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ACC Roundup - Is Wake Back?

A convincing win at Virginia Tech deserves some respect.

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Wake Forest
Feb 25, 2020; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Wendell Moore Jr. (0) shoots the ball against Wake Forest Demon Deacons forward Isaiah Mucius (1) during the second half at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. 
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

We were very curious about the Wake Forest-Virginia Tech game Saturday. We thought Wake had a chance to win but we didn’t expect them to run away with it.

But they did.

After being up just four at the half, the Demon Deacons blew out the Hokies in the second and Virginia Tech has been great on defense so far. Wake won 80-61 - on the road.

Transfer Dallas Walton finished with 17 points on 7-10 from the floor. Davion Williamson had 19 to lead the Deacs.

Afterwards, Walton was asked to compare the ACC and the PAC-12 (he transferred from Colorado) and he said this: “Even when you’re preparing for play in different leagues, it’s still high-level basketball. Whether you’re in the Pac-12, ACC or Big Ten, when you’re playing a high-level team like that, your mistakes and margin of error becomes very small. When you’re playing a low- or mid-level team, you can make those mistakes and still be all right.

“But when you’re playing high-level basketball against a Power 5 school, the margin of error is small. And you realize that during the game.”

Sage observation.

State could have used some of it against Louisville.

The Pack had the lead with 2:21 left - up four - but could not get inside of Louisville’s defense to protect it. Then Noah Locke hit a three to tie the game with 1:33 left and Miami transfer Matt Cross got a block and followed that with an amazing clutch three with just :02 left on the shot clock.

State will improve and remember they’re still in the post Manny Bates world. They’ll need to learn how to close out.

A bit of Duke-related news from Syracuse’s win at Florida State - Duke’s 26-game record ACC home win streak is safe for now.

FSU was getting close but Syracuse stopped it at 25. It was a tight game down the stretch with Florida State hitting five straight shots to catch up. SU’s Cole Swider is still not shooting well, hitting just 5-15 and 4-13 behind the line. He did get 10 boards though.

FSU held Buddy Boeheim to just six points.

Clemson is a defense-first program but Miami got hot in the second, shooting 60 percent overall and 46.1 percent for threes. The ‘Canes also hit 10-12 from the free throw line.

Not Isaiah Wong though: the young star has shot 33.3 percent for two straight games. This after hitting 57.1 percent against Alabama.

On Sunday, just one game but it’s intriguing as UNC heads down to Atlanta for Hubert Davis’s first conference road game.

Sunday’s ACC Action

  • UNC @ Georgia Tech || 3:00 || ESPN2