Shall we rate the Chris Paul-Raymond Felton matchup as one of the most exciting in ACC history? That remains to be seen, but the two will go head-to-head again on Saturday.
They split their two meetings last season, with each squad winning on the other's home floor. Felton had 39 points and 15 assists in the two games, including 22 in the classic triple-overtime loss to the Deacons. He was barely better than Paul, who had 33 points and 15 assists in the two contests.
Over the last 30-odd years, there have been many great ACC point guard rivalries -- and it isn't necessarily so that the player who played better finished with more victories.
Others not forgotten: Monte Towe (NC State) vs. Phil Ford (UNC); Ford vs. John Lucas (Maryland); Chris Corchiani (NC State) vs. Bobby Hurley (Duke); Corchiani vs. John Crotty (Virginia); Hurley vs. Travis Best (Georgia Tech); Mark Price (Georgia Tech) vs. Kenny Smith (UNC); Price vs. Tommy Amaker (Duke); Amaker vs. Smith.
Rocking the Rim
You look at the teams in the Top 25 and Boston College is distinct.
It's not just because of the Eagles' unbeaten record, which they take into a road matchup with West Virginia. Boston College stands out because it is the most unreliant on the 3-point shot of any of college basketball's really good teams. The Eagles rank among the nation's worst teams from long range, and only score approximately 14 percent of their points in that manner (the average Big East team scores slightly more than 25 percent of its points via the 3.)
Boston College has played only three road games so far, but there are many positive indicators regarding their play away from home. The Eagles have looked particularly good late in games, knocking down free throws at important times to help secure important wins.
Boston College plays three of its next four on the road, starting with a matchup with a West Virginia squad hungry to start winning again.
* -- 7/9 in second half
Rivalry note of the week
Arizona lost on the road to Stanford last week, and has two more California squads USC and UCLA) coming to its house this weekend. Wildcats fans shouldn't get too nervous, though.
Arizona hasn't lost to USC at home since a 64-63 defeat on January 17, 1985, and they haven't lost at home to both USC and UCLA in the same season since 1982-83, when the team went 4-24. Lute Olson took over as head coach the following season.
The Arizona-UCLA rivalry has recently been dominated by Wildcats blowouts and close Bruins victories. Consider this: The last nine Arizona wins over UCLA are by an average of 22.4 points, with the last four decided by an average of 30 points. UCLA's last 13 wins over Arizona are all by 10 points or fewer, and the last eight are by a combined total of 28 points.
In the bonus
Sometimes when you look at the conference leader boards, you'll find the same player listed in multiple categories. There are scorers who are also great passers and who might be among the best in points and assists. Good big men may be at the top in field goal percentage and blocked shots.
It is extremely rare, though, to find someone like Thomas Viglianco, a center for Birmingham Southern, who entered the second week of January as the Big South's top rebounder and 3-point shooter.
"Tom possesses a great combination of size and a very high skill level," said Birmingham Southern head coach Duane Reboul. "At 6-9, it's a rarity for someone to step out and shoot three's like he does. And his size allows him to be in rebounding postion. Plus, he's made a conscious effort to be a rebounder."
Viglianco, a junior transfer from William & Mary, currently is averaging 13.2 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, placing him 10th in the league in scoring and second (only 0.1 off the lead) in rebounding in a league that lacks a dominant big man on the boards. He is also shooting 50 percent from 3-point range (33-for-66), best in the Big South for anyone making at least two trifectas per game.
"I feel like I've fit into my role here," Viglianco, the No. 2 scorer on the 8-6 Panthers, said. "I've always been pretty consistent shooting throughout my career. I know it's rare to see a 6-foot-9 guy shoot so well, but I've been given the opportunity. Rebounding has been something that our coaches have been harping on, and we lost the league's leading rebounder from last season, so I've crashed the boards hard."
Viglianco got his skills, at least his shooting ability, from his dad, Dan, who won an NIT title while playing for St. Bonaventure from 1976 to 1979. It took a long time before Thomas beat his dad in "HORSE" but it was worth it as a learning experience. Now, he's so highly regarded as a shooter that his other stats have increased. Viglianco has another rarity for a big guy -- a positive assist/turnover ratio.
"The shooting is a definite advantage for me, because now the 6-foot-8 guy on the other team comes out to guard me,'' Viglianco said. "He makes me use my weapons -- my shot fake or my dribble. It gives the other guys on my team the opportunity to score inside without their big man being there."
Mark Simon is a researcher for ESPN's college basketball coverage and "Baseball Tonight."