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ACC Roundup - NC State Tops Syracuse, Clemson Loses A Heartbreaker

What a punch in the gut for Clemson

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NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at N.C. State
Feb 13, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim reacts to a call during the second half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at PNC Arena. 
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Four games In ACC action Wednesday night and some interesting things in each.

We figured State might beat Syracuse but we thought it would be closer than it was and we didn't think Syracuse, with some real size advantages even if you don’t count Pascal Chukwu, who normally isn’t very productive, would stink it up from the floor.

But they did.

Other than Frank Howard, who shot 8-16, the starters only managed to hit 7-29 (21.1%).

After some up and down play recently, State seems to have rounded into form. They still have limitations but are doing well overall. This is not a team we’d care to see in the NCAA tournament because they won’t go in as a high seed and will come after whoever they get. State’s number one asset is intensity and effort and that usually trumps talent that isn’t playing hard.

We only saw his UNCW teams play in the NCAA Tournament, but anyone who watched them could tell he was an outstanding coach. His teams are tough as hell (incidentally, both Keatts and Virginia’s Tony Bennett have been been mentioned in the UCLA search).

What’s up with Sacha Killeya-Jones? The Kentucky transfer wasn’t with the team and Keatts says he’s “not currently a member of our program.” That’s interesting.

Clemson lost on a buzzer beating dagger from Miami’s Zach Johnson with 0.4 left. That’s a tough way to lose and worse, it was the only shot Johnson hit all night.

The Tigers are a marginal NCAA team currently and while they have certainly improved and are looking much better, they probably aren’t confident about their NCAA odds right now.

What should be interesting is Clemson’s next game, which is at Louisville. Both teams just had really tough losses although Louisville’s was far worse. We can’t imagine what’s going on there right now. It could be a lingering blow or the Cardinals could come out Saturday mad as hell.

Miami’s had a tough season but the ‘Canes have certainly toughened up in February. Their record doesn’t reflect it but they’ve grown up a lot lately.

Chris Lykes had 21 and has played his way into All-ACC consideration.

Wake Forest predictably lost at Florida State. What can you say at this point? First half was decent, second half a rout.

They’re just playing out the string now.

As for FSU, they’ve won six in a row and are heating up at the perfect time. And while it is against Wake Forest, which means that it is a suspect stat, the ‘Noles only had four second half turnovers which is impressive, not least of all because they tend to cough the ball up quite a bit.

But it was against Wake Forest, so don’t read too much into it.

Georgia Tech is struggling but in a bright note topped 60 points for the first time since beating Notre Dame.

Virginia Tech’s three point game returned as the Hokies hit 13-33.

The Hokies have games against Pitt, Virginia and Notre Dame coming up and should win at least two of them. Virginia is a rivalry game so you always have a chance there. After that is Duke at home and as you may remember, Virginia Tech has a habit of getting fired up for the Blue Devils.

Wednesday's Results
  • Florida State 88 Wake Forest 66
  • Virginia 76 Georgia Tech 68
  • Miami 65 Clemson 64
  • NC State 73 Syracuse 58

ACC Standings

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