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ACC Roundup - What An Ending For The Tigers

As Nick Honor hits a spine-chilling clutch three to win the game.

NCAA Basketball: Georgia Tech at Clemson
 Feb 12, 2021; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets guard Jose Alvarado (10) pressures Clemson Tigers guard Nick Honor (4) during the first half at Littlejohn Coliseum. 
Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

If you missed the Georgia Tech-Clemson game, you missed one of the great endings of this season.

Georgia Tech led for about 23 minutes by which we mean they held it. It went back and forth a lot in the second half and in the last three minutes, it was a very tight game. At the end though, Georgia Tech made a couple of mistakes and the refs missed a call.

Aamir Simms hit a layup with :30 left and pushed off, which he got away with, cutting the lead to 70-69.

Michael DeVoe hit a pair of free throws then Tech allowed Jonathan Baehre a dunk making the score 72-71.

Then Tech’s admirable guard, Jose Alvarado was fouled and went to the line.

And he missed both, giving Clemson a shot. And all they had to do was to hit a simple layup, another one! Because the last two shots they hit were basic, common sense basketball.

Well not the grand finale.

Nick Honor, who apparently had some confidence issues earlier this season, came down with the ball and he didn't go for a simple layup - and his last attempt had been blocked by Moses Wright, so maybe he stayed out where he felt more at home and safer.

And so with time running down, Honor hit one of the most swaggering, deep three pointers since Dennis Scott played in the ACC.

And banked it in.

The Clemson kids, understandably, went nuts. That play could fuel this team for a good while. It really suffered after a Covid pause and got crushed four times. The season looked functionally over.

Now? They look rejuvenated, on the prowl. They close out with Notre Dame, at Pitt and Wake before getting Miami and Pitt at home and they have a shot at running the table.

Times do change.

In Saturday’s ACC Action, Wake Forest plays Florida State, BC visits Syracuse, UNC goes up to the house of horrors in Charlottesville known as the JPJ and Louisville visits Virginia Tech.

We can’t see Wake Forest beating Florida State unless FSU has a horrible game. There is one thing that might work for the Deacs here though: Florida State could be rusty after a two-game pause, or possibly that they’re still having issues and might have a limited roster. FSU is just too strong to lose to a limited, albeit gutty team like Wake without something helping the Demon Deacons.

UNC has a big advantage inside over most teams but the Pack Line makes it very hard to get the ball inside, much less to maneuver when you do. And despite the Duke game, UNC is not a solid shooting team. So we’ll take Virginia here although Jay Huff may have a long afternoon.

Consider this too: UNC’s guards have been erratic and had a tough time holding on to the ball most of the season. They've gotten better but so has Tony Bennett’s defense.

In the first meeting, UNC’s guards had nine turnovers in an 82-75 loss. We don’t think this game is going to get that high but the turnovers might keep pace with last time.

In a minor note, UNC will discipline Armando Bacot, Day’Ron Sharpe and whoever else was partying maskless last weekend “internally.” We’re reasonably sure Ol’ Roy was upset so the discipline may not be trivial.

All things being equal, or at least if they were equal, if they actually were going to play (it’s postponed), we’d take Virginia Tech over Louisville, but we don’t know the status of Tyrece Radford, who remains suspended after a DWI and weapons case, or Jalen Cone, who injured his ankle against Miami a week ago, and it’s less certain.

It’s possible that Radford could have played. Coach Mike Young hinted that it might not be long, so it could happen. We haven’t heard anything about Cones’s status, not that it matters now. So the postponement is probably a break for the Hokies.

On the other hand, Virginia Tech hasn’t beaten Louisville in a very long time. It popped up during their last game and we recall it was decades, a shockingly long time.

That kind of thing takes a toll. We’d like to say the Hokies here but we’re not positive, so let’s call it a toss-up for now.

Saturday’s ACC Action

  • Wake Forest at Florida State || 12:00 || ACCNX
  • Boston College at Syracuse || 2:00 || ACCN
  • Duke at NC State || 4:00 || ESPN
  • UNC at Virginia || 6:00 || ESPN

ACC Standings