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ACC Roundup - Good And Bad On Sunday

Virginia is going to be a load

NCAA Basketball: Continental Tire Main Event Championship
Nov 20, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini forward Matthew Mayer (24) shoots against Virginia Cavaliers forward Jayden Gardner (1) during the first half at T-Mobile Arena.
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

In Sunday’s ACC Action, UNC beat James Madison 80-64, Virginia took Illinois 70- 61, Maryland zapped Miami 88-70, Pitt won against Alabama State 74-53, Wake Forest lost in OT to Loyola Marymount 77-75 and Virginia Tech lost by that exact score to Charleston. And in the late game, Tarleton (who?) beat Boston College 70-54.

UNC has taken some criticism for uneven play but they seemed happy about how things went Sunday against GMU. UNC shot out to a 45-26 halftime lead and kind of coasted a bit in the second.

But they’re playing better and they know it. Armando Bacot had a monster game with 23 rebounds - eight offensive! - and 19 points. He also got to the line for 12 attempts, hitting 9.

Leaky Back had 12 boards too, meaning two guys had 35 of UNC’s 50 boards and 10 of the 11 offensive rebounds.

That’s a mixed blessing but what a night by Bacot.

Virginia had a hot hand against Baylor Friday, hitting 64.3 percent on threes. Against Illinois?

Not so much.

Virginia shot 29.4 percent on threes and just 41.7 percent overall.

But the Cavaliers had an immense advantage from the line (see Barry’s column about this today), shooting 25-32 on free throws to 4-9 for Illinois.

Basically that would work out to eight threes and change. No doubt Illinois fans are steamed about the discrepancy.

Reece Beekman had 17 to pace Virginia.

It must have been an interesting weekend for Matthew Mayer. Now playing for the Illini, he was a key part of Baylor’s national championship team. He’s probably not thrilled with Virginia right now.

We mentioned the other day that Miami’s lineup is a mite small. Donta Scott was virtually unstoppable, hitting 9-12 and grabbing eight boards. That put a lot of pressure on Norchad Omier, who at 6-7 and 248, is trying to hold down the post - he ended up with four fouls.

Isaiah Wong had 22 and Jordan Miller had 18. Miami got just five points from the bench.

Pitt has had a rough start this season and had a rough first half against Alabama State, going to the locker room up just 34-31.

Different story in the second as Pitt roared to life. ESPN offers this interesting nugget: Alabama State scored four points from 18:12 to 8:28 of the second half.

In a bit of good news, John Hugley is back. He played 18 minutes off the bench.

Pitt has four winnable games coming up and a chance to turn things around before ACC lay starts.

If you ask us, honestly, Wake should have won, but obviously LMU didn’t think so.

Wake had a late lead in regulation but Tyree Appleby had two turnovers in the last :80 second and Matthew Marsh whiffed twice from the line.

There were a lot of mistakes in OT as well.

Steve Forbes admitted as much afterwards: “The little things are big things. They bite you and they end up getting you. That’s what happened tonight. We didn’t shoot free throws well. Our turnovers killed our defense. Can’t do that. Somehow we’re going to have to fix those.”

As for the Hokies?

Pat Robinson hit a prayer (sorry) with three seconds left to give Charleston a win over an ACC team.

We figured that playing in Charleston would give the Cougars an advantage, but Tech’s talent is better - but not necessarily deeper.

Charleston’s bench outscored Virginia Tech’s reserves 40-5. That’s insane.

Finally, the Tarleton Texans beat BC 70-54.

It’s still a somewhat anonymous school, but once you get past his well-documented issues and keep him on the straight and narrow, Billy Clyde Gillispie is a solid basketball coach.

Tarleton forced 20 turnovers and held the Eagles to 18-41 and just 3-9 from deep.

By contrast, the Texans hit 51.1 percent overall. They weren’t much better from behind the line - just 4-11. But toss in 20-25 from the line to BC’s 15-26 and you get the feeling they just overpowered Boston College.

On Monday, some interesting games. First, winless Louisville takes on Arkansas in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational. And while it seems a stretch, we wouldn't be shocked by an upset.

Look, Louisville is flawed and maybe still traumatized by last year. It’s going to take a minute to get everything sorted out. And remember all three losses were by one point.

But they do have some talent and, presumably, some pride. Arkansas is likely to get their best effort.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that Arkansas just eats them alive too.

BC gets Wyoming in the Paradise Jam, Georgia Tech gets a good test with Utah, Mercer looks to send Florida State to 0-5, Syracuse gets a tough nut in Richmond and Loyola Marymount left Jamaica for a swing by Clemson on the way back to California.

Correction - Loyola Maryland is at Clemson, not Loyola Marymount.

Monday’s ACC Action

  • Louisville vs. Arkansas || 5:00 || ESPN2
  • Wyoming vs. Boston College || 5:45 || ESPN3
  • Georgia Tech vs Utah || 6:00 || FS1
  • Mercer vs Florida State || 6:30 || ACCN
  • Syracuse vs Richmond || 7:00 || ESPN2
  • Loyola vs Clemson || 7:00 || ESPN+/ACCNX