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ACC Roundup - UNC Rolls, Louisville Survives

As Covid continues to roil another season

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 02 Louisville at Georgia Tech
ATLANTA, GA JANUARY 02: Louisville forward Malik Williams (5) drives to the basket during the college basketball game between the Louisville Cardinals and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on January 2nd, 2022 at Hank McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta, GA.
Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Well there’s no question that Earl Grant has improved Boston College already: the Eagles have already won more games this year than they did last year, which was largely wiped out by Covid. But they might match or surpass the 13 wins from two seasons ago too.

Playing UNC Sunday didn’t help.

Both teams were coming off Christmas layoffs with UNC and Virginia Tech postponed while the Eagles had to skip Wake Forest and FSU.

So neither team was at their best - and UNC started without Justin McKoy and lost Dawson Garcia just two minutes in after he thumped his head on the floor.

Didn’t matter.

The Heels ran away from BC, going up 49-20 at the half and winning 91-65. BC lost the second half by just three but that wasn’t nearly enough to make up for the first half.

BC only had eight turnovers and held their own on the boards - they were significantly better on the offensive boards, long a huge strength for UNC - but the Heels shot 52.5 percent to Boston College’s 31.3 percent and also hit three more three pointers.

So maybe next time, Eagles.

In the day’s second game, well, Georgia Tech is going to be small all season and guys like Louisville’s Malik Williams are going to be a problem.

Williams, a 6-11 senior, hit 9-12 from the floor for 20 points and grabbed 10 boards. There are ways to counter size, but Tech has had problems doing that so far. Wisconsin, UNC, LSU and USC all have much more oomph inside than Tech. And Tech lost all four games in a row. In UNC’s case, Armando Bacot scored 15 points and had 13 boards.

Even so, Tech kept it close before hitting a long scoreless stretch in the second half that let Louisville seize control. It’s a pattern the Yellow Jackets have had to deal with a lot this season.

Like a lot of other teams, Tech is coming off its own Covid pause and that probably didn’t help much either.

They’ll get a chance to try again Tuesday at Duke, and this time it’s the Blue Devils that will be shaking off some Covid rust.

Pitt’s Ithiel Horton, sidelined after being charged with ag­gra­vated as­sault, re­sist­ing ar­rest, dis­or­derly con­duct and pub­lic drunk­en­ness, got a break when the charges were dismissed.

So did Pitt coach Jeff Capel, who has reinstated Horton. That should help a team that really has struggled.

No Monday night games.