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ACC Roundup - Rematch Saturday

Some really intriguing games and themes on Saturday

RALEIGH, NC - JANUARY 15: North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Markell Johnson (11) reacts to a play on the court with teammates North Carolina State Wolfpack forward Manny Bates (15) and North Carolina State Wolfpack forward DJ Funderburk (0) during the game between the NC State Wolfpack and the Miami Hurricanes at PNC Arena on January 15, 2020 in Raleigh, NC.
Photo by William Howard/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

You keep reading things that say the ACC is down but then you see a great list of games like this and have to think: who cares if people think it’s down? Those are some highly promising games, and the reason they are is because of the highly competitive ACC culture. Let’s start at the top.

Saturday’s ACC Action

  • UNC @ Pitt || 12:00 || ESPN
  • Syracuse @ Virginia Tech || 12:00 || ACCNX
  • Florida State @ Miami || 1:00 || ACCN
  • Clemson @ NC State || 2:00 || Nope
  • Louisville @ Duke || 6:00 || ESPN

ACC Standings

The Clemson loss was painful for UNC but just three days before that, a rising (but not yet reliable) Pitt program beat the Heels in Chapel Hill too. And the rematch is just 10 days later? Man alive, move over and pass some chips this way. That could be highly entertaining.

And what sub-themes too, starting with UNC’s collapse this year, then Pitt’s Jeff and Jason Capel, who have very different relationships with UNC.

There should be a lot of intensity in this quick rematch.

This reminds us of an idea we recommended to the ACC here, not that we expected them to listen. But it’s a good idea and we wish they would.

Put all the one-off games up front then put the home-and-home games at the end of the schedule. That would really make the last weeks of the season incredibly intense and if some home-and-homes are just a few days apart, well good. Actually great.

The more the better.

It’s a similar situation with Syracuse and Virginia Tech. They played just eleven days ago in the Carrier Dome with the much smaller Hokies really taking it to the Orange.

Miami and FSU play for the first time this year Saturday and again on February 8th.

State and Clemson played on the 4th and again on Saturday, just two weeks apart. Clemson also played Virginia Tech in the season opener but won’t play them again until the next to last game of the season.

It’s a missed opportunity, especially with the ACC Network which could really market those rematches.

Not that it matters but do you remember who won the first game? Do you remember the score? We’d bet not many people do.

They could have moved, say, Miami to the top of Clemson’s schedule and had those two games with the Hokies at the end, with the second game as an intensifier.

Other than probably FSU/Miami, which we would expect Florida State to win, can you look at any of these games Saturday and say, well, of course Team A will win?

No, not really.

Our feeling is that Pitt and Virginia Tech should win but is there any certainty? Not that we can see.

Clemson at NC State? The Tigers are looking at a possible total sweep of Tobacco Road and the Big Four if they can win in Raleigh and beat Wake Forest twice, a job made easier while Chaundee Brown is out. It’s something we’re not sure they’ve ever done before. Doesn't seem too tough except that State has CJ Brice back and he makes State much tougher.

Even so, it’s still doable.