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ACC Roundup - Heels Fall Short Again

Pitt gets a breakthrough win in Chapel Hill

Pittsburgh v North Carolina
CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 08: Trey McGowens #2 and Justin Champagnie #11 of the Pittsburgh Panthers defend Armando Bacot #5 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during the first half of their game at Dean Smith Center on January 08, 2020 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

In Wednesday’s ACC action, Florida State beat Wake Forest 78-68, Notre Dame fell to NC State 73-68 and Pitt tripped UNC in the Dean Dome, 73-65.

Earlier this week, we said that Virginia Tech’s win over Syracuse seemed like a program moment. This win seemed like that for Pitt too.

The Panthers last won an ACC road game in February 2017 (at Boston College). In this one, like Virginia Tech’s win over the Orange, the Panthers had to overcome adversity to slay their dragon.

UNC had a 14 point lead and the game was really going their way. Then, again somewhat like Virginia Tech, Pitt got hot. And like Syracuse, UNC couldn’t stop it or match it.

How hot?

Pitt shot 1-9 on threes in the first half and finished 9-22. They shot 40.9 percent from three point range despite that ugly first half shooting. That’s pretty hot.

Additionally, the Panthers overcame serious foul trouble. All in all for Jeff Capel, who got an extension earlier Wednesday, it was a great day.

Not so much so for Ol’ Roy, who still has not broken Dean Smith’s all-time wins record (he’s still tied).

After the game, Williams said that his team played harder than it did against Georgia Tech but stood by his opinion that this was his least gifted team.

Every season is a lifetime and all of that, but ask yourself this question: if Rick Pitino or Coach K had that roster, what do you think would happen? We’re not saying they’d be a Final Four team or anything, but either coach would have his team playing much harder than UNC currently is.

Next up for the Tar Heels is Clemson on Saturday and the famous 0-59 streak.

In a perfect world, breaking that losing streak on Saturday and beating LSU on Monday would be the greatest three days in Clemson sports history.

Naturally, UNC will be determined to keep the streak going. So set your devices. That’s the most fascinating game this weekend.

In Raleigh, tough guy CJ Bryce is still in the concussion protocol but Markell Johnson had 27 and DJ Funderburk had 16 to pace State by the Irish - but they had to earn it.

Notre Dame took the lead about five minutes into the first half and didn’t fall behind again until there was just 1:38 left in the game.

As usual, John Mooney had a double-double with 14 point and 14 boards. Prentiss Hubb finished with 24. Senior Rex Pflueger sat this one out with a bone bruise.

Give Wake Forest credit. The Deacs didn’t win but they fell behind early and fought back against a much better team.

Put this with their win over Pitt last weekend and there should be at least some optimism around the program.

Florida State forced 17 turnovers and held Wake Forest to 39.6 percent from the floor and 33.3 from three point range. Devin Vassell had 17 to lead FSU while Brandon Childress had 20 for Wake Forest. Even so, they didn’t give up and kept fighting. It’s a nice change. It’s better for everyone when Wake is good.

No ACC games are scheduled until Saturday.

Wednesday’s ACC Results

  • Duke 73 Georgia Tech 64
  • Florida State 78 Wake Forest 68
  • Pitt 73 UNC 65
  • NC State 73 Notre Dame 68

ACC Standings