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ACC Roundup Virginia, Syracuse Lose

But give the ‘Hoos props for going on the road

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 07 Jimmy V Classic - Syracuse v Villanova
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 07: Syracuse Orange center Jesse Edwards (14) during the second half of the college basketbll game between the Syracuse Orange and the Villanova Wildcats on December 7, 2021 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It was pretty obvious to anyone who gave it a minute’s thought that Virginia’s trip to James Madison was risky. Although Virginia Tech is nipping at their heels lately, Virginia is still the dominant program in the state and that makes them a big target.

And James Madison hit that target, winning 52-49.

And to add insult to injury, you know how Virginia typically plays brutal, shutdown defense, particularly at the end of games?

JMU hit a three with :22 left - and then Kihei Clark missed Virginia’s attempt at a tie.

We love Clark - he’s a wonderful player - but he’s a facilitator. Ideally you want him to get the ball to someone who is bigger and more capable of challenging a defense.

But the coolest part of this game was after. We’ve really come to admire Tony Bennett’s sense of balance and grace. In his press conference, he talked about the value of bigger programs scheduling road games at smaller schools. It was really cool and decent.

In the nightcap, Syracuse hung tight with Villanova for about 30 minutes in the Jimmy V Classic before the Wildcats began to pull away, ripping off a 12-2 run. Villanova also owned the boards 57-36 and 27 of those were offensive.

Cole Swider had a chance to make a statement against his old team but couldn't pull it off: the Wildcats held him to just five points. He did get 12 boards. Jimmy Boeheim also had a nice game, hitting 10-19 for 21.

Two games Wednesday as Lipscomb takes on Miami and Cornell visits Virginia Tech.

Wednesday’s ACC Action

  • Lipscomb @ Miami || 7:00 || ACCN
  • Cornell @ Virginia Tech || 9:00 || ACCN