Around the ACC: Upset Saturday

There were four games in ACC play on Saturday, and three of them finished with unexpected results.

The biggest of course happened in Charlottesville where Virginia Tech knocked off No. 2 Virginia 61-60 in overtime. The Hokies’ high-scoring offense was not surprisingly held in check (just 16 points in the second half), but Tech was able to stifle Virginia too.

Virginia Tech (18-7, 7-5) managed to get to the rim with Justin Robinson (20 points, seven assists) and even when he stopped scoring down the stretch, he was able to create good looks for his teammates with passes off drives to the bucket. Buzz Williams spoke at halftime about the importance of matching the Cavaliers in field goal attempts. Tech ultimately fell short with 51 attempts to UVA’s 61, but the Hokies made 22 shots versus 21.

Virginia (23-2, 12-1) took far more three-pointers than the Hokies, but made just 11-of-38 (28.9%). Normally reliable shooters Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy combined to go 4-of-24 from outside. Despite the rough outing, the ‘Hoos remain tied for fourth in the ACC in three-point shooting.

Virginia was also ranked the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament selection committee’s initial ranking of the top 16 teams. That will surely change a dozen times between now and selection Sunday, but it’s fun to argue about in the meantime.

Eagles Clip Canes

Boston College scored a nice upset of their own taking down No. 25 Miami 72-70 Saturday in Chestnut Hill. The dynamic BC backcourt came through once again with Jerome Robinson scoring a game-high 29 points. Ky Bowman put together a show of his own with 26 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, and three steals to lead the Eagles (15-10, 5-7).

While the NCAA’s are out of reach this season for a much-improved Boston College program, the NIT isn’t completely out of the question with talented guards like these. There are winnable games left beginning Tuesday night at Pittsburgh. If you’re looking for a reason to watch an otherwise unappetizing game, here’s a deep stat to get you hooked:

Here Come the Irish?

The MASH-unit that is the 2017-18 Fighting Irish men’s basketball team put together a stellar effort in a decisive 84-69 victory over Florida State Saturday. Matt Farrell had a career best and game-high 28 points to lead Notre Dame (15-10, 5-7) to its second-consecutive win after losing seven in a row.

Perhaps the most shocking aspect of the win is that the more athletic and longer team in Florida State (17-8, 6-7) tied Notre Dame with 35 rebounds apiece. The Seminoles are quite possibly the most puzzling team in the conference. This latest flub comes on the heels of blowing a big lead at home against Virginia and a four-point loss to Wake Forest the week prior means the ‘Noles have dropped three of four.

Two games remain against No. 18 Clemson plus favorable match ups with BC and Pitt, but FSU needs to make something positive happen in a hurry to feel good about their postseason plans.

News and Notes

No. 9 Duke cruised to an 80-69 win over Georgia Tech Sunday led by 23 points and six assists from Grayson Allen. Georgia Tech’s promising freshman point guard Jose Alvarado (12.1 points, 3.7 rebounds. 3.1 assists) suffered an unpleasant elbow injury after colliding with Javin DeLaurier.

Alvarado was in good spirits after the game, but his season is likely over for the Yellow Jackets (11-14, 4-8). He was averaging 39.3 minutes per game in ACC play.

Also on the injury front, Louisville wing Deng Adel missed his second consecutive game Sunday after injuring his ankle against Syracuse February 5. He’s still listed as day-to-day and thankfully for Cardinals fans, the team has the week off before consecutive games against North Carolina and Duke.

The junior is Louisville’s leading scorer with 15.1 points per game. He’s a finalist for the Julius Erving Award given to the nation’s top small forward. Also among the finalists is Duke’s Gary Trent Jr.

Follow me on Twitter @BestCates and follow @InsideTheACC for more Atlantic Coast Conference coverage.

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