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ACC Roundup - First Blood

Virginia and Florida State rise to the top but one is going down soon.

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NCAA Basketball: No.Carolina A&T at Georgia Tech
Dec 28, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets guard Tadric Jackson (1) pushes the ball up the court as center Ben Lammers (44) is shown on the play in the second half of their game against the North Carolina A&T Aggies at McCamish Pavilion. Georgia Tech won 59-52. 
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Last year Wake Forest had a lot of trouble closing out games so it must have been frustrating for Danny Manning to see his team struggle again.

Wake was certainly in it with Florida State but star John Collins had foul trouble again and was limited to 18 minutes and just two points and three rebounds.

Backup Doral Moore only played two minutes before injuring his leg.

That all hurt, but FSU put on a 17 point run in four minutes in the second half to slap the young Deacs down.

Keyshawn Woods summed it up: “We definitely let them off the hook. We were up by one at halftime, then had a five-point lead, and they hit us in the mouth and we didn’t respond.”

It’s a tough loss but Wake at least showed its potential. That’s a solid game with nothing from your centers - well, until the meltdown anyway.

We thought that after last year’s beatings that Louisville would come at Virginia in a big way.

Well it didn't happen.

Virginia throttled Louisville in the first half then held on and won 61-53. It’s the fourth time five games that UVA beat the Cards, prompting Rick Pitino to say that “Virginia seems to be our kryptonite. We just don’t play well against them.”

Donovan Mitchell is often seen as the key for Louisville. He was held to 3-11 and just seven points.

Virginia welcomes FSU to John Paul Jones for its next ACC game, kicking off a brutal stretch for the Seminoles: after Virginia, FSU gets Virginia Tech, #5 Duke, #9 UNC, #24 Notre Dame and then #6 Louisville.

State - around here we have State and Florida State - had a solid outing against Rider, but people are going to talk about Dennis Smith’s dunk for a while. It was absolutely an NBA play. If you didn't see it watch it here. We’re not huge fans of dunks - it’s not like you get extra points - but damn.

Smith is starting to get cocky - well he probably has been but he’s being pretty public about it. Check this out after a kid tried to block his shot: “I heard (Jordan) asking the ref, ‘Where did I foul him?’ like he blocked it or something. I said, ‘Next one, I’m going to put it on his head.’...I don’t get blocked by nobody.”

Lots of guys get cocky and can’t back it up. It looks like Smith can.

State has now won six straight. Weak competition to be sure, but this team is headed in the right direction.

By the way, Omer Yurtseven is now starting and Beejay Anya is coming off the bench.

King Rice returned to Chapel Hill but his Monmouth team couldn’t pull the upset, losing to UNC 102-74.

Kennedy Meeks had 17 points and 12 boards. Justin Jackson finished with 28. Joel Berry played sick and didn’t really have a big impact.

Jackson since the Davidson game: 27, 7, 34, 12 and 28.

Several games were closer than we expected: Notre Dame beat St. Peter’s by just 12, Miami won by just 11 over Columbia, Georgia Tech beat 1-12 NC A&T by just seven and after having a big lead (29), Pitt prevailed over the Thundering Herd by just six, 112-106.

Kevin Stallings chose to put a positive spin on it: “It’s human nature to lose focus. I’m asking 18-, 22-year-old guys to do things even guys much older than them have a difficult time doing. It’s hard sometimes to play with a big lead. Again, we’ve had a bunch of big leads. That means we’re capable of doing some really good things.”

No doubt. Marshall has a fun offense and is capable of a run obviously, but that’s not going to cut it in ACC play.

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