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ACC Roundup - Louisville Loses Second Straight

As youth, inconsistency and a herky-jerky season take a toll

Florida State v Louisville
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - JANUARY 18: Malik Osborne #10 of the Florida State Seminoles reaches for a pass against the Louisville Cardinals at KFC YUM! Center on January 18, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

We’re all going to have to accept that Covid-19 has made this a very strange season and deeply unpredictable.

So while Virginia just killed Clemson the other night, it did so after Clemson had to take a Covid pause. Syracuse has had some major problems. NC State has too. Duke hasn’t had any cases yet, other than Coach K being exposed to the virus and going into quarantine, but Duke decided to cancel three non-conference games in response to the pandemic and to allow its players to spend time with family over the holidays.

Duke is now 5-3 instead of a likely 8-3 as a result.

Like Duke, Louisville is young and trying to establish an identity and this year, that’s not easy to do even for more established teams.

Louisville has seen that lately. The Cardinals beat a rebuilding Wake Forest (a team that has had its own struggles with playing consistently) by 12, but Wake Forest kept it close until late. Then Miami upset Louisville 78-72 and Monday night Florida State traveled to the Yum! Center and took it to Chris Mack’s team as well.

The 78-65 loss - the same number of points Miami scored in the previous game - wasn’t that close. Florida State owned this game, going up by 24 in the first half.

Mack was not impressed with his team and had this blunt assessment after the game:

“I’d like to think that with the guards that we have, we’d have the ability to get the ball in the lane. And I thought we did that, but again, not early and often and we didn’t set the right tone. The defense that we played was soft. We gave up way too many easy, open jump shots.

“It doesn’t take a whole lot of talent — really it takes no talent — to sprint your ass back, to find your man, and get matched up and make it a 5-on-5 game. And whether we’re young, inexperienced, intimidated, I don’t know, but the s--- needs to get corrected.”

That’s one disgusted coach.

But it’s like we said at the start. This season is so bizarre that you can just toss any assumptions out. There’s nothing normal about it.

The other game on Tuesday, aside from Duke-Pitt, sees Miami at Syracuse. Miami has really struggled with injuries but shown immense heart. Syracuse is still without Bourama Sidibe, out since the Bryant game, which means that ultra-lean Marek Dolezaj will be in the post. For 40 minutes.

We’ll go with Miami here. That’s probably a mistake given their injuries but they’ve earned that respect.

Tuesday’s ACC Action

Miami at Syracuse || 7:00 || ACCN

ACC Standings