clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

ACC Roundup - Post-Season Is Starting To Take Shape

The biggest surprise so far? Might be the Wolfpack.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NCAA Basketball: Notre Dame at North Carolina State
Feb 3, 2018; Raleigh, NC, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Matt Farrell (5) attempts to dribble around North Carolina State Wolfpack forward Abdul-Malik Abu (0) during the second half at PNC Arena. The Wolfpack won 78-56.
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Unless things change a lot between now and March, maybe a key injury here or a collapse there, things are pretty much set and all that has to be answered is the final order. There are only a couple of question marks in our mind.

Virginia will finish on top of the ACC and Pitt on the bottom. Wake Forest will join Pitt with a losing record or possibly just barely squeaking getting over .500.

Notre Dame can win about 17-18 games if things go well and if Bonzi Colson makes it back that would obviously help. They can still make the NIT.

Syracuse is almost certainly NIT bound. Georgia Tech could make it but they’re sitting at .500 now and will have to perform well down the stretch.

Virginia Tech has a very tough road to finish - a surging NC State at home, Virginia at Virginia, at Duke, at Georgia Tech, Louisville and Duke at home and Miami at Miami.

It won’t be easy.

Barring a collapse, everyone else should make the NCAA tournament - UNC, Florida State, NC State, Louisville, Miami, Duke, Clemson and Virginia.

Combine terrible offense with stifling defense and what do you get? The worst offensive output in the history of the Carrier Dome.

Well for Syracuse anyway.

Virginia just basically ignored the frontcourt and crucified the backcourt: Tyus Battle and Frank Howard took 34 shots, 17 of them threes, and combined to shoot 10-34 for 26 of Syracuse’s 44.

As anyone could have guessed, an angry UNC broke a three-game losing streak with Pitt, the ACC’s version of a get-well card.

It really is a shame Theo Pinson can’t shoot because he does everything else so well: he had 13 rebounds - not bad for 6-5 - and eight assists.

And just two points.

Everyone else scored enough to make it up and UNC won by 31.

Pitt hit just 23 shots and 10 of those were threes. It was just another bad loss in a dreary season. Still, we would think that in some ways Kevin Stallings likes this group better than last year’s. Last year’s was more successful but less responsive to coaching.

Clemson’s lead over Wake was just 64-63 with 3:39 left but the Tigers zoned Wake and held them to just two baskets over the last seven minutes of the game and slowly suffocated the Deacs, ultimately winning by eight, 75-67.

Danny Manning said the other day that a team has to get bitter to get better. Wake has lost enough games late. They should be good and bitter by now.

The Demon Deacons played without freshman big man Samuel Japhet-Mathias, who was kicked off the team by coach Manning for “not meeting program expectations.”

Notre Dame is relatively easy pickings right now but State is still absorbing Kevin Keatts’ competitive DNA. They’re vastly better now than they were earlier this season, but still up and down at times.

Not Saturday.

State took it to Notre Dame and paid the Irish back for a 30 point South Bend beatdown earlier. Mike Brey said this after the game: “We just couldn’t get anything going early in the game and then you’re digging out of a hole the whole time. I think they have a great vibe about them, and we don’t.”

It’s been awhile since anyone has said State had a good vibe. How cool is that? Remember, this is the team that Keatts said didn’t really have ACC talent.

You don’t see this every day: Notre Dame had 15 turnovers. They also shot just 38.9% and were hammered on the boards, 38-26. On the bright side, Matt Farrell is playing and pulled 32 minutes. When he’s back up to speed the Irish will be much more competitive.

Miami got a big road win, taking down Virginia Tech, 84-75.

Keep in mind Bruce Brown is out.

Miami built a big early lead and while the Hokies nearly came back in the closing five minutes, the ‘Canes held them off. Lonnie Walker hit a big three with 3:32 left to push the lead back to 69-63.

Anthony Lawrence finished with 25 but Walker took over at the end to secure the win.

Afterwards, Buzz Williams said that Virginia Tech didn’t “have a margin to overcome lack of toughness, lack of playing hard.”

Finally, Florida State got a big road win at Louisville, 80-76.

Best of all, they didn’t choke as they do so often on the road. Terance Mann tried to, missing two free throws with :06 left, but then he blocked a shot by VJ King and passed to MJ Walker for a dunk with just one second left.

Talk about a crushing way to lose.

When you look down the box scores over the last few games, what’s really striking is how many teams have tight rotations. Syracuse has six, Duke’s rotation has been tight all year. Georgia Tech’s in the same situation; BC too. Maybe it’s just us, but it seems like a lot of teams are pinched.

If you're going to shop Amazon please start here and help DBR
Check out our October '17 t-shirt! || Drop us a line