The odd Duke-Wake Forest game drew most of the attention Tuesday night but there were two other ACC games as NC State clobbered Georgia Tech and Florida State survived Clemson 81-80.
Both teams have struggled. FSU lost six straight going into this one while Clemson has now lost five straight and is 2-10 since January.
Even so, the Tigers keep playing hard. They nearly beat UNC, gave Duke trouble before falling behind and were a whisker from beating the ‘Noles.
FSU was consistently ahead in the second half but the Tigers kept it close. RayQuan Evans hit the go-ahead free throw with :14 left. Clemson set up a play with :04 left but Alex Hemenway missed a three and that was that.
PJ Hall had a monster game with 28 points Al-Amir Dawes, coming off the bench for whatever reason, had 18 and Hemenway had 12. Three starters combined to shoot 1-13.
Florida State’s rotation was limited to basically eight with all the injuries they have. Leonard Hamilton started John Butler, Tanor Ngom, Wendell Wilkes, Matt Cleveland and Evans. Only Harrison Prieto, Cam’Ron Fletcher and Jalen Warley got much time off the bench.
FSU was partly inspired by a grad student manager, Jared Lynn, who has been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. Our very best wishes to him. That’s a really tough situation but sounds like his friends have his back.
Who saw State’s explosion coming? And in a road game no less?
Granted, this year’s Tech team isn’t overwhelming. The Yellow Jackets were just 10-14 coming into this one.
The Pack jumped on Tech from the opening and never let up. State was up 51-25 at the half and Terquavion Smith, who looks like a rising star, had 18 in the first half. He finished with 26.
Dereon Seabron has fallen off of his torrid early pace but he still had 11 points and 10 boards.
Rodney Howard took advantage of State’s missing big men (Manny Bates and Ernest Ross are both out) to hit 7-8 from the floor.
Three games on Wednesday as Miami visits Louisville, BC flies out to South Bend to square off with the Irish and Jeff and Jason Capel bring Pitt to the Dean Dome to take on the Tar Heels.
Normally you’d just check off Miami, Notre Dame and UNC, but it’s not that easy. Louisville is still, well, Loserville, but the Cards have shown some signs of life lately and they have size Miami cannot match. We love BC’s heart and desire. Could it be enough? Finally, UNC is certainly playing better but Jason Capel knows the basics as well as anyone and that’s an edge to Pitt. And certainly the Panthers are playing better lately and having Ithiel Horton back is huge for this team.
We see who is favored but we can also make arguments for upsets in each case.
Wednesday’s ACC Action
- Miami @ Louisville || 7:00 || ACCNX
- Boston College @ Notre Dame || 7:00 ESPNU
- Pitt @ UNC || 8:00 || ACCN
- NC State basketball snaps six-game ACC losing streak with 76-61 win at Georgia Tech
- Happy with recent production, Hubert Davis seeks quality over quantity from UNC bench
- Last-place N.C. State thumps Georgia Tech
- Inspired by tragedy, FSU snaps six-game winning streak against Clemson
- Notre Dame needs to play with ‘edge’ in Louisville showdown
- Pegues: ‘All hope isn’t lost’ for slumping Louisville basketball
- Paul Zeise: Weak ACC provides opportunity for Pitt men’s basketball to rise out of the ashes quickly
- Pitt will face a North Carolina program doing one of college basketball’s toughest tricks: Replacing a legend