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ACC Roundup - Four Games For Tuesday

None appear overly exciting but that could easily change.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 21 VirginiaTech at Clemson
CLEMSON, SC - JANUARY 21: Clemson Tigers center PJ Hall (24) celebrates with Clemson Tigers forward Hunter Tyson (5) after winning the game during a college basketball game between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Clemson Tigers on January 21, 2023, At Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, S.C.
Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tuesday night’s ACC Action, Miami visits Florida State, Notre Dame is in Raleigh to take on the Pack, Georgia Tech heads up to Clemson and UNC jets up to Lower Canada to take on Syracuse.

Florida State’s size gives them a chance against Miami but we’d still take the ‘Canes here. Size will be a challenge all season but Miami is a more coherent team. Did you realize though that FSU has a nine-game winning streak against the ‘Canes?

NC State’s very aggressive defense should carry the day against a thin Notre Dame team. The Irish could keep up but later in the game, that defense is very likely to break them. To paraphrase Burgess Meredith from Rocky, defense weakens legs. This is part of the reason why Virginia is always so effective late in games, incidentally.

You’ve probably heard by now that Terquavion Smith is going to be okay. It’s not clear if he’ll play against Notre Dame, but if you had to miss a game, other than Louisville, this is the one to miss.

We’d give Georgia Tech a puncher’s chance against Clemson, but size is an issue here, too. It won’t be easy to contain PJ Hall and Tyson Hunter, but if Clemson is still missing Chance Hunter - an Atlanta native that Tech coach Josh Pastner let get away - that could be easier.

Clemson is no slouch on defense though and we’re not sure Georgia Tech can put up a big game on the Tigers. And whatever you may think of Pastner - pressure is rising on the coach of the 8-11 Yellow Jackets - he is an outstanding defensive coach, and most games are ultimately won on that end. And Clemson won at Georgia Tech in December, 79-66.

So how about Syracuse vs. UNC?

Well, in their last three meetings, UNC has shot 39.7, 38.2 and 40.8 percent respectively.

Syracuse has only won one of those games though.

Why?

Perhaps because Armando Bacot pulled down 7, 8 and 9 rebounds in those games.

Oh, sorry. - those were just the offensvie rebounds he had. UNC collectively had 24, 26 and 16 second chances.

Jesse Edwards was a non-factor in the first meeting in 2021-22. In the second game he had seven points and eight boards in 23 minutes. And in last season’s sole meeting between the teams, he didn't play, we think because of injury.

He’s been really good this year, but keeping Bacot under control has not been easy for anybody. Could Syracuse win? Yes, if things go very well. However, an underappreciated quality of Bacot is that he’s like a human battering ram and that’s going to draw fouls. And Edwards does have a history there.

So they’ve shown they can repress the overall UNC offense with Boeheim’s 2-3 zone. However, if the Heels get 20-25 second shots, it will be that much more difficult.

Tuesday’s ACC Action

  • Miami vs. Florida State || 7:00 PM || ESPNU
  • Notre Dame vs. NC State || 7:00 PM || ACCN
  • Georgia Tech vs. Clemson || 9:00 PM || ACCN
  • UNC vs. Syracuse || 9:00 PM || ESPN

ACC Standings