Inside the ACC

Destination College Basketball

Atlantic Coastic Conference / Maryland

December 14, 2005|By PAUL MCMULLEN

The Late Show

Virginia Tech vs. Stan ford

When -- Sunday, 12:30 a.m. EST

TV -- ESPN

Outlook -- What happens in Las Vegas stays there, which could be good news for Stanford. The Cardinal is the biggest flop of the season, start ing at No. 13 and disappearing after losses to UC Irvine of the Big West Conference, Montana of the Big Sky and Division II UC Davis. Coach Trent Johnson's team will have had 13 days to stew over that last loss, while the Hokies go to the Las Vegas Showdown with a 7-3 record but the knowledge that they outplayed top-ranked Duke in Durham.

Newcomer to watch

Mamadi Diane, Virginia

The lowdown -- There haven't been many bright spots for the Cava liers, but Diane, a 6-5 forward out of DeMatha, has done some good work for coach Dave Leitao. He has started every game and is averaging 10.8 points and 5.3 rebounds. He had 18 points in Virginia's most recent win, a Nov. 30 defeat of Northwestern.

No question of balance

Boston College

The lowdown -- Senior Craig Smith and juniors Jared Dudley and Sean Marshall have scored 10 or more points in every Boston College game this season. Smith has scored in double figures in 17 straight games, dating back to February. Among active ACC players, his 1,847 points career points rank behind only J.J. Redick's 2,029. Redick, inci dentally, is within striking distance of Johnny Dawkins' school record of 2,556.

Lock at the line

Ralph Mims, Florida State

The lowdown -- Can Mims go through 2005 without missing a free throw? On Dec. 21, 2004, he went 4-for-5 at the line in a rout of Jackson ville, and he hasn't missed since. It's not as if the 6-3 sophomore reserve from Pensacola gets plenty of prac tice in games, but he has made 31 straight and is 17-for-17 this season. Opponents would be wise to make Mims prove himself during the flow of the game. His field goal percentage is .273.

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