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ACC Roundup - NC State Falls Short, Clemson Goes Off, UVA Keeps Winning

As Greensboro begins to come into focus

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 22 Georgia Tech at Syracuse
SYRACUSE, NY - FEBRUARY 22: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Guard Michael Devoe (0) dribbles the ball past Syracuse Orange Forward Marek Dolezaj (21) defending during the second half of the College Basketball game between the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Syracuse Orange on February 22, 2020, at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY.
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In Saturday’s ACC action, Florida State beat NC State 67-61, Louisville popped UNC 72-55, Virginia knocked off Pitt 59-56, Georgia Tech fell to Syracuse 79-72 and Clemson handled BC 82-64.

UNC’s loss was the seventh straight by the Tar Heels and they are 2-12 in their last 14. In fairness, the Heels were missing Garrison Brooks, who was ill, and Justin Pierce was out with a sprained ankle.

Sunday’s ACC Action

Miami @ Notre Dame || 6:00 || ACCN

Saturday’s Results

  • Duke 88 Virginia Tech 64
  • Florida State 67 NC State 61
  • Louisville 72 UNC 55
  • Virginia 59 Pitt 56
  • Syracuse 79 Georgia Tech 72
  • Clemson 82 Boston College 64

ACC Standings

Ol’ Roy Williams started Cole Anthony, Brandon Robinson, Armando Bacot, Leaky Black and Christian Keeling. Anthony scored 18 but no one else got more than nine. Anthony also got seven rebounds.

It’s just turned into one of those seasons for UNC when everyone knows it’s over and they’re just waiting for it to be official.

There might be some surprises, possibly at Duke for instance, but in general, UNC’s season is done and they’re just limping to the finish line.

NC State showed immense energy Wednesday against Duke. Against FSU?

Not so much.

State hung around well into the second half but the ‘Noles ultimately pulled away and built a 10 point lead with 6:18 left. State kept coming but ultimately couldn't get it done.

DJ Funderburk and Markell Johnson, who was so brilliant against Duke earlier in the week, both fouled out.

Johnson was just 3-10 from the field. Only Devon Daniels and Jericole Helms shot reasonably well at 7-16 and 5-7 respectively. Okay, Funderburk was 3-6 and Braxton Beverly was 3-5 but we’d call that limited productivity.

Not a great loss for State: now the Pack falls to 17-10 and a back-to-back Top Ten wins would have made a huge impression on the committee. Now State’s in a three-way tie for fifth with Syracuse and Clemson.

Coach Kevin Keatts had some choice words about the officiating and also drew a technical when he protested a non-call.

Virginia had a 13 point lead with 3:49 left and had to watch as the Panthers mounted an outstanding comeback, cutting it to 58-56 with just under a minute to go.

Close but no cigar: Trey McGowan missed a three with :08 left then Braxton Key hit a free throw for the final three point margin.

That kid probably didn’t sleep well but on the other hand he was willing to step up in a pressure-packed moment and try his best. You can’t help but be impressed by his desire.

It’ll pay off for Pitt later, when the core of this promising team is more mature.

Virginia’s problems with ball control re-emerged as the Cavs had 16 turnovers. It’s probably not a great sign that Kihei Clark has had to score a lot for this team but at least he can step up when he’s needed. He’s really becoming a special player. It says a lot that Tony Bennett is willing to put up with his turnovers - he had six - but as we’ve seen, he has a definite clutch instinct.

We thought Georgia Tech had a strong shot at Syracuse and the Yellow Jackets were up 11 at the half.

Joe Girard hit five quick points to open the second half though and after a crappy first half from the floor, the ‘Cuse heated up and shot 64 percent in the second. Elijah Hughes and Marek Dolezaj hit 20 each for the Orange.

Tech should have had a big size advantage but their three best big men - Joseph Banks, Moses Wright and Evan Cole - had thirteen fouls between them. Banks fouled out and Wright and Cole were right behind him with four each.

Despite the fouls, Wright had 33 points and 10 boards against Syracuse’s weak interior defense.

Jose Alvarado and Michael DeVoe, who have been great for Tech lately, shot 5-14 between them and finished with 11 and eight points respectively.

The Tigers were on fire at BC, shooting 68.9 percent overall and 52.2 percent from deep. It’s hard to beat any team that’s shooting like that.

Al-Amir Dawes shot 8-12 and 6-10 from three point range. Aamir Simms hit 5-7, Tevin Mack 5-7 and Johnny Newman 3-4. Hunter Tyson was 4-4 off the bench. No one shot less than 50 percent.

BC hit 37.7 percent and was outscored by 15 on threes. There’s just no way to compete with that disparity.

BC falls to 13-15 while Clemson moves to 14-12 and 8-8 in the ACC. The Tigers have shown at times this year that they can be a real load. We wouldn't want to see them in Greensboro. As of today though, although there are a tone of variables left, Duke very well might.

This is entirely hypothetical and will change and we’re not even considering tie breakers right now. Just take this as a hypothetical finish for Greensboro:

  1. Louisville
  2. Duke
  3. Florida State
  4. Virginia
  5. NC State
  6. Syracuse
  7. Clemson
  8. Notre Dame
  9. Georgia Tech
  10. Boston College
  11. Virginia Tech
  12. Miami
  13. Pitt
  14. Wake Forest
  15. UNC

As of today, barring tiebreakers, Duke would play the winner of a game between Clemson and Boston College then play the winner of Florida State and whoever comes out of that part of the bracket.

The best news is that Duke has locked up a double bye. Winning four games in a row would be very difficult; winning five is essentially impossible.

Only one game Sunday as Miami travels to South Bend to take on the Irish.