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ACC Roundup - A Big Day For State; A Five Way Tie For Fifth Is Possible

As the season winds down, a lot of teams have ground to make up, but State has done as well as any of them.

Cat Barber has been a different player lately, and he's made a huge difference for State.
Cat Barber has been a different player lately, and he's made a huge difference for State.
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

With just a couple of weeks left in the regular ACC season, Saturday, not suprisingly, is a full day of league competition.

A resurgent State visits BC, a struggling Georgia Tech treks up to Clemson, UNC gets Miami but no day at the beach, Virginia Tech gets the grudge game at Virginia, Louisville plays at Florida State with no significant offense, while of course, Duke hosts Syracuse, as discussed elsewhere on the site.

Saturday's ACC Action
Teams Times TV
NC State @ Boston College Noon RSN
Georgia Tech @ Clemson Noon ACCN
Louisville @ FSU Noon ESPN
UNC @ Miami 2:00 CBS
Virginia Tech @ Virginia 4:00 ACCN
Syracuse @ Duke 7:00 ESPN
Schools Conf W-L Conf PCT W-L PCT
Virginia 14-1 .933 26-1 .963
Duke 12-3 .800 25-3 .893
Notre Dame 12-4 .750 24-5 .828
Louisville 10-5 .667 22-6 .786
North Carolina 9-6 .600 19-9 .679
Syracuse 9-6 .600 18-10 .643
Pitt 8-7 .533 19-10 .655
Miami 8-7 .533 18-10 .643
NC State 8-7 .533 17-11 .607
Clemson 7-8 .467 15-12 .556
Florida State 7-9 .438 15-14 .517
Wake Forest 4-11 .267 12-16 .429
Georgia Tech 3-13 .188 12-16 .429
Virginia Tech 2-13 .133 10-18 .357
Boston College 1-14 .067 9-18 .333

We're curious to see if State can keep up its recent level of play. The Pack has really come on late.

The Pack lost close games to Wake Forest and Virginia before taking down Louisville, Virginia Tech and UNC.

The wins over Louisville and UNC probably put State over the edge for a bid but it still has to hold its place. A loss to BC, therefore, would not be good.

Cat Barber has emerged recently as a different sort of player for State, a guy capable of leading the team on both offense and defense.  Just about everyone else has upped their game as well.

Like Clemson and now Pitt, State has improved dramatically since the beginning of the season. If the Pack can continue to improve, it's a team we'd think seriously about as a March Cinderella, depending as always on matchups.

When Clemson lost to Winthrop, Gardner-Webb and Rutgers early, life after KJ McDaniels seemed dark and depressing.

Clemson has struggled with offense, but the Tigers have made things work well enough. A win over Tech would give Clemson 16 wins and post-season play is increasingly likely, even if it's the NIT and not the NCAAs.

Since Clemson closes against State and Notre Dame, a win here is critical.

When the Virginia teams clashed in Blacksburg, the Hokies very nearly shocked Virginia.

Even though UVA will be down Justin Anderson and possibly London Perrantes, don't expect a similar result: Virginia will kill Tech this time.

Given everything that's happened with the Chris Jones situation and Louisville's previously struggling offense, how will the Cards handle FSU's traditionally rugged defense? And can Xavier Rathan-Mayes  touch immortality again?

Pitino's always been an amazing coach when his back is against the wall. We think Louisville will take it.

Finally, UNC at Miami.

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In the last seven games, UNC is 2-5. Miami has solid defense, a good big man and a terrific defender in Angel Rodriguez. Is it enough?

To an extent it depends on UNC. If the Heels show up and play to their potential, there's no reason this can't be a win. If, however, it's another weak effort, UNC will probably fall.

If Syracuse and UNC lose, and Pitt, Miami and State win, there will be a five-way tie for fifth. Actually, we counted UNC and Miami for both wins and losses, so it could have been a four-way tie.