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ACC Roundup - The Winter Of Our Discontent

It’s a down year by the ACC’s high standards, but the competitive instincts are still inescapable

Virginia Cavaliers Vs. Boston College Eagles at Silvio O. Conte Forum
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 7: Boston College Eagles’ Steffon Mitchell (41) and CJ Felder (rear) defend against Virginia’s Mamadi Diakite (25). The Boston College Eagles men’s basketball team hosts the University of Virginia Cavaliers at the Silvio O. Conte Forum in Boston on Jan. 7, 2020.
Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

No games tonight of course but a few things worth mentioning. We periodically make fun of Kentucky fans and their unhinged ways. Threaten an official’s life or business? Been there before!

Now though it’s not UK fans going off the deep end, it’s Louisville fans. Or maybe. It’s hard to say for sure from this.

Apparently some guy threatened to kill Louisville’s Jordan Nwora over a $15 dollar bet on the Louisville-UK game. Here’s what Nwora said after: “A lot of crazy stuff [happened following the Kentucky loss], shoot. There were some people telling me they loved me a day ago. Now they want me, shoot, dead. I don’t even know. I had someone message me saying they wanted to kill me over a $15 bet. I said, it’s a $15 bet? If that’s what you’re worried about, I think you’ve got more issues than worrying about me.”

The kid is way more mature than the threatening punk who spoke first. What an idiot.

This week people have - and understandably - paid a lot of attention to Ol’ Roy Williams as he coldly tossed his team under the bus, calling them the “least gifted” team I’ve ever coached. He recruited and coached them too, so it’s mostly his own fault.

That’s an arresting statement to be sure. However, someone on Twitter pointed this out and it’s pretty amazing: this weekend, one of two things is going to happen. Either Ol’ Roy is going to pass Dean Smith in wins or Clemson is going to break the epic 0-For-Chapel Hill streak.

Wow! Had you thought of it in those terms? What stakes for that game. Honor your school’s two greatest coaches or lose a unique streak.

That’s at 4:30 Saturday so be sure and keep an eye on that. Clemson is struggling too but the Tigers actually may match up pretty well with UNC and let us mention one thing you may not have thought about: two members of the rotation, John Newman and Hunter Tyson, are from this state - Greensboro and Monroe respectively - and guys like that often enjoy sticking it to Big Four teams that didn’t recruit them.

Just food for thought. Boogie McIntyre, we’re looking at you.

Even in lean years, Clemson usually has some reasonably talented athletes. We won't predict a Clemson win right now but we feel safe in predicting this: we’ll bet you the Tigers play harder. Best of all, we won’t threaten you if we lose.

People aren’t very happy at Syracuse either. Syracuse is barely above water at 8-7 and as Barry Jacobs pointed out recently, hasn't thrived since joining the ACC. Syracuse has gone 28-6, 18-13, 23-14, 19-15, 23-14 and 20-14 as ACC members (adjusted for games the NCAA struck from the record).

We could be wrong but it seems like a program in long-term decline and while Jim Boeheim is a legendary figure there and a guy who has never, other than a couple of years in Scranton (about three hours away) lived more than an hour from his hometown.

It’s a little harder to get worked up over one of your own, but even St. Bobby Bowden eventually wore out his welcome when the winning thinned out.

We don't wish any ill on Boeheim but just like FSU, the fans will eventually get restless if mediocrity continues.

To a limited extent, that’s even happening to Roy Williams, at least on Twitter, where some rash people have called for his head.

There’s a lot of unhappiness around the conference: death threats in Louisville, serious slides at major programs and at Virginia, the Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight. Wake Forest may be at the end of the Manning era and Clemson already can claim a major losing streak.

Things would look different though if UNC had Cole Anthony and maybe one or two more useful players and Buzz Williams had stuck around.

And in the long run, NC State, Pitt and Virginia Tech have bright futures and UNC won’t be down for long. Things will change pretty quickly, and that's without even considering what happens in other conferences. And the ACC, even when it's down, is brutally competitive.

Louisville’s Fresh Kimble is a grad transfer but he already understands the nature of the conference he joined: “I still feel as though the ACC is the best conference in the country and any team in any conference, when an ACC team is on their schedule they’re circling that, they’re saying, ‘Wow, we have this team to go up against,’” Kimble told the Courier-Journal. ”Every team is going to give us a tough time, every team is going to play their heart out every game in the ACC, so we have to be fully prepared for that, 100%, to know that we’re going to get teams’ best shots and best efforts.”

One last note: after seemingly re-injuring his wrist at the very end of the loss to BC, Virginia’s Braxton Key is apparently okay and good to go.