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ACC Roundup - Georgia Tech And Notre Dame Win

Not elegant wins but hard-fought

NCAA Basketball: Pittsburgh at Georgia Tech
Feb 14, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets forward Moses Wright (5) shoots past Pittsburgh Panthers forward Abdoul Karim Coulibaly (12) in the second half at McCamish Pavilion. 
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

In Sunday’s ACC Action, Georgia Tech beat Pitt 71-65 and Notre Dame took Miami 71-61.

A couple of things were clear in this game: first, Pitt had no answer to Moses Wright as the 6-9 senior racked up 24 points on 9-13 from the floor. And second, Pitt’s not going to start winning consistently until they start playing smarter and specifically point guard Xavier Johnson.

Johnson shot okay but he got in foul trouble, ultimately fouling out, and had seven of Pitt’s 18 turnovers.

Pitt had chances to win this game but couldn’t make winning plays when it needed them, often driving into the teeth of Tech’s defense, fruitlessly.

And another way Pitt’s youth showed itself: the Yellow Jackets really pushed them around and it’s not like they’re the most powerful team around.

The Panthers played hard enough to win; they just weren’t mature enough to take it.

Notre Dame-Miami was more or less what we expected. Miami showed the kind of character we’ve seen all season despite debilitating injuries. But the ‘Canes couldn’t keep up in the second half as the Irish pulled away. Nate Laszewski and Juwan Durham combined for 26 points and 13 boards.

Cormac Ryan went down in the first half with a bizarre injury: he was by himself in the lane and just crumpled to the floor, holding his ankle. We thought he was through and might be out for a while too but he came back to play.

Nik Djogo really stepped up though, with 18 off the bench.

The ACC is struggling to be sure but consider this: the bottom three teams in the league are Boston College, Miami and Wake Forest and as far behind as all four are for various reasons including injuries, coaching transition and Covid, despite winning just three, seven and six games respectively, all three show up and bust their ass. It would be so easy for any of them to be dispirited but none of them have shown a trace of that. It’s really something to take pride in.

Only one game Monday as Virginia visits Florida State. Big game for both teams but more so for FSU: a win over Virginia would really boost their resume and also keep them a step ahead of Virginia Tech and Louisville.

We’d still take Virginia here.

Monday’s ACC Action

  • Virginia at Florida State || 7:00 || ESPN

ACC Standings