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ACC Roundup - Virginia, Wake Win

The Cavs are close to wrapping up the regular season title and Wake Forest is exceeding expectations

NCAA Basketball: Virginia at Georgia Tech
 Feb 10, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Virginia Cavaliers guard Kihei Clark (0) passes the ball against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the first half at McCamish Pavilion.
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

In Wednesday’s ACC Action, Virginia beat Georgia Tech 57-49 and Wake Forest got by Boston College 69-65.

Boston College was again limited with only six scholarship players dressing out.

Wake built a 14 point lead but the Eagles had enough character to come back and make it a game despite the near total lack of depth.

In a bit of good news for Wake Forest, Ian DuBose, the transfer from Houston Baptist, is finally back from injury. He only played two games before suffering an undisclosed injury early in the season.

Wake and BC are near and at the bottom of the conference, 13th and 15th respectively, but seem light years apart.

BC has huge personnel problems and has struggled for, well, years. Since Al Skinner left, Boston College’s record is 135-177.

Jim Christian’s part of that is 78-131. He should get a certain amount of leniency given Covid and the crazy impact it’s had on the season but realistically, he probably would have been fired last season if things hadn’t been in lockdown and they couldn’t fly people in to interview. If only someone locally with strong ACC ties as a player and an assistant coach and a solid coaching resume at an academically elite university, say within driving distance of campus, had been available.

Wake, on the other hand, has a definite sense of momentum and optimism. They’ve gone from struggling against Longwood and Catawba and getting decimated by Georgia Tech for most of the game to being competitive with, well, just about everyone.

After Catawba, essentially a second exhibition season after a long Covid pause, Wake lost six straight. Since then though they’ve been playing much better, losing to NC State and Notre Dame while beating Pitt, Miami and BC.

More to the point, after not being able to really recruit normally, and getting the job late, and most of Danny Manning’s players threatening to transfer not to mention injuries and Covid, Steve Forbes has an improvised squad that somehow has a solid identity. It plays hard, it’s pretty smart and doesn’t give up. Really right now, what more could you ask for?

If it were up to us, we’d seriously consider Forbes for ACC Coach Of The Year. He's doing an amazing job in very difficult circumstances.

Another candidate for that honor would be Josh Pastner, although less so lately. Still, he’s doing a great job in an insanely challenging year. Jose Alvarado and Moses Wright have had All-ACC caliber seasons to date and Jordan Usher, Michael Devoe and Bubba Parham have all played well too.

That said, Tech is 9-7 now after losing to Virginia Wednesday. But as we’ve seen quite often this season, the Yellow Jackets were right in it...until what you might call Virginia time.

Virginia is unbelievably good in the last five minutes or so of games. With 5:26 left, Virginia was up 45-44.

From there on, the Cavs outscored Tech 13-5 and it’s efficiently brutal, as Virginia usually is in winning time.

The Cavs are now 10-1 and we don’t think anyone is going to catch them.

No games until Friday when Georgia Tech is playing again in a rescheduled game with Clemson. The last time the Yellow Jackets had to do that, Louisville just killed them. But it gets worse this time: Tech plays on the 10th, 12th, 14th and 16th. That team goes about seven deep so you do the math. That’s asking a lot. It could break the season for Tech.