Inside the ACC

Destination College Basketball

Atlantic Coast Conference / Maryland

December 28, 2005|By PAUL MCMULLEN

Game to watch

No. 12 George Washington @No. 19 North Carolina State

When, TV -- Friday, 7 p.m., Comcast SportsNet

Lowdown -- This should be a fun match between teams that no one wants to face. The Colonials of the Atlantic 10 usually play like they have something to prove, and the Wolfpack maddens opponents with its version of the Princeton offense. GW's best start since 1953 and its highest ranking since 1956 includes a win over Maryland. Can the Colonials improve to 2-0 against the ACC? N.C. State would also be perfect, if not for a loss at Iowa in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. The Wolfpack is susceptible on the glass, and GW just picked up another rebounder, LSU transfer Regis Koundjia.

Last chance to impress

Miami

Lowdown -- The Hurricanes got past winless Stetson last night, and they get one last chance to make a nonconference impression on Satur day, against No. 10 Louisville. It was set up as the featured game at the Or ange Bowl Doubleheader, after Flori da State plays Nebraska, but Miami hasn't been able to come through against a quality opponent. It has lost to Air Force, Temple, Michigan and Florida.

Giant vs. giant-killer

Duke-Bucknell

Lowdown -- Bucknell plays at Duke on Monday (4:30 p.m., ESPN) in a game that matches the Bison veter ans against a top-ranked team that starts two freshmen. The Bison beat Kansas in the NCAA tournament in March, won at Syracuse in November and take only a loss to No. 3 Villanova into the semifinals of the Cable Car Classic in Santa Clara, Calif., tonight. Duke has won 39 straight nonconfer ence games on its court since Feb. 26, 2000, when Bootsy Thornton and St. John's took down the Blue Devils.

Rested and ready

Al Thornton, Florida State

Lowdown -- Thornton, a 6-7 jun ior forward from Perry, Ga., is playing just 21.9 minutes a game, but leads the Seminoles in scoring (14.8) and rebounding (6.9). He was the Semi noles' top returning scorer, having averaged 9.1 points a game last sea son despite playing just 18 minutes a game.

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