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Tudor: Expect misleading All-Frosh team

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Caulton Tudor • staff columnist

ACC Tournament week odds & ends.

•When the various all-ACC teams are announced Monday, the most misleading category no doubt will be all-freshman.

There are a couple of obvious picks _ Duke guard Austin Rivers and Boston College forward Ryan Anderson _ but up to 20 first-year players could draw votes.

Unlike last season _ when North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall, Maryland’s Terrell Stoglin, N.C. State’s C.J. Leslie and Wake Forest’s Travis McKie made fairly big offensive splashes _ most of the current freshmen have had support roles.

That development, combined with the fact that UNC didn’t need much help from highly rated rookies P.J. Hairston and James Michael McAdoo, gives the group a deceptive nature.

It’s very possible that two or three of the all-freshman team members may never be so much as marginal stars while Hairston and McAdoo could be all-conference contenders next season.

What is clear is that Boston College coach Steve Donahue, Clemson’s Brad Brownell and Virginia Tech’s Seth Greenberg have staked their short-term program hopes on freshmen.

Anderson and classmates Dennis Clifford, Pat Heckmann and Jordan Daniels combined to average roughly 35 points and 22 rebounds of BC’s average 59.4 points and 29.5 rebounds per game.

•With Saturday’s one-sided loss to UNC in Durham, Duke likely will need to win a fourth straight ACC Tournament title to land an NCAA No. 1 regional seed.

It turned out that the Blue Devils needed help from Texas late Saturday in its game at No. 3 ranked Kansas.

But when the Longhorns missed 14 of 17 shots behind the 3-point line, Kansas pulled away for a 73-63 win and clinched the Big 12 regular season at 26-5 overall and 16-2 in-league.

Duke beat Kansas 68-61 in late-November, but the margin of Saturday’s homecourt loss to the Tar Heels will hurt the Devils unless they can counter with three straight wins in Atlanta. One of those might need to be over UNC, too.

By landing in the same ACC bracket with Florida State, Duke assured itself of a physical weekend ahead.

Lots of times in the past, there’s not been a great deal of difference between the Nos. 3 and 4 regular-season finishers. That  definitely will not the case in Atlanta.

Duke’s last ACC Tourney loss was to Clemson, 78-74, in the 2008 semifinals at Charlotte.

•As for the NCAA seedings, it’s a popular misconception that there’s little difference between being a No. 1 or No. 2 or even a No. 3.

In reality, a No. 1 seed has never lost its first game in the tourney.

No. 2 seeds have lost their first game four times and 16 No. 3 seeds have lost their openers. No. 4 seeds have opened with losses some 22 times.

Tudor: 919-829-8946

Read more here: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/statenow/tudor-expect-misleading-all-frosh-team#storylink=cpy
Read more here: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/uncnow/tudor-expect-misleading-all-frosh-team#storylink=cpy
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About the blogger

Columnist Caulton Tudor has worked for The News & Observer or The Raleigh Times for more than 30 years. Follow him on Twitter @CaultonTudor