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Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Updated: January 15, 2:34 PM ET
Big-time ACC showdown on tap

By Dick Vitale
ESPN.com

There is a big showdown in the ACC this weekend, and neither Duke nor North Carolina are involved.

It's a battle between two teams that are currently undefeated. Wake Forest visits Clemson in a game that has more than bragging rights at stake.

For the Tigers, this is a big-time opportunity to show they are for real. Clemson has wins over the likes of Illinois and Miami-Florida, but beating the Demon Deacons, a top five club, would raise its profile to a different level.

At 16-0, the Tigers should be in the big dance once again. Clemson has had a recent history of fast starts; two years ago the team opened 17-0 before a collapse that led to an NIT bid.

K.C. Rivers has done at outstanding job in the backcourt. Trevor Booker has been a force up front for Purnell's squad. Then throw in long range bomber Terrence Oglesby and you understand this squad has lots of talent.

My friends, Wake Forest is absolutely legitimate. People in the world of basketball understand that, but a lot of fans don't mention the Demon Deacons enough. Think about what this team has achieved in recent weeks.

There was a trip to BYU, where the Cougars had a 53-game home winning streak. Dino Gaudio's kids responded in a positive way and left Provo with a big-time W.

Then last Sunday, Jeff Teague was absolutely sensational on the perimeter as Wake scored another huge victory, beating North Carolina.

This Wake Forest club has a lot of size inside and throwing a number of different bodies at the opposition shows the depth is there. Seven-foot junior center Chas McFarland has really improved and James Johnson is outstanding.

I know the late Skip Prosser is smiling down from heaven; he played a major role in the recruitment of most of those guys.

Clemson vs. Wake Forest ... wow. There should be lots of intensity and emotion on the court this weekend.