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ACC Roundup - UNC And Syracuse Pull Out Wins, But BC? Wow.

Part of it was a weakened FSU but still: didn’t see that coming.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 21 Georgia Tech at Syracuse
 SYRACUSE, NY - FEBRUARY 21: Syracuse Orange Guard Buddy Boeheim (35) dribbles the ball against Georgia Tech Yellowjackets Guard Miles Kelly (13) defending during the first half of the College Basketball game between the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets and the Syracuse Orange on February 21, 2022 at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY.
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In Monday’s ACC Action, Syracuse nipped Georgia Tech 74-73, Boston College crushed Florida State 71-55 and UNC got by Louisville 70-63.

A few quick points here:

Brady Manek has been much better than we ever thought he could be. We certainly don’t mean to compare him to Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, but those guys proved you could dominate more talented players by outthinking them. Manek is not spectacularly gifted, but he shoots well and he’s a damn smart player.

Caleb Love is showing an instinct for making winning plays late, but his seven turnovers could have been disastrous. Seven! That’s one every 5.7 minutes (he played all 40). And he’s still not shooting well (6-14) But he scored UNC’s last four points and it’s not the first time lately he’s taken his team home. Imperfect? Obviously. Showing up when he’s needed? Yeah he has.

Louisville was in this game very late but threw it away when Jae’Lyn Withers tossed up a long three with Louisville down just 64-63 with 2:18 left and Jarrod West repeated the error with 1:12 left and the Cardinals down 66-63.

The win doesn’t count for much resume wise since Louisville has been in free fall since Chris Mack resigned, but it does give the Heels 20 wins and 20-8 at least looks respectable. There aren’t many impressive wins, but still, it beats, say, 12-15 which is where Louisville is.

We thought Boston College might be able to beat Florida State, but dominate? We didn’t really see that coming.

Well they did, and from wire to wire. The Eagles ripped off 11 points before the ‘Noles got on the board. FSU did cut the lead to 32-27 at the half but no matter. Boston College just built it back. And when Florida State rallied late and cut the lead to 13, BC just ripped off eight straight.

Look, we know Leonard Hamilton’s program has a terrible injury bug but the talent, at a minimum, should be just about equal right now.

And FSU got RayQuan Evans back.

Freshman Jaeden Zackery hit 7-10, shredding Hamilton’s vaunted defense.

And it’s not like it was a perfect game: how often do you win by 16 with 18 turnovers?

Thing is, FSU had 19 of their own - 13 in the first half - and shot just 33.9 percent.

We thought Florida State played well at Duke until they got tired but remember this team went down 18-0 at UNC. It’s just been brutal for the Fightin’ Hammies.

We didn't think Georgia Tech could win at Syracuse but they nearly did, and it took OT for the Orange to finally - barely - put them away.

The Boeheims were the driving force with a combined 35 points but Cole Swider had 18. Absolutely no one shot well for Syracuse: this is dreadful. Swider - 6-14. Jimmy Boeheim - 6-17. Joe Girard - 3-15. Buddy Boeheim - 5-20. Frank Anselam - 1-3.

The team collectively shot 32.9 percent.

Rodney Howard was the latest opponent to exploit Syracuse’s vulnerable inside D. He had 19 points and 10 boards.

The difference in this game? Probably turnovers. Georgia Tech had 14, which is manageable for most teams. But Syracuse had just four, which is pretty spectacular. Which leads to a question: how many turnover-free games have ever happened? Any? Four is about as low as we’ve ever seen. There are so many moving parts to keep track of that not having any is just about unthinkable.

Well on second thought, and this hasn’t happened in a long time, what about stall ball games?

NC State famously held the ball against Duke in the 1968 ACC Tournament, resulting in a 12-10 upset for the Pack. We could see a game like that not having any turnovers. Good question though.

On the other hand, when UNC tried to hold the ball against Duke in 1979 on Senior Day in Cameron, we think they had one or two turnovers at the end of the first half.

Keep in mind too that whatever flaws Tech has, Josh Pastner is an excellent defensive coach.

Speaking of Pastner, the Syracuse fans were on him a lot because he was running wildly outside the coach’s box and onto the court. Not a step or two - like his shoe on the other side of the mid-court logo. Give the man props though - he got back pretty quickly.

Only one game Tuesday night as Miami visits Pitt.

Tuesday Night ACC Action

Miami @ Pitt || 8:00 || ACCN

ACC Standings