ACC Basketball: Wednesday Preview

Syracuse (15-8, 6-4, RPI: 71) Vs. Boston College (9-13, 1-9, RPI: 133), 7:00 PM ET, ESPN2

Game Notes

    • In their first game since the announcement of a self-imposed postseason ban, Syracuse lost on the road to Pitt, 83-77.

  • Rakeem Christmas remains the sole reason to watch Syracuse. He’s averaging 18.5 points per game and 9.3 boards as he looks to become a future NBA lottery pick.
  • BC is led by Olivier Hanlan, who averages 17.5 points per game for the Eagles while completing running the show on offense.
  • The Eagles aren’t ranked too highly in any offensive or defensive categories, which explains their 1-9 ACC record.


I’m sure ESPN was expecting a Syracuse team that wasn’t being hung by a postseason ban when this game was scheduled for TV at the beginning of the season. What we have here is a game of no consequence, ladies and gentlemen. The Orange won’t be playing in the ACC or NCAA Tournaments, and Boston College never had a prayer this season. If you enjoy NBA basketball, this game is for you, as you can get some more early scouting in on ‘Cuse forward Rakeem Christmas.

I’ll take the Orange, I guess.

Syracuse 70  Boston College 64


Miami (FL) (15-8, 5-5, RPI: 55) Vs. Wake Forest (11-13, 3-8, RPI: 153), 7:00 PM ET,

Game Notes

    • The Hurricanes were able to snap their three game losing streak with a much-needed victory on Sunday against Clemson. They were able to ramp up their defense and only allow 45 points on 30% shooting.
    • Miami’s Angel Rodriguez continued his horrific shooting slump on Sunday, as he shot 3-11 from the field (27.3%), lowering his season-long shooting percentage to 32.7%.
  • Wake got smoked by Georgia Tech on Saturday by 14, making you wonder if their previous two wins against Virginia Tech and NC State were a fluke.
  • Codi Miller-McIntyre and Devin Thomas are the two players to keep an eye on for the Demon Deacons. They average 14.5 and 12.7 points per game respectively.


Miami has the 76th ranked scoring defense in the country, while Wake has the 288th ranked scoring defense in the country. Advantage: Hurricanes

Miami has the 178th ranked scoring offense, while Wake has the 90th ranked scoring offense in the country. Advantage: Wake

So something’s gotta give right? Could it be the home court advantage? Wake Forest has won three out of their last four home games, while the Hurricanes haven’t won on the road since January 13th against Duke. Miami has been so inconsistent recently, that it’s hard to have any confidence in them when they play, especially on the road. I’ll take Wake in an upset.

Wake Forest 76   Miami 74


Pittsburgh (16-8, 5-5, RPI: 66) Vs. #9 Louisville (19-4, 7-3, RPI: 11), 8:00 PM ET,

Game Notes

  • Pitt has been hot of late. Since dropping a game to Virginia Tech on the road, the Panthers have won three straight with their most recent win coming on Saturday against Syracuse at home.
  • The Panthers’ Jamel Artis has been hot of late. Over the last five games, Artis has averaged 21.4 points per game on 56% shooting from the floor.
  • Louisville dropped a close game on the road at Virginia on Saturday night, losing 52-47, despite getting 16 points from Terry Rozier.
  • The Cardinals’ Top 20 national scoring defense should give the Panthers fits tonight, as Montrezl Harrell is the perfect player on the defensive end to counter the hot hand of Jamel Artis for the Panthers.
  • In the teams’ first meeting on 1/25, Louisville won 80-68 behind 26 points from Terry Rozier, and 18 points from Montrezl Harrell.


I like the way that both of these teams are playing right now. Much like the first match-up, I think that Pittsburgh’s backcourt’s ability to handle the full-court press defense of Louisville will go a long way to deciding this game. If the Cardinals are able to force turnovers and get cheap buckets in transition, they could win this game by at least 15 points. However, if Pitt can break the press and get Jamel Artis and Michael Young going in the paint, they can keep this game close and potentially even pull off the upset.

Ultimately though, the Panthers are going to have a tough time containing Terry Rozier. Louisville guard is fantastic at driving to the basket, but if given room, he has the ability to knock down the outside shot as well. He’s the one guy that Pittsburgh couldn’t stop in the first meeting, and he should have similar success tonight. I’ll take the Cards.

Louisville 84   Pittsburgh 76

#2 Virginia (21-1, 9-1, RPI: 3) Vs. N.C. State (14-10, 5-6, RPI: 63), 8:00 PM ET,

Game Notes

  • Virginia will be playing in their first game without starting guard Justin Anderson, who broke a bone in his shooting hand on Saturday against Louisville. He is expected to miss about a month.
  • Expect more playing time for Evan Nolte, as well as Marial Shayok, in the wake of Anderson’s absence.
  • Virginia continues to hold down the fort as the top scoring defense in the country, but it will be interesting to see how their defense is affected without the length of Anderson.
  • The ‘Pack have managed to lose five out of seven, with their latest loss coming against Wake Forest 88-84 last Tuesday. They went from being a bubble team in the NCAA Tournament to an NIT team in a hurry.
  • NC State’s defense has given up at least 75 points in three out of their last four games. The Wolfpack are 1-3 in that stretch.


How will Virginia coach Tony Bennett make up for the loss of one of his best players? This is definitely the most intriguing game of the night. If the Wolfpack play how they are capable of playing, they can hang with Virginia. In their first meeting on January 7th, NC State was in it for most of the game with their hot shooting, before Justin Anderson and company came alive late, en route to a 10-point Cavalier win. Now without Anderson, how will UVA respond on both ends of the floor? Defensively, his injury makes the biggest impact, as his length and athleticism were the reasons why the Cavaliers were so tough to play against in the half-court. There have been plenty of games this season where he did not make his mark offensively, but defensively Anderson was always causing the opponents issues. How the ‘Hoos cope with the loss of one of their best players is the single biggest storyline in this game, and should swing this closely contested match-up one way or the other.

I like Virginia in a close one once again, but NC State’s Barber and Lacey will have their say.

Virginia 58   NC State 50

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