ACC Roundup – Miami, Florida State Fall

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In Wednesday’s ACC Action, Virginia Tech beat Georgia Tech 81-66, Syracuse zapped NC State 81-66, Clemson surprised Florida State 75-69, Wake Forest crushed Pitt 91-75 and Notre Dame took out Miami 68-64.

The biggest news there is that Duke is now in sole possession of first place. Things could change, possibly Saturday, but for now, Duke’s in the driver’s seat.

Miami’s Jim Larranaga tried to limit three point shooting as Duke did, but Notre Dame got some this time, and also tried to turn them over and that didn’t work either: the Irish had just six.

Interestingly, after the controversial UNC-Louisville game Tuesday, there were only 12 free throw attempts in this game.

Like Miami, Florida State beat Duke and was at the top of the ACC standings. Well no more: FSU has lost three straight and Clemson pushed them down to seventh place.

Clemson took control late in the first half and kept it. Florida State did rally to within four with just under two minutes to go but couldn’t pull off the comeback. A trip to Wake Forest is next and that could be four straight.

The Deacs jumped all over Jeff Capel’s Pitt team, starting 9-0, and never let up. It was a long night for Jeff Capel, who was back on the sideline after a Covid-mandated time out. Femi Odukale had a sharp game with 23 points on 10-14 from the floor and John Hugley had 17 points and 12 boards. No one else did very well.

Wake put all five starters in double figures, hit 15 threes and shot 20-26 from the line.

As we’ve said all year, Syracuse is a struggling program but loaded with three point shooters who were going to have big nights.

They had one against NC State, hitting nearly 60 percent on threes. Cole Swider, Jimmy Boeheim and Jesse Edwards combined to shoot 22-27.

It’s just a snake-bit year for State. On the bright side, Dereon Seabron is still a load and Terquavion Smith is really emerging. Since the Louisville game on January 12th, Smith has scored 24, 19, 14, 20, 34 and 25. Notre Dame was an outlier; he scored just four there.

But the guy is looking better and better. State’s future is very promising.

Virginia Tech had really hit the skids with three straight losses but things are looking brighter now. The Hokies took out Florida State this past Saturday and gave Georgia Tech a good thrashing Wednesday.

Virginia Tech led by 22 in the second half and cruised home. This isn’t a great Georgia Tech team but they do play good defense, so Virginia Tech’s 52.8 percent was impressive.

Good news for the Hokies: they get Pitt in back-to-back games, then Syracuse, Virginia and UNC, all at home. The rest of the schedule is really pretty favorable and the Hokies have a shot to finish quite well.

And consider this: everyone has talked about Duke and UNC maybe not being as good. But now Duke is back in first place and UNC is tied for second.

Small ACC note: Rick Pitino has endorsed Kenny Payne for the Louisville job. And he didn’t completely dismiss the possibility of taking the Maryland job either.

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