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ACC Roundup - Syracuse Took A Beating

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Punked is more like it

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: NOV 29 NIT Season Tip-Off Penn State v Syracuse
BROOKLYN, NY - NOVEMBER 29: Penn State Nittany Lions forward Mike Watkins (24) during the first half of the NIT Season Tip-Off college basketball game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Syracuse Orange on November 29, 2019 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In Friday’s ACC Action, Louisville took down Western Kentucky 71-54, UNC got past Oregon 78-74, Wake Forest beat Long Beach State 88-75, Penn State smacked Syracuse 85-64 and FSU outlasted Tennessee 60-57.

Let’s start with the Heels. After being eaten alive by Michigan Thursday, UNC was much better and Cole Anthony was much worse.

Paradox time!

In order for UNC to improve, Anthony needs to be less dominant...and he was. He got in foul trouble, the sly rascal, and other guys had to step up.

Anthony finished with 19, less than his typical output, and other guys had to step up. So Armando Bacot did.

Bacot finished with 23 points, 12 boards and six rebounds - what a Plumlee might call a “man’s game.”

Brandon Robinson had 13.

Oregon was never far out of it but then again they could never quite get back into it either.

One thing UNC still has to deal with for at least a bit is a smaller than normal rotation. Ol’ Roy likes to run ‘em in and out. Well against Oregon he had an eight-man rotation and then the walk-ons played. And Brandon Huffman.

By the way, after thrashing UNC, Michigan kicked some Gonzaga butt and won Maui. Those guys looked great. Michigan plays Louisville in the upcoming ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

Speaking of Louisville, the Cards beat Western Kentucky with relative ease. The Cards nearly pitched a shutout on three point shooting, holding the Hilltoppers to 5.9 percent.

Yes, that’s correct.

Jordan Nwora and Dwayne Sutton combined to score 40. Louisville also held WKU to 37 percent overall and just eight offensive rebounds. You could make it up to an extent on second chances and steals, but the Hilltoppers got just eight offensive boards and five steals.

Not a lot to learn here but Louisville does play Michigan next week and conceivably for #1.

Florida State handled Tennessee reasonably well, beating the #17 Vols 60-57. FSU had to beat back the Vols at the end but nonetheless led the entire way.

The ‘Noles forced 21 turnovers and held the Vols to 14-42, 33.3 percent. That’s a lot to overcome.

Bust up the Deacs! Wake Forest won again, beating UCSB 88-75 and six players hit double figures, led by Brandon Childress with 17. Olivier Sarr had 16 points and eight boards.

Wake has now won three straight, all by double digits. It’s a nice thing for the Deacs. We hope it keeps up.

Finally, words we never thought we’d say: Penn State dominated Syracuse.

Syracuse has been a powerful program for a long time. Penn State has been a basketball joke.

Well no more. Penn State was physically dominant. Their guys were big, rugged and powerful and made Syracuse look like a much weaker team than they probably are.

It was unimaginable a few seasons ago. Penn State? Pushing Syracuse around?

Well they did. And the truth is that Derrick Coleman is not walking through that door. Billy Owens is not walking through that door. Not even Rakeem Christmas.

Today’s Syracuse has a 6-10, 185 lb. power forward. No one doubts Marek Dolezaj’s courage and he's shown skilll, but he’s incredibly thin. Only one player on Syracuse’s roster weighs more than 215 and it showed against Penn State.

It’s also probably going to be hard to run Jim Boeheim’s signature 2-3 zone effectively. The players don’t appear to be long enough and athletic enough to pull it off.

Syracuse is going to get punked some this year. We just don't see a way around it.

Only one game Saturday as BC faces the usually dangerous Richmond Spiders.

Friday’s Results

  • Louisville 71 Western Kentucky 54
  • UNC 78 Oregon 74
  • Wake Forest 88 Long Beach State 75
  • Penn State 85 Syracuse 64
  • Florida State 60 Tennessee 57

Saturday’s ACC Action

Boston College @ Richmond || 2:30 pm || NCBSN