Posted: 3:00 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013
ESPN’s Tip-off Marathon has some great matchups, not least of all the Champions Classic, with Kentucky vs. Michigan State and Kansas vs. Duke (or, as ESPN will hype it, Jabari Parker vs. Andrew Wiggins). There are some other ACC matchups as well, though, with Virginia Tech hosting West Virginia, State at Cincinnati, and a tantalizing matchup with VCU and Virginia.
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All of them should be interesting in one way or another: how much progress can the Hokies make? Can a young State team keep up with the normally tough Bearcats? There’s also the still fresh paint of expansion, and Cincinnati might like to make a point with the ACC after being rejected.
Finally, VCU and Virginia should be a lot of fun. You may remember that Shaka Smart has had some things to say about VCU being the best team in the Commonwealth. He was probably right at the time, but UVa has come a long ways since then, and we’re sure they haven’t forgotten.
VCU has Plan A, backed up by Plan A and if that fails, then there’s always Plan A: create havoc and then punish the opponent.
They might be able to do that, at least partially, because UVa may not have sorted out its point guard situation.
Otherwise, though, we’d take UVa’s defense as far more frustrating – and with far more athleticism than Tony Bennett has ever had in Charlottesville.
Running into the Pack Line defense is like running into a sumo wrestler: you can hit it and it just absorbs you. And then, of course, pushes you back, and off balance.