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ACC Roundup - Can Clemson Pull A Late Upset? Can NC State?

A few upsets would liven things up

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NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at Duke
Feb 16, 2019; Durham, NC, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Markell Johnson (11) attempts to dribble around Duke Blue Devils guard Tre Jones (3) during the second half at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils won 94-78.
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Only two weekends left in the regular ACC season. Who’s up?

NC State visits Tallahassee, Syracuse goes down to Wake Forest in search of a win and a good restaurant, Pitt will almost certainly extend its losing streak at Virginia, Miami goes to Cameron to meet a motivated Duke team and UNC visits dangerous LIttlejohn Coliseum in Clemson.

Let’s start at the top.

State will have a challenge at Florida State but is it doable? Yeah, it is.

State has a significant disadvantage size wise which won't be easy to overcome. FSU has Christ Koumadje and Mfiondu Kabengele off the bench. State has nothing close. So State would have to win away from the basket or pull the big guys out. It won’t be easy but if we know anything about Kevin Keatts’ program, if we could put one tag on it, that tag would be tenacious. That will take you a long way.

Update: charges against State’s Erick Lockett for assaulting his girlfriend were dropped. According to his attorneys, prosecutors looked at security video and saw her attack him. Obviously that doesn’t mean he didn’t assault her as well but the prosecutors evidently didn’t fell they could win a conviction.

As part of having charges dropped, Lockett is required to take an anger management course.

He has not been welcomed back to the team and at this point in the season, it seems unlikely that he will.

Put him down as a less-than-one-and-done.

Wake Forest has improved lately but enough to overcome Syracuse’s zone? Seems unlikely to us but they have been getting better so they could surprise. Syracuse isn’t awful though and they do defend well.

If Pitt wins at Virginia it’d be the biggest shock of they year. We’d be tempted to call it a bigger upset than UMBC. UMBC, remember, was their conference champion and obviously played very well last March.

The most interesting game will probably be at LIttlejohn. A lot of people might assume UNC would win with no trouble but Clemson loves - loves - to get powerful ACC teams at home and they’ve had their share of success against them too.

Even in Duke’s great 1992 season, Clemson had the Blue Devils down by 20 - with Christian Laettner, Grant Hill and Bobby Hurley remember - before a disgusted Coach K put in his walk-ons.

The starters were chastised and inspired and came back to win the game.

Clemson can do that and an upset there is one of the great happenings in any ACC season. It’s a chance for payback and the resolution of a lot of basketball frustrations.

Clemson has a few of those this season and if the Tigers play powerful defense, they certainly have a shot. But it won’t be easy. UNC is playing as well as anyone in the conference.

NC State @ Florida State 12:00 ESPN2
Syracuse @ Wake Forest 12:00 ACCNE
Pitt @ Virginia 2:00 ACCNE
Miami @ Duke 4:00 CBS
UNC @ Clemson 6:00 ESPN
No Friday Results

ACC Standings

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