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ACC Roundup - State, Louisville Impress

Wake and Miami not so much.

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HoopHall Miami Invitational
MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 01: Markell Johnson #11 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack attempts a layup against Simisola Shittu #11 of the Vanderbilt Commodores during the HoopHall Miami Invitational at American Airlines Arena on December 1, 2018 in Miami, Florida.
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

You can split Saturday’s ACC results into about three categories: solid, credible and, well, uh-oh.

You can put Duke, Virginia Tech and NC State into the solid category, Louisville, Georgia Tech and Syracuse into the credible pile and Wake Forest and Miami into the uh-oh slots.

JIm’s column about Duke’s game against Stetson is on the front page.

Both Virginia Tech and Duke played clearly inferior opponents but both showed up and played hard and improved.

For the Hokies, Ahmed Hill had 24 after getting blanked at Penn State. Here’s something we hope we never have to say again: the Hokies shot 18-33 from three point range against the Blue Devils.

Again, Central Connecticut isn’t a great measuring stick but the Hokies played with energy and heart. Good on them.

We have to say, we like the way Kevin Keatts’ teams play. There’s a certain esprit de corps. State now shows a lot of heart despite being undersized.

The Pack showed that again vs. Vanderbilt as it broke the game open late and won 80-65.

With 8:15 left it was a two point game then it became Markelle Johnson time. Between the 6:40 and 4:02 marks Johnson scored 12 straight points. That’s huge.

When he was done, State was up by 11.

Under Keatts, State has shown guts, heart and daring. What happens when he has really good, experienced players?

On the credible side of things: Georgia Tech has limited talent and still built a 16 point lead.

Unfortunately, St. John’s has Shamorie Ponds, and Ponds went off for 37 points and nine straight to rally his team late.

It’s bound to look like a lost opportunity but this is probably closer to the truth: Georgia Tech played a good team with a great player who really did reach greatness.

Nothing wrong with that.

Seton Hall is getting better and gave Louisville a solid game but Louisville hung in there and picked up its second impressive win in a row, following a big one over Michigan State in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

Louisville’s status with the NCAA remains unclear but on credentials, this looks like an NCAA tournament team.

Dwayne Sutton was the only guy in double figures with 12 and Lousville shot just 43.9% but who cares if you win?

In the Battle of the Boeheims, the Syracuse branch won 66-53. Buddy Boeheim gets bragging rights over Jimmy. Buddy scored three points while Jimmy had nine.

We put Syracuse in the credible camp because they won but it wasn’t a great game and the elder Boeheim, Jim Sr., wasn’t impressed. He said this after:

“There’s a lot of things we’re not doing well. Tyus and Oshae played well enough for us to win. Otherwise there wasn’t a lot of good things. I can’t tell you how disappointing it is. Really bad....It’s not fun to watch. I don’t like watching it. And that’s disappointing coming off Wednesday night where we did a lot of things well and we come out here and play like this. I can’t tell you how disappointing it is.”

So back to the Orange drawing board.

Tyus Battle (10-17 for 26) and Oshae Brissett (5-8 for 19 including 7-11 from the line) kept Syracuse from joining the uh-oh camp - for now.

That’s not the case for Miami or Wake Forest.

Miami gets a slight break since Dewan Hernandez is still not playing due to eligibility concerns over the Adidas scandal.

Even so.

A solid ACC team should not lose to Yale and should certainly be able to contain Miye Oni. Like Georgia Tech, Miami had a double digit lead it couldn’t hold. Unlike Georgia Tech, Miami has talent but not enough to stop...Yale.

In his previous games, Oni had scored 16, 15, 18 and 15.

Against Miami he had 29, basically double what got against Cal, Memphis, Vermont and Bryant.

Afterwards, Jim Larranaga said his team lacked a stopper which should get interesting in the ACC and obviously a few stops would have preserved the win.

Ebuka Izundu led the way for Miami with 19. D. Vasiljevic had 17 and Chris Lykes added 12.

As for Wake Forest...Richmond was 2-5 coming into this game. It has losses to Longwood and Hampton, along with Loyola, Wyoming and Georgetown.

Richmond has been a tough opponent for Wake over the years and we’re sure the Princeton offense was tough for a young team...but still. This should have been a winnable game.

Richmond shot 71% on non-threes which should be embarrassing.

Wake had 15 turnovers to just three for Richmond. It’s looking like another long season for the Demon Deacons.

Saturday's Results
  • Duke 113 Stetson 49
  • Virginia Tech 94 Central Connecticut 40
  • St. John's 76 Georgia Tech 73
  • Louisville 70 Seton Hall 65
  • NC State 80 Vanderbilt 65
  • Richmond 84 Wake Forest 74
  • Yale 77 Miami 73
  • Syracuse 63 Cornell 55

ACC Standings

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