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ACC Roundup - Virginia Wins The Early NIT

Virginia, like UNC, is coming together nicely

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NCAA Basketball: NIT Season Tip-Off-Virginia vs Rhode Island
Nov 24, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Virginia Cavaliers center Jack Salt (33) blocks a shot by Rhode Island Rams guard Jared Terrell (32) during the second half of the NIT Season Tip-Off championship game at Barclays Center. 
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, Virginia wrapped up the ACC’s second early season tournament title, winning the NIT Season Tipoff over Danny Hurley’s Rhode Island team, 70-55.

Isaiah Wilkins had 19 to lead Virginia. You scan a UVA boxscore especially for teams that haven’t seen the Packline before, and you expect to see very low shooting percentages.

Well the Rams hit 40% from three point range and 44% overall - not awful.

Virginia shot a bit better at 41.7/50% but hit just one more three and one more shot overall.

The difference? Foul shooting.

UVA got 22 attempts and converted 19 where Rhody got just 14 tries and hit seven. That’s a 12 point margin. Toss in the one more three UVA hit and there you go.

Three Rams finished with four fouls and one fouled out.

Nothing surprises us with Virginia anymore other than more than 80 points in a game.

By the way, speaking of Danny Hurley, a bit of reflected pride: brother Bobby, a Duke legend, is 5-0 at Arizona State with Friday’s 102-86 hammering of #15 Xavier.

Break up the Deacs! Wake Forest won just game #2 on the season, beating UNC-G 81-75.

But check this out: Wake shot nearly 70% in the second half and still led by just two with :16 seconds left. And the Deacs let Spartan Francisco Alonso hit 7-10 from three point range.

It reminds us of a story Jay Bilas tells about being at Duke. We’ll probably get some details wrong but the gist is that he couldn't stop someone in practice and Coach K told him he better find a way to stop him...or else.

So basically Bilas tackled the guy, Coach K said alright, and practice got back to normal.

You get the feeling that sort of intensity isn’t at Wake Forest right now. Next up for Wake: Illinois in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Out in Portland, Arkansas made a late run at UNC and cut the lead to six but the Tar Heels rattled off a 13 point run to put the game out of reach.

UNC has been getting really solid play out of Theo Pinson, Joel Berry, Kenny Williams and most of all Luke Maye.

We never expected May to be putting up numbers like he is and if you’d put a gun to our head we’d have said well maybe points. But rebounding? Never saw that coming.

Maye had 28 and 16 and that, as any random Plumlee will tell you, is a man’s game.

The rest of the team combined for 18 points so that’s a concern. Something else to keep in mind: three point shooting is still iffy. In this one, only Maye and Williams hit threes.

Still, UNC is hitting a high level early. If the Heels beat Michigan State on Sunday night, look for them to move up sharply in the polls.

Certainly they’ll blow by Arizona. After State’s stunning upset, Arizona went ahead and lost to everyone in the Bahamas. They went at 3-0 and will come back at 3-3 after losing badly to Purdue.

The losses will matter a lot to various teams but State’s win will resonate and should help. The fact that State lost to Northern Iowa and then Rick Barnes and Tennessee is not that bad in many ways. Sucking it up and believing in themselves enough to knock off #2 was a big moment for the Wolfpack.

UT took care of the Pack on Friday though, winning 67-58.

Kevin Keatts wants to press and run but the Pack had 21 turnovers themselves and you won’t win many doing that.

Abdul-Malik Abu had six personally - ugh. And it’s not like Barnes has ever run a high-pressure defense.

Elijah Thomas had a big game for Clemson with 26 points and 16 rebounds against Texas Southern and Clemson needed all of it to prevail 84-77.

Thomas hit 10-11 and Clemson shot 61.2% overall. So why the freak was this one so close? Not good.

Clemson’s Big Ten opponent next week: Ohio State, on the road.

If you haven’t seen the Yellow Jackets yet, try to, because you’ll love Jose Alvarado. He’s going to be a really good point guard and when Tech gets Josh Okogie back they’ll have a heck of a backcourt.

Alvarado 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists against North Texas. Yeah, it’s NTU, but watch and see: this kid can play.

Louisville beat St. Francis 84-72 and got a great game from Ray Spaulding, who finished with 19 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks.

That’s another manly game by Plumlee standards.

Rick Pitino would be proud to see the 19 turnovers Louisville forced.

Obviously FSU should beat the Citadel but never forget that the Bulldogs are now coached by Dugger Baucom who likes to really push the pace.

Florida State did a better job of that though, winning 113-78. This game is an outlier and there’s not much to learn there though we’re curious as to why Christ Koumadje didn’t play.

Oh, there we go: he’s injured.

How UNC finished off Arkansas in the final minutes … again\How UNC finished off Arkansas in the final minutes … again

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