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ACC Roundup - Are The Cavs Back?

Virginia is starting to look like Virginia again

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Virginia
Tony Bennett doing his Smithers impression. But where are the glasses?
Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

In Wednesday’s ACC Action, Louisville knocked off Wake Forest 77-65, Virginia topped Notre Dame 80-68 and Florida State clobbered NC State 105-73.

For those like us who are awful at math, that’s a 32 point beatdown.

Florida State typically wins on defense but in this one? It was a torrid offensive performance by the Seminoles.

RayQuan Evans? 9-11. MJ Walker? 6-7. Nathanael Jack? 4-5. Scottie Barnes coming off the bench? 5-7.

State played without big man Manny Bates and DJ Funderburk got in foul trouble early and that hurt. FSU got 52 points inside and you have to think that Bates, an excellent shotblocker, would have challenged a lot of those shots.

State’s defense just wasn’t very good either. Add it all up and it’s a bad loss for the Pack. State fans, hard to please in general and used to NC State stuff, as they say, won’t be happy.

Wake lost, but its fans are probably reasonably pleased with their team. Wake has had a tough season but has responded with toughness and effort. It’s a big change from the Danny Manning era when Wake seemed at times not to compete very hard.

Wake was within one point with 12:12 to go, down just 53-52. Louisville pulled away obviously but Wake is competing. And right now, that’s all you can reasonably ask as Steve Forbes starts a rebuild under difficult circumstances.

Even more impressive: Wake didn't have Carter Whitt as the spring semester freshman was in a boot after an ankle tweak this week.

Wake’s offensive woes continued as the Deacs hit just 36.8 percent. We’re impressed with how fast things have evolved for Forbes’ team. They’re limited to be sure, but he’s turned them into a team no one can take lightly and right now - that’s an accomplishment.

Virginia has had some issues but regardless, the Cavs have won four straight and in this one, Tony Bennett’s defense finally showed up. Notre Dame got forced into a lot of outside shooting, which usually Mike Brey doesn’t mind, but the Irish hit just 5-22 from deep. One of the subtleties of the Pack Line is that it piles pressure on other teams in many ways. For instance, you can really put pressure on a team by forcing it to use a lot of clock and then miss. How many of those 22 shots came at the end of the shot clock?

More good new for the ‘Hoos: Casey Morsell is back and shot 6-7. Bennett jokingly told him “practice is overrated,” a joke Alan Iverson might have appreciated.

Well, maybe.

Clearly, though, even if Morsell hasn’t, Virginia has practiced, a lot and very well. And, as has become customary lately, the Wahoos are in first place, sharing it with Louisville.

No games until Saturday when we can see, among others, UNC at Florida State and Virginia at Clemson.

ACC Standings