Atlantic Coast Conference gets off to best start among the power leagues Print
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Friday, 04 January 2008 09:11
NCAAB Headline News


 With just a few non-conference games still to come, the Atlantic Coast Conference has the best record among the six top leagues in the RPI rankings.
Through Wednesday's games, ACC teams were 29-16 against opponents from the Big 12, Big East, Pac-10, Big Ten and Southeastern Conference.
The other records in the unofficial six-conference competition were: Big 12 (24-20), Big East (18-23), Pac-10 (15-14), Big Ten (17-22) and SEC (14-22).
Against non-conference opponents, the ACC is 118-31 overall, including a 19-10 record on the road. Fifteen of the losses were by five points or less, or in overtime.
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CHECKING ZEROS: Entering the weekend there were eight teams with 0s in their record, six on the positive side.
North Carolina, Memphis, Kansas and Washington State - the top four teams in the AP's Top 25 - No. 15 Vanderbilt and No. 18 Mississippi were all undefeated through Friday's games.
Mississippi is the only team guaranteed to still be unbeaten on Monday since the Rebels have the weekend off. Their next game is Wednesday at No. 8 Tennessee.
North Carolina, Kansas and Washington State all have road games this weekend.
Since Ball State and Furman both won last week, New Jersey Tech (0-16) and Grambling State (0-7) were the only winless teams through Friday's games.
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ROUND NUMBERS: Texas Tech's Bobby Knight is two victories shy of 900. The milestone just isn't a huge deal to the man who passed Dean Smith as the career leader in wins with 880 on Jan. 1, 2007.
``Things that transpire relative to numbers are usually a matter of longevity more than anything else,'' said Knight, who is in his 42nd season as a head coach, the last six at Texas Tech. ``You want to be able to do the job well. But I think there have been a lot of really good coaches who coached a relatively short period of time.''
Knight was asked about the return to coaching of Eddie Sutton, who came out of retirement last week at age 71 to take over as interim coach at San Francisco. The 71-year-old Sutton has 798 victories, but he lost his first two games with the Dons.
``If I'd have been him, I would have found something better to do,'' Knight said.
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CHECKING NUMBERS: It's always fun as conference play gets under way to compare the AP's Top 25 with the first 25 teams listed in the Ratings Percentage Index. Using this week's rankings and the RPI through Dec. 30, there are nine teams from each that are in one and not the other.
Conference play usually straightens out the early differences that are caused by some weak non-conference schedules and an abundance of home games by some of the major programs.
The nine teams in the Top 25 and not in the RPI's first 25 are No. 4 Washington State (38 in the RPI); No. 5 UCLA (54); No. 7 Georgetown (60); No. 10 Marquette (42); No. 11 Indiana (45); No. 17 Villanova (30); No. 19 Clemson (41); No. 22 Southern California (64); and No. 24 Stanford (31).
The unranked teams in the RPI's first 25 are: Saint Mary's (3); Syracuse (14); Providence (17); Massachusetts (20); Ohio State (21); Xavier (22); Oklahoma (23); George Mason (24); and Winthrop (25).
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TIME CHANGE: Senior Marcus Hall was 32-for-40 from the free throw line over Colorado's first 12 games, a very respectable 80 percent.
In the last two minutes of games, he is perfect in 18 attempts.
``It is a remarkable statistic,'' first-year Colorado coach Jeff Bzdelik said. ``The way he shoots in other parts of the game, I ought to just tell him there's two minutes to go.''
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ROOKIE DEFENSE: Florida Gulf Coast didn't wait long to get into the Division I record book. In their first season as a Division I member the Eagles set three records with their first-half defense in a 60-30 victory over Pennsylvania last week.
Florida Gulf Coast, a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference, took a 30-6 lead over the perennial Ivy League power, holding the Quakers to 1-for-17 shooting from the field.
The point total, the one field goal and the 5.9 field-goal percentage all set NCAA records for a half since the shot clock was introduced in 1986.
The previous records were all set in the same game, Ohio University's 76-44 victory over Central Michigan on Jan. 14, 2006. The Chippewas had seven points, two field goals and shot 8.3 percent.
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M's DeAndre Jordan.
The 7-footer is shooting 78 percent from the field (64-for-82) through 14 games. That means he misses just over one shot per game.
Jordan is averaging 10.5 points, which is third on the team, and a team-leading 7.2 rebounds.
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NEXT WEEK: No. 23 Rhode Island visits No. 20 Dayton on Wednesday night, the first matchup of ranked Atlantic 10 teams in almost five years.
Dayton was involved in the last such game as well. The 22nd-ranked Flyers beat No. 25 Saint Joseph's 76-73 on March 14, 2003 in the semifinals of the conference tournament.
 

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