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ACC Roundup

You just know they call him Opie, right? Because that's the nickname little white guys always get. Toss in red hair and it's a given.

It doesn't matter what anyone calls him now though. Tyler Lewis earned respect against Miami. The little guard (actually 5-9, State promoted him by two inches when he got to campus) finished up the game against Miami with 16 points and five assists, a great spark off the bench. Opie indeed.

Sunday's ACC Action!
Teams Times TV
Virginia @ Georgia Tech 3:00 PM ESPN
Saturday's Results
  • Boston College 75, Clemson 68
  • North Carolina 72, Virginia Tech 60 ( OT )
  • Maryland 86, Wake Forest 60
  • Miami 79, NC State 78
School Conf. Pct. Overall Pct.
Miami 8-0 1.000 17-3 .850
Duke 6-2 .750 19-2 .905
Virginia 5-2 .714 15-5 .750
North Carolina 5-3 .625 15-6 .714
NC State 5-4 .556 16-6 .727
Florida State 4-4 .500 12-9 .571
Maryland 4-5 .444 16-6 .727
Clemson 4-5 .444 12-9 .571
Wake Forest 3-6 .333 10-11 .476
Virginia Tech 2-6 .250 11-10 .524
Boston College 2-6 .250 10-11 .476
Georgia Tech 1-6 .143 11-8 .579

And what a game it turned out to be. Playing without Lorenzo Brown, who is having a sensational year, and with CJ Leslie having one of his maturity relapses (he didn't start due to a disciplinary issue), it looked as if State  was in for a long afternoon.

Not to be.

State went toe to toe with Miami despite their issues. Relying heavily on three freshmen, in a very tough road game, only a last-second tip-in by His Chunkiness, Reggie Johnson, saved Miami (have you noticed that the native North Carolinian enjoys beating teams from this state? Well, he does and he's done it fairly often too).

The freshmen shot 14-22 for 37 points, suggesting that perhaps the normal freshman thing is over.

Richard Howell finished with 15 points and eight boards, while Leslie had 18 and 12.

Afterwards, Mark Gottfried said that while it was disheartening to lose two close ones (after a similar ending at Maryland), he felt his team was improving. He's probably right. They'll likely see a game like this in March. They'll be ready. More than ready.

And if they need him, Opie will be ready too.

We were shocked when we turned on the TV to see Virginia Tech shoot to a 12-0 lead in Chapel Hill. For much of the game, UNC was simply ineffective and, well, not very Heel-like.

We have a friend who grew up a UNC fan and has been out of the country for years. He came back recently and watched UNC play and asked, plaintively, "where's the beauty? What happened?"

This is not a beautiful team - it has many flaws - but they have crawled their way to fourth place.

The flaws remain though. As many gifts as James Michael McAdoo has, judgment is not one of them: the man finished with five turnovers, nearly half of UNC's total. Some of them were just stupid.

Playing without PJ Hairston (concussion), and coming from behind all day, UNC needed someone to step up. Somewhat surprisingly, it was Marcus Paige.

The skinny freshman scored 19, with five rebounds and five assists.

Actually, it was (at least) the fourth excellent ACC  performance by a freshman guard, with Paige joining Duke's Rasheed Sulaimon and State's dynamic duo.

In Beantown (close enough), Clemson fell behind Steve Donahue's by 17 and still nearly won.

Clemson might have won if they could have hit the broad side of a barn: they were just 6-26 in the first half.

For BC, it snapped a five-game losing streak. For Clemson, just another bad offensive performance. They have a heart and can play suffocating defense at times. It's just a young team without a reliable offensive weapon.

Wake Forest has similar issues. You have to be patient with most young players because it just takes time to mature.

Actually, that's true for Maryland, too, but they had a good day and Wake didn't, losing to the Terps 86-60.

Maryland had 19 turnovers to Wake's eight, but shot nearly 70% and held Wake to 34.4%. Worse, they virtually eliminated second shots: Wake missed 42 shots; Maryland had 37 defensive rebounds.

You can miss shots or you can miss rebounds, but you can't do both.

Impressively, guard Seth Allen had seven boards.

Maryland had four players with 12 points and one just missed with 11.

On Sunday, Virginia travels to Georgia Tech to fight to maintain a piece of second place. If they lose, Duke is in a pretty good spot, although still waiting for Miami to fall.