Nov. 12 ACC Previews

Buffalo (0-1) at Florida State (0-1), 7:00 PM, ESPN3

Buster the Bull, a gift from Elizabeth Taylor. No, seriously.

What to watch: Florida State’s three-point defense. If you’re going to knock off a team like Florida State, and you’re a team like South Alabama, it helps to make 9-of-15 three-pointers. And if you’re a team like Florida State that relies on its defense, that can’t happen.

Random Buffalo facts: They’re not the Buffalo Bills…..they’re the Buffalo Bulls. Even the note on the top of their Wikipedia page says “Not to be confused with Buffalo Bills”. Oh, and Elizabeth Taylor and one of her 15 husbands, Mike Todd, donated the first live mascot to Buffalo in 1957.

Prediction: Florida State, 71-60.

Fairfield (1-0) at Virginia (0-1), 7:00 PM, ESPN3 (NIT Season Tip-Off)

The Fairfield Stag, which is named Lucas for some reason.

What to watch: Virginia’s defense. The Cavaliers allowed George Mason to shoot 53% from the floor in a narrow loss last Friday. That’s not the Virginia we’re used to seeing. UVa did struggle against more athletic opponents last year from time to time – Fairfield is not one of those such opponents – but their defense was good enough to hold down the less talented teams. If it’s the Virginia defense we’re used to, they should shut down Fairfield tonight.

Random Fairfield facts: Imagine that: a mascot that actually means something associated with the University or its location.

Prediction: Virginia, 68-46.

Presbyterian (0-0) at Clemson (0-0), 7:00 PM, ESPN3

A Blue Ho(s)e.

What to watch: Milton Jennings. The senior has admitted that he has played disinterested basketball from time to time. But in Clemson’s exhibition win, he had 14 points, eight rebounds and two steals in 26 minutes. If Clemson’s going to win games this year, he needs to stay interested against all opponents.

Random Presbyterian facts: Presbyterian used to have an annual rivalry game with Newberry College, where they played for a derby. The prize stems from a huge brawl after a 1946 basketball game when a Newberry student stole the derby off the head of a Presbyterian student.

Prediction: Clemson, 72-49.

Rhode Island (0-1) at Virginia Tech (1-0), 7:00 PM, ESPN3

Rhody the Ram committed the ultimate mascot-on-mascot crime: removing the head.

What to watch: Virginia Tech’s rebounding. In an impressive 80-62 win in the opener over East Tennessee State, the only blemish was being out-rebounded 39-37. The Hokies don’t have a ton of size, but they should be able to handle the boards against smaller opponents, or they’ll be in big trouble when they get to the tougher portion of their schedule.

Random Rhode Island facts: There’s an entire Wikipedia section devoted to Rhode Island’s similarities to North Carolina, everything from the mascot to the color to the fight song. You be the judge.

Prediction: Virginia Tech, 84-61.

Morehead State (1-0) at Maryland (0-1), 8:00 PM, RSN

Former Morehead State women’s basketball coach Tom Hodges, everyone!

What to watch: Alex Len. He was unstoppable against Kentucky. But the sophomore had some good games last year – he had a two-game stretch against Miami and North Carolina where he averaged 11.5 points and 8.0 rebounds – but he totaled 41 points in his final ten games, including two games with no points. He looks like a different player – if he continues playing like that, he’ll prove that he is.

Random Morehead State facts: Morehead State’s mascot is an eagle named Beaker. And one time, this happened:

Prediction: Maryland, 81-52.

 

Last week: 11-1

Overall: 11-1

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