clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

ACC Roundup - Challenge Edition, Day I

How ‘bout them Yellow Jackets?

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: NOV 28 Mississippi State at Georgia Tech
 ATLANTA, GA NOVEMBER 28: Georgia Tech guard Naithan George (2) shoots a free throw during the college basketball game between the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on November 28th, 2023 at Hank McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta, GA.
Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In the first night of the ACC/SEC Challenge, Kentucky clocked Miami 95-73, Georgia Tech pulled a stunner, beating #21 Mississippi State 67-59, Clemson took Alabama 85-77, Notre Dame lost to South Carolina 65-53, Syracuse frosted LSU 80-57, Missouri clipped Pitt 71-64 and Ole Miss smoked NC State 72-52.

We may get into the individual games more later, but Clemson was highly impressive. This year’s Alabama - so far anyway - has little in common with what we saw from the Tide last year, pre or post scandal. But the Tigers?

That’s a pretty sturdy team.

Alabama kept pushing back and Clemson just kept doing the right things and on the road. There was a time when you could just count on Clemson loosing a big game on the road. Not now.

At 6-0, look for the Tigers to be ranked this week.

The most impressive win overall was probably Georgia Tech’s. The Yellow Jackets never trailed and just took it to the Bulldogs. Afterwards coach Chris Jans said he warned his team that Tech was dangerous, but he admired their athleticism, particularly on defense.

On Wednesday, here are the matchups, other than Duke:

  • Tennessee @ UNC || 7:15 || ESPN
  • Texas A&M @ Virginia || 7:15 || ESPN2
  • Florida @ Wake Forest || 7:15 || ESPNU
  • Boston College @ Vanderbilt || 9:15 || SECN
  • Georgia @ Florida State || 9:15 || ACCN
  • Virginia Tech @ Auburn || 9:15 || ESPN2

Tennessee is a tough out for UNC. That’s a very hard-nosed team, as Duke knows all too well. Elliot Cadeau is still learning how to defend and he’ll have his hands full. This would be a huge win for UNC in every possible way, not least of all confidence. We’ll take the Heels, but in a squeaker.

Buzz Williams returns to Charlottesville where he knows exactly what to expect from Tony Bennett’s Virginia. He also brings Henry Coleman and Tyrece Radford, formerly of Duke and Virginia Tech respectively, back to the ACC, but Coleman is injured and Radford apparently has some sort of respiratory illness. So we’ll see. We’ll go with the ‘Hoos.

Wake is struggling and we don’t know if they can pull off Florida right now. The Gators have played Virginia, Florida State, Pitt and Baylor so far. They lost to Virginia and Baylor, but not by much.

BC at Vandy is interesting to say the least. When in doubt, go with coaching, and that means BC in this one. But it won't be easy and the archaic benches make life tough for visitors there (Vandy’s benches are under the baskets).

Georgia has been competitive but it looks like Florida State is looking like a factor again. Danny White will get it done at Georgia, but not Wednesday night.

Finally, Virginia Tech has a really solid backcourt but they’ve struggled overall. We don’t seem them winning this one.