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ACC Roundup - Virginia Making A Move?

The Cavaliers knocked off #6 Florida State and are back in the tournament conversation.

Florida State v Virginia
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - JANUARY 28: Kihei Clark #0 of the the Virginia Cavaliers drives past Trent Forrest #3 of the the Florida State Seminoles in the second half during a game at John Paul Jones Arena on January 28, 2020 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

In Tuesday night’s ACC action, Georgia Tech beat Morehouse 82-54, Miami took Virginia Tech, 71-61, Clemson nipped Syracuse 71-70 and Virginia upset #6 Florida State 61-56.

Wednesday’s ACC Action

  • Wake Forest @ Notre Dame || 7:00 || ACCN
  • Louisville @ Boston College || 9:00 || ACCN

Tuesday’s Results

  • Virginia 61 Florida State 56
  • Duke 79 Pitt 67
  • Clemson 61 Syracuse 60
  • Georgia Tech 82 Morehouse 54
  • Miami 71 Virginia Tech 61

ACC Standings

Kihei Clark, by basketball standards, is a tiny guy. Yet he made the critical play in this game with a beautiful reverse layup in traffic. It wasn’t the first time he’s won a game for Virginia and it won’t be the last.

He’s certainly not perfect - he’s had a turnover issue this season for one and had four in this one - but as Leonard Hamilton said afterwards, “[h]e might be small in stature, but he has the biggest heart in the ACC. Guys like that have that special ‘it factor’ that you can’t really identify, but he has it.”

Clearly Virginia has struggled this season, particularly on offense. Shooting 43 percent might not seem that impressive but against a longer, taller and much more athletic FSU squad, its impressive.

So is this: Virginia held the ‘Noles to 38.9 percent and outrebounded them 36-23.

And while most people aren’t thinking about this, Virginia has now moved up to fourth place in the ACC.

Actually they’re tied with Syracuse for fourth, but UVA would win the tiebreaker. Last week people thought Virginia was going to miss the tournament. Now? Not so much.

Tevin Mack had the game of his life against Syracuse. The guy had 32 of Clemson’s 71 points, 23 in the second half and 21 of the Tiger’s last 30.

He also had 10 boards.

That’s a great return for a grad student transfer investment.

Clemson threw a blanket over Elijah Hughes in the second half, when Mack was taking over, and Syracuse’s big men Bourama Sibide and Marek Dolezaj both got in foul trouble.

Aamir Simms, who was so sensational for a few games, had just two points here.

Miami got Kameron McGusty back but still played without star point guard Chris Lykes and just ripped Virginia Tech. The Hurricanes were up by 20 in the first half.

Honestly, given the depth issues they have and the absence of their best player, that’s certainly their best performance of the year and one of the most impressive in the conference so far this season.

Virginia Tech did push back and cut the lead to six with 1:11 left before Miami pushed the lead back out, ultimately winning by 10.

Tyrese Radford had a spectacular game for the Hokies, shooting 9-12 for 22 points and grabbing eight rebounds.

And then there’s Georgia Tech. Why in the world are they playing what amounts to an exhibition game in late January? It makes no sense.

Tech played without leading scorer Michael DeVoe, who is still out with a foot injury and still rolled. But what would you expect? It was a ridiculous game to schedule in January. Our sympathies to Yellow Jacket fans.

Two games on Wednesday as Wake Forest visits Notre Dame and Louisville is off to Boston.

The Wake Forest-Notre Dame game could get really interesting. Both teams are capable of playing well and both need a win. It could be fun.

We can’t see BC beating Louisville. It’s not impossible but it just seems very unlikely.