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ACC Roundup - State Scores Again And Wake Finds A Way To Finally Win

Not a great day of basketball but still fun and interesting

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NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at North Carolina
Feb 5, 2019; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Nassir Little (5) fights for the ball with North Carolina State Wolfpack forward Wyatt Walker (33) and guard Braxton Beverly (10) in the second half at Dean E. Smith Center.
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The good news is that State has scored 120 points in its last two games. The bad news? Only 96 came in the last game and that wasn’t nearly enough to beat UNC.

However, it beats hell out of the 24 they managed against Virginia Tech.

UNC and State are going in pretty opposite directions: UNC has won six straight and State has lost four of its last five.

Luke Maye has been a one man wrecking crew against State and he tormented them again Tuesday night, scoring 31 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.

We have a ton of respect for him. He’s a self-made player and not a brilliant physical talent. What he’s got he’s earned, 100%.

Even so, it’s hard to understand why State has not been able to find a counter for him. The Pack has front court issues, that’s clear, but they’ve managed against better athletes than Maye. He just punks them over and over again.

Despite the big UNC win, NC State still shot 50%, which must be a big relief to Kevin Keatts after Saturday’s disaster, and a concern for Roy Williams. Scoring 113 points is an accomplishment, but giving up 94 is still a concern.

The big differences in this game were rebound and free throws. UNC owned the boards - not surprising given the size advantage - 41-27 and had a huge advantage from the line, getting 37 trips and hitting 31 to State’s 15-24 which is just three more points than UNC’s margin of victory.

Wake Forest seemed like it was on the edge of a collapsing season and it’s still not great. But winning is better than losing and even if it took OT, Wake Forest took Pitt 78-76.

Cold ACC reality has set in for the Panthers who have now lost six straight. Chaundee Brown hit a key three with 35.1 left and despite having chances, Pitt couldn’t make it up.

There are two issues for Pitt right now, or at least two very basic ones: experience and talent. Jeff Capel has some very good young guards but he needs a front court (Pitt was outrebounded 48-35 and gave up 17 to freshman Jaylen Hoard) and can’t get one in place until next fall. It’s just a tough stretch for Pitt and there’s nothing to do but keep swinging until they connect.

Fortunately, Jeff Capel is certainly going to improve the talent and in fact already has. Pitt has a bright future; the present is just a bit dreary.

For Danny Manning, it may at least give him some breathing room. After the Clemson loss last weekend there were calls for his job and yesterday too.

Florida State started ACC play 1-4 and now is 5-4 in conference play after defeating Syracuse by 18 and on the road no less.

FSU dominated much of the game but Syracuse did mount a big comeback and cut the score to 46-45. The ‘Noles pushed back out and Syracuse came back again, cutting it to 55-52.

Then FSU went on a 12-0 run and that was pretty much that.

Florida State completely shut down Frank Howard and Paschal Chukwu. Neither scored and Chukwu, 7-2, only managed three rebounds.

If you wanted to look at the ACC as a stock market, right now there are three blue chips - Duke, UNC and Virginia - two holds in Louisville and Florida State and some short sells in Virginia Tech and NC State. You could hold Clemson conceivably but might want to sell the Tigers along with Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, BC, Pitt, Wake Forest and Miami.

If you have a longer time frame you might hold Wake Forest to see how the coaching situation shakes out and you would probably hold Pitt based on Capel’s career to date.

Two games Thursday night as Clemson visits Georgia Tech for a bit of mutual stubborn and Miami welcomes Notre Dame to sunny South Florida. After the cold snap in the Midwest you know the Irish are looking forward to that trip. Talk about a buy.

Clemson @ Georgia Tech 7:00 ACCNE
Notre Dame @ Miami 7:00 ESPN2
Monday's Results
  • Duke 80 Boston College 55
  • UNC 113 NC State 96
  • Florida State 80 Syracuse 62
  • Wake Forest 78 Pitt 76

ACC Standings

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