ATLANTA -- The first game of the 59th Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament is in the books. Maryland more than handled Wake Forest, 82-60, in a game that featured 10 lead changes early on but turned into a rout.
The Terrapins will move on to play North Carolina Friday at noon, but before that, let's look at three things I learned from watching the ACC's opening game of the 2012 tournament.
1. Maryland guard Terrell Stoglin led the ACC this year in scoring and turned in 25 points to lead Maryland on Thursday. More important to the team, he pulled down a season-high seven rebounds and had one of his best all-around games of the season. Stoglin was a game-changer in transition today.
2. Helping Stoglin in the backcourt was Nick Faust who had an angry 19 points, a season-high for him. Faust had a miscue on a dunk attempt early on and made sure to pour in the points after. He led the team with 31 minutes on the floor. Maryland doesn't have enough weapons to beat North Carolina at its best, but if the Tar Heels play poorly Friday and Stoglin and Faust show up like they did today, Maryland can give them a run.
3. ACC officials are reffing under protest, so to speak. Karl Hess, the referee who ejected N.C. State legends Chris Corchiani and Tom Gugliotta during a Feb. 18 game last month, refused to work the ACC Tournament. Officials who are here to work this weekend have added white tape with the initials "K.H." to their black shoes as a small gesture to their comrade.