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ACC Roundup - Soooooo Close

NC State nearly pulls off a huge upset

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 12 Hall of Fame Invitational - Purdue v NC State
BROOKLYN, NY - DECEMBER 12: North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Terquavion Smith (0) during the first half of the college basketball game between the Purdue Boilermakers and the North Carolina State Wolfpack during the Hall of Fame Invitational at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

You have to give NC State credit. The Wolfpack is without its best big man, Manny Bates, for the season and has a young team. And yet they took the #1 team in the country to the wire before losing in overtime in the Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational.

Purdue actually never led in regulation which is amazing but at halftime Ebenezer Dowuona had two fouls and in our mind, that was it.

No knock on the young big but Purdue has two really good bigs and we didn’t see how Dowuona could guard them without serious foul trouble. If Bates had been available? Different story.

Regardless, State was one late stop from a huge upset. It’s still an accomplishment and something to build on. Big miss but still impressive.

Also in the Invitational, Miami got past Fordham 72-66. The ‘Canes had to rely on late free throws, but at least they hit them - and won.

That wasn’t the case for FSU, which lost to South Carolina 66-65, or Virginia Tech, falling to Dayton 62-57, or Pitt, collapsing vs. Monmouth.

Florida State’s loss is partly because of defense - South Carolina plays it too and did it better - and partly because Malik Osborne couldn’t hit an open three for the win. One reason why we can never buy into FSU completely is because they never seem to have the clutch instinct.

FSU got to the line 28 times and hit 21. Two more and they might have won.

Dayton started 1-3 and the losses were not good: UMass-Lowell, Lipscomb and Austin Peay, now coached by Brotherhood member Nate James.

Now? Try 7-4, which is a nice turnaround. And don’t buy into a five-point win. This was more than that. Dayton was never not in charge, and Virginia Tech is a really good team. Full props to the Flyers (get it?).

Which leads us to Pitt. We love Jeff Capel but games like this are going to put him under pressure. Because Monmouth owned Pitt - at Pitt. Monmouth had as much as a 19 point lead before Pitt rallied to lose 56-52. The Panthers are now 3-7 and while Capel is a good man, he’s in a tough spot.

Only one game on Monday as Boston College gets Albany.

Monday’s ACC Action

Albany @ Boston College || 8:00 || ACCN