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ACC Roundup - Virginia And Syracuse Have Interesting Games

On a slow Tuesday night for the ACC

Iowa v Virginia
 CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - NOVEMBER 29: Head coach Tony Bennett talks to Armaan Franklin #4 of the Virginia Cavaliers during a game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at John Paul Jones Arena on November 29, 2021 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

Two games Tuesday as Virginia plays James Madison on the road and Syracuse takes on Villanova in the Garden in the Jimmy V Classic.

First, we’re a bit surprised that Virginia agreed to a road game at JMU. That’s a no-win situation and Virginia has been struggling which will make it worse. That place is going to be a zoo. Everyone knows Virginia is vulnerable right now.

We must say though we admire how Tony Bennett deals with adversity. His comments after Virginia’s shocking loss to #16 seed UMBC could only have been spoken by a man who didn't need to be humbled because he had already mastered humility. It was perfect.

But a struggling season? For a program that has been rock solid and Top Ten for some time? It can’t be easy and a loss at JMU would be really bad. It’s not like the fans are going to go full Turgeon on him - for one thing Bennett has some actual accomplishments and for another Virginia fans are more rational than Maryland fans - but it’s a risky game in the current context.

The Syracuse-Villanova game is also interesting. There’s the old Big East thing, there’s the Cole Swider thing and there’s the tinkering Jim Boeheim has done with his zone lately, going from his time-tested 2-3 to, at least periodically, a 1-1-3. Or is it a 1-3-1?

Depends on what's going on. Given how effective UNLV was with the Amoeba back in the day we always figured someone else would try it. This is may be as close as we get.

Watching Syracuse play Georgia Tech should be fun this year since Josh Pastner has also proved adept at switching defenses up.

Remember Cory Manigault? He played at Pitt briefly, left for Indian Hills before finishing up at New Mexico. Like Jeremy Roach and Trevor Keels, he went to St. Paul VI in Chantilly, Virginia.

Apparently he was savagely attacked in a Cyprus nightclub. Not your normal fight - the guy had a severe brain hemorrhage and is still in a Cyprus hospital. His family is trying to get him home. It sounds like a terrible situation. We wish him the very best.

A brief foray into football: it’s pretty clear that Miami just did coach Manny Diaz wrong.

Well, former coach: the ‘Canes negotiated with Oregon coach Mario Cristobal while both he and Diaz were under contract, only firing Diaz after Cristobal agreed to the move. One article - we don't know if this is true but it underlines the craziness here - said that Miami gave him until mid-day Monday to decide or they would retain Diaz.

This whole business was astonishing not least of all because he doesn’t know for sure who his boss will be. Miami is trying to hire Clemson’s Dan Radakovich but it hasn’t happened yet and there’s no guarantee it will. The whole thing is just bizarre.

As a Miami native and ‘Canes grad who played for Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erickson, Cristobal knows the good and bad about Miami.

Well he thinks he does: if he struggles and Miami goes out and negotiates with his replacement while he still has the job, well, don’t be surprised.

Tuesday’s ACC Action

  • Virginia @ James Madison || 6:30 || CBSSN
  • Villanova @ Syracuse || 9:00 || ESPN