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ACC Roundup - Miami & Pitt Roll On

Things are looking great for the ‘Canes and Panthers

NCAA Basketball: Wake Forest at Miami (FL)
 Feb 18, 2023; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes guard Wooga Poplar (55) and guard Jordan Miller (11) react after a play against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during the second half at Watsco Center. 
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

In Tuesday’s ACC Action, Miami survived Virginia Tech 76-70 and Pitt downed Georgia Tech 76-68.

As we thought, Virginia Tech pushed Miami, leading in the first half by nine. The ‘Canes came back in the second though, going up by 10 before the Hokies cut that lead back.

Miami killed Virginia Tech on the line, hitting 15-19 to 5-7 for the Hokies. That translated into significant foul trouble for Mike Young’s team as Grant Basile and Justyn Mutts both finished with four each. Sean Pedulla had three.

All of Tech’s starters pulled more than 32 minutes with Hunter Cattoor going for 40.

Miami’s minutes weren’t that much different with only Wooga Poplar getting less than 34 (he had 25).

It’s been an unfortunate season for Virginia Tech and there’s almost no chance this team will make the NCAA tournament, unless it gets hot and wins the ACC Tournament to get there.

Thing is, there’s enough talent - and great shooting - to pull that off. And you can’t say that about some schools.

Take Georgia Tech.

The Yellow Jackets might make a bit of a run in the ACC and win a game or two. But there’s not enough offensive talent to do much more than that.

So they’re basically running out the string, finishing off a disappointing season.

The Yellow Jackets were 10-17 going into this game and they left it 11-17, as expected.

Still, Tech hung in there for much of the game. With 10:48 to play in the second half, Georgia Tech was up 50-49.

From there on, Pitt began to pull away and there wasn’t much Georgia Tech could do to stop it.

Federiko Federiko hit a dunk, then Nike Sibande scored. Javon Franklin scored a couple of free throws but Nelly Cummings nailed a three to make it 58-54 with 7:59 left.

Tech cut it to three with 65-62 on a Kyle Sturdivant three with 3:04 to go, but Pitt ran off five points and with 1:42 left, it was too much for this Tech team to overcome.

The question for Georgia Tech is becoming this: will Josh Pastner be back? He’s shown some chops periodically this season and his team still plays hard. But he’s had a seven-year run of mostly mediocrity and this year, barring a miracle, he’s going to have a losing record again.

It’s going to be a hard sell.

Pastner has deep roots in the game but we’d bet you that no one saw this coming. It would be absolutely spectacular if his dad had film of Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point game. Wow!

On Wednesday, Virginia plays Boston College in Beantown, Syracuse visits Jim Boeheim’s favorite southern town, Clemson, Wake Forest heads over to Raleigh to play NC State and UNC visits Notre Dame.

Virginia has been skating close to the edge lately and that might happen again, but we’re not sure BC will be able to pull that off. It’d be fun if they could though.

We like Clemson over the Orange. Littlejohn is a pain and the Tigers need a win.

State is now 21-7 and very dangerous. Wake is capable but the Deacs haven’t really put it all together. Watching Tyree Appleby and Terquavion Smith duel should be fun. Our money is on the Pack.

Finally, UNC and the Irish. UNC is favored and Notre Dame has been weak and the Irish have lost five straight. However, other than the loss to Wake Forest, the Irish have pushed Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Duke and Virginia to the end. They’re losing but they’re clearly not giving up.

Not sure we can say that about UNC right now. The Tar Heels seem to have chemistry problems for whatever reason and they’re losing track of Armando Bacot, especially late in the game. The Heels are 1-5 in their last six games and time is running out.

Wednesday’s ACC Action

  • Virginia vs. Boston College || 7:00 PM || ACCNX
  • Syracuse vs. Clemson || 7:00 PM || ACCN
  • Wake Forest vs. NC State || 9:00 PM || ACCNX
  • UNC vs. Notre Dame || 9:00 PM || ESPN

ACC Standings