In Saturday's ACC action, Florida State thumped Wake Forest 84-66, Virginia surprised Virginia Tech 61-54, and Carolina fended offÂ Boston College comeback to win 48-46.
The Tar Heels had a 15 point second half lead before multiple turnovers allowed Boston College to fight their way back into it.
Reggie Jackson had a chance to win on a three-point shot with just seconds left, but he was defended by John Henson, and after the game, Henson said he thought he got a bit of all the way up.
Close, but no cigar: the shot rimmed out and Carolina survived.Â It was the lowest scoring game in the Roy Williams era, and the lowest scoring game ever in the Dean Dome.
There are two trends to keep an eye on: first, UNC continues to be wretched from three-point range, hitting just 2-11 for the game.Â This virtually guarantees a lot of zone between now and whenever their season ends.
And second, while you can draw a distinction between the bench play in easy wins and close games, in the close ones lately, Carolina's gotten next to nothing from their reserves.
That continued in this game.Â While the bench players played 43 minutes, they managed just five points, two rebounds and two steals.
Historically, Roy Williams has always played a deep bench, but that may not be possible this season.
Virginia re-taught us a valuable lesson: never underestimate a rivalry game.
Despite the fact that their offense has fundamentally disappeared lately, the Cavaliers nonetheless stuck it to Tech for the second time this season. Virginia Tech scored 193 points in their last two games; Virginia put an end to that.
More critically, they seriously damaged Tech's tournament hopes -- and this after losing eight of their last 10.
For Virginia Tech, of the four remaining games, there is little to gain from Wake Forest, Boston College or Clemson,Â all of which they should be favored in.
No, for the Hokies, assuming of course that they win the games they should, the season comes down to two things: if they beat Duke in Blacksburg, their odds go up, and if they can follow that with a decent run in Greensboro, that might do it.
This year, like almost every year lately, Seth Greenberg is King of the bubble.
There's not much to say about Wake Forest at this point.Â It's a lost season and barring a miracle in Greensboro, which is highly unlikely, they're just playing out the string.
At this point though, it is fair to say something about the job Leonard Hamilton has done at Florida State.Â It's not quite analogous to turning Duke around in football, but like David Cutcliffe, Hamilton has gone into a place which has no recent history of success in basketball other than the Pat Kennedy years, and he's turned that program into a gritty success.
One hopes that it will begin to draw the level of fan support it deserves.
Two games on Sunday as Clemson visits Miami and State visits Maryland.Â That used to be one of the ACC's great rivalries but it has really hit the skids lately.
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