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ACC Roundup

In ACC action Wednesday, State beat Wake, 73-66, and Clemson survived Miami, 74-70, in overtime. They finally reached 20 wins, but let's face it: to struggle this hard against a severely depleted Miami, it's not exactly a declaration of strength, is it? Still, they won, and it must feel good, for a change.

ACC Standings
North Carolina 10-4 .714 24-5 .828
Virginia Tech 10-4 .714 20-8 .714
Virginia 10-4 .714 19-8 .704
Boston College 10-5 .667 19-9 .679
Maryland 9-6 .600 23-7 .767
Duke 8-7 .533 22-8 .733
Georgia Tech 6-8 .429 18-10 .643
Clemson 6-9 .400 20-9 .690
Florida State 6-9 .400 18-11 .621
NC State 5-10 .333 15-13 .536
Wake Forest 4-11 .267 13-15 .464
Miami 4-11 .267 11-18 .379

In Raleigh, State had another one of those periodic offensive outbursts it has had this season, riding a hot start to a nice win. Depth and injuries doomed State this season, but they have shown enough periodically to make it clear that Sidney Lowe - at the very least - has the potential to do a really solid job in Raleigh. It's a time of great optimism for State fans, and it should be. State is waking up.

On Thursday, there are two potentially great games: Virginia Tech goes to Charlottesville, and UNC goes to Atlanta, where the Heels, vulnerable of late, will take on a suddenly interesting Tech squad.

We're frankly not sold on Paul Hewitt as a coach. Yes, he got his team to the title game, and that's a significant accomplishment. But he has had trouble getting his teams since then to buy in to defense, or to play intelligent offense. Moreover, at times they play a brand of basketball so rough that it verges on dirty.

Nonetheless, there is a significant level of talent on this team, and in concert with UNC's recent comments indicating some self-doubt, we think an upset is possible. A lot of things will have to go right for Tech to pull it off, but it could happen.

In Charlottesville, this is the most consequential game ever between Virginia and Virginia Tech. Both teams have at times flaked out this season, but odds of that happening this time are minimal.