Let’s start with the last two plays in the State-Syracuse game, because you don’t often see back-to-back clutch plays like that (Villanova-UNC last spring was the last we can recall) and because you don’t often see one guy become the hero only to become the goat seconds later.
And there was one other notable thing about then too.
With the score tied 84-84, Maverick Rowan launched an unlikely three for State and drained it with 10.4 left on the clock.
Down came Syracuse and the ‘Case ran John Gillon off a screen leaving Rowan to guard him.
Which he did passively at best.
Understandably he was reluctant to foul but he didn’t put much effort into defense and Gillon tied it up and the game went to overtime.
And when Rowan left the court, he spoke to - or rather was spoken to - by Dennis Smith.
Watch the body language. It’s pretty obvious who’s in charge there. This team belongs to Freshman Dennis Smith Jr.
You don’t see a freshman lecture an older player like that but Smith’s talents are pretty extraordinary.
He scored his second triple double in ACC play, something no one else has ever done. Stop and think who never did that:
- Grant Hill
- David Thompson
- Art Heyman
- James Worthy
- Mike Gminski
- Tree Rollins
- Len Bias
- Albert King
- Ralph Sampson
- Buck Williams
- Kenny Carr
- Rod Griffin
- Charles Scott
- Gene Banks
- Dennis Scott
- Christian Laettner
- Tyler Hansbrough
- Sean May
- Tim Duncan
Michael Freaking Jordan didn’t even do that.
So yes, it’s his team. And unfortunately it’s not supporting him very well.
State was up 15 with 8:44 left when Gillon went off, hitting four threes in a 17-2 run.
It’s not quite Xavier Rathan-Mayes territory but it’s damned impressive, and no one for State, including Smith, could stop him. Gillon lit it up for a total of 43.
This article by the N&O’s Luke DeCock really sums up the damage this game did to the Wolfpack.
Speaking of Rathan-Mayes, his 30-points-in-five-minutes came against Miami on a night when Miami was cruising.
FSU played Miami Wednesday night as well and this time around were the favored team and played like it, winning 75-57 and on the road too.
The ‘Noles continued a recent ACC trend of great foul shooting, hitting 14-15.
Miami could have used this win, having lost at Duke and UNC. The ‘Canes are now 14-7 which puts them closer to the bubble than the field and sets up a very intense game Saturday with...NC State!
In most conferences a game like that wouldn’t bring high expectations but it does in the ACC and especially this year. It should be great.
Georgia Tech and Clemson will both need to finish strong to make the field and on Wednesday, the Tigers crawled closer to that, stinging Tech 74-52.
Ben Lammers had 25 for the Yellow Jackets. Avry Holmes paced the Tigers with 18.
Tech hit just one three pointer all evening.
Virginia throttled an opponent: what’s new? Well, nothing really, but it’s nice to thrash your rival when you can.
The Hokies had a rough night. Virginia won 71-48 and just to kick sand in the eyes, shut Virginia Tech out for the last 8:44 save one lonely basket.
UVA dominated the boards too, 37-22.
And turnovers really hurt. Buzz Williams: “[t]he thing that hurt us most was our turnover rate was way too high in as slow of a game as that was. Twenty-two percent of the time we gave the ball to them without a shot, and that’s — mathematically, that’s incredibly hard to overcome.”
For the record, the Hokies had 14 turnovers.
So it goes in Brutalville.
After his game, Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton summed up the conference thusly: "The quality of our league is at an all-time high. I'm not real sure the nation has caught up to what is happening."
They'll find out in March.
- NC State loses 100-93 to Syracuse in OT; Dennis Smith Jr. has triple-double
- Wolfpack once again left wondering what might have been – DeCock
- With a wink, John Gillon delivers an epic performance that lifts SU to OT win over N.C. State
- Best, worst from Orange's victory at N.C. State
- Stephen Schramm: Wolfpack tries to make sense of Syracuse guard’s record night
- Dennis Smith Jr.’s triple-double goes for naught in Wolfpack loss
- Virginia uses 4-guard lineup to clobber Virginia Tech
- McFarling: Buzz Williams unsuccessfully tried to use Frank Beamer as a lucky talisman
- Syracuse loss will leave a mark on Wolfpack
- For Wake Forest, sharing leads to winning
- Clemson gets revenge, beats Georgia Tech
- Dennis Smith sets ACC triple-double record -- but NC State still loses: Things to know
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