Wednesday was a consequential day for several ACC teams. In its last two games, Clemson's season has changed. The Tigers now have to be reckoned with as a possible NCAA tournament team. Yes it's early, but Clemson has shown they've been underrated. Beating Duke and Louisville back to back can do that.
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As for State, the Wolfpack now falls to 0-4 with the loss to Florida State. By contrast, the talented but young Seminoles have win #1 and move to 1-3.
When Wake Forest went to Louisville and played well, though losing, Rick Pitino said they weren't rebuilding, they had arrived. We agreed.
Well as it turns out: not quite. Wake is 2-4 in the last six games only beating poorly coached LSU and an NC State team still trying to find itself. Danny Manning is doing a solid job, but Wake Forest just isn't there yet. It's only his second season and the Deacs are clearly improved. The record hasn't reflected it yet.
Syracuse has finally won a conference game, beating BC 62-40, and Notre Dame moves back to .500 with a win over Georgia Tech.
BC is the one conference team that is really likely to struggle. At Syracuse, the Eagles shooting topped out at the foul line...at 44.4%. Field goals were 31.9%; threes were 23.1%.
Eli Carter had 13 but no one else had more than six.
Wake Forest couldn't contain Justin Gibbs, who scored a career high 32 for Virginia Tech, and to compound things, star freshman Bryant Crawford couldn't contain himself and threw the ball at the scorer's table and drew a technical. He said he knew he would get one as soon as he did it but said he was mad after getting kneed in the face.
Then Dinos Mitoglou got into it with Justin Robinson, with both players getting excessively physical. Mitoglou got a flagrant foul while Robinson was Teed up.
Virginia Tech hit all four of those free throws, which was obviously important in a two-point win.
Wake put all five starters in double figures plus Rondale Watson off the bench. The Deacs shot 58.9% and 54.2%. They also left six points on the free throw line (12-18).
The Hokies had the 32 from Bibbs and 20 from Zach LeDay. Robinson got 17. But here's the big deal: Virginia Tech got 35 free throw attempts and hit 29 of those for 82.9%.
In Raleigh, the Pack fell behind and tried to come back against Florida State but couldn't pull it off.
Abdul-Malik Abu led the way with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Cat Barber had 16 points.
Maverick Rowan had 22, so you could say he led the way. We prefer to give a big double-double more credit.
Notre Dame held Georgia Tech to 33.3% from the floor and much like Virginia Tech had an overwhelming advantage from the line, shooting 28-32 to Tech's 11-17. Zach Auguste had 24 while Demetrius Jackson finished with 18 points and nine boards.
On Thursday, a Top 20 showdown as #20 Pitt visits #21 Louisville. The loser is likely to fall out of the polls.