Look, we all know television dictates game times and schedules quite a bit in all sports now.
And we also know those schedules aren’t always conducive to optimal performances.
Take Maryland’s 71-44 loss Saturday at Virginia. The Cavaliers played well – exceptionally on defense – and probably would have defeated all but a handful of teams that day. The outcome – the Terrapins’ 11th loss of the season – isn’t in question.
Would Maryland have played better with more than a 40-hour turnaround from Thursday’s victory over Boston College? Probably.
And that seemed to be the general sentiment of coach Mark Turgeon, who has been profuse in his praise of Virginia but also remains a realist in most matters.
“That deal we had Thursday-Saturday was really tough,” Turgeon said. “You saw some other teams struggle that played that Thursday night late game and then played Saturday at 1. It was tough on two of us. That was hard.”
(The other part of “two of us” is, of course, N.C. State).
But how much of a difference does it make to play twice in three days in league play? Good question, and not too hard to come up with an answer for.
There are 16 instances in the ACC schedule when a team has to deal with that grind. Eight times the second game is at home, eight times it is on the road. So far, teams are 7-8 in that situation, with three matchups of two teams dealing with the same short turnaround.
A few nuggets gleaned from the research. …
* The only team without such a turnaround in league play is … Clemson? Yep.
* Teams are 0-6 against the Florida State/Virginia combination. The Seminoles took four games already from teams on short rest.
* Teams are 4-1 against Boston College/Georgia Tech/Wake Forest on short rest, with the only setback Boston College’s loss last month to Wake Forest.
* No one gets Duke, Maryland, Miami or North Carolina on short rest.
* While N.C. State had to travel twice as part of these sequences, both trips were within the Triangle. North Carolina’s lone quick turnaround involved a short bus trip across I-40 to Winston-Salem.
* There was only one road-road combo, though Wake Forest’s road game in the sequence was a bus trip to Duke.
* The full rundown:
Jan. 12-14: Boston College (W-Clemson, W-Virginia Tech)
Jan. 19-21: Duke (W-Wake Forest, L-Florida State)
Feb. 2-4: Virginia Tech (L-Duke, W-Clemson)
Jan. 15-17: Maryland (W-Georgia Tech, L-@Florida State)
Jan. 19-21: Georgia Tech (L-Virginia, L-@Clemson)
Jan. 22-24: Miami (L-N.C. State, W-@Georgia Tech)
Jan. 26-28: Virginia (W-Boston College, W-@N.C. State)
Jan. 29-31: North Carolina (W-Georgia Tech, W-@Wake Forest)
Feb. 9-11: Miami (W-Virginia Tech, L-@Florida State)
Feb. 16-18: Florida State (W-Virginia Tech, W-@N.C. State)
Feb. 16-18: Maryland (W-Boston College, L-@Virginia)
Jan. 19-21: Boston College (L-@N.C. State, L-Wake Forest)
Jan. 26-28: N.C. State (L-@North Carolina, L-Virginia)
Feb. 16-18: N.C. State (L-@Duke, L-Florida State)
Feb. 16-18: Virginia Tech (L-@Florida State, W-Georgia Tech)
Jan. 19-21: Wake Forest (L-@Duke, W-@Boston College)
Feb. 23-25: Duke (@Florida State, Virginia Tech)