The last unbeaten team in the ACC fell last night as Virginia Tech upset the top ranked Demon Deacons in Winston Salem. As with the upset of North Carolina by Boston College it probably speaks more to the flaws of Wake Forest than the strength of Virginia Tech which is little better than the 7th or 8th best team in the league at the moment. It is obvious that Wake Forest's weak non-conference slate didn't give this young group the kinds of tests they needed before conference play. In some ways the game was a fluke as Virginia Tech shot 37 free throws in a conference road game, without which they wouldn't have been able to pull off the upset. Wake Forest may be very talented but they are inexperienced and seem to lack a well formed identity. They have a collection of wing players who can play both inside and outside but often times try to do too much themselves and marginalize the good guard play from Jeff Teague. They were probably looking ahead to Duke and when presented with a chippy opponent who forced them to play in the half court they looked very ordinary. Wake is still the third best team in the ACC but they hardly deserved to be the top ranked team in the land.
Greivis Vasquez gets to travel to Duke for perhaps the last time in his career on Saturday. It remains to be seen if the junior will return to Maryland or opt for a professional career, either here or overseas, but the recent funk the junior has been in certainly isn't helping his NBA prospects. A guard like Vasquez could easily play in some of the better European leagues and make a hefty six figure salary so it isn't NBA or bust for him as it is for some American players. Cameron has been a fairly cozy place for Vasquez even though the overrate "Crazies" try to heckle him into playing poorly. To the contrary Vasquez usually has one of his best games of the season when he travels to Duke. In two games he has averaged 19 points, 8.5 rebounds and 9.5 assists (almost a triple double) and shot 53% from the floor. Don't be surprised if Vasquez has one of his best games of the season against Duke even if it may not be enough to pull out a win.
I think Duke is probably the best matchup out of the top four teams for Maryland. The Blue Devils are also undersized and guard oriented as are the Terps. Duke made good use of Maryland's sloppy ball handling last season and forced 41 turnovers in their two wins. The Terps are doing a much better job taking care of the ball this season and emergence of Adrian Bowie and Landon Milbourne could give Duke a look that they didn't see last year. Bowie will test the Blue Devil's on ball defense more than any guard they have faced to date this season. How and with whom the Terps defend Gerald Henderson and Kyle Singler will likely determine if Maryland has any shot at an upset. It is worth noting that N.C. State had a halftime lead at Cameron before succumbing due to their terrible guard play.