12-2 (1-0)
Notable Wins: @ GT by 7 in OT, Marquette (neutral) by 1
Notable Losses: @ Florida by 16
Times Maryland Plays: 2 (@ MD 1/10, @ FSU 2/4)
In a Nutshell: Length. FSU as a team is gigantic. Solomon Alabi is the closest thing they have to a star, but they're extremely balanced and a good rebounding team. They'll surprise more than one team in the ACC this year, particularly if super-freshman Michael Snaer can step up his game.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Record
: 11-2 (0-1)
Notable Wins: @ George Mason by 8, vs. USC by 26
Notable Losses: vs FSU by 7 in OT, Dayton (neutral) by 4
Time Maryland Plays: 1 (@ MD 2/20)
In a Nutshell: Yes, I still hold that GT is overrated, but not by as much as I thought. Like UNC, they're young and will have growing pains, but Derrick Favors is for real and Gani Lawal is as good as ever. Mfon Udofia gives them a legit guard option, too; they'll be a tough matchup in conference.

Miami (FL) Hurricanes
Record
: 14-1 (0-1)
Notable Wins: Minnesota by 5
Notable Losses: BC by 1
Time Maryland Plays: 1 (@ MD 1/26)
In a Nutshell: This is where the conference sees a big drop-off. Miami has only one loss, but it's to a bad BC team in conference, and they've played an extremely weak schedule up to this point. The core of the team is still James Dews and Dwayne Collins, both okay, but they'll really miss Jack McClinton come ACC time.

Clemson Tigers
Record: 12-3 (0-1)
Notable Wins: Butler by 1
Notable Losses: Blown out by Duke, Texas A&M (neutral) by 9
Times Maryland Plays: 2 (@ Clemson 1/31, @ MD 2/24)
In a Nutshell: Ok, they should probably be above Miami, but they were awful against Duke. Maybe worse than Maryland was last year. In the first half, they had 12 points. I just can't get that out of my head. Anyway, Trevor Booker's still really good, but they haven't found a replacement for either K.C. Rivers or Terrence Oglesby. Not having guards hurts a lot in the ACC.

Virginia Tech Hokies
Record
: 12-1 (0-0)
Notable Wins: None
Notable Losses: Temple by 11
Time Maryland Plays: 1 (@ VT 2/27)
In a Nutshell: VT has to have one of the weakest schedules in the nation. Their best opponent? Penn State? Seton Hall? The Hokies really don't deserve to be 12-1. They are, though, thanks to Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen. Allen isn't All-ACC level (and will always have a tough time wearing away the finger stigma) but few guards in the ACC are better than Delaney.

North Carolina St. Wolfpack
Record
: 10-4 (0-0)
Notable Wins: @ Marquette by 4
Notable Losses: Northwestern by 12, Florida by a point
Time Maryland Plays: 2 (@ MD 1/23, @ N.C. St. 2/17)
In a Nutshell: Sidney Lowe is and always will be Sidney Lowe, but Tracy Smith is one of the most underrated players in the country in the post. Combine that with Dennis Horner and Javier Gonzalez, and NCST has a nice little nucleus. The problem lies in Lowe's coaching and the team past that. They're not all that bad, but they're far from proven and the next time I trust Lowe will be the first.

Boston College Eagles
Record
: 9-5 (1-0)
Notable Wins: Miami by 1, @ Michigan by 4, South Carolina (& Darrin Horn) by 9
Notable Losses: Northern Iowa by 11, Rhode Island by 11, Harvard by 7, Maine by 1
Time Maryland Plays: 1 (@ BC, 1/16)
In a Nutshell: Inconsistent much? Some of the earlier losses can be explained by Rakim Sanders' absence, which definitely hurt, but the Maine loss can't. That's pretty terrible for an ACC-level team. Then again, they have a few nice wins. I think they'll stay out of the cellar thanks to some unexpected upsets, but the bottom two are both fairly bad.

Virginia Cavaliers
Record
: 7-4 (0-0)
Notable Wins: UAB by 9
Notable Losses: Penn State by 3, @ Auburn by 1, @ South Florida by 17
Time Maryland Plays: 2 (@ MD 2/10, @ UVA 3/6(
In a Nutshell: I do like Tony Bennett and they'll win a game or two they shouldn't (almost certainly against Maryland) but I'm having trouble seeing this team above last place. Sylven Landesberg hasn't been better than last year, and the role players - Mike Scott and Sammy Zeglinski - haven't stepped up. Oh, and the Curse of the Turtle has followed Jeff Jones.

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