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ACC Roundup - Near Miss In Rupp

Virginia Tech is going to be a pain

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NCAA Basketball: Virginia Tech at Kentucky
Dec 16, 2017; Lexington, KY, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies forward Kerry Blackshear (24) shoots the ball against Kentucky Wildcats forward Wenyen Gabriel (32) in the first half at Rupp Arena.
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

First Saturday’s bad ACC news: Pitt’s Ryan Luther is out for a couple of weeks with a foot problem and State has suspended Markell Johnson. In a statement NCSU said that Johnson “has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of the Student-Athlete Code of Conduct. We will not have further comment on this matter at the current time.”

That could be academics which is bad for the kid and the team but good for the program’s integrity. That makes three out of four Triangle programs that take academics seriously and that ain’t bad.

Speaking of UNLV-CH, check this out.

Unfortunately that wasn’t the worst thing that happened to State today as the Pack lost to Wes Miller’s UNC-G team - at home.

That’s dreadful.

For some fans, the honeymoon with Kevin Keatts is over. Judging by some things we saw online, this has not gone over well with some people. A lot of people are particularly irritated with Al Freeman.

We didn't see the game but losing to UNC-G is kind of like Keatts’ Wagner moment. The second half was apparently very bad.

To continue the bad news, Notre Dame lost to Indiana as the Hoosiers were brilliant in the closing minute. Juwan Morgan was just devastating, scoring 34 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. He scored 16 in a row, put the game in overtime and hit the game winner. That’s huge. This guy is really hitting his stride.

We figured Virginia Tech was good enough to beat Kentucky but not sure they were confident enough. That was about right - Tech was in this game but struggled in the second half. Kentucky got some breaks on some calls - nothing nefarious, things just went their way, including two lane violations on one play.

You could see in their faces that they weren’t sure they could do it. And it also became clear to us that this team doesn't have that one guy yet that Coach K refers to with a certain 12-letter word starting in M and ending in in R.

There’s not really a Juwan Morgan, in other words. It’s a good team, any fool can see that, but there’s not one guy who you fear above all others.

Still, it was a two point game at 85-83 with 1:18 left. From there the Hokies were outscored 10-3. Tech also had 19 turnovers which killed them since Kentucky got roughly 13 of its points from turnovers.

This game will help them a lot but it’ll haunt them that they could have won it.

Florida State has again proved unreliable away from home, losing to Oklahoma State 71-70.

Terrance Mann got a tip-in to put FSU up with 10 seconds left but Oklahoma State’s Mitchell Solomon got a tip-in of his own four seconds later. FSU got the ball back but CJ Walker charged and that was ballgame.

Clemson did better, knocking off #22 Florida 71-69. That’s huge for March.

Clemson was down 12 but came back and won on a 75 foot pass from Marcquise Reed to Elijah Thomas.

Florida has really hit the skids, losing four of the last five games.

In a Big East revival game, Georgetown managed to take Syracuse to OT before losing to the Orange 86-79.

The Hoya’s have had a laughable schedule but that was a solid effort. The Hoyas were just 2-17 from deep and had 16 turnovers and also had just nine offensive boards to Syracuse’s 19.

Freshman Oshae Brissett had 25 points and 14 rebounds.

Miami didn’t kill GW but did win 59-50. The ‘Canes held George Washington to 30.2% and are still undefeated at 9-0.

UVA knocked off always tough Davidson 80—60. Davidson actually shot fairly well - nearly 50% - but Davidson’s Bob McKillpo said this afterwards: "Everyone talks about what great defenders they are in the gaps, and they are. They're extraordinary. Their ball pressure ... got deflections and forced us to dribble into the gaps...This is a very dangerous team this year. They've always been dangerous, but particularly this year."

Memphis is probably past its crisis of last year (player dissatisfaction) and Louisville is going through a really serious one this year so who knew what to expect? Memphis is down talent wise but Tubby Smith is a great coach and David Padgett is wet behind the ears.

Wasn’t enough.

More bad three point shooting in this one as Memphis hit just 4-11 to Louisville’s 14-26. That’s a 30 point advantage to Louisville and that’ll do it.

Despite missing Luther, Pitt had no trouble with McNeese State winning by 21. The Cowboys shot just 24.3%.

Jared Wilson-Frame had 19 to pace Pitt. The Panthers are 5-1 over their last six games which is tremendous considering their situation.

On Sunday, BC takes on the other Blue Devils, Central Connecticut, Georgia Tech takes on Florida A&M and UNC travels over the mountains to play Tennessee.

The football program is a mess but Rick Barnes has basketball on a definite upward trajectory. This is the farthest thing from a guaranteed win.

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Check out our October '17 t-shirt! || Drop us a line