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ACC Roundup - Notre Dame Gets A Thriller

As Kenny Blakeney’s Howard team proves hard to vanquish

NCAA Basketball: Notre Dame at Howard
Jan 17, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Mike Brey looks on against the Howard Bison during the second half at Burr Gymnasium.
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame agreed to travel to DC to play Howard at home in the MLK Classic largely on the strength of the relationship between Irish coach Mike Brey and Bison coach Kenny Blakeney.

Brey worked for the legendary Morgan Wooten at DeMatha High where Blakeney also played. Blakeney was later Brey’s assistant at Delaware.

So it was probably not that hard to get Brey to come back to DC for this one. It might be harder next time.

The Irish were up 67-56 late when Howard took the ball away on four straight possessions, ripping off a 10 point run. But Cormac Ryan hit a pair of free throws with 41.5 left and Howard would only score once more. Prentiss Hubb hit one more shot for the Irish and that was it.

Still, it was a great showing Blakeney’s team and on national TV too. He has an amazing vision for his program and if he can pull it off, it’s going to be spectacular.

That was the only Monday night game (we think we mistakenly said no games until Tuesday) and just two on Tuesday as UNC takes a break from cold weather to visit Miami while Clemson flies straight in to it to tangle with Syracuse.

UNC is 12-4 now - Miami is 13-4 - but the Tar Heels have Armando Bacot and Miami has no obvious counter. So we’ll take UNC.

In the late game, Syracuse is favored and that’s probably rational given the offensive potential. But Clemson tends to beat you up on defense. Then again, that cuts both ways because Syracuse’s zone almost always slows opponents down.

The real question though: can Bad Brad Brownell find a decent restaurant in Syracuse?

Tuesday’s ACC Action

  • UNC @ Miami || 7:00 || ACCN
  • Duke @ Florida State || 9:00 || ESPN
  • Clemson @ Syracuse || 9:00 || ACCN

ACC Standings