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ACC Roundup - A Tremendous Day Of Basketball

Upsets, comebacks, passion all around.

Jan 31, 2015; Louisville, KY, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard/forward Justin Jackson (44) pressures Louisville Cardinals guard Chris Jones (3) during the second half at KFC Yum! Center.
Jan 31, 2015; Louisville, KY, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard/forward Justin Jackson (44) pressures Louisville Cardinals guard Chris Jones (3) during the second half at KFC Yum! Center.
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

This most enjoyable ACC season continued Saturday with five out of six games being highly competitive.

Sunday's ACC Action
Teams Times TV
Miami @ Florida State ESPNU 12:30
Schools Conf W-L Conf PCT W-L PCT
Virginia 7-1 .875 19-1 .950
Notre Dame 8-2 .800 20-3 .870
North Carolina 7-2 .778 17-5 .773
Louisville 6-2 .750 18-3 .857
Syracuse 5-3 .625 14-7 .667
Duke 5-3 .625 18-3 .857
Miami 4-3 .571 14-6 .700
Clemson 5-4 .556 13-8 .619
NC State 5-5 .500 14-9 .609
Pitt 4-5 .444 14-8 .636
Florida State 3-5 .375 11-10 .524
Wake Forest 2-7 .222 10-12 .455
Boston College 1-7 .125 9-11 .450
Virginia Tech 1-7 .125 9-12 .429
Georgia Tech 1-8 .111 10-11 .476
Saturday's Results
  • Pitt 76 Notre Dame 72
  • NC State 81 Georgia Tech 80 (OT)
  • Clemson 64 BC 49
  • Wake Forest 73 Virginia Tech 70
  • Louisville 78 UNC 68 (OT)
  • Duke 69 Virginia 63

State and Carolina both ended up in overtime after losing big leads but with very different results.

State exploded on Georgia Tech early, going up by 14, but to their credit, the kids from Tech never gave up and kept fighting back.

And late in the game, it seemed inevitable that, well, State would pull a State and collapse in the end.

As it turned out, it didn't: Trevor Lacey hit a career highlight of a three pointer to give State the win 81-80.

Anthony Barber, who has often seemed like a waterbug skating across the surface of the ACC, but playing with little depth, had some in this one: he had 18 in the first half, finished with 23 total on 9-12 and 4-5 from three point range, and also had three boards, seven assists and two steals.

After the game, Tech coach Brian Gregory said that "[w]e have to keep plugging away. I believe in what we do. Our guys believe in what we do. It's put us in the position in nine of the games to win seven of them."

That's good, but it's not going to good enough.

Meanwhile, later in the day, UNC ran up an 18 point lead on Louisville, which is more or less an invitation to Rick Pitino to mount a furious comeback.

And so he did.

Things really got started in earnest with about 9:45 left. First Terry Rozier hit a three to cut the lead to six. Then Chris Jones hit another three about a minute later to cut it to three at 53-50. And then Montrezl Harrell cut it to a one-point lead.

UNC spurted ahead again only to see Louisville pull back to within two.

By 3:59, the score was tied at 59 all, and one more free throw each made it 60-60 at the end of regulation.

The overtime was ridiculous: Louisville scored 18 points in the extra five to UNC's eight. The biggest difference? Montrezl Harrell. The Cards' forward finished with 22 points and 15 boards.

Ol' Roy Williams described his effort as "possessed."

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You have to walk before you can run, and perhaps Wake Forest got a bit ahead of schedule.

If so, January humbled them.

Wake hadn't won since beating Georgia Tech on the 10th, 76-69.

Since then, the Deacs lost to Syracuse in overtime, to Clemson by two and to FSU, agan in overtime.

Only UNC won easily, by 16.

Wake won because, basically, the Deacs got tired of losing. Mitchell Wilbekin put it this way: "It feels so good man — I’m not going to lie — to get a win, an ACC win. We really needed that.

Codi Miller-McIntyre: "It was kind of like, ‘Not again. This can’t happen. We can’t do this again.’"’ There’s been too many games that we’ve been that close and we just gave it away.

"So we understood how we felt after each one of those close games and we were trying not to feel that way at home on a Saturday in our gym."

It doesn't mean Wake is going to start winning everything or even that the Deacs will win next time.

Being sick of losing, though, can take you a long way.