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ACC Roundup - Louisville’s Slide Continues

As the Cards cough up another lead

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NCAA Basketball: Virginia at Louisville
Feb 23, 2019; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals center Malik Williams (5) shoots against Virginia Cavaliers forward Jay Huff (30) during the second half at KFC Yum! Center. Virginia defeated Louisville 64-52. 
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

In Saturday’s ACC action, Virginia knocked off Louisville. 64-52, UNC popped Florida State 77-59, Virginia Tech took down Notre Dame 67-59, Clemson got by BC 76-66 and Miami got a welcome reprieve from dreariness, beating Georgia Tech 80-65.

It’s probably safe to say that the optimism around the Louisville program is fading. Chris Mack has seen his team struggle a lot in ACC play lately. In February, the Cards are just 2-5 and after the gutwrenching loss to Duke, has really had a tough time. Clemson nearly pulled off a miraculous comeback, Syracuse hammered them, and after going into the half with a 10 point lead, the Cardinals coughed up another lead.

Chris Mack again criticized his team, this time for energy and inside play. Louisville only hit 5-22 on three pointers and missed 11 of their last 12 shots. His post players were just 2-16 and one was a three pointer.

Virginia’s Mamadi Diakite and Jay Huff combined for 26 points, 12 boards and five blocks.

Louisville can bounce back with Boston College and Notre Dame but then close Virginia.

We thought that UNC might have trouble with Florida State’s athleticism but that didn’t happen. UNC ran away from Florida State, partly because their defense was outstanding. We kept looking up to see the shot clock running down and FSU forced to throw up a bad shot. They only shot 30.5 percent for the game and given Florida State’s athleticism, that’s pretty poor. Luke Maye had another double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Florida State did do a nice job on Coby White, holding UNC’s tremendous freshman guard to 10 points but they were mostly bigger and faster than UNC and it didn’t matter.

UNC just played better.

Honestly, we never expected Kerry Blackshear to emerge as a major force for Virginia Tech but he certainly has. He’s been great lately and against Notre Dame, he had 22 points and 14 rebounds.

He’s still foul prone, but he’s improved dramatically.

After the game, Notre Dame’s Mike Brey repeated his season-long lament about his team’s lack of experience: “They just got too many men. Too old, too tough, too mentally tough, and we are not that right now.”

Neither is Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets have started to score more but they’re still not strong enough to win most nights and Miami was no exception.

Miami has been through a lot this season and lately has improved a fair amount. In February, Miami lost to Virginia but respectably so, beat Notre Dame, nearly beat UNC, beat Clemson, lost to BC and then knocked off Boston College.

Depth has been an issue all season but Jim Larranaga has apparently learned how to work within those constraints.

Miami has some issues up front but guard play has been solid and was against Tech. Anthony Lawrence just missed a triple double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, Chris Lykes had 11 and DJ Vasiljevic had 21. Center Ebuka Izundu had 18 points and nine rebounds despite being limited to 21 minutes due to foul trouble.

Georgia Tech’s offense has been anemic but improving. However two starters combined for just four points. When you have minimal production anyway, that just puts more pressure on everyone else. Jose Alvarado did score 20 but shot just 4-12.

Clemson has had a strange season with some real ups and downs. Against BC though Marcquise Reed saw to it that Clemson came through, scoring a career high 31.

Elijah Thomas had 14 points and 10 boards.

The Tigers limited BC’s dangerous Ky Bowman to 17 points on 6-21 shooting. Clemson has four games left and while UNC is on the schedule that’s a home game. Could they sweep Pitt, UNC, Notre Dame and Syracuse? Maybe three out of four?

It was an emotional scene in Syracuse where Jim Boeheim is dealing with the aftermath of Wednesday’s fatal accident.

Afterwards, Boeheim said this:

”First and foremost, to the Jimenez family, I want them to know how truly devastated I am for my involvement in the loss of their loved one, Jorge Jimenez. The grief and pain his family is feeling at this time is, simply put, unimaginable. Juli, my family and I are heartbroken. I love this community, and to see so many of my fellow community members rally around the Jimenez family is a reminder of how special central New York is.

”My decision to coach this game, all I can say is, I felt the responsibility and obligation to my players, the members of my basketball team. I recruited these young men to come play at Syracuse University, they needed me to try and do my job tonight, and they understand I did this feeling fully the weight of the tragic accident and its impact on the Jimenez family. This is something that will be with me, for the rest of my life.

”Tuesday, it’s not going to be any better. It’s not going to be any better next week. It’s not going to be any better next month. It’s not going to be any better next year. We’ve reached out to the family. I intend to do that as I can in the future. This isn’t about me, and it doesn’t matter how I feel. It’s how they feel and what has happened to them.”

Wake Forest @ NC State 6:00 ESPNU
Saturday's Results
  • Duke 75 Syracuse 65
  • Virginia 64 Louisville 52
  • UNC 77 Florida State 59
  • Viriginia Tech 67 Notre Dame 59
  • Clemson 76 Boston College 66

ACC Standings

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