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ACC Roundup - Heels Pound Pitt Inside

In basketball, eventually the bigger guys win

Pittsburgh v North Carolina
CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 08: Justin Champagnie #11 of the Pittsburgh Panthers reacts after making a three-point basket against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the second half of their game at Dean Smith Center on January 08, 2020 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Pitt won 73-65.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

In Tuesday’s ACC Action, things went about as we thought between UNC and Pitt: the Panthers were quicker, and arguably the better team, but couldn’t control the much taller Tar Heels inside.

Armando Bacot got 21 points and 10 boards and Garrison Brooks added 16 points and six boards. Combined they had 37 points and 16 rebounds. Toss in Day’Ron Sharpe’s six points and seven boards and UNC’s bigs combined for 43 points and 23 boards. The three-headed monster also had four blocks.

The rest of the team had 32 points and 14 boards.

The big guys also combined to shoot 19-26 or 73 percent.

It was, if you’ll forgive the metaphor, too big a hill to climb.

Pitt’s big men, Abdoul Karim Coulibaly and Terrell Brown had nine points and six boards.

What’s really impressive is that Pitt managed to keep it fairly close. Justin Champagnie shot 7-9 overall and hit 4-5 from deep for 23 points and grabbed 10 boards, four of them offensive.

We don’t know if John Hugley would have made a big difference but at least he is big enough to bang with UNC’s trees. However he’s suspended due to three felony charges and probably won't be back any time soon: the hearing isn’t until February 18th.

Pitt faces Notre Dame next and the Irish have twin towers in Nate Laszewski and Juwan Durham.

As for UNC, the Tar Heels go to Clemson next Tuesday if all goes according to plan. And in a pandemic, who knows if that happens?

On Wednesday, Miami travels to Florida State, Virginia Tech gets Notre Dame, Wake Forest buses over to Raleigh to take on the Wolfpack and Louisville visits a reeling Clemson.

We’d certainly take FSU over Miami right now. Virginia Tech will be without star guard Tyrece Radford, who was arrested over the weekend on DUI and weapons charges which complicates things. It’s going to hurt, but we think they can win this game without him.

NC State has lost four straight and while Wake Forest is clearly rebuilding, the Deacons are showing tons of heart and character. State should win, but we wouldn’t count on it right now. We’d call this one a toss up.

Can Clemson pull it together? The Tigers have had three straight massive blowouts 85-50 (Virginia), 83-65 (Georgia Tech) and 80-61 (Florida State).

This all came after a Covid pause and that’s wreaking havoc on many programs. We’re starting to think that the whole season should just get an asterisk.

ACC Standings

  • Wednesday’s ACC Action
  • Miami at Florida State || 6:00 || ACCN
  • Virginia Tech at Notre Dame || 7:00 || ACCNX
  • Wake Forest at NC State || 8:00 || ACCN
  • Louisville at Clemson || 9:00 || ACCNX
  • Boston College at Clemson