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ACC Roundup - Clemson, Notre Dame Falling Fast

Things are not going well for the Tigers and the Irish.

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NCAA Basketball: Clemson at Florida State
Feb 5, 2017; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles guard Terance Mann (14) celebrates after a play during the first half against the Clemson Tigers at the Donald L. Tucker Center. 
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

When you see a score like 109-61, a few things go through your mind. First is something like holy smokes! And then maybe wow, some guys scored a TON. And maybe, man, that coach is in trouble.

Well: holy smokes, a 48 point loss is pretty brutal.

Only one guy for Florida State scored a ton in this huge win over Clemson - Dwayne Bacon had 29. No one else had a particularly big night though. Terrence Mann had 11 while Braian Angola-Rodas had 12.

No one else got into double figures - but 13 guys scored and FSU shot 66.1% for the game.

As for the coach being in trouble...we’re big fans of Brad Brownell’s. This is the guy who led Wilmington to a near upset of Maryland the year after the Terps won their (only) national title.

Remember? Remember Drew Nicholas hitting that absolute clutch shot from the corner?

It was one of the great clutch shots in Maryland history.

And Brownell held his own against Brad Stevens when he was at Butler and Butler and Wright State were in the Horizon League.

He’s a solid coach.

That’s just the level of competition in this conference now. Some programs are good year in and year out - Duke, UNC, Virginia, Syracuse, Louisville, Notre Dame and Miami is almost there - and everyone else is trying to to break through.

Look how hard it is for Wake Forest. That’s a highly talented team. Virginia Tech is building but hasn’t really broken through yet.

That’s also a solid group.

Clemson fans should ask themselves the Jamie Dixon Question: if you run your coach off, will his replacement be better?

We’d say no.

No offense to Tigers fans, but who do you think you’re going to get to replace Brad Brownell?

You’d have to be a little nuts to take the Clemson job now.

Archie Miller is not walking through that Littlejohn door, folks. Neither is Bruce Pearl (thankfully) or Mike White.

You’ll either get a retread, or a hustling young coach who might be tempted to cut corners or, if you're lucky, a guy like Tubby Smith or Jim Larranaga who are looking for a change near the end of their career.

But you can’t know.

Brownell is up against it, but his teams generally compete hard and generally win, even if not enough to keep everyone happy.

Dumping him now would be a mistake.

Of course Brownell will be keenly aware of any mutterings among the faithful and may, like Dixon or Herb Sendek, decide to get while the getting is good.

Either way spells trouble for the Tigers.

On the bright side, Sendek might be interested.

In Greensboro, UNC took size up against Notre Dame’s perimeter game and as they almost did against then-undefeated Kentucky a couple of years ago, Notre Dame nearly won that confrontation.

Kennedy Meeks got in foul trouble and had limited minutes but Isaiah Hicks and Tony had 26 points and 12 points between them.

UNC had a reasonable lead for most of the game though the Irish did cut it down to four with 3:53 left.

But UNC just pushed it back out again. Joel Berry hit a two, then Steve Vasturia had a turnover. Then he missed a shot.

By the 1:13 mark UNC was back up seven and there just wasn’t much more Notre Dame could do.

Bonzi Colson isn’t a particularly good three point shooter but he fired up two in the last :58 seconds (he hit one).

And Steve Vasturia continues to shoot poorly. He hasn’t really shot well since the Virginia Tech game on January 14th (he shot 4-11 vs. UNC).

Notre Dame, which looked so great early, has now dropped four out of five since that Virginia Tech game and four straight. This team was 16-2 after beating the Hokies; it is now 17-5.

Wake Forest is next and that team is growing up. And Notre Dame has no reasonable answer for John Collins.

A fun game Monday night as Louisville visits kryptonite in Charlottesville: the Cards have yet to beat Virginia since joining the ACC.

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