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ACC Roundup: The First Full Weekend

Virginia comes about as close as you can to a basketball version of a shutout.

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NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Virginia
Jan 5, 2019; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Virginia Cavaliers guard Kihei Clark (0) dribbles the ball as Florida State Seminoles guard Trent Forrest (3) defends in the second half at John Paul Jones Arena.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

After Saturday, everyone in the ACC has their toe in the water for at least one game and Virginia Tech and Notre Dame have two apiece and are at the top and bottom of the conference respectively.

On Saturday, the Hokies took BC 77-66, Duke blew Clemson out 87-68 (it wasn't that close), Virginia dominated Florida State 65-52, UNC ruined Jeff Capel’s ACC debut at Pitt 85-60, Syracuse got out of South Bend with a 72-62 win and Georgia Tech punked Wake Forest 92-79.

Virginia let FSU back in a bit late in the game but don’t kid yourself: Virginia owned this game. The ‘Noles took 44 shots but hit just 15 and six of those were threes, meaning that FSU scored just 10 baskets inside of the three point line.

With five minutes left, Florida State had scored just 32 points, meaning that they scored 20 in the last 5:00 and the only way that happened is that Virginia let it happen because Virginia held FSU to nine field goals for the game with 5:00 left to go.

Virginia had a 29 point lead at one point.

That's an astounding performance.

Jeff Capel has been superb for Pitt so far. He has restored the program’s confidence and ambition after two wasted years under Kevin Stallings and will get some support for Coach of the Year.

Didn’t help against UNC as the Tar Heels illustrated how far the Panthers still have to go to be a top-flight ACC team.

UNC hit 10 threes and held Pitt to 2-19 and 30.6% overall. Pitt also had 19 turnovers.

Capel was realistic after the game, saying that “[w]e have to work a lot harder to get better, that’s the thing. What we did in the nonconference was good for the nonconference. We have to play good consistently, not just for a 12-minute period. Have to do it for an extended period for us to win in this league.”

Trust the process?

Virginia Tech did trail at halftime vs. BC but the Hokies weren’t likely to lose this game. Too much talent and too much depth. BC would have to really thread a needle to win this one and they just didn’t.

BC held Ky Bowman to 14 which really hurt.

After the game, Buzz Williams said that Chris Clarke will not play this season.

Notre Dame is young and that’s their biggest problem. You can’t just fake experience; you have to go through it to get better which is exactly what they’re doing right now.

ECU transfer Elijah Hughes had a career high 22 and also grabbed 10 boards. Oshae Brissett had 19 and 11 while Tyus Battle had 17.

The Irish could have won but as Mike Brey noted afterwards, his team is playing young. You just have to learn and grow.

It was a two point game with about 6:00 left but Notre Dame couldn’t capitalize and the more experienced Orange pulled away.

Notre Dame shot just 34.5% overall but did value the ball and had just 11 turnovers.

A ray of hope: Rex Pflueger will use his redshirt year and come back next season. He’ll be a grad student and could easily have moved on or transferred. A nice break for Brey’s program as he should get his entire team back which is almost unheard of these days.

Certainly isn’t happening at Wake Forest where Danny Manning has lost tons of players and tons of games, including Saturday’s contest at Georgia Tech.

Wake put Tech on the line 34 times and the Yellow Jackets hit 28 of those, more than double its margin of victory.

Randolph Childress had 28 points for Wake Forest and superb freshman Jaylen Hoard added 19 points and eight boards.

Even so, Georgia Tech hasn't scored ‘92 points in an ACC game since 2005 and this is a particularly weak offensive team.

It’s looking like a long season in Winston-Salem.

Miami vs. Louisville 6:00 ESPNU
Saturday's Results
  • Duke 87 Clemson 68
  • Virginia 65 Florida State 52
  • Virginia Tech 77 Boston College 66
  • UNC 85 Pitt 60
  • Syracuse 72 Notre Dame 62
  • Georgia Tech 92 Wake Forest 79

ACC Standings

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