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ACC Roundup: Wake Ascends, UNC, Virginia Keep Tourney Hope Alive, Clemson Has A Potentially Huge Blow

A day of major developments around the conference

NCAA Basketball: Notre Dame at Wake Forest
Feb 19, 2022; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Prentiss Hubb (3) goes up for a shot pressured by Wake Forest Demon Deacons forward Dallas Walton (13) and forward Khadim Sy (20) during the second half at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. 
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

In Saturday’s ACC Action, Syracuse clocked BC 76-56, Notre Dame fell at Wake Forest 79-74, Louisville broke its losing streak with a 70-61 win over Clemson, UNC topped Virginia Tech 65-57, Virginia slipped by Miami 74-71 and Georgia Tech took out Pitt 68-62.

Wake, as Steve Forbes happily pointed out, played the top three teams in the ACC sequentially, losing to Miami by four, Duke by two and then beating Notre Dame. It’s safe to say now that the Deacs are back. Barring an unimaginable collapse, they’ll be in the NCAA Tournament - and good enough to win a few games, too.

Alondes Williams and Jake LaRavia have emerged as top-flight talents in the ACC and Khadim Sy, remarkably, had 15 points and ten boards. That’s so far from the player he was at Virginia Tech.

Wake Forest also forced 15 turnovers by the Irish and limited them to six successful three point attempts. They also pounded Notre Dame on the boards, 43-27 and 16-2 on the offensive end.

After UNC’s win over Virginia Tech, Hubert Davis said that it was Caleb Love’s best game at Carolina. Love finished with 21 points and seven assists. After his awful performance against Pitt, Armando Bacot got 12 points and 15 boards. Toss in five blocks and that’s a heck of a night.

UNC also limited the Hokies to 5-26 on threes and they got to the line just six times, missing twice.

It doesn’t make up for Pitt in the eyes of the committee, but a loss would have been devastating.

Like Wake Forest, Virginia scrambled ACC standings, in their case with a win over Miami. Here’s the thing about Virginia: if you don't get ahead of them early, you’re probably not going to get ahead of them late. Miami did get up but not far enough to put them away and it’s just really tough to beat UVA if you have to come from behind. With their pace, a 10 point lead is about the same as 20.

Kihei Clark, without whom UVA would not have a national championship, still gets ripped by UVA fans. Well he was huge in this won with 14 second half points, including a decisive layup with :14 left.

It’s a bit late, but Virginia has rounded into form. A win over Duke on Wednesday would bolster their case immensely.

Syracuse handled BC with ease, winning by 20 as Buddy Boeheim and Cole Swider both had 18 and Jimmy Boeheim finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Joe Girard had 16. After his superb rebounding night last time out, Frank Anselem had just three in this one.

The Eagles shot just 34.8 percent overall and 17.9 percent on threes.

Louisville’s seven-game losing streak is over and Malik Williams is apparently out of the doghouse as he started and played 29 minutes. Clemson suffered a tough break when PJ Hall injured his foot after playing just one minute. He didn't come back. The guy has been brilliant but if he’s out Clemson’s basically done. There’s no way around that. What an awful development for the Tigers.

We didn’t think Georgia Tech was up for a win over Pitt but the Yellow Jackets pulled it off, dominating the second half before the Panthers closed late.

Michael DeVoe finished with 22 for the Yellow Jackets and Rodney Howard had a big game with 14 on 6-9 from the floor.

Tech really limited Femi Odukale, who didn’t score and finished with four fouls in 31 minute. John Hugley had a nice night with 18 on 7-10 from the floor and 11 boards.

No games until Monday, when Tech travels to Syracuse, Florida State and BC tangle in Beantown and UNC hosts Louisville.

ACC Standings