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Deacon Dump 3/15: Talking Texas

The Deacs are in and seeded higher than most analysts thought. But that's a reward for tough scheduling and the fact that the Demon Deacons beat 6 tournament teams throughout the year. By comparison, VT beat 3 and none out of conference. They only played one top 50 team OOC, Wake played four (and also lost to a W&M team that beat Richmond and Maryland). Yes, VT beat Wake h2h, but that was in Blacksburg and there was a huge FT differential. If that game was on a neutral floor or at Wake that night, the Deacs would have had the edge and there'd be no argument at all for the Hokies.

Listen, it comes down to scheduling. It isn't about one head to head matchup on the year. That's a joke of an argument and one that I would assume a 10 year old was making, not someone who covers basketball his entire life. The Deacs deserved to be in and that was shown by the fact that they weren't even one of the last 8 teams in the bracket. Anyway, here's a smorgasbord of links for you guys.

10 Teams to Watch in the NCAA Tourney
9.) Wake Forest Demon Deacons: The Demon Deacons are a dangerous number 9 seed. They feature a good lead guard in Ishmael Smith and a legitimate N.B.A talent in Al-Farouq Aminu. The Deacons will face the Texas Longhorns who also have potential to make some noise in the tourney.

Barking Carnival — Blog — A Wake Before The Funeral
If Wake guards us relentlessly, we lose. They need to extend, pressure, trap, press and generally mess with our world on ever possession with every two bit pressure tactic imaginable – even if they give up some easy baskets early. If they do that, turnovers will feed their offense, and our emotional delicacy will kick in such that they can get the win.

First reaction to the bracket - College Basketball Nation Blog - ESPN
I disagree with people forecasting a difficult second-round game for Kentucky. The matchup of Texas and Wake Forest is a pair of dead teams walking – both playing horrible basketball at this point. Everyone loves the Longhorns’ talent – but what has that talent done in the past two months to make anyone believe it is ready to rise up and beat the most talented team in the country?

Despite some strange seeding in the East, it's Kentucky's region to lose -
Kentucky has a virtual walkover to the round of 16 with an opener against East Tennessee State and a second-round game against the winner of Texas vs. Wake Forest, who were about 3-50 combined the last month of the season. (Note: Do you think Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg might be privately pointing out to people right now that Wake Athletic Director Ron Wellman is on the committee for the first time this year?)

Any method to this March Madness? - Off The Glass
Then the discussion began. And Wake Forest was at the center of all the ruckus this year, mainly because Virginia Tech was left out despite going 10-6 in the ACC while the Demon Deacons went 9-7 and got trounced in the first game of the ACC tournament for their fifth loss in six games. The excerpts I heard got me thinking. Dick Vitale brought it up. And then I heard others defend Wake Forest.

Chris Dufresne's NCAA tournament region-by-region picks -
This bracket has some upset potential, starting with a minor one with Wake Forest over Texas, a team that spent time at No. 1 this season before falling off Earth's edge.

East Regional bracket breakdown :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Colleges
Best first-round matchup No. 8 Texas vs. No. 9 Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons are among the nation's best defensive teams, and Texas has had a long fall from its early-season top ranking.

Wake Forest's opponent: Texas : : Greensboro & the Triad's most trusted source for local news and analysis
NO. 8 TEXAS Record: 24-9 (9-7 Big 12) RPI: No. 29 Coach: Rick Barnes (496-247 overall, 294-113 at Texas) Probable starters: F Damion James (18 ppg, 10.0 rpg); C Dexter Pittman (10.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg); G Avery Bradley (11.7 ppg, 2.1 apg); G Justin Mason (3.7 ppg, 2.3 apg); G J'Covan Brown (9.3 ppg, 2.4 apg).

No. 8 seed Texas to go dancing with No. 9 Wake Forest | College Sports Blog | Sports News | News for Dallas, Texas | The Dallas Morning News
Prediction: Texas beats Wake Forest, loses to Kentucky in second round.

Capsules on all 65 NCAA Tournament teams | Jake's Take On Sports
9 – Wake Forest – To go far in the NCAA Tournament, you typically need a future NBA lottery pick, and the Demon Deacons have one in Al-Farouq Aminu, one of the best rebounders in the country. They are not a good outside shooting team, though. Comment: Lack of three-point shooters will bite the Deacons.

NCAA tournament basketball: Forde Minutes: Big Dance edition - ESPN
Wake Forest (21). The Demon Deacons have ended the season disastrously, losing five of their last six and bottoming out with a 21-point loss in the ACC tourney to last-place Miami. Coach Dino Gaudio is 0-4 in postseason games as Wake head coach. In each of those four games, Gaudio's team had the higher seed -- and in each of those four games, it lost by double digits.

Hokie Heartbreak: What went wrong? What's next? | |
ON WHY NOT SCHEDULE A TEAM LIKE GONZAGA, AS WAKE DID: "We tried to get that game. We couldn’t get that game. They took Wake. We tried to get that game and we tried to get into the Jimmy V (Classic). Jimmy V took Pitt, I think."

North Carolina columnist: 'It's apparent the Longhorns are fragile' | College Sports Blog | Sports News | News for Dallas, Texas | The Dallas Morning News
If there's any good news for ninth-seeded Wake Forest at this point in its rapidly disintegrating basketball season, it's that its first-round NCAA tournament opponent on Thursday, eighth-seeded Texas, can relate to what the Deacons are going through.

