January 31, 2024 

Locked On Women’s Basketball: Breaking down the ACC

Howard Megdal and Debbie Antonelli discuss the state of the deep and competitive ACC and dive into the NCAA tournament

On Wednesday’s episode of Locked On Women’s Basketball, host Howard Megdal is joined by ACC expert and network broadcaster Debbie Antonelli to analyze the contours of the ACC. The two also discuss Debbie’s fundraising work for the Special Olympics and consider the state of the NCAA tournament.

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Howard and Debbie open the show with a deep dive into ACC play. The two analyze Duke, a “young team” that is “very good defensively,” remark on the spirit of Florida State, and remark on the talent coming out of North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Syracuse. They also discuss how freshmen like Hannah Hidalgo, a game-changer at Notre Dame, are defying the expectations often set on first-years – that they can’t play fearlessly or contribute in crucial moments. Hidalgo, remarks Howard, seems to be “showing that these rules don’t apply to freshmen.”

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Howard and Debbie continue breaking down the ACC, frequently remarking on the depth and talent of the conference. Per Debbie, the ACC is a “pretty tough league,” with at least six or seven ranked teams, and has the potential to get more teams into the NCAA tournament. It’s hard to say if any conference is better than another, and Debbie prefers to stay out of that conversation, but she’s “all in” in the ACC.

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Howard and Debbie wrap up the episode with a nod to Debbie’s work fundraising for the Special Olympics. Every year, Debbie shoots free throws for 24 hours straight, and of Debbie’s $1 million fundraising goal, she has already raised $851,862. This will be Debbie’s sixth year attempting 24 straight hours of free throws, and her motivation comes from knowing “how much this money impacts families” like hers – and her son, directly.

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