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ACC Roundup - FSU Visits Chapel Hill And A Pitt Update

Things are not good at Pitt but it may not be as bad as it might seem either

ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament - Second Round
GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 11: Head coach Jeff Capel of the Pittsburgh Panthers reacts following a play against the North Carolina State Wolfpack during their game in the second round of the 2020 Men’s ACC Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 11, 2020 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Back to ACC Action on Saturday! For your viewing pleasure, we have Syracuse heading south to play the Yellow Jackets, Miami heading north to Clemson, Notre Dame scooting over to BC, FSU flying up to Chapel Hill and Wake Forest busing up to Blacksburg (about a two hour trip).

Let’s go to the video tape! Well, at least what we think we’ll see on the videotape.

Two games seem obvious. Clemson should beat Miami and Notre Dame ought to beat BC.

Both teams have just been hammered by bad luck this season and this is the first game the Eagles have played since Jim Christian was fired.

We could imagine Notre Dame being demoralized but BC would have to play out of their mind.

And much like Boston College Miami is about out of players although Isaiah Wong has won immense respect for his heart and effort. That kid is a gamer.

Wake Forest seems to have run out of emotional gas lately so we’d expect the Hokies to pull that one out.

Now on to the interesting ones.

Syracuse and Georgia Tech? Hmmm. That’s an interesting matchup. Neither team is playing lights out but both have had some great flashes. We think we’d give the edge to Georgia Tech on experience and defense but Syracuse has periodically played really well.

The most intriguing game though will be in Chapel Hill.

Florida State is deep, talented and can run with UNC. The Tar Heels will have to keep up with a much more athletic team and we’re not sure the big guys can run with Florida State. And we’re sure that FSU has more depth.

However, the Heels should be plenty ornery after the Fighting Wojos got through with them Wednesday evening. Still, we see FSU taking this one. A few years ago it would have been ludicrous to say that Florida State should win in Chapel Hill. But a lot has changed, in general and of course in this most bizarre season. So FSU.

The Pitt situation is still commanding a lot of attention. To recap, the Panthers lost their two leading scorers this week, with Jeff Capel saying that it was best for everyone and inferring that he’d prefer to have players who were fully invested.

Local media seems willing to generally give him the benefit of the doubt, as you’ll see in the links below. This video seems to have a lot more information and suggests that Capel needs to get better control over his program. He goes on to say neither player was dismissed and don’t be surprised if Johnson ends up in Bloomington. Finally, he points out that this year will be like no other for recruiting: lots of seniors will no longer have scholarships and Pitt could pick up several very solid, experienced players. So it might not be the nightmare it appears to be even if it’s bad in the short term.

We’ll have a better idea how things stand on Sunday when the Panthers visit Raleigh to play a surging Wolfpack.

At this point, we’d hope to see a Pitt team that plays with immense heart. With just three games left, that’s all you can really ask for.

Interestingly, Xavier Johnson and Au’Diese Toney weren’t the first players to either leave early or to be asked to leave early this ACC season. Matt Cross was dismissed at Miami and Jalen Johnson and Duke decided to part ways. All four came fairly late in the season, but it’s just one more touch of weirdness in a very strange season.

Finally, Georgia Tech won its appeal with the NCAA, getting two penalties overturned: first, a two-year ban on official visits and second they’ll be taking a look at the scholarship reduction imposed on Tech.

Saturday’s ACC Action

  • Syracuse at Georgia Tech || 12:00 || ACCN
  • Miami at Clemson || 2:00 || ACCNX
  • Notre Dame at Boston College || 2:00 || ACCN
  • Florida State at UNC || 4:00 || ESPN
  • Wake Forest at Virginia Tech || 4:00 || ACCN
  • Louisville at Duke || 6:00 || ESPN

ACC Standings