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ACC Roundup: Louisville Was Really Impressive Wednesday Night. Yes, Louisville.

Louisville lost the game but gained a ton of respect.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 15 Virginia at Louisville
 LOUISVILLE, KY - FEBRUARY 15: Virginia Cavaliers guard Armaan Franklin (4) handles the ball during a college basketball game against the Louisville Cardinals on February 15, 2023 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In Wednesday’s ACC Action, Clemson crushed Florida State 94-54, Georgia Tech surprised Virginia Tech 77-70 and Louisville...well, Louisville did something great Wednesday night: they won respect, from anyone who watched them compete and a real dose of self-respect too.

The Cardinals didn’t win against Virginia, but they pushed the #7 team in the country every second of the way.

Louisville has reliably faded late in games in this most trying season, but not Wednesday. When Kihei Clark missed the front end of a one-and-one with :30 seconds left, Louisville got the rebound and had a chance to push the game to overtime.

Kamari Lands missed, but stop and think about it: a 3-23 team pushed the #7 team in the country to the very last seconds. That team deserves a lot of respect.

El Ellis had 21 points for the Cards. All five starters got at least 31 minutes and three hit double figures

Kihei Clark and Armaan Franklin both scored 14 points. Jaylen Gardner and Ben Vander Plas each scored 10 points.

Basically Louisville played hard, played together, and is worthy of respect for what they did Wednesday night. This team could easily pack it in, but they kept trying. It didn’t pay off against Virginia, at least not in terms of a win, but it shows that, despite the record, the Cardinals are getting better and, not incidentally, they’re listening to their coach.

Well done.

Obviously Virginia Tech misses Keve Alum and Storm Murphy, and those are major losses. Hunter Captor’s injury hurt too.

Still, the Hokies have really fallen off.

Teams have lost to Georgia Tech, even though the Yellow Jackets are not at all impressive. They have some talent, they can defend and they generally play hard.

What they don’t do well is shoot. Yet against the Hokies, Georgia Tech shot 11-22 for 50 percent on threes and 44.8 percent overall.

Georgia Tech built a 52-36 second-half lead and the Hokies actually did some thing very well. Justyn Mutts came close to a triple-double for the second straight game. The Hokies passed brilliantly and had 15 offensive rebounds.

But letting a poor shooting team go off like that really doesn't speak well of Virginia Tech’s defense. It may end up that Young gets a mulligan on this season. He’s already proved himself. But he’d be wise to not do this twice.

Clemson had lost three straight prior to Florida State and was probably ready to take out some frustrations, which they did admirably.

Cam Corhen put FSU up 3-0 and that was it for Florida State being ahead in this one. Clemson built a 24 point lead in the first half and shot 60 percent for the game, including 12-25 on threes. In the second, Clemson led by as much as 41 points.

The best news for Florida State is that Baba Miller, who has had some really bad luck as a freshman, started and had 12 points, six rebounds and two assists. He also shot 4-6.

It’s been a really tough year for Leonard Hamilton and his team. With the loss, Florida State falls to 8-19. However, the ‘Noles are 6-10 in the ACC, including a win over first place Pitt.

ACC Standings