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ACC Roundup - Florida State Back In The Win Column & NC State Just Destroys Georgia Tech In Atlanta

A big night for both - and for Clemson’s PJ Hall

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 15 NC State at Georgia Tech
ATLANTA, GA FEBRUARY 15: NC State guard Casey Morsell (14) drives to the basket during the ACC college basketball game between the North Carolina State Wolfpack and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on February 15th, 2022 at Hank McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta, GA.
Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

ACC Standings