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ACC Roundup - St. Bonnie’s Pulls The Upset

As the ‘Cuse drops one at home

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NCAA Basketball: St. Bonaventure at Syracuse
Dec 22, 2017; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange center Paschal Chukwu (left) and forward Marek Dolezaj (right) react on the bench against the St. Bonaventure Bonnies during overtime at the Carrier Dome. 
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

In Friday’s ACC action, UVA did the normal strangulation, this time of Hampton 82-48, Clemson ended non-conference play 11-1 with an 89-60 win over Louisiana, St. Bonnie’s upset Syracuse at Syracuse 60-57, NC State beat Jacksonville 116-64, Pitt nipped Towson 63-59, Wright State topped Georgia State 85-81 and we’ll see about Miami vs. Hawaii later since they’re on Hawaii time.

Last night we said to look out for St. Bonaventure. Syracuse found out the hard way that those guys can play, losing at home to the Bonnies in overtime.

Check this out: St. Bonaventure's didn't score a basket after the 7:17 mark. Still won.

Grayson Allen’s old high school teammate LaDarien Griffin blocked a late shot by Howard Washington to preserve the win.

Syracuse lost, but had a pretty good comeback at the end of regulation.

Oshae Brissett finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Frank Howard had 17 points, six board and six assists. The Bonnies held Tyus Battle to 3-18 for 11 points.

Wright State was down nine at the half and then unleashed an epic 35-15 run. Georgia Tech again got a solid offensive game out of its three starting guards but Moses Wright scored just two points and Tech got just 11 from the bench.

In Raleigh, Kevin Keatts says State put together its best game of the season against Jacksonville and considering how well State played against Arizona that’s saying something.

The Pack forced 19 turnovers and held Jacksonville to 5-18 from deep.

On their end, State assisted on 28 of 42 shots, hit 57.5% from the floor including 19-38 from three point range (50%).

True, Jacksonville is no big deal but Herb Sendek, Sidney Lowe and Mark Gottfried all scheduled cupcakes like Jacksonville and rarely did this well.

Allerik Freeman had 25 to lead six players in double figures.

Virginia held Hampton to 25.9% and just 14 shots, seven of which were threes. The only surprising thing is the Hoos scored so much.

And it’s not like they shot incredibly well. It was respectable - 45.3% and 42.1% - but not freakish or anything.

It’s just what Virginia does.

Louisiana was averaging 88.6 ppg before the Tigers shut them down, holding the Ragin’ Cajuns to 28%.

It was just a dominant performance by the Tigers who move into ACC play at 11-1 and with a solid shot at an NCAA bid.

All things are relevant so while for a lot of teams a 63-59 win by Pitt might seem disappointing, this is a team in a profound rebuild with a team that’s almost entirely new and missing its best returning player. So overcoming adversity - Towson led for a long time - is really important.

Mission accomplished.

Pitt had 21 turnovers, shot just 39.3% and 25% from deep. Towson led for most of the game too.

So Kevin Stallings should feel good about his team because it showed heart. And last season, it wasn’t easy to that about Pitt.

And as BC reminded us recently, heart counts for a lot.

Four games on Saturday, including BC’s tiff with Richmond. Wake Forest gets a crack at Rick Barnes’ terrific Tennessee team. He’s 2-1 vs. ACC teams so far, beating State and Tech (there are two Techs now but Georgia’s was first so we don't call Virginia Tech Tech) and narrowly losing to UNC.

Louisville gets Grand Canyon and we saw last year that Thunder Dan Majerle has built a nice program there. And Louisville fans - you may get this incredibly loud woman traveling with the ‘Lopes. She’s a treat. You’ll be amazed.

BC gets 2-9 Richmond at home and should move to 10-3.

Finally, UNC plays Ohio State in the CBS Sports Classic. Earlier this might have seemed like a bad mismatch and UNC is certainly favored. However, the Buckeyes are playing very well lately and with confidence.

We’d be tempted to pick them but not after the loss to Wofford. So we’ll take UNC but in a tighter game than we would have thought earlier.

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