In opening night ACC play, things mostly went as expected, other than in Raleigh, where State was surprised by William & Mary, 85-68. UNC had no trouble with Temple despite missing Marcus Paige, winning 97-61, Virginia beat Morgan State 86-48, Notre Dame downed St. Francis, 87-56, Clemson dismantled NCCU 74-40, Miami smacked UT-Rio Grande Valley 86-59, Syracuse got past Lehigh 57-47, Louisville crushed Samford 86-45, Georgia Tech thumped Cornell 116-81 while Wake Forest barely got past UMBC, 78-73.
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Pitt and Gonzaga were playing in Okinawa in the Armed Forces Classic, and Pitt was doing okay, too, when the game was called due to a slippery floor. The game was called at halftime with Pitt up 37-35. It's not a win but we'd be pretty happy. Gonzaga is a very good team.
Wake barely survived, but in fairness, the Deacs are missing Codi Miller-McIntyre (foot) and Cornelius Hudson and Rondale Watson are both suspended. That's basically 1/4 of the team, and freshman Bryant Crawford banged up his hand too.
When he was doing his genius stint at Princeton, Pete Carrill designed his offense to overcome PU's eternal athletic gap. The offense is designed to turn a team's athleticism against itself really, and it certainly worked on State.
The Tribe went up 23-5 - in Raleigh - and never were in trouble.
In his first game for State West Virginia transfer and Raleigh native Terry Henderson hurt his ankle. No word yet on how bad it is.
Temple is usually tough, rarely great and almost never easy.
It was an easy win for the Heels though, despite lacking Marcus Paige.
Brice Johnson and Kennedy Meeks both had double-doubles and Temple didn't get a basket from a big guy for the first ten and a half minutes of the game.
Best news: UNC shot nearly 60% from three point range - without Paige.
We thought Clemson might struggle with Central, given the lack of depth and the poor exhibition play, but that didn't happen. The Tigers clamped down and dominated NCCU.
Clemson did get Sidy Djitte back from his knee injury, which should help.
Notre Dame got 30 points from three point range and 19 from the foul line, which was almost enough to beat the Red Flash. Off a great March run, the Irish are currently starting VJ Beacham, Zach Auguste, Bonzie Colson, Demetrius Jackson and Steve Vasturia. That shouldn't be too much of a drop-off really.
Syracuse had a 20 point lead on Lehigh before the Mountain Hawks - surely you remember the dreaded Mountain Hawks - threatened a second ACC upset. Lehigh cut the lead to just six.
Freshman Malachi Richardson had an intriguing debut. Oft-injured big man DaJuan Coleman played 13 minutes.
Virginia struggled briefly before pulling away from Morgan State, which played without three frontcourt players. Nothing much of news here.
Miami didn't necessarily play well, but when you schedule Texas Rio Grande Valley, maybe you don't need to.
Miami shot just 41.9% but had a dramatic advantage at the line and were athletically superior.
Like a few other ACC teams, Louisville wasn't hugely impressive in exhibition games, but the Cards came to play, holding Samford to 21% and just 18 points in the second half. Samford's not UConn or anything, but that's a solid defensive effort.
Tonight, BC opens with St. Francis while Virginia Tech debuts against Alabama State and Duke, of course, plays Bryant.