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Week in ACC: Early tourneys, tests for UNC, FSU

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Virginia's Joe Harris, front, leads a break against VCU on Tuesday. (Source: Matt Riley/Virginia Athletics) Virginia's Joe Harris, front, leads a break against VCU on Tuesday. (Source: Matt Riley/Virginia Athletics)

(RNN) - The beginning of several tournaments and the battle for basketball supremacy in Georgia highlight ACC play in Week 2.

The Preseason NIT kicks off Monday, and a potential Duke-Arizona final looms. Also this week, the 2K Sports Classic, Hall of Fame Tip-Off and Coaches vs. Cancer are among the other gatherings where the conference will be represented.

Georgia Tech at Georgia, 7 p.m. ET Friday

The Yellow Jackets have not faced top-tier competition so far this season, winning their first two against Presbyterian and Delaware State. Point guard Trae Golden, a transfer from Tennessee, will see a familiar foe when they go to Athens to take on the Bulldogs.

The senior has fit in nicely with Tech's offensive scheme and led with 16 points in the most recent game. Robert Carter Jr. and Marcus Georges-Hunt entered their sophomore years in top shape and it has paid off. They have been the top two rebounders on the team.

Georgia lost SEC Player of the Year Kentavious Caldwell-Pope when he declared early for the NBA Draft. With him gone, the team spread the scoring out in its 72-52 win over Wofford. The Bulldogs held the opposition to only 2 of 14 shooting from 3-point range, but they didn't fare much better at 2 for 11.

Virginia at Davidson, noon Saturday

The Cavaliers held a lead on in-state rival VCU but made only one field goal in the final five minutes of play, falling 59-56. Their next contest comes against another program in the NCAA tournament a season ago.

Joe Harris went 1 for 4 from behind the arc last game, but he shot nearly 43 percent from there in his junior year. Mike Tobey proved he could be an offensive spark and a solid rebounder, but he will have to improve on defense to earn more minutes - coach Tony Bennett kept him out nearly the entire second half.

Davidson followed a blowout loss to Duke with another subpar effort, falling 81-77 to Milwaukee. However, the team returned several key players from a team that won 26 games, including second-leading scorer and leading rebounder De'Mon Brooks.

Belmont vs. North Carolina, 4 p.m. Sunday

This Hall of Fame Tip-Off meeting features two teams that would like to improve on their early round losses in the NCAA tourney. North Carolina started the season without two of its main guys, but that didn't prevent them from dominating Oakland at home.

James Michael McAdoo started his junior campaign with a 21-point, nine-rebound performance. He produces solid numbers on raw ability alone; if he adds some improved post moves and free throw shooting, he could be an elite player. Marcus Paige looked comfortable at shooting guard in the opener after running the point most of last season.

Belmont enters at 2-1; they move on without the senior backcourt that led them to a 26-7 year. J.J. Mann has been called upon to fill one of the lead roles and responded with a 16 points per game average so far. Drew Windler, a 6'9" senior, will take on the task of stopping McAdoo and the Heels from getting to the basket.

Florida State vs. VCU, 7:30 p.m. ET Thursday

The Seminoles got an early road win by taking care of Central Florida. They will be looking at a longer trip to meet Virginia Commonwealth at the Puerto Rico Shootout.

Okaro White had a strong performance last game and made it clear he was the team's on-court leader. He is an efficient shooter on offense and a ferocious shot blocker on the other end of the court. Devon Bookert looks like a candidate for a breakout season; he has played well after missing part of last season with an injury.

The Rams' "Havoc" defensive strategy shut down Virginia in the final minutes to steal an early top 25 victory. Coach Shaka Smart returns a team with a lot of experience and depth, and he will use a heavy rotation of players to keep fresh legs on the court. Treveon Graham showed he can deliver in the clutch when he knocked down the game-winning 3-pointer to beat the Cavaliers.

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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