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ACC Roundup - Can UNC Pull Out Of The Downward Spiral?

This has been a fascinating season but not for great reasons

North Carolina v Notre Dame
SOUTH BEND, IN - JANUARY 05: Head coach Hubert Davis of the North Carolina Tar Heels is seen during the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Purcell Pavilion on January 5, 2022 in South Bend, Indiana.
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Three Monday night ACC games and they all have interesting things to talk about. So let’s discuss!

BC visits Wake Forest, Louisville goes to Charlottesville and Virginia Tech is off to Chapel Hill.

The Heels, to be kind, are reeling. They’ve had dreadful losses early to the SEC’s Tennessee and Kentucky and the last two fails, to Miami and Wake Forest, were by 28 and 22 points respectively.

So what happens tonight?

Thing is, the Hokies aren’t doing much better. Virginia Tech is a disappointing 10-8 but give them this: they aren’t getting blown out. Only Wake Forest and Duke can claim double-digit wins. This one will be interesting, not least of all because UNC coach Hubert Davis had this to say about his team: “[w]e just don’t have the athleticism and the ability to be able to breakdown defenders. Wake Forest was switching all ball screens one through five. We couldn’t get by them. We couldn’t create a shot.”

So that’s going to be a really interesting game.

Virginia has owned Louisville for some time now but this Virginia team isn’t like those teams were. It struggles on offense, and, amazingly, defense. It’s so not Tony Bennett.

But he’s proven himself and Virginia fans will surely give him a mulligan for this season. Not so much at Louisville, where Chris Mack is looking less and less certain to continue. We have no idea what to expect here.

BC is in rebuild mode and Earl Grant gets high marks for culture building and getting his guys to buy in. He’s not winning a lot but otherwise? Well ahead of schedule. Steve Forbes should get coach of the year but Grant should get a few votes.

But he ain’t winning tonight. Wake Forest is gaining confidence and has some wonderful players in Jake LaRavia, Alondes Williams and Daivien Williamson. It’s been an athletic team and now those guys know each other and are gaining confidence by the game. If things break their way they could move up to second or conceivably in first in the conference.

Something to keep an eye on: Struggling ACC coaches. Davis, Mack and Jim Boeheim are all getting some heat from fans. Bennett will get a pass. Mike Young probably will too. For our money, Kevin Keatts is doing a solid job in a tough situation, but will State fans buy it? And we have no sense of how Georgia Tech fans are dealing with the plunge to the cellar but at least Josh Pastner won the ACC last season. This could be a tumultuous off-season.

Almost forgot: in meaningless news, Georgia Tech beat the crap out of D-II Clayton State, 103-53. We have no idea why they scheduled this game now but at least they got a chance to work on some things in what was essentially a scrimmage.

Monday’s ACC Action

  • BC @ Wake Forest || 6:00 || ACCN
  • Louisville @ Virginia || 7:00 || ESPN
  • Virginia Tech @ UNC || 8:00 || ACCN

ACC Standings