Sylvia Hatchell accepts congratulations from UNC men's coach Roy Williams after Friday's win.
By all accounts, the opening of the ACC women's basketball season was a great success in the Triangle.
No. 7 Duke opened with an explosion, annihilating a middling Alabama team 90-40 on the road Sunday night.
No. 13 UNC started 2-0, having to work harder to escape upstart Howard than No. 23 UCLA.
And work-in-progress N.C. State escaped challenges from a couple of Historically Black colleges in eventually comfortable wins over Tennessee State and Coppin State.
The Blue Devils' week
N.C. State's Chloe Jackson (left) goes up for a rebound against TSU. Teammate Chelsea Nelson (5) is in the scrum under the hoop.
Any doubt that the Blue Devils are a Top 10 team should have been put to bed by the performance against Alabama in Sunday's season opener on the road.
Joanne P. McCallie's club led 48-15 at the break and didn't need to score another point. Rebounds were 55-22. And the Blue Devils had three double-doubles in the same game. Seriously. It's hard to see an upside for the SEC showing this one on its own network.
Elizabeth Williams had 17 points and 12 rebounds, Oderah Chidom 17 points, Becca Greenwell 17 and 10 in her debut and Cary's Azura Stevens 10 and 10 in her debut.
The Tar Heels' week
Of course the biggest news was the return to the sidelines of head coach Sylvia Hatchell after she had spent all of last season receiving treatment for leukemia.
Howard was matching the Tar Heels blow-for-blow in the first 10 minutes of its 83-49 loss. The Bruins never threatened much after halftime in its 84-68 defeat.
Through two games Allisha Gray is averaging 19 points and 7.5 rebounds, Xylina McDaniel 16 and seven, Brittany Rountree 13.5 and three assists and freshman combo guard Jamie Cherry 11.
The Wolfpack's week
Wes Moore was worried about his team's post play heading into the season, and it was problematic that three fouled out in the methodical 84-55 win over Tennessee State on Friday.
Coppin State was more of a challenge on Sunday, leading for most of the first 15 minutes before the Wolfpack carved out an 81-61 win. But the foul trouble was gone.
The biggest story for the Wolfpack was the emergence of Arkansas transfer guard Dominique Wilson, who is coming off the bench and leading the team in scoring at 18.5. Miah Spencer is at 17 points and 4.5 rebounds, while JC transfer center Carlee Schuhmacher 10.5 and 6.5.
This week's three stars
UNC's Jamie Cherry (0) watches her shot while Danielle Butts (10) and Megan Buckland (3) wait for a rebound against Howard.
1. Allisha Gray, UNC.
2. Elizabeth Williams, Duke.
3. Dominique Wilson, N.C. State.
Rookie of the week
Becca Greenwell, Duke.
Next must-see home game
UNC vs. Oklahoma State, Wednesday, 6 p.m.
Duke vs. Marquette, Sunday, 2 p.m.
N.C. State vs. Minnesota, Dec. 3, 7 p.m.