ACC Basketball: Wednesday Night Recap

Syracuse 69 #12 Louisville 59

If anyone thought Syracuse (17-9, 8-5 ACC) would simply go through the motions after self-imposing a postseason ban, they were decidedly mistaken. The Orange outplayed Louisville (20-6, 8-5 ACC) at the Carrier Dome and put yet another dent during the final stretch in the Cardinals’ postseason resume.

Montrezl Harrell scored just three points in the second half for the Cards while Wayne Blackshear didn’t score on the night and fouled out with 5:16 remaining in the game. That really slowed a Louisville offense already without guard Chris Jones who was suspended indefinitely after an undisclosed violation of team rules.

Rakeem Christmas got back on track in a big way to lead the Orange with 29 points and eight rebounds. Duke transfer Michael Gbinije continued his hot play of late with 18 points, six assists and five boards.

Game Notes

  • Syracuse was 21-of-27 (77.8%) from the free throw line while Louisville was just 7-of-14.
  • The Orange posted an offensive efficiency rating of 115.4 to 97.4 for the Cardinals. That comes despite a 4-of-18 (22%) performance from 3-point range for ‘Cuse
  • Louisville still leads the all-time series 15-8 but the Cardinals are just 4-4 in games played at Syracuse.
  • This was the first meeting between the two schools since Louisville won in the 2013 Big East Tournament Championship game.
    Miami 76 Virginia Tech 52

    Facing a must win situation, the Miami Hurricanes (17-9, 7-6 ACC) rose to the occasion at home walking all over Virginia Tech (10-16, 2-11 ACC) in the second half of a 76-52 victory.

    After leading by just three points at halftime, Miami exploded out of the gate in the second half with a 17-4 run to blow the game wide open. The Canes outscored Tech 47-26 in the half.

    Tonye Jekiri lead Miami with 15 points and 15 rebounds. The Hokies had just 19 rebounds as a team. Adam Smith scored 15 points to lead Tech but oddly he played just 25 minutes.

    Buzz Williams may be a hockey fan judging by his use of mass substitutions Wednesday. The Hokies subbed four and five players at a time early and nine players saw action in the first five minutes which is impressive given the dwindling number of bench players for Tech.

    Game Notes

    • Miami now leads the all-time series against the Hokies 15-12.
    • Neither team took care of the basketball with the Hokies turning the ball over on 18.3% of possessions while Miami did so 20.1% of the time.
    • Every single player who saw the court for Tech finished with a negative scoring differential, meaning every Hokie was outscored while they were on the court, regardless of the lineup. The worst number was -22 for Justin Bibbs while the “best” was -2 for Shane Henry.


    Florida State 69 Boston College 60

    It was a frustratingly familiar storyline for Boston College (9-16, 1-12 ACC). Olivier Hanlan gave his all and it still wasn’t enough in a nine-point loss in Tallahassee.

    Hanlan scored 23 of BC’s 32 points in the first half but was kept largely in check after that to finish with 32. Aaron Brown chipped in 15 but they combined to score all but 13 of the Eagles’ points.

    Devon Bookert countered with 18 points for Florida State (15-12, 7-7 ACC) while freshmen Phil Cofer and Xavier Rathan-Mayes both added 13. Cofer also had nine rebounds.

    For the most part this game was incredibly even on paper but two categories were the difference. Despite shooting a slightly lower percentage from the line, the Seminoles made eight more free throws than the Eagles. The ‘Noles were also an uncharacteristic 8-of-12 (66.7%) from beyond the 3-point arc while BC was 3-14 (21.4%).

    Game Notes

    • Adding to the free throw angle, FSU put up a free throw rate of 68.2 versus just 32 for BC. That metric measures how often a team gets to the line.
    • This game marks the 234th win for coach Leonard Hamilton at Florida State. With three more win this season he’ll pass J.K. Kennedy to become the winningest coach in Seminole history.
    • Olivier Hanlan scored 32 points for the second consecutive game, repeating his double-overtime outing against Miami.

      #4 Duke 92 #15 North Carolina 90 OT

      There was a classy moment by Duke during the pregame to honor the late Dean Smith who died last week at the age of 83. Among his many accomplishments Smith defeated Duke 59 times during his legendary career, more than any other coach.

      After that, we were treated to a classic iteration of the blue blood rivalry with Duke ultimately pulling out a two-point squeaker in overtime.

      The Blue Devil backcourt came up huge in this one with Quinn Cook and freshman Tyus Jones both finishing with 22 points. Jones added eight assists and seven rebounds while Cook played the entire emotionally-charged 45 minutes (Tyus played all but two minutes). It was Jones who really sparked the comeback for Duke with big plays in a timely fashion.

      UNC’s big men played terrific for the lighter shade of blue with both Brice Johnson and Kennedy Meeks scoring 18 points. Johnson finished with 12 rebounds as well, and his fouling out near the beginning of overtime was a big blow to the Tar Heels.

      The Duke guards did a fine job on defense as well, locking down Carolina guard Marcus Paige and holding him to just five points, five rebounds and three assists.

      As part of the victory celebration, Duke students set the quad on fire (as is tradition) because…college.

      Game Notes

      • Duke shot an incredible 10-of-16 (62.5%) while North Carolina made just 2-of-10 from outside.
      • Fantastic freshman Jahlil Okfor posted 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds despite badly rolling his ankle near the end of the first half.
      • Over the last 88 meetings, the both schools have won 44 times. Duke has outscored Carolina 6,817-6,809 during that same span.
      • It’s the 73rd meeting when both teams were ranked with Duke now holding a 37-36 advantage in that scenario.
      • For the first time in 35 years Dick Vitale wasn’t on the call for Duke-UNC on ESPN’s coverage. Instead, viewers got the even-keeled analysis of Jay Bilas who I maintain would make a fine President of the NCAA as he’s a huge critic of how they do things.
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