Louisville's season continues to hang in the balance: the Cards did beat Georgia Tech, but partly because the Yellowjackets made a critical error at the very end of the game.
|Tuesday's ACC Action|
|NC State @ UNC||8:00||ACCN|
|Syracuse @ Notre Dame||8:00||ACCN|
|Boston College @ Pittsburgh||9:00||ESPNU|
|Louisville 52 Georgia Tech 51|
Before that, though, Tech had handled Louisville pretty well, holding Rick Pitino's bunch to 17 points in the first half and building a 13-point lead at 41-28 with 9:18 left.
Being Georgia Tech this year, it wasn't enough. Louisville rallied and the last six minutes the game was essentially even with more of an advantage for Tech than the Cards.
In the end, though, Marcus-Georges Hunt made a layup with :25 left to tie the game. Terry Rozier came right back with a drive of his own to put Louisville up 50-48.
Then came what now seems inevitable, the defining quality of this year's Georgia Tech squad: this team just hasn't been able to make a winning play at key points in the game.
And so it was again as Georges-Hunt lost the ball.
A couple of foul shots later, Tech managed to hit a three to cut Louisville's final margin to one, 52-51.
After the game, Pitino said he was "as proud of this basketball team as any game I've ever coached."
Hold that thought.
On Monday, the real story about why Chris Jones was kicked off the team came out: he had texted a clear threat to his girlfriend, telling her that he would "smack TF (the f---) out of" her.
That'll do it.
Louisville had two goals in this game: first, win it obviously, and second, start moving past the Jones situation.
The first goal was accomplished, if barely. The second? We'll have to wait and see.
There are going to be a lot of questions and criticisms, not least of all on campus. Why was he suspended the first time? Was this a pattern of behavior?
All of this as the team tries to rebuild itself late in the season. Louisville finishes up with FSU on the road, then Notre Dame and Virginia at home - all while breaking in a new point guard and with a media circus.
It won't be easy.
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It turns out that when Jekiri was first examined, it was the Louisville team doctor who made the initial diagnosis. So Pitino doesn't have to hire him away after all.
On Tuesday night, three games on tap: Wake travels to Clemson, Miami goes from sun-soaked South Florida to chilly Syracuse, and NC State heads down 40 to take on the Heels in the Dean Dome.
The State-UNC game is obviously the highlight. Ol' Roy Williams has made it clear that he sees the State games as really big deals and beating the Pack means a lot to him.
It'll be a different challenge this time.
First, when the rivals played in Raleigh, UNC could call on Theo Pinson and got 23 from Marcus Paige. Paige has been dealing with plantar fasciitis and realistically, you can't be sure what you'll get from him. Roy Williams rightly praises his heart, but what can you do? There's no way he's in peak condition and his play is significantly off last year's pace.
As for State, Cat Barber is a different player and someone needs to stay in front of him. As Tyus Jones proved against UNC, that's not Carolina's strong point currently.
For Clemson, NCAA hopes are fading, barring a strong finish and better-than-expected tournament run, so a win over Wake Forest would be a big deal.
And Miami needs whatever it can get too. A road win at Syracuse would be a big help.
As for Virginia's London Perrantes, he's currently listed as day-to-day with a broken nose and a "mild" concussion after his collision with hard-headed teammate Malcolm Brogdon.