In Saturday’s ACC Action, Clemson beat Pitt 77-62, Virginia knocked off Loiusville 68-58 and Notre Dame cleaned FSU’s clock, 83-73.
WTF? How did that happen?
Consider: Florida State, with a far deeper bench and more talent and, more importantly, a chance to clinch its second straight regular seasons ACC title, blew it, losing to a Notre Dame team that has really struggled.
It’s amazing. They didn’t just blow it either, they collapsed letting the Irish build a 20 point lead. Look, an upset is always possible in any game. All it takes is for the favored team to lose focus when the underdog is locked in.
But like this?
This is why, while we’d enjoy seeing Florida State make some major noise in the post-season, we don’t know that they ever will. They just have this...thing. We can’t explain it but it happened against Michigan a couple of years ago We’ve all seen it in ACC Tournament games. Something just goes wrong, something is off. We respect Leonard Hamilton’s program but he has yet to prove that he can get to a higher level.
Still love to see it though.
Over at the South Bend paper columnist Tom Noie has been building a case to fire Mike Brey. He had to backtrack a bit Saturday, but check out all the qualifiers and hedges here. He’s so ready for Brey to get canned.
Virginia has been up and down this season but FSU’s failure allowed them to do two things: to torment Louisville, as they so often do, and to claim the regular season championship, which they also do on a fairly regular basis.
And really they didn't have much trouble. At one point in the game, Louisville cut the lead to three or four points and were celebrating and we were thinking, are you nuts? Because the way Virginia plays, if you’re not up significantly, you can’t possibly rest or feel secure. Because if Virginia is behind they keep you close and if they’re ahead, catching up is extremely difficult.
As soon as we saw that we figured they were cooked. They just hadn’t figured it out yet.
They should - Virginia has owned Louisville through three coaches - Rick Pitino, David Padgett and now Chris Mack.
With Saturday over, the ACC Tournament pairings are now set and are listed at the bottom.
#1 Virginia, #4 Georgia Tech, #2 Florida State and #3 Virginia Tech got the two-day byes while #8 Syracuse, #9 NC State, #5 Clemson, #7 Louisville and #6 UNC get to rest Tuesday and will start Wednesday.
#12 and #13 Miami kick things off on Tuesday followed by #10 Duke vs. #15 BC. #11 Notre Dame and #14 Wake Forest close things out on Day One.
We’ll just point this out before anyone else does but Notre Dame’s Mike Brey and Pitt’s Jeff Capel used to work for Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski. The three are 10th, 11th and 12th this year.
Just mentioning it.
We’d expect all three to advance to Wednesday where Pitt would get Clemson, Duke would get Louisville and Notre Dame would get UNC.
For Duke to win, it would have to beat BC, then Louisville and Florida State just to get to Friday. Seems daunting.
Tuesday, March 9 – First Round
- 2 p.m. – No. 12 Pitt vs. No. 13 Miami (ACC Network)
- 4:30 p.m. – No. 10 Duke vs. No. 15 Boston College (ACC Network)
- 7 p.m. – No. 11 Notre Dame vs. No. 14 Wake Forest (ACC Network)
Wednesday, March 10 – Second Round
- Noon – No. 8 Syracuse vs. No. 9 NC State (ACC Network)
- 2:30 p.m. – No. 5 Clemson vs. Pitt/Miami winner (ACC Network)
- 6:30 p.m. – No. 7 Louisville vs. Duke/Boston College winner (ACC Network)
- 9 p.m. – No. 6 North Carolina vs. Notre Dame/Wake Forest winner (ACC Network)
Thursday, March 11 – Quarterfinals
- Noon – No. 1 Virginia vs. Wednesday Noon winner (ESPN or ESPN2)
- 2:30 p.m. – No. 4 Georgia Tech vs. Wednesday 2:30 p.m. winner (ESPN or ESPN2)
- 6:30 p.m. – No. 2 Florida State vs. Wednesday 6:30 p.m. winner (ESPN or ESPN2)
- 9 p.m. – No. 3 Virginia Tech vs. Wednesday 9 p.m. winner (ESPN or ESPN2)
Friday, March 12 – Semifinals
- 6:30 p.m. – Thursday afternoon winners (ESPN or ESPN2)
- 9 p.m. – Thursday evening winners (ESPN or ESPN2)
- Saturday, March 13 – Championship
- 8:30 p.m. – Semifinal winners (ESPN)
- Noie: That Notre Dame win over No. 11 Florida State sure was nice - and needed
- Virginia beats Louisville to clinch ACC regular-season championship
- Bubble Watch: 12 hours of basketball drama, a couple interesting results, plus today’s rooting guide
- 2021 ACC tournament bracket: Syracuse to face NC State for 3rd time
- Georgia Tech earns double-bye, sets path for ACC tournament
- Georgia Tech, Josh Pastner feel ‘weight off of our shoulders’
- Georgia Tech not returning to Atlanta until NCAA run ends
- After a little help from afar, Virginia wins the ACC regular season title by beating Louisville
- Bracket set for 2021 ACC basketball tournament
- College basketball scores, winners and losers: Georgia Tech
- College basketball scores, winners and losers: Florida State
- Syracuse falls to top-seeded Cardinals in ACC semifinals
- It’s March and Virginia is the top seed in ACC Tournament
- Nike Sibande to use extra year of eligibility, return to Pitt next season
- How Terrell Brown, the last remnant of Pitt’s massive 2017 recruiting class, persevered
- Future uncertain, Pitt’s Nike Sibande taking advantage of the moment