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ACC Roundup

A bit of order but the conference race is incredible this year

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NCAA Basketball: Clemson at Notre Dame
Jan 7, 2017; South Bend, IN, USA; Clemson Tigers forward Donte Grantham (15) puts up a shot in the first half against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the Purcell Pavilion. Notre Dame won 75-70. 
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday was an interesting day of ACC competition.

Syracuse won big against Pitt, building a 28 point lead before coasting to an 11 point win.

Syracuse had a 30 point run in this one. That’s astounding for a team that’s struggled as much as Syracuse has, but maybe they’ve solved their problems.

Certainly the defense was better. Jim Boeheim was really unhappy about that but Syracuse held Pitt to 35.1%.

After the game, Kevin Stallings said "I would say that we have enough experience out there with Jamel [Artis] and Chris [Jones] to run good offense. We just didn't. We just didn't execute well and they played well in the first half. And then that roll starts and they start making shots and they're all hyped and their energy gets way up because every shot they look at goes in, then you've got the snowball going in the wrong direction for you."

That about sums it up.

The snowy weather affected Louisville, which didn’t get to Atlanta until Saturday morning. UPS had to help them get off the plane with a different ramp.

Suffice it to say it wasn’t an easy trip.

Tech competed and defended well but just didn’t have enough firepower to win. You have to wonder if the rebuild could get fast tracked with a couple of grad transfer to pair with Ben Lammers and Josh Okogie, both of whom could play for any ACC team.

After his freak injury at NC State, Virginia Tech’s Khadim Sy only played eight minutes to minimum effect and Virginia Tech gave up 93 points to Florida State.

Seth Allen sat out with concussion symptoms. It was a tough day for the Hokies and FSU took full advantage.

Afterwards, Buzz Williams said simply that “this is the best team [FSU coach Leonard Hamilton] has ever had.”

You really have to hand it to Notre Dame. That team lost a lot but so far, the Irish are on cruise control in the ACC race.

In South Bend, Mike Brey said VJ Beacham saved Notre Dame. Beacham scored 22, tying his career high, as Notre Dame survived Clemson, 75-70.

Honestly, you’d expect Notre Dame to beat Clemson at home, but still, consider. The worst teams in the conference so far are BC and Georgia Tech. Boston College whipped Syracuse and nearly pulled off a great comeback at Duke, and Georgia Tech has already upset UNC.

And those are the weak teams.

Go up a rung and you see Clemson, Pitt, Virginia and Virginia Tech and all four could be tournament teams come March.

This is an amazing basketball conference.

We kind of missed Wake Forest in that. They're sort of between the bottom and that group and Sunday they play Virginia. It’s a chance to stake a claim and UVA has some issues inside. We keep waiting for Wake to have a breakout game. It’s coming.

Also now on Sunday is State at UNC.

Originally scheduled for Saturday, UNC canceled despite conference policies which require games to be played if the teams and supporting personnel can make it.

NC State was somewhat taken aback by the decision as it was ready to head over to Chapel Hill.

Remember when Duke had trouble getting over to Chapel Hill a couple of years ago and had to postpone?

At the time UNC fans howled that Duke was “scared.”

Now, as Luke DeCock points out, State fans can certainly say that UNC was “scared” to face State without fans in the seats.

It also sort of underscores the revelations ACC fans have had over the last few year that UNC has one set of rules for the rest of us and one for itself.

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