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ACC Roundup - UNC, NC State Win, Miami Ends A Losing Streak And Clemson Is 9-1

The Tigers are having a dream season.

Notre Dame v NC State
 RALEIGH, NC - JANUARY 24: Casey Morsell #14 of the NC State Wolfpack puts up a shot against Dane Goodwin #23 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the second half of their game at PNC Arena on January 24, 2023 in Raleigh, North Carolina. NC State won 85-82.
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

In Tuesday’s ACC Action, Miami laid waste to Florida State 86-63, Georgia Tech fell at Clemson 72-51, NC State nipped the fight out of the Irish 85-82 and UNC got by Syracuse in the Dome, 72-68.

That one didn't go quite as we expected. We thought that Armando Bacot might run over Syracuse inside and get a 20/20 sort of game, but that didn’t happen. Bacot had, by his standards, a relatively pedestrian game with 18 points, eight boards and four assists. However, Pete Nance had 21, including 8-10 from the foul line.

We were a bit surprised that the perimeter was so limited: Leaky Black, RJ Davis and Caleb Love combined for just 10-23. Love, who has no trouble firing up shots, took just seven.

The big guys combined to shoot 14-32. You get the feeling that people will be watching this tape a lot.

It didn’t help Syracuse that Jesse Edwards fouled out.

RJ Davis took a shot to the face but we don’t know how serious it is. Something to keep an eye on.

Notre Dame is having a tough season but give the Irish credit: they played hard in Raleigh. But State got a big emotional boost when Terquavion Smith played, and not only that, played well, scoring 17 points and playing 39 minutes. He didn’t shoot well - just 2-14 with 11 points coming at the line - but who cares? It’s great that he could play, and State needed all of his points.

Jarkel Joiner led the way with 28 points.

State’s defense forced 15 turnovers while the Pack only had two themselves, which is pretty remarkable. The defense can take the ball away but that’s only one way to have a turnover. You can make a bad pass, charge, or just bobble the ball. One time in a Duke-Maryland game, Jason Williams stopped off by the bench to get instructions from Coach K and was listening so intently that he never saw Steve Blake coming.

So two is really impressive.

After the game, Mike Brey pointed to what made the difference: [t]he athletic ability and how they come after you defensively. It wears on you.”

Even more so if you don’t have a bench.

We didn't really see a way for Georgia Tech to beat Clemson on the road but they kept it close for most of the first half. After that, Clemson just pulled away and though Georgia Tech is a good defensive team, they couldn’t really control the Tigers, who hit 45 percent on threes (9-20) and 52.9 percent overall.

Tech managed just 34.4 percent and just 4-23 on threes. Josh Pastner was unusually frank about his team’s offensive struggles, saying this: “We can’t throw it in the ocean standing on a pier. It’s hard. It takes a lot out of you.”

And do keep in mind that Clemson is still without point guard Chase Hunter. His little brother Dillon is filling in for him and holding his own.

Georgia Tech is now 8-12 and 1-9 in the ACC.

Miami made up for a frustrating losing streak to Florida State, shooting brilliantly and taking FSU out of it almost immediately.

The ‘Canes hit 56.4 percent overall and 11-22 on threes for 50 percent there. It was so impressive that ‘Noles coach Leonard Hamilton said that “[I]t’s hard to shoot that well from the perimeter if you’re in the gym shooting by yourself with no defense around you at all.”

About the only things that you could quibble about with Miami were turnovers (17) and free throw shooting (68.4 percent).

But Hamilton was unhappy about many things, including offensive rebounding. FSU didn't get a single one in the first half.

It wasn’t Florida State’s finest moment to say the least and Baba Miller is still out.

Two games on tap Wednesday as Wake Forest visits Pitt and Louisville heads to Beantown to take on the hard-working but still struggling Eagles.

Wake’s size may give Pitt trouble as we’ve seen before. And just on effort we’ll go with BC. Don’t forget that Quentin Post has been terrific lately.

Wednesday’s ACC Action

  • Wake Forest vs. Pitt || 7:00 PM || ACCN
  • Louisville vs. Boston College || 9:00 PM || ACCN

ACC Standings