[9] Wake Forest -
Wake Forest was, in a word, solid through most of the season until it lost five of its final six games. But the Demon Deacons went 6-5 against teams ranked in the RPI top 50. Led by Smith, Wake Forest is a fun team to watch with its speedy transition offense and has good balance inside with Al-Farouq Aminu. The problem was on defense: The Demon Deacons allowed foes to score 67.9 points per game, 11th in the ACC.

My Take on Wake - In the Words of Buddy Holly, Rave On |
"Honest to God, with my right hand on Skip, I never look at any of that,’’ Dino said, referring to his mentor and former boss at Wake, Skip Prosser. "It has no factor in my life. It has no bearing on me whatsoever. And I never look at that. And that’s the honest-to-goodness truth. I can look you in the eye and tell you, those things don’t matter. They don’t matter. "So you know what, there are a lot of coaches who have coached in the ACC that in two of their first three years haven’t gone to NCAA Tournament. And there were four schools that had multiple guys go in the first round in the NBA draft—Wake Forest, UCLA, North Carolina and Louisville. Two of those teams are in the Tournament, Wake Forest and Louisville.’‘

The best season ever? -, North Andover, MA
The region may never see a pair of blue-chippers at the same school like Desrosiers and Zenevitch. And we'll be hard-pressed to conjure up a backcourt as dynamic as Gomez-Martinez and Boudreau — well at least after next year.

Desrosiers' layup foils Pioneers at the end
"I went to my favorite post move, a fadeaway over the right shoulder," said Desrosiers, who scored 19 points in the second half, "and right when I threw it up there, I knew it was going to be good off the glass."

Desrosiers delivers crown for Raiders - The Boston Globe
"I kind of had to take command of that game offensively,’’ Desrosiers said. "I told my players, ‘Give me the ball, and I’ll go to work.’ ’’

Yellow Jackets top Deacs
Georgia Tech 6, Wake Forest 5: No. 4 Georgia Tech came from behind in the late innings for the second straight day and defeated visiting Wake Forest yesterday to complete a sweep of a three-game ACC series.

NCAA team profiles - College Fantasy Football Insider
Wake Forest didn't receive an ideal matchup in the opening round having to go up against the eight seed, Texas. Their late season collapse is troublesome as they lost five of their last six games while falling to Maimi in the ACC Tournament. Sophomore Al-Farouq Aminu is as good as they come and presents a matchup nightmare for opposing teams as evidenced by his 15.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, 1.5 spg, and 1.5 bpg. Texas will look to contain Aminu with Dexter Pittman and expose the weaknesses of the rest of the Wake Forest starting five.

After all this, Longhorns can focus on just surviving | College Sports | Sports News and Vide...
"It's just been inconsistency with the guys," Johnson said. "As far as the coach, you don't know what you're going to get from a player. If you're a player, you don't know when you're going to play. So that's been an issue. "But as far as us as a team on the court, I don't know where the chemistry went. It's just been a rocky road."

Barnes' team will try to set aside mental baggage
Texas' collapse has been chronicled more than the Kennedy assassination, with no specific clues as to what killed the Longhorns' season. (Has anyone bothered to check out the grassy knoll?) Texas lost nine of its last 16. Wake Forest has dropped five of its last six. "That says we're equal," Texas forward Gary Johnson said with a smirk Sunday night.

Texas men get a No. 8 seed in NCAA tournament
"I don't know much about Wake," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. What he might learn is that the teams have some things in common. Each team has an NBA prospect at forward, Damion James for the Longhorns, Al-Farouq Aminu at Wake. James and Aminu led their leagues in rebounding. Both teams have erratic guards and chemistry issues. Wake ranked 10th in turnover margin in the 12-team ACC. The Longhorns ranked eighth in the Big 12.

Previewing the NCAA East Region
Must-see TV Kentucky vs. Texas is irresistible in the second round. Yeah, the Longhorns are big-time underachievers. But they have the bodies to throw at the Wildcats and make them sweat a little. UT's over-hyped Avery Bradley will run into the real No. 1 recruit: John Wall (pictured below), the sensational leader of the Cats. Watching Dexter Pittman and Gary Johnson bang heads with oversized thug DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson will be a treat.

Andy Katz: Committee chair explains tough calls - ESPN
Conversely, a team like Wake Forest was rewarded for quality wins in the nonconference, according to Guerrero. Wake won at Gonzaga and beat Richmond and Xavier at home. The unbalanced conference schedule is ultimately an issue for the committee as it attempts to evaluate teams.

East Region Breakdown: Kentucky's youth will be tested - Mike DeCourcy - College Basketball - Sporting News
Texas forward Damion James vs. Wake Forest forward Al-Farouq Aminu. Both of these guys are NBA first-round talents. James has not held everyone's attention as his team collapsed around him, but he has continued to play extremely well. Aminu ranks among the most versatile power forwards. Why a matchup of this magnitude will occur in an 8/9 game could be studied by future generations. - 2010 All-State Boys Basketball Team
1st Team Reggie Bullock - Kinston P.J. Hairston - Dudley Tashawn Mabry - Rocky Mount J.T. Terrell - West Charlotte Aaron Toomey - Bishop McGuinness