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ACC Roundup - Virginia At Pitt Is Tuesday’s Highlight

This one is going to be fun. Or at least as fun as Virginia usually is.

 PITTSBURGH, PA -JANUARY 22: Pittsburgh Panthers head coach Jeff Capel looks on during the college basketball game between the Duke Blue Devils and the Pittsburgh Panthers on January 22, 2019 at the Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, PA.
Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In Tuesday night’s ACC Action, Notre Dame visits Boston College, Syracuse heads down to struggling Louisville and Virginia jets up to Steel City to take on Pitt.

Pitt is off to a surprising 10-4 start most of which came after a 1-3 start. Clearly the Panthers are playing better.

However, it’s not like the schedule is particularly brutal: Pitt lost to West Virginia, Michigan and VCU and then were nipped by Vanderbilt on Pearl Harbor Day. They beat UNC last time out which would be a more impressive win if UNC hasn’t been playing so poorly.

Still, the team has an identity and it has accomplished a lot of it without big man John Hugley. He hasn’t played since the Sacred Heart game on December 10th for reasons that aren’t entirely clear. Fortunately, freshman Fede Federiko has stepped up and done well. So has transfer Blake Hinson and Jamarius Burton has been solid too.

But a lot of these guys have never seen what Virginia does to you on defense. If Pitt pulls it off, it’ll be a huge win for the program.

However, for Tony Bennett, a win would make him the winningest coach in Virginia history.

Incidentally, freshman guard Dior Johnson, who was suspended from the team after being charged with several serious crimes, is back after the case was resolved. Apparently the plan is to redshirt him this season.

Notre Dame is probably a better team than BC but not by much, at least not right now. We’d favor them but an upset wouldn’t be a big surprise. The core of the Irish attack - Cormac Ryan, Trey Wertz, Nate Laszewski and JJ Starling - should be enough to overcome BC.

Small point for the Eagles - big man Quinten Post is finally back and that should help a bit.

You’d like to make an argument for Louisville, but the harsh reality for the Cards is that there’s no basis for even taking a flyer on this team right now. There have been some incredibly bad teams in the ACC - Georgia Tech in its first season, Boston College recently and Maryland in the aftermath of the Len Bias tragedy.

It’s entirely possible Louisville could be the worst ever. Louisville! We never even considered the possibility.

You can imagine former coach Rick Pitino whipping this team into something fierce, but the current roster hasn’t shown much competitiveness.

Syracuse is capable of playing great or of just not being good at all. Which team shows up will be the major factor in this one.

Tuesday’s ACC Action

  • Notre Dame @ Boston College || 7:00 PM || ACCN
  • Syracuse @ Louisville || 7:00 PM || ESPNU
  • Virginia @ Pitt || 9:00 || ACCN

ACC Standings