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ACC Roundup - Syracuse Handles Hokies

And it wasn't even that hard.

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NCAA Basketball: Virginia Tech at Syracuse
Dec 31, 2017; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange forward Oshae Brissett (left) drives the ball to the basket as Virginia Tech Hokies guard Devin Wilson (11) defends during the second half at Carrier Dome.
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

First, with just one game Sunday and none Monday, we’ll skip ACC At A Glance today. Here are the current conference standings.

In Monday’s game, Syracuse handled Virginia Tech pretty easily. The ‘Cuse held the high scoring Hokies to just 19 in the first half. Virginia Tech rallied briefly before Syracuse pushed the lead to 20. A Virginia Tech rally made the final score a respectable 68-56 but it wasn’t that close.

The thing about Syracuse’s 2-3, if you haven’t noticed, is that Jim Boeheim likes to gather up long tall guys to contest shots and passes. It’d be fun to watch Trae Young shoot 35 footers against Syracuse but most people end up with a hand in their face and the hand is generally attached to a guy who is a long 6-8 or 6-9.

As conference play cranks up, some of the pre-season projections may need to be revised. Some quick comments:

Clemson is playing well but can they sustain it?

As usual, Virginia has done a good job of finding guys to fit Tony Bennett’s system. The Cavs are likely to finish in the top five again.

Syracuse has a big guy in the middle of the zone in Paschal Chukwu and an exciting freshman in Oshae Brissett. Syracuse should be just fine.

UNC has been really erratic so far. Luke Maye has ridiculously exceeded expectations but Michigan State and Wofford exposed the Heels. They’re smart but with some issues that will be tough to fix.

When Boston College upset Duke people just assumed they still sucked. After nearly beating Virginia at Virginia though we’ll have to wait and see. That’s two tremendous games against very different teams. Is BC back?

FSU and Virginia Tech are both impressive early. Both look like Sweet Sixteen teams and FSU in particular could go further.

NC State looked tremendous when they knocked off Arizona in the Bahamas but not so much since. Kevin Keatts has muttered about needing his veteran players to step up. Dangerous, less so without the suspended Markell Johnson, but a team that could get hot for any opponent.

Pitt has probably exceeded (minimal) expectations. It’s not like they’re heading to the Final Four or anything, but most of these guys didn’t even know each other this summer. Getting them to work together speaks well of Kevin Stallings and staff.

Wake Forest had a dreadful start to the season but seems to be more stable now. The Deacs could have fallen apart a la Louisville but seem to be hanging together and improving.

Not so Georgia Tech. Handicapped by suspensions for Tadric Jackson and Josh Okogie, then by injuries to Okogie and center Ben Lammers, the Yellow Jackets have been depressing with losses to Grambling, Wofford and Wright State. No truth to the rumor that GT is exploring a move to the Big South where its basketball team would be more competitive.

Disappointing so far: Miami, Notre Dame and Louisville. It’s not that Miami is bad, just they haven’t been as good as we expected. That’ll probably change soon. Jim Larranaga is too good for it not to.

Notre Dame has been way off what we’re used to from Mike Brey teams. Like Miami though that doesn’t have to last.

That may not be the case with Louisville. Based on what the players said after losing to UK, Louisville’s season could seriously go off track. They had veiled criticisms for David Padgett, but in fairness, he was never supposed to be the head coach at Louisville now and he was thrown into a terrible situation where he didn’t even have assistants to start practice. Still, he’s the head guy and responsible.

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