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ACC Roundup - What A Saturday

Things got a bit crazy around the league

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Syracuse v Notre Dame
SOUTH BEND, IN - JANUARY 05: Head coach Mike Brey of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish reacts against the Syracuse Orange in the second half of the game at Purcell Pavilion on January 5, 2019 in South Bend, Indiana. Syracuse won 72-62.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

What a day around the ACC.

Let’s start in Chapel Hill, where Louisville strangled UNC’s transition game and then just took them apart in the half court.

UNC shot just 34.5% to Louisville’s 51.9%. The Cards outrebounded UNC 40-31.

Any way you looked at it, UNC just took a beating and took it at home - in the worst home loss Roy Williams has ever suffered as UNC’s coach.

It was an embarrassing loss, to put it mildly, which ESPN recognized when they cut away at 2:00 to the Duke-Florida State game.

Well, what would you do? That game was as dead as a Thanksgiving turkey.

Clemson has fallen a long way from last year’s magnificent team: the Tigers are now 0-3 in ACC play, just 10-6 overall and on track for an NIT bid.

Virginia thrashed them 63-43 with only Marcquise Reed scoring in double digits with 14.

Clemson actually cut the lead to 29-27 in the second half but UVA ripped off an 18-5 run and that was that.

Virginia has won 12 straight road games in the conference.

Clemson hit just 25.9% and hit just 14 shots.

NC State held off a game Pitt squad despite losing Markell Johnson and Wyatt Walker. Johnson was injured in the first half. And Wyatt?

Earlier in the day we saw a story about how he modeled for an arm needed for a reconstruction of a Greek statue of Bacchus, the God of wine.

Maybe Bacchus got to him because just two minutes into the game, Walker grabbed a Pitt player by the ankle and pulled him to the ground.

Despite all of that, State held on and won. Pitt’s tough but not that good yet, and could have won this game, especially without the two missing players.

That State held on speaks volumes about that program.

As we’ve said before, Georgia Tech has minimal offensive mojo this year. Well they’re making up for it on defense and on Saturday they dealt Syracuse a real blow, winning at the dome 73-59. The Yellow Jackets shot 59.5% against the vaunted Syracuse zone. How the hell did they do that?

That’s two games in a row that Tech has greatly exceeded expecations. Most impressive. As for 11-5 Syracuse, once a Top 25 team, the NIT is looking more and more likely. They’ll get a chance to renew their NCAA case at Duke on Monday.

Wake Forest couldn’t beat Miami, with seven scholarship players left, even when Anthony Lawrence picked up his fourth with 9:11 to go.

So it’s time to ask: is Wake about to be the thirdACC team to go 0-18? And if so, can Danny Manning survive?

This program is in trouble and there’s no obvious way out. But there’s a chance that Gregg Marshall might want to get out of Wichita and if so, Wake should make a run at him - if of course they let Manning go.

Notre Dame beat BC 69-66 despite a monster game from Ky Bowman (24 points and 16 rebounds) and solid production from improving Nik Popovic (15 points and 10 rebounds).

Even more impressive, the Irish didn’t have TJ Gibbs, who couldn’t play due to illness. Notre Dame had six players and a walk-on left.

That’s a lot of adversity to overcome but the Irish did it. So did Miami. So did NC State. So why can’t Wake Forest?

Saturday's Results
  • Duke 80 Florida State 78
  • Virginia 63 Clemson 43
  • Louisville 83 UNC 62
  • NC State 86 Pitt 80
  • Notre Dame 69 Boston College 66
  • Miami 76 Wake Forest 65
  • Georgia Tech 73 Syracuse 59

ACC Standings

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