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ACC Roundup - The Usual Suspects Win

No upsets this time around

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NCAA Basketball: Wake Forest at Virginia Tech
Jan 19, 2019; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies guard Ahmed Hill (13) looks to pass against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the second half at Cassell Coliseum.
Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

Last weekend’s string of upsets did not reoccur as all the favored teams won, unless you count Virginia as favored over Duke and most people saw that as 50-50, which, as it turns out, was right on the money.

Otherwise the top dogs won and only NC State over Notre Dame was close and Markell Johnson sat out again so there’s that to consider.

As we’ve said, Notre Dame is improving; it’s just the the ACC is so unforgiving of weakness.

Even so, John Mooney is emerging for Notre Dame and is a legitimate All-ACC candidate. Terrence Gibbs is solid and DJ Harvey’s good too. The Irish just need some young players to mature and that’s not something you can control.

State is still going with five guards and Wyatt Walker, but DJ Funderburk is starting to push him.

Notre Dame is limited but give State credit: that team makes no excuses. It just plays hard.

We didn’t think Wake Forest had a chance at Virginia Tech and as it turned out, that was a good call: the Deacs fell 87-71 and also fell under .500, the only ACC team to be currently under water.

Wake ran its matchup zone and the Hokies carved it up with ease.

It was so easy for Virginia Tech that Kerry Blackshear didn’t even get into foul trouble. Virginia Tech hit 11 threes and shot 56.9% overall to move to

Miami gave UNC a bit of trouble but ultimately couldn’t contend with UNC inside. The Tar Heels won the boards 38-23 and had no trouble shooting over the smaller Hurricanes.

And as Jim Larranaga predicted, depth is Miami’s major challenge. As so often this season, and understandably, Miami ran out of gas in the second half.

For the second game in a row, Syracuse’s zone gave the other team fits. Last time it was Duke; Saturday it was Pitt.

The Panthers have made their living driving but Syracuse makes that just about impossible.

After grabbing 18 boards at Duke, Syracuse’s Paschal Chukwu followed up with 11. For a guy who seemed ready to fade into obscurity he’s made a nice return to relevance.

With the loss, Pitt falls to 12-6 and 2-3 in the ACC, light years ahead of where they were this time last year.

Next up is a visit from Duke on Tuesday and that could be very interesting since Jeff Capel knows Duke inside and out.

Finally, Louisville just blew the doors off of Georgia Tech. James Banks scored 27 points but no one else managed more than eight.

Louisville was up 31 points in the first half and pushed it out to a 38 point lead in the second.

This was in Atlanta, mind you.

In fairness to Tech, three players missed the game: Jose Alvarado is out with a groin injury, Abdoulaye Gueye, out with an unidentified medical problem, and Brandon Alston, out for whatever his personal reasons are.

Even so, that’s butt-ugly.

Only one game on Sunday as Florida State tries to stop the free fall. FSU has lost three of its last four and barely beat Miami.

BC has a minimal home court advantage but it’s a well-coached team with enough talent to win.

Doesn’t mean they will but they are capable, and if they do, what happens to FSU, not long ago one of the hottest teams in the country? Only in the ACC would you see #11 nationally two spots from the cellar.

Florida State @BC 12:00 ESPNU
Saturday's Results
  • Duke 72 Virginia 70
  • Virginia Tech 87 Wake Forest 71
  • UNC 85 Miami 76
  • NC State 77 Notre Dame 73
  • Syracuse 74 Pitt 63
  • Louisville 79 Georgia Tech 51

ACC Standings

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