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ACC Roundup - Conference Play Begins In Earnest

It should be a fun night of hoops

Houston v Virginia
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - DECEMBER 17: Ben Vander Plas #5 of the Virginia Cavaliers dribbles past Reggie Chaney #32 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 Tuesday’s ACC Action, Louisville has a chance to build a three-game winning streak with Lipscomb, Virginia visits Miami and Pitt tangles with Syracuse.

Normally, you’d just go ahead and mark down Lipscomb as an easy win for Louisville but this year is anything but normal for the Cardinals. Still, they should have more talent than the Bisons and they have a couple of wins under their belt now. So we’d expect them to win.

Virginia and Miami is really interesting. The conflict of styles is pretty obvious - Tony Bennett wants to slow it down while Jim Larranaga wants to get out and run. He always does, but his team is pretty short this season so he really needs to hit fast.

Virginia will make that hard.

The other thing is that the ‘Canes have Isaiah Wong, Jordan Miller and Nijel Pack on the perimeter. You could normally expect Reece Beekman to shut one down but that depends on how recovered he is. And that gives Miami a chance.

Norchad Omier has been pretty impressive for Miami but he’s 6-7 and 248 and that’s the closest thing they have to a serious big man. He’ll have his hands full with powerful Jaden Gardner and 6-11 Kadin Shedrick.

The Pitt-Syracuse game is also interesting. Syracuse has won five straight and is now 8-4. But they’ve also lost to St. John’s and Illinois and nearly lost to Richmond and Notre Dame. Guard Joe Girard has been offensively erratic. Big man Jesse Edwards is coming into his own and made a big impression on Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing. And freshman guard Judah Mintz looks like he’s going to be on the All-ACC freshman team.

As for Pitt, after a rocky start, the team has played well. After starting 1-3, Jeff Capel’s bunch has gone 7-1. Jon Hugley has been in and out, perhaps due to injuries, but last game he sat out for personal reasons. So who knows what’s going on there.

But Blake Hinson has emerged as a real force for the Panthers, putting up 16.5 ppg and 6.9 rpg. Nelly Cummings and Jamarius Burton are a solid backcourt although Burton has chronic knee inflammation that won’t go away anytime soon.

Freshman Fede Federiko has come on fast though and is a major factor for the Panthers now.

This should be a fairly interesting game. Pitt will have to deal with the zone obviously, but also someone has to deal with Edwards.

Speaking of Syracuse, we were very sorry to hear that Louis Orr had died. We never met him but he just seemed like a very decent man. That’s a big loss for Syracuse and particularly Jim Boeheim, who coached Orr between 1976-1980.

Tuesday’s ACC Action

  • Lipscomb @ Louisville || 6:00 PM || ESPN+/ACCNX
  • Duke @ Wake Forest || 6:30 PM || ACCN
  • Virginia @ Miami || 8:30 PM || ACCN
  • Pitt @ Syracuse || 9:00 PM || ESPNU

ACC Standings