ACC Basketball Roundup For Wednesday Night’s Action

There was a somber air about the proceedings around the ACC Wednesday night as the conference reeled following the killing of three North Carolina students. This comes just days after legendary UNC coach Dean Smith passed away at the age of 83. Our thoughts are with the North Carolina and Muslim communities during this difficult time.
Syracuse 70 Boston College 56

Both teams shot well from outside in the first half, but the story was inside the 3-point line. Boston College (9-14, 1-10 ACC) managed to hold Rakeem Christmas to just four points in the first period with both baskets coming in the final minute. Despite that outstanding defense, Syracuse (16-8, 7-4 ACC) shot 54.5% on 2-point attempts in the first half compared to just 22.2% from BC.

‘Cuse dominated on the glass outrebounding BC 33-22 with Christmas pulling down a game-high 10.

With all the attention on Christmas, Michael Gbinije had a strong night with 21 points (8-11 from the field) and the Orange were able to find rare scoring from B.J. Johnson (12) and mercurial freshman Kaleb Joseph (14) to help make up for lost offense.

The Eagles continue to rely solely on Olivier Hanlan for scoring and running the show on offense. Last week, he accounted for 44% of BC’s offensive output and he once again logged 39 minutes against the Orange. Even though he was not the leading scorer on the night, Hanlan continues to bear the burden alone with occasional help from backcourt mate Aaron Brown, who led BC with 19.

Game Notes

  • Syracuse is now just 3-5 on the road this season while BC has lost its last five games.
  • Despite the rough offensive night, Rakeem Christmas continues to lead the ACC in scoring average (all games) and ranks first in blocked shots per game.


Wake Forest 72 Miami 70

Freshman Konstantinos Mitoglou couldn’t miss in the first half for Wake Forest (12-13, 4-8 ACC), making 5-of-5 on his 3-point tries to lead Wake to on 42-33 halftime led. As a team, the Demon Deacons were 11-18 (61.1%) from three in the first half and the hot start wouldn’t subside.

Miami (15-9, 5-6 ACC) was more active on defense in the second half creating turnovers twice as often as the Canes gave it up (14 to 7). Still, Mitiglou did just enough finishing with game-highs in points (21) and rebounds (8) to lift the Demon Deacons to a close win.

Game Notes

    • Wake Forest is now 8-1 all-time against Miami in games played on the Deacons’ home court.
    • This marks just the eighth time this season the Canes have scored fewer than at least 18 bench points. They average 21.8 PPG (from substitutes) in ACC play compared to 16 against Wake.
    • This is a terrible loss for a Miami team already on the wrong side of the NCAA Tournament bubble. Wake came in rated No. 115 by Ken Pomeroy and No. 155 by NCAA RPI.


Louisville 69 Pittsburgh 56

Louisville (20-4, 8-3 ACC) got a pair of double-doubles from big man Montrezl Harrell and guard Terry Rozier to power past Pittsburgh (16-9, 5-6 ACC). Harrell finished with 28 points and 12 rebounds while Rozier had 22 points and 10 rebounds.

The Cardinals managed to hold red-hot forward Jamel Artis in check for the Panthers. Artis still had 15 points and nine rebounds, but that’s a step back from his 21.1 PPG in his previous seven outings.

Rick Pitino’s team did what they do best and avoided shooting 3-pointers (0-4 on the night) to focus on taking smarter shots inside. The Cardinals shot 50% from the field and 83.3% at the free throw line to outdo Pitt 110.9 to 89.7 in offensive efficiency.

Game Notes

      • Terry Rozier has now scored at least 20 points in nine of his last 17 games. He leads the ACC in points per game (ACC games) and is second in steals.
      • Louisville is now 44-11 in February during the last eight seasons and this makes the 13th consecutive campaign with at least 20 wins.
      • Jamie Dixon remains just ahead of Rick Pitino as the ninth winningest active coach in college basketball. Dixon has an overall winning percentage of .743 (304-105) just above Pitino’s .741 (715-249).


Virginia 50 NC State 47

UVA (22-1, 10-1 ACC) overcame a rough outing on offense in its first game without guard Justin Anderson to edge out NC State (14-11, 5-7 ACC) by three points Wednesday night in Raleigh. Virginia turned the ball over 12 times to just six for the Wolfpack, but State suffered yet another close loss at home.

Malcolm Brogdon scored 15 points to lead all scorers while Anthony Gill added nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

The Cavaliers pulled down 12 more rebounds than NC State and made the most of their offensive possessions. 52.6% of Virginia’s baskets were scored on an assist, compared to just 36.8% for the Wolfpack.

Since beating Duke January 11, NC State has posted a 2-6 mark and is trending decidedly in the wrong direction. There are now just two remaining games against ranked opponents (UNC, Louisville) for the Wolfpack and a late rally may not be enough to sneak into the NCAA Tournament at this point. Their brutal early ACC schedule was a definite contributor to their deteriorating situation. Despite having three reliable perimeter scorers and great rim protection, this team needs more offensive patience and post production.

        • Virginia now leads the all-time series 83-61 but the Wolfpack are 7-6 in PNC Arena.
        • UVA is now 11-0 away from home this season and 13-2 in ACC road games over the last two seasons.
        • Prior to this game, ESPN Daily RPI rated NC State’s schedule as the 9th toughest in the nation.


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