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ACC Roundup - Big Saturday Ahead

This should be a really good day around the conference.

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NCAA Basketball: Auburn at N.C. State
Dec 19, 2018; Raleigh, NC, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward DJ Funderburk (0), North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Markell Johnson (11) and North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Devon Daniels (24) walk onto the court ahead of North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Braxton Beverly, left, and North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Torin Dorn after a timeout as they play against the Auburn Tigers in the second half at PNC Arena
Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

It doesn’t take long for the conference to heat up does it?

On Saturday, the likely good games, or at least the games between outstanding teams, include Duke at Florida State, Virginia at Clemson and Louisville in the Dean Dome.

The second tier sees Pitt playing State at State, BC visiting fellow Catholic school Notre Dame, Georgia Tech at Syracuse and Wake getting some sun at Miami.

Let’s start with the second tier.

Pitt and State could be good but State’s schedule has proved very little and Pitt has minimal inside strength. State should win but it’s not like the Pack is loaded inside either. Kevin Keatts has vastly more experience though and that will help, plus his program is a year ahead of State’s.

Georgia Tech very nearly surprised Virginia Tech last time out but taking a woeful offensive team up against Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 is not something we’d bet on even if the zone is not its usual long, stretchy self.

Still, even though Tech is rebuilding, they showed they could compete so you can’t write them off totally.

The BC-Notre Dame game could actually be pretty good. The Eagles are erratic but now have a good point guard, a solid center, a nifty off-guard, a promising freshman guard and a powerful bruiser. Lots of holes, but still some useful parts that on some nights will work better than the parts of the opposing team.

The Irish are improving but are still painfully young and Mike Brey has built his program on seasoned veterans who master his complex offense. That’s not happening this year. The Irish aren’t going to collapse but it will take a while to get it all down.

That said, can they win this one? Of course they can and arguably should. But BC is at the very least improved.

You can’t say that for Wake Forest but something has to give in Miami as neither team has won an ACC game yet and the loser goes to the pole position for last place (yes that’s backwards but it still kind of makes sense. Just drive in reverse).

Miami is limited in depth and talent but not coaching so we’d be inclined to take the Hurricanes at home.

So much for the mostly dreary games. On to the Premier League teams, if you will.

Virginia finishes high every year partly because it is so good on defense and partly because it rarely loses games it should win. This UVA team is actually pretty athletic too.

Littlejohn can be a pit though and if Clemson gets on a roll, they could pull it off. But Virginia really doesn't let many teams get on a roll.

Both UNC and Louisville are talented but both are also erratic. We’d have to call this one a toss up with a slight edge to the Heels who are playing at home.

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