We thought it would be a fairly boring day of ACC basketball but NC State and Boston College saw to it that it was not.
Clemson’s Marcquise Reed missed four foul shots in the final :13 seconds and then had to watch as CJ Brice brought the ball up court and and passed off to Braxton Beverly who hit a very deep three with time running out - his only one of the game - to put State over the top, 69-67.
It must have devastated Reed, who ran across the lane and dove on the floor and covered his face.
It was a gut-wrenching loss for Clemson in general. The Tigers, who were so magnificent last spring, are now just 11-8 and 1-5 in ACC play.
Boston College nearly matched them: Ky Bowman hit a similarly deep shot against Wake Forest but with two defenders hanging all over him. Braxton was deep but relatively open although David Skara challenged the shot.
Wake Forest had plenty of time to score but being Wake Forest couldn’t manage it. The Deacs have now lost three straight and are just 8-11 and 1-6 in the ACC.
Worse than the desperation shot - it happens sometimes - BC outscored Wake Forest 13-2 in the closing minutes including the last nine points.
Things are not going well for Wake Forest basketball - again.
In the less-than-thrilling category, Virginia Tech just put a beat down on Syracuse. It was marginally less terrible in the second half but in the first Syracuse looked like a D-2 team and Virginia Tech was just on fire.
Justin Robinson had a career high 35 and hit nine three pointers, setting a new Virginia Tech record for most threes in a game. He also set Tech’s career assist record - all in all a good day by any standard.
Jim Boeheim was typically blunt about Syracuse’s shortcomings: “We’ve stopped him for the most part when we’ve played [Tech], but tonight we just didn’t recognize where he was. He’s shooting [with] nobody within 10 feet of him. Our defense very seldom has allowed anybody to do that. But I think our offensive struggles bled over into our defense and we didn’t do a good job of locating him.”
The loss knocks Syracuse out of a tie for first place into third and for Virginia Tech, it emphatically breaks a streak of poor play with two dreadful road losses to Virginia and UNC and only a home win over hapless Wake Forest to counter them.
Realistically there was no way a young Notre Dame team was going to beat Virginia and sure enough, the Cavaliers hammered Notre Dame on the road, 82-55.
That’s a lot of points for Virginia and the Cavs shot 52.2%.
The funny thing about Virginia’s D is that you’d expect it to force a lot of turnovers but it rarely does. What it does do is force bad shots and Notre Dame managed just 36.1% but did hit 22 shots which is a lot more than some teams hit against Virginia.
The Irish are barely over .500 now (11-9) and while they have a star in John Mooney, this team has a lot of work to do.
That said, Mike Brey is a brilliant coach and he’ll get this team as far as it can go.
Neither Louisville nor Pitt shot well but the Cardinals forced 17 turnovers (13 in the second half) and limited Pitt offensively in the second half to secure the 66-51 win.
Frontcourt play continues to be a problem for Pitt: playing with a three-guard lineup, Pitt got just 14 points from the other two starters, all form Jared Wilson-Frame.
You can play hard and together but at some point talent is talent. Pitt is vastly improved to be sure but are now just 12-8. But that’s so much better than last year at this time, and the atmosphere is so much more positive that it’s not even a fair comparison. A couple of recruiting classes are going to make a huge difference for this program.
Only one game on Sunday as Florida State visits Miami to give us a chance to see what happens when a team which lacks focus plays a team with no depth.
- ACC men’s basketball: Syracuse at No. 10 Virginia Tech
- Best and worst from Syracuse basketball’s loss at Virginia Tech
- Virginia Tech squashes Syracuse
- Pitt loses ACC game in Louisville in second meeting of season, 66-51
- Irish remain unlucky vs. ‘Hoos, No. 3 Virginia stays atop ACC
- Louisville basketball’s win over Pitt is a welcome sign of growth
- NC State’s Braxton Beverly beats the buzzer
- NC State beats Clemson on Braxton Beverly’s game-winning three
- Clemson Just Suffered One Of The Worst Losses Of The Year To NC State
- NC State beats Clemson at the buzzer, 69-67
- Freshman Vassell Emerging For FSU Men
- Indiana native Kyle Guy shines in front of friends and family at Notre Dame
- No. 3 Virginia men’s basketball team crushes Notre Dame, improves to 18-1
|SUNDAY'S ACC ACTION|
|Florida State @ Miami||6:00||ESPNU|
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