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ACC Roundup - Notre Dame Impresses Again

As the Irish pick up a solid road win

NC State v Notre Dame
SOUTH BEND, INDIANA - JANUARY 3: Braeden Shrewsberry #11 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish dribbles during the game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Joyce Center on January 3, 2024 in South Bend, Indiana.
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

In Tuesday’s ACC Action, Florida State beat Wake Forest 87-82 and Notre Dame took care of Georgia Tech in overtime, 75-68.

We didn't have time to do an ACC Roundup Monday night but if we had, we would have taken Wake Forest and Notre Dame.

Wake’s loss seemed surprising, at least here. They had won nine straight and things seemed to be going very well.

What we missed was that FSU had won three straight and five out of their last six. None of them were overly impressive though: they really should have beat North Florida, Winthrop and Lipscomb. The story would have been a loss in any of those and Lipscomb was, in fact, a pretty bad loss.

And the other wins came against Georgia Tech and this past Saturday, Virginia Tech. But they tried very hard to blow that game, letting a 10 point lead with 2:19 nearly slip away.

So we didn't expect them to win this game.

Jamir Watkins, who started at VCU, had 19 points and Darin Green added 17.

Leonard Hamilton’s basic strategy of using depth hasn’t worked very well lately but it did here: FSU got 26 points off the bench.

Wake got 13 points off its bench - all by Parker Friedrichsen. Efton Reid and Andrew Carr were held to 4-9 between them and a collective 15 points.

Things will get interesting after this one: Florida State visits Notre Dame and Miami before Clemson comes calling. We’ll know a lot more after those games.

Speaking of Notre Dame, we’re not sure anyone is ahead of Irish coach Micah Shrewsberry for ACC Coach of The Year.

If you remember, a lot of people thought Notre Dame would not win a single ACC game. Well, they’re ahead of the curve there: Shrewsberry has led his team of young players and transfers to a 2-3 record which, as of now, is good for fifth place in the conference. There are five teams in ties for first and second place right now, but still: no one expected this.

Braeden Shrewsberry racked up 25 points on 7-12 overall and 5-9 from deep. The coach’s kid is emerging as one of the best three point shooters in the ACC and he’s changing Notre Dame’s offense. Look at what he did against Duke. You can’t leave him alone for a second.

This game went to overtime and Baye Ndongo, who has really been superb for a freshman big, but almost entirely inside, hit a great three to put it into overtime.

It wasn’t enough though as the Irish pulled away in OT. And it was Georgia Tech’s fourth loss in a row. That means they’ll come to Duke on Saturday ready for a serious brawl.

On Wednesday, Clemson goes to Virginia Tech, Louisville visits Miami, Boston College gets a cold nine-o-clocker in Syracuse and UNC visits NC State.

All of those are interesting in one way or another. Clemson and Virginia Tech both need a win, Louisville is back on the Kenny Payne death watch, Boston College and Syracuse are both at intriguing points in their rebuild and then there’s a classic ACC rivalry.

UNC is up to #7 and looking pretty good. After UNC’s win over Clemson, Hubert Davis said he let his players hash out what to do in a huddle which was pretty brilliant. Last year he didn’t trust his players and they didn't trust each other. It was a really smart move on Davis’s part.

State is not nearly as highly regarded but the Pack has done well so far. Their losses are to BYU, Ole Miss and Tennessee and they’ve been playing well lately. Consider the Notre Dame game. The Irish are really playing well and State pulled that one out on the road and they just clobbered Virginia Saturday.

So you can’t rule out a State upset. It just seems unlikely.

Wednesday’s ACC Action

  • Clemson @ Virginia Tech || 7:00 || ESPN2
  • Louisville @ Miami || 7:00 || ACCN
  • UNC @ NC State || 8:00 || ESPN
  • Boston College @ Syracuse || 9:00 || ACCN

ACC Standings