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ACC Roundup - Two Great Escapes, Two Blowouts

A very interesting Saturday indeed

NCAA Basketball: Virginia Tech at Miami-Florida
Feb 6, 2021; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies guard Hunter Cattoor (0) attempts a three point shot to tie the game and force overtime at the end of the second half against the Miami Hurricanes at Watsco Center. 
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

In Saturday’s ACC Action, Pittsburgh fell to Virginia, 73-66, Virginia Tech survived Miami 80-76 in overtime, Clemson dropped Syracuse 78-61, Clemson nipped Notre Dame 82-80 and, in one of the sadder ACC games in recent times, NC State pounded Boston College 81-65.

State went on a 37-3 run - but it was predictable.

BC, the worst team in the ACC, had only six scholarship players available. What did anyone expect would happen?

State ran wild for much of the game and at one point was up 37-8.

To their credit, the Eagles kept trying but this game was gone early and there was no getting it back.

The only question now is who will replace Jim Christian. This isn’t all his fault - there’s a lot of bad luck involved - but clearly it’s not working.

Pitt was in the game against Virginia for about 26 minutes before the Cavaliers pulled away. But it was how they pulled away that was different: Pitt scored 16 straight points in just over 3 12 minutes.

Everyone is used to Virginia being a defensive wall of stickum but with offense? That’s scary.

It’s worth remembering that this was a reschedule, giving Pitt only four days to prepare for one of the toughest teams in college basketball.

Despite all that, Pitt was still in the game, which says a lot about Jeff Capel’s program.

Virginia Tech had to work hard to beat short-handed Miami. The ‘Canes, still wildly shorthanded but showing enormous heart, tied the game when Isaiah Wong hit a three with 2.1 left. After a review, the Hokies got the ball to Hunter Cattoor in the corner and he hit the quick J to put the game in overtime where the Hokies pulled away.

But it was close.

Remember Virginia Tech is without Tyrece Radford, out after DUI and weapons charges to which he has pled guilty.

Surprisingly perhaps, he could be back as soon as next week.

Looks like Clemson is back: the Tigers had no trouble with Syracuse, leading by 20 at the half and the ‘Cuse couldn’t catch up.

It’s still kind of hard to imagine a laugher against Syracuse but that’s where we are now: the Orange only hit three baskets in the first half.

Nick Honor hit 5-8 on threes and Aamir Simms had 18. Everyone scored except for Chase Hunter.

Syracuse’s three point shooters- Buddy Boeheim, Joe Girard and Alan Griffin - combined to shoot just 5-17 and the Orange, overall, shot just 30 percent.

After the game, Jim Boeheim said this: “The first half, their defense overwhelmed us. They got in front of us and we weren’t aggressive and we missed five layups.”

Long day for Boeheim and company but they’re not the first ACC team to go to Littlejohn and hate it.

Georgia Tech was down 17 at home before the Jackets rallied to steal a home win. Notre Dame, which has been heatingb up, was up 50-35 at the half.

Josh Pastner has made his reputation on defense but the Yellow Jackets have certainly improved on offense lately, not least of all Jose Alvarado, who had 19 points, six boards and five assists.

Nate Laszewksi (rhymes with Krzyzewski) had 27 for the Irish, while Juwan Durham had 18 and Prentiss Hubb had 15 points and 10 assists.

Notre Dame visits Duke next for an unusual 4:00 game.

No games on Super Bowl Sunday; the next ACC game is Monday.

ACC Standings