ACC Basketball: Weekly Update

In our newest segment on InsideTheACC, we bring you storylines from the week that was across the ACC. Supplemented with a weekend update on Mondays, this new segment will be your one-stop shop for all of your weekly basketball information, twice a week. Without further ado, let’s get to some of the top stories since Monday across the conference.


Five Conference Players Listed on Midseason Wooden Award Watch List

The Wooden Award, which is given annually to college basketball’s best player, named its midseason top 25 watch list this week, with five ACC players making the ranking. Duke sophomore Grayson Allen, North Carolina seniors Brice Johnson and Marcus Paige, Louisville senior Damion Lee, and Virginia senior Malcolm Brogdon were all listed in the list after their strong starts to the 2015-2016 campaign.

While all five players have had their share of notable performances, North Carolina’s Brice Johnson holds the crowning performance of the regular season thus far. In a January 4th performance on the road against Florida State, Johnson led the Tar Heels to a 106-90 performance by going 14 of 16 from the floor in a 39-point, 23-rebound explosion to lead his team to a 2-0 start in ACC play.

 

#13 Virginia Defeats #8 Miami to Snap Losing Streak
 

It was an inauspicious start to the conference season for the Virginia Cavaliers. Entering ACC play, the Cavaliers had cruised to an 11-1 start, with their lone blemish coming an a road upset against George Washington. After defeating Notre Dame by 11 on January 2nd to start conference play out on the right foot, the Cavaliers dropped two games in a row for the first time since December of 2013, as they dropped consecutive road match-ups against Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech.

Sitting at 1-2 in ACC play, Tuesday night’s home game against #8 Miami became as close to a must-win situation as there can be in early January. The ‘Hoos responded accordingly, as they seem to do time and time again at home, beating the Hurricanes 66-58. Malcolm Brogdon led all scorers with 20 points for the Cavaliers, who shot 51% from the floor as a team.

While the up-and-down nature of Virginia’s play in road games will remain a storyline for the rest of the season, fans of the team can take a momentary sigh of relief, as the Cavaliers are not in a free-fall that some may have feared.

 

Clemson Continues Their Hot Start in ACC Play, Upsetting #9 Duke at Home
 

#9 Duke traveled to Greenville, South Carolina on Wednesday night to face-off against red-hot Clemson, and the trip did not go according to plan for Mike Krzyzewski’s club. The Blue Devils’ inconsistent play continued, as they were marred by 13 turnovers and a 2-7 effort from the free throw line en route to a 68-63 defeat at the hands of the Tigers.

Clemson forwards Jaron Blossomgame (17 points) and Donte Grantham (16 points) paced the Tigers (11-6, 4-1) to their third win in eight days, and their second victory over a ranked opponent in that same span, after they took down #21 Louisville 66-62 last Sunday. The Tigers take on #8 Miami on Saturday afternoon, who will be looking to bounce-back after their loss to #13 Virginia earlier this week.

 

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