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ACC Roundup - What A Day For The Conference

ACC competition hit a high point on Saturday.

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NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Virginia
Dec 31, 2016; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Florida State Seminoles forward Jonathan Isaac (1) grabs a rebound in front of Virginia Cavaliers forward Isaiah Wilkins (21) in the second half at John Paul Jones Arena. The Seminoles won 60-58. 
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

What a day in the ACC. It’s only the second day of competition - there were two games earlier in the week - and the league Is already turned upside down. Tony Bennett walked into his presser after losing to FSU and simply said “welcome to the ACC.”

Just look at the standings - Florida State is in first, Virginia Tech second, Notre Dame third, Clemson fourth, Miami fifth and Georgia Tech sixth.

Technically of course, everyone other than FSU who won is tied for second but still, look at the bottom: Duke, Louisville, UNC, NC State, Pitt and Wake Forest.

Duke lost to Virginia Tech of course, as covered elsewhere, but no loss was as shocking as UNC’s loss to Georgia Tech.

How did that possibly happen?

This is a team that struggled to beat 1-15 NC A&T the other day, winning just 59-52. Before that, Tech barely beat Wofford by four.

We were following the end of that game as the Duke-Virginia Tech game wound down and figured that, since it was still close, UNC would surely pull it out. This should have been like Sherman torching Atlanta all over.

Uh, not quite.

Tech actually increased its lead. It wasn’t a case of just holding on. It was emphatic.

No one saw it coming, least of all us. It seemed impossible. But like Virginia Tech, the Yellow Jackets proved (again) the value of five guys united against superior talent.

Tech ran a 1-3-1 and forced 20 turnovers.

In Winston-Salem, Wake Forest continued a pattern started last year and lost a game it really should have won by falling apart at the end.

Wake had a 13 point lead with under seven minutes. It had a 10 point lead with 4:51 left.

Clemson scored the last 15.

We've mentioned Bryant Crawford’s apparently fragility before: down the stretch, with Clemson surging, he fired up a three pointer.

You have to feel for him. He’s so gifted but he’s clearly struggling in these situations.

All of this has not gone unnoticed by the fan base.

You may remember how Wake fans turned on Jeff Bzdelik, Danny Manning’s predecessor, and the glee that Wake had hired Manning.

Well the honeymoon is over. Check out the comments on And look at the tone on

Manning won’t get fired this year, and that’s good. This is still the guy that Larry Brown and Bill Self raved about. But it doesn’t really matter because the fans are now aiming squarely at his boss Ron Wellman instead (who btw hired the guy who got them to a bowl game this year but never mind).

Despite a late burst by Dennis Smith, NC State couldn’t handle Miami and lost 81-63, making it a rare 0-4 for NC ACC teams. Smith finished with 21 points and five assists. He outscored his backcourt mates Terry Henderson (eight) and Torin Dorn (seven) by himself.

Omer Yurtseven’s education continues: the big Turk played 26 minutes but had just five points and four boards as the physical American game is an adjustment.

In Charlottesville, Florida State got a huge resume win beating UVA on the road 60-58. The pack line couldn’t contain Dwayne Bacon who finished 11-18 for 29 points including the key shot at the end.

Kyle Guy hit a three with 8.8 left then Bacon hit his own.

We thought Notre Dame-Pitt would be entertaining and it was good to the last drop as Steve Vasturia hit a three in overtime to put the Irish in front 78-77.

Bonzi “Bonzai” Colson led the way with 21 points and 14 rebounds for the Irish.

One thing you can say for Indiana’s Tom Crean: it’s never boring.

Indiana is mercurial and unpredictable. When its on, the Hoosiers remind one of the pre-Knight running tradition of Indiana basketball, the one that Everett Case brought to NC State and John Wooden took west to UCLA.

Remember the IU upset of Kentucky a few years ago?


Well not Saturday.

Louisville played solid defense - should be a given with a Rick Pitino team - and shot 52.9% overall and 42.1% from behind the line.

IU could manage just 32.2%.

Crean is going to hear about this one.

Wake fans are ready to get a new coach to hate. Maybe Wellman should hire Crean.

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