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ACC Roundup - Notre Dame Beats Kentucky At Kentucky And NCCU Gives UNC A Game

Fun day of basketball

NCAA Basketball Tournament - Notre Dame v West Virginia
BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 18: Head coach Mike Brey of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish reacts against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at KeyBank Center on March 18, 2017 in Buffalo, New York.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

In Saturday’s ACC action, Florida State beat Florida, 83-71, Miami lost to Florida Gulfs Coast, Syracuse whipped BC 101-63, Pitt took out Gardner-Webb 67-50, Clemson popped Alabama 64-56, Notre Dame nipped Kentucky 64-63 and UNC got by NCCU 73-66.

UNC won, but Central gave them a hell of a game, leading by 11 in the first half in the Dean Dome.

The Tar Heels didn’t pull away until it ripped off a 10-0 run and even then, NCCU cut the lead to six with :15 seconds left.

Armando Bacot had 19 points and 11 boards. UNC’s freshmen guards combined for 18 but shot just 6-19. UNC also had 18 turnovers, nearly half of them (seven) by Davis and Love.

Duke, NC State and UNC have been reluctant to schedule Central over the years and maybe this is why.

Notre Dame has issues but at least right now they’re not as bad as Kentucky’s. The Irish pulled off a 19-0 run - at Kentucky and were up 33-9.

Good thing there were no fans there...things might have gotten ugly.

Kentucky was down 20 with 16:22 and did fight back obviously but the Wildcats are now just 1-4.

Nate Laszewski led the way for the Irish with 21 points and nine boards. Wake transfer Olivier Sarr was 11-16 for 22 points and also grabbed seven boards and three shots.

It’s a very strange season obviously but we’re pretty sure Sarr didn’t expect Wake Forest (2-0) to have a better record than Kentucky (1-4).

Florida State surely loves beating Florida, but maybe not quite as much this time: Florida’s Keyontae Johnson collapsed in the first half and was taken off the court on a stretcher.

We’re sure that affected Florida’s performance. Florida State won 83-71. Freshman Scottie Barnes was solid again with 17 points on 7-10 from the floor and also grabbed five boards.

Johnson is still in the hospital and listed in critical but stable condition. Here’s hoping he’s okay and can still play.

What is it with Miami and injuries? The ‘Canes are down to six healthy scholarship players after Kameron McGusty and Rodney Miller were both injured. They join Chris Lykes, Earl Timberlake and Sam Waardenburg, all of whom were previously injured.

Given that, it’s no surprise that Miami fell. Florida Gulf Coast won and as Tom Izzo said recently there is no asterisk.

The fireworks, to an extent, came afterwards as coach Jim Larranaga went off on the NCAA for the transfer rules that are about to be announced.

Looks like the NCAA may be about to make all transfers immediately eligible.

Larranaga said “[w]hy would you make a decision like this in the middle of December? If you are going to make changes, why aren’t you making them before the season starts?

“If they pass the rule that [Miami’s] Elijah [Olaniyi] can play, it would be sure nice to have him. But from what I understand, that decision is not going to be announced until like 5 o’clock on Wednesday afternoon. Are you kidding me? That’s a joke. We have to wait until the last minute. We play at 6:00.”

He’s not a happy guy to say the least.

Pitt’s win over Gardner-Webb isn’t a big deal really - Pitt should win - but it’s a nice win that puts the Panthers at 3-1.

Justin Champagnie had another monster game with 20 points and 21 boards. That follows his 20/20 game against Northwestern. The guy is really playing well. And before you dismiss this as being against, well, Gardner-Webb, how many guys ever get a 21-rebound game?

Coincidentally, Pitt had a 20-rebound margin (58-38).

ACC play starts for Pitt on Wednesday so we’ll know more soon but it sure looks like they have a star on their hands.

Clemson moved to 5-0 with a 64-56 win over Alabama in the Holiday Hoopsgiving event in Atlanta.

Clemson was in charge most of the way but the Tide caught up late and took the lead at 55-54.

They only scored one more point after that.

Clemson may not be a great team but they’re winning and showing character. They’ll be heard from.

Finally, Buddy’s back!

Syracuse star Buddy Boeheim is out of quarantine and playing again and led Syracuse to a crushing road win over BC. Syracuse’s three-point game is in high gear - the Orange shot 16-31. Adrian Griffin was 6-9, Joe Girard was 6-8 and Boeheim was 3-8 in his return.

We haven’t really watched Syracuse but our guess is that Griffin and Boeheim are going make like much easier for Girard.

No games Sunday. Virginia vs. William & Mary is postponed and Wake Forest’s game against Presbyterian is canceled.