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In time-honored spirit of midterms,

This week, in the interest of progressing through my final collegiate semester, I will take tests on Geoffrey Chaucer and American government. But until then, in the interest of avoiding preparation for those midterms, I tested my knowledge of college basketball.

After all, the only things we can count on this month are midterms, NCAA basketball and college coeds getting drunk at spring break and winding up on the next installment of "Girls Gone Wild." I am pretty clueless when it comes to items Nos. 1 and 3, but I've figured out a few things about No. 2:

What I know: I'd take Shane Battier on my team any day, but he does not deserve to be mentioned as a player of the year candidate as long as Jason Williams sports a Blue Devil jersey alongside him. As UNC found out Sunday afternoon, J-Will is the best player in the ACC, and maybe the best in the nation.

What I don't know: Why did the media assume Duke would be doomed without Carlos Boozer? The Blue Devils - even without Boozer - most certainly are not crippled, though their starting center is.

What I know: Jason Capel is easily the most overrated player in the ACC (Boozer runs a close second). Capel's place on the 2001 all-conference third team was a joke, though the media got most of the rest of their selections right. Capel is no better than Ademola Okulaja, his already forgotten predecessor on the Carolina wing.

What I don't know: How can Dick Vitale - whose bombastic enthusiasm often obscures his knowledge of the game - call Capel underrated?

What I know: Despite all the Donald Hand-bashers who expect Virginia to go all the way once Majestic Mapp takes the reins and DeSagana Diop plunks himself in the paint, this year represents the Cavaliers' best shot at an NCAA title. Don't come crying to me next season when Hand and Keith Friel are gone.

Related Links
  • Cavalier Daily coverage of Virginia men's basketball
  • Official ACC men's basketball website
  • Official NCAA basketball website

    What I don't know: Speaking of championship-caliber teams, does No. 1 Stanford have any legitimate weaknesses? I can't find any. The Cardinal may not win big, but it sure does win often.

    What I know: Jamaal Tinsley has dazzled all season at the point for Iowa State, leading an otherwise lackluster Cyclone squad into the top 10. If Williams isn't the country's best guard, Tinsley is - Joe Forte or no Joe Forte.

    What I don't know: How good would Iowa State be if Marcus Fizer hadn't left early for the pros?

    What I know: Many ACC referees have lost virtually all ability to discern what is and is not an offensive foul and whistle charges willy-nilly whenever a defender falls on his butt. It's almost the polar opposite of the NBA.

    What I don't know: When did Duke stop teaching post defense and start telling its big men to fall down every time the ball-handler comes near them?

    What I know: When Rick Pitino eventually makes up his mind and takes a college coaching job, he stands an excellent chance of resuming his place among the top coaches in the game.

    What I don't know: Has he finally gotten the NBA bug out of his system? If nothing else, his flameout with the Celtics (after failing with the Knicks in the 1980s) should have been an indication that his hyperactive style won't fly with pros.

    What I know: David Schuck will never forget his game-winning basket Sunday against UT-Chattanooga. The driving layup with 0.4 seconds left put UNC-Greensboro in the NCAA Tournament for the second time in five years.

    What I don't know: Did the Associated Press really have to compare the shot to Christian Laettner's legendary game-winning turnaround against Kentucky in 1992? Schuck and Laettner both received length-of-the-court passes and hit game-winners, but that's where the similarities end. Beating the Wildcats is a little different than beating the... uh, I've got here somewhere... oh, right - the Mocs.

    What I know: Next week, I will plan ahead and write a cohesive column, instead of this rambling cop-out.

    What I don't know: What are the odds of me following through on that pledge?

    I guess that's another thing I already know.