Well the ACC regular season is over and on the final day we saw Virginia beat Louisville, Georgia Tech knock off BC, Virginia Tech handle Florida State, Syracuse handle Wake Forest with relative ease, Clemson pound Notre Dame and Miami top Pitt to win the regular season championship.
Miami was mostly in control against Pitt but Blake Hinson personally made it closer than it had been by scoring five points in the last :28 seconds to cut the lead to two. Pitt had a chance to win after Norchad Omier whiffed at the free throw line but Blake missed a long three with :02 on the clock as Miami prevailed, 78-76.
No surprise that Virginia beat Louisville of course. The Cards have been historically bad and at a minimum, the Cavs will give you a root canal. Louisville is now 4-27 and will likely be 4-28 after the first game in Greensboro, which we’ll get to presently.
Losing 75-60 is actually not too bad under the circumstances. Mike James shot 7-10 against Virginia’s stingy D so that should give Cards fans some hope for next year.
Hear this now, believe it later: Georgia Tech has gone from a trainwreck to a very dangerous team. Given up for dead by many people not too long ago, including us, the Yellow Jackets have won five of their last six and of their last eight. And while they defended admirably, the offense was atrocious.
Well not anymore.
Georgia Tech closed out at BC and that meant a game between two teams that have found a lot of heart lately. And they played like it too, especially down the stretch as they traded blows. But Georgia Tech hit some big shots and pulled away down the stretch after being down by nine, winning 73-65.
It certainly didn’t help BC that Quentin Post suffered an ankle injury just minutes into the game because he’s been terrific lately.
GT hit 11 threes and five of them were from Miles Kelly, who finished with 21.
Worth mentioning: Josh Pastner used only six players and the sixth man, Jalon Moore, only played 14 minutes. Somewhere, Bobby Cremins nods his approval.
It wouldn’t surprise us if Florida State, collectively, are secretly relieved that this season is almost over. Leonard Hamilton had this program purring until the last couple of years. Now it’s struggling.
If FSU is lucky, they’ll win a game in Greensboro and get into double digit wins.
Certainly they couldn’t stop an average Virginia Tech team. The Hokies shot 52 percent from the field and nearly matched that with 47 percent on three point attempts. Virginia Tech is dangerous, to be sure, but they’ve struggled a lot this season. Mike Young probably expected to finish the regular season better than 18-13, but there you go. At least they won on Senior Day, 82-60.
We can promise you he’s not nearly as frustrated as Leonard Hamilton has been. He’s long since established himself as a superior defensive coach but this team is just not very good on defense, or offense for that matter.
That whole 2-3 thing that Jim Boeheim so adores works better with an anchor and Saturday, Jesse Edwards was a hell of an anchor. He scored 27 points, had 20 boards, five steals and two blocks.
After a string of games that were widely considered defensively disastrous, Syracuse held Wake Forest to 63 points while scoring 72 of their own. What does it mean for Greensboro? Is it sustainable? Maybe, maybe not, but at least Syracuse fans have something else to talk about besides who their next coach will be.
Finally, Clemson just blew Notre Dame out of the water, winning 87-64. The Tigers couldn’t afford a bad loss and made sure it didn’t happen.
Mike Brey, who has had a very limited rotation, just put everyone in, playing 11 guys, including the oft-injured Robby Carmody.
Clemson finishes the regular season at 21-9 and 13-6 in the ACC, good for fourth place, which means they get a double-bye in Greensboro.
So that takes us to the newly arranged bracket. What do we get there?
- NC State
- Wake Forest
- Boston College
- Virginia Tech
- Florida State
- Georgia Tech
- Notre Dame
We’ll look more closely soon but here are our first thoughts.
On Tuesday, we’ll go with Georgia Tech over Florida State in the 2:00 game and BC over Louisville in the 4:30 match. In the evening, we’ll take Virginia Tech over Notre Dame.
Wake Forest gets an almost immediate rematch with Syracuse on Wednesday and we think they’ll win, not least of all because it’s essentially a home game. Cue Boeheim/Greensboro joke.
And what about Pitt vs. Georgia Tech? The Panthers beat them twice by double digits, but the Yellow Jackets are playing so well right now. We could see it happening, but we’d like their chances better if they had a deeper bench.
UNC will open play on Wednesday and most likely against Boston College. If BC has Post, that will help them enormously and they could win. It’s harder to see them doing it without him.
We’re not sure about NC State and Virginia Tech yet, but the one time they played this year was close.
On Thursday, Miami will advance no matter who they play.
Duke enters the fray too and plays whoever emerges between Georgia Tech, Florida State and Pitt, and that will most likely be Pitt. As we often say, we never bet against Duke.
If UNC advances past BC, they’ll run into the Virginia headache and that probably won't end well. Clemson will play the winner of NC State/Virginia Tech. If State advances, we like their odds; if it’s Virginia Tech, we’d probably go with Clemson.
Either way, Virginia seems destined to win the bottom of the bracket.
And that leaves a likely rematch for Duke with Miami, and maybe we’re wrong, but we think Duke would love another shot at the ‘Canes after the embarrassing loss down there.
This hasn’t been a vintage year for the ACC, but this should be a fun tournament, flaws and all.
- Seeds, Bracket Announced for 2023 New York Life ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament
- Clemson’s 2023 ACC Tournament schedule set
- Miami earns No. 1 seed in ACC, shares title with Virginia
- Co-Champions! UM survives Pitt to win share of ACC title for first time in 10 years
- Syracuse 72, Wake Forest 63: Orange end four-game losing skid on Senior Day
- Observations from Syracuse’s win over Wake Forest
- Jim Boeheim on an emotional day and the moment the Syracuse coach almost choked up
- Wake Forest loses at Syracuse 72-63 to end regular-season
- Mike Gminski, David Teel named co-winners of the ACC’s Skeeter Francis Award
- Full bracket for ACC Tournament; Notre Dame draws Virginia Tech
- Clemson basketball notches third-place finish in ACC standings
- FSU is the No. 12 seed in the 2023 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament
- Clemson hoops blasts Notre Dame, clinches top 4 seed in ACC Tournament
- Miami basketball survives late versus Pittsburgh earning ACC Co-Championship
- Miami clinches ACC regular season title in dramatic fashion
- The Canes Beat The Panthers 78-76, Win The 2022-23 ACC Regular Season Championship
- Louisville basketball ends first regular season under Kenny Payne 4-27