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ACC Roundup - Lesser Teams Challenge Powers - Again

Georgia Tech and Boston College gave Duke and Notre Dame all they wanted and more. And if you hadn't noticed, Clemson is building a win streak and some sorely needed confidence.

Jan 20, 2015; Syracuse, NY, USA; Boston College Eagles forward Aaron Brown (22) drives to the basket against the Syracuse Orange during the second half at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse defeated Boston College 69-61.
Jan 20, 2015; Syracuse, NY, USA; Boston College Eagles forward Aaron Brown (22) drives to the basket against the Syracuse Orange during the second half at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse defeated Boston College 69-61.
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The big news Wednesday was Syracuse self-imposing a one-year ban on post-season play for undisclosed violations which happened a few years ago.

No ACC Games Thursday
Schools Conf W-L Conf PCT W-L PCT
Virginia 8-1 .889 21-1 .955
Notre Dame 9-2 .818 21-3 .875
Louisville 7-2 .778 19-3 .864
North Carolina 7-3 .700 17-7 .708
Duke 6-3 .667 19-3 .864
Syracuse 6-3 .667 15-7 .682
Clemson 6-4 .600 14-8 .636
NC State 5-6 .455 14-10 .583
Pitt 4-5 .444 16-8 .667
Miami 4-5 .444 14-8 .636
Florida State 4-6 .400 12-11 .522
Wake Forest 3-7 .300 11-12 .478
Boston College 1-8 .111 9-12 .429
Virginia Tech 1-8 .111 9-13 .409
Georgia Tech 1-9 .100 10-12 .455
Wednesday's Results
  • Clemson 62 Florida State 56
  • Notre Dame 71 Boston College 63
  • Duke 72 Georgia Tech 66

The Orange are 15-7 and borderline at best for NCAA play this year. NIT play was possible, but that's out as well as the ACC Tournament.

The league had to adjust the  brackets for a 14-team tournament, so now there will be two games on Tuesday rather than the original three. The #10 seed gets a bye to the second round.

The top four teams still receive byes into Friday's round.

Syracuse has offered refunds to fans who bought ACC Tournament ticket which presumably will be redistributed.

There's no official word on Syracuse's misdeeds, which is unfortunate. Previous articles in the Syracuse paper suggested at least some academic improprieties and that some odd stuff emanated from a local YMCA which might involve tutoring and cash for some reason.

There's no way to know.

It's a drag for the ACC, given the various other programs in trouble recently, and may raise some issues for Jim Boeheim, depending on what comes out.

Because while it is all "in the past," he was the guy running things, so he's still responsible.

Stay tuned.

On the court, Clemson improved to 14-8 with an ugly 62-56 win over Florida State.

Ugly? Big deal.

Clemson has won four straight ACC games. That's a big improvement over where they were earlier in the year.

Still, lots of turnovers, bad shooting and Clemson missed eight free throws in the last 1:58.

Brad Brownell said afterwards that his team is gaining confidence, and why not? The Tigers are much improved.

Miami and Notre Dame will be tough, but we think the Tigers could win 18 games, possibly 20 if things break well.

The losses to Winthrop, Gardner-Webb and Rutgers are too bad in retrospect.

We've been really impressed with the ACC's new coaches - Danny Manning, Buzz Williams and Jim Christian.

Look at the Notre Dame game Wednesday.

The Irish went up 25 just 15 minutes in. Yet BC hung around, cut the lead to 16 by halftime and then to 67-61 with 1:47 left on the clock.

Just to underscore this, the #15 team in the conference gave Duke a great game in Cameron Wednesday while the #13 team almost pulled off a 25 point comeback on the #10 team in the country.

The distance between teams in this league is not nearly what the standings would suggest.