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ACC Roundup - Virginia Tech Thrives, Louisville Survives

The Hokies are emerging as a major surprise

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Pittsburgh
Jan 14, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers head coach Jeff Capel reacts on the sidelines against the Louisville Cardinals during the first half at the Petersen Events Center. 
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

We didn’t get to see much of the Pitt-Louisville game but we did get to see part of the overtime, tuning in in time to see Jeff Capel just get irate when a tip-in by Terrell Brown - or at least it would have been credited to him - was ruled a foul. Louisville got two free throws instead and instead of a tie, the Cards went up four with :23 on the clock.

We’ve watched Capel a long time and we’ve never seen him that angry. He was ferocious.

After that, Louisville was basically in control. The young Panthers could have executed better down the stretch but they’ll figure it out.

It’s nice to see exciting basketball return to the Pete. Winning basketball is not very far behind.

Wake Forest’s strategy against Virginia Tech seemed pretty clear: go big. The Hokies can’t hope to match Virginia Tech inside.

Unfortunately, it didn't work.

The Hokies shot well from outside, ran past the Deacs and, on more than one occasion, took it to them inside where they should have had the advantage.

Tyrece Radford is playing a bit like a latter-day Bruce Dalrymple.

The former star Georgia Tech guard rebounded way above his grade and Radford, who was a tremendous high school rebounder, is following in his footsteps.

Apparently no one bothered to tell him he’s 6-2. He had 13 in this game and has averaged 10.3 in his last three games. That’s pretty amazing but it also underscores the point that rebounding is as much about heart as anything in the game. You have to want to do it.

Our coverage of the Clemson-Duke game is in Jim’s report here but we’d like to just mention a thing or two in the Roundup.

We don't think it’s a coincidence that Clemson started to play better when Clyde Trapp returned from his ACL injury.

The Tigers are 4-2 since he started playing and one loss, to Miami, was in overtime.

Additionally, Clemson has beat, sequentially, NC State, UNC and Duke and next gets NC State on the road and Wake Forest at home.

There’s a real chance that the Tigers could completely sweep the Big Four this year. We’re not sure that’s ever happened before. If the team we’ve seen the last two games keeps showing up, we think the Tigers have an outside chance at playing themselves into the NCAA tournament (although they might have to get hot in the ACC Tournament to do it).

Four games on Wednesday as BC journeys to Syracuse, Virginia gets a bit of sun if no fun in Tallahassee, Miami comes to the currently balmy Triangle to take on the Pack and Notre Dame jets down to Hotlanta to take on the suddenly hot Yellow Jackets.

Actually think of this: despite the ACC being down, we’re seeing big surges from Tech, Clemson and Virginia Tech. Will any of them be able to surge to the post-season? At 13-4, the Hokies are on pace for a surprise bid.

Wednesday’s ACC Action

  • Boston College @ Syracuse || 6:30 || ACCN
  • Virginia @ Florida State || 7:00 || ESPN2
  • Miami @ NC State || 7:00 || ACCNX
  • Notre Dame @ Georgia Tech || 8:30 || ACCN

Tuesday’s Results

  • Clemson 79 Duke 72
  • Louisville 73 Pitt 68
  • Virginia Tech 80 Wake Forest 70

ACC Standings