clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

ACC Roundup - A Mixed Bag

Some good news, some bad

Houston v Virginia
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - DECEMBER 17: Reece Beekman #2 of the Virginia Cavaliers dribbles the ball past Tramon Mark #12 of the Houston Cougars in the second half during a game at John Paul Jones Arena on December 17, 2022 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

In Saturday’s ACC Action, Houston downed Virginia at Virginia, 69-61, UNC clipped Ohio State in overtime, 89-84, Virginia Tech clocked Grambling 74-48, Miami ran past St. Francis 91-76, Rutgers racked Wake Forest 81-57, Pitt hammered North Florida 82-56, Louisville got by Florida A&M 61-55, Georgia Tech clobbered Alabama State 96-60, St. John’s handled Florida State 93-79, Syracuse beat a solid Cornell team 78-63 and Clemson wrapped up the Richmond Spiders 85-57.

Reece Beekman played for the Cavaliers but we’re not sure how recovered he is from his hammy injury and that’s pretty critical: he’s a superb defender and has a bright NBA future whenever he’s ready. But a hamstring injury is pretty tough to get over. His main value is as a defender, but he shot just 1-5 which suggests he wasn’t 100 percent.

In the end, Virginia couldn’t stop the Cougars as they scored with relative efficiency against Virginia’s notoriously stingy defense. And truth be told, while obviously everyone in Hooville would have loved to win this one, losing it may be better in the long run because they may see Houston again. And if so, they’ll be ready.

Early on, UNC seemed primed to lose to Ohio State, a team that Duke saw in Cameron not too long ago, with the Blue Devils winning 81-72.

Anyone who watched that game would have given Ohio State a chance against an uneven UNC team, and the Buckeyes went up by 14 early.

The Tar Heels rallied though and when RJ Davis hit a three with 1:31 left, went up 75-74. Ohio State struck back when Zed Key hit a rare three (he hardly shoots them) to put the Buckeyes up 77-75. Armando Bacot tied it up with :17 left, then Brice Sensabaugh struck back with a jumper to put the Ohio State back up 79-77 with three seconds left.

UNC got the ball over halfcourt and called timeout and then Pete Nance won over a huge section of the fan base by putting the game in OT with :01 left.

Not surprisingly, Bacot killed the smallish Buckeyes inside with 28 points and 15 rebounds, including seven offensive. He and Caleb Love took 39 of UNC’s 72 shots.

It was a huge win for Carolina: lose that and things could get really dicey for March.

Wake fell at Rutgers, which is no big surprise although we thought they’d be more competitive. A 24 point loss to an average Rutgers team, even though the Scarlet Knights have a tremendous home court advantage.

Wake was done early. Rutgers forced 22 turnovers and dominated the paint and really, what hope do you have with that kind of imbalance? It was a beatdown.

Coach Steve Forbes said this after the game: “They physically overwhelmed us, especially at the beginning of the first half and beginning of the second half, that’s where the game got out of hand for us. We just weren’t strong with the ball and got sped up. They’re really elite at stealing the basketball. We knew coming in here that we couldn’t have any pickoffs. We gave up five of those in the first half and there’s really no way to defend those. We knew coming into the game, we’d have to keep them out of the lane and we didn’t do it. They were 44-16 in the paint.”

Wake Forest hosts Duke on the 20th.

Mike Anderson has been at St. John’s since 2019 and he’s had a winning record every season. Not a great winning record, but winning nonetheless. And this year, the Johnnies are off to a 10-1 start, including Saturday’s win over Florida State.

It was never completely out of range but Florida State fell behind in the first and stayed there. They did cut the lead to six late in the second half but too little too late.

Leonard Hamilton played nine guys but Tom House got just five minutes and Asheville native De’Ante Green just nine. Neither made any statistical impact.

With the loss, FSU falls to 3-9. It’s just looking like a tough year.

NC State dropped Vanderbilt to 5-6 as big man DJ Burns scored 18 points and pulling down nine rebounds.

The game was close in many ways but State outscored the Commodores 15-10 from the free throw line. DJ Burns had a solid night with 18 points and nine boards. State heads into ACC play with a 10-3 record. There is still work to be done to replace Dusan Mahorcic but Burns certainly held his own here.

With his career record now 44-59 and a loaded SEC slate ahead, Stackhouse is likely to feel some heat as the season progresses.

The other games are of minimal interest. Generally speaking, they are all glorified scrimmages, a chance for the coach to bring in a weak team let his guys work things out on the court rather than in practice.

Still, it’s worth noting that Louisville won its second straight game to move to 2-9. It ain’t much but it beats the heck out of 0-11. And we did mention 6-10 Josh Cohen of the St. Francis Red Flash: he just ate Miami alive with 30 points on 10-16 from the floor. Miami, as we have noted, is smallish and Cohen did very well, which suggests that other big guys might too.

And this is worth noting too: John Hugley sat out of Pitt’s win over North Florida for “personal reasons,” whatever that means.

Only one game Sunday as Notre Dame squares off against 7-3 Georgia, which is doing quite well so far under new coach Danny White, whose father is retired Duke AD Kevin White. Two of the three losses are against ACC teams Wake Forest and Georgia Tech. The other is to UAB.

Game is in Atlanta at 5:30 and you can find it on ESPN2.