ACC Basketball Week in Review 1/28-2/3

Rough Week Against the Commonwealth for No. 23 NC State

The Wolfpack gave it their all Wednesday night in a 66-65 overtime loss to No. 3 Virginia. The Cavaliers’ standard star trio of De’Andre Hunter, Ty Jerome, and Kyle Guy all finished in double figures for scoring, but State limited the damage as Hunter led the way with 15. The Wolfpack made just 7-of-26 (26.9%) from three-point range, but that figure would get considerably worse against No. 12 Virginia Tech.

It was a tough week for Kevin Keatts despite clear improvement overall this season (Photo by Kevin Larkin,

State finished a remarkable 9-of-54 (16.7%) shooting overall and just 2-of-28 (7.1%) from outside in a 47-24 loss. No one scored in double figures for the Wolfpack (16-6, 4-5) and poor Braxton Beverly finished the game 0-for-12 from the field including nine missed three-point attempts. The Hokies scored their fewest points of the season and won by 23. It marked the fewest points in a game for the Wolfpack since 1968 and it’s back to the drawing board for Kevin Keatts after an 0-2 week.

No. 12 Hokies Win Twice but Lose Justin Robinson

A comfortable win on the road at Miami proved costly for the Hokies Wednesday when senior guard Justin Robinson went down with an apparent foot injury. Virginia Tech (18-3, 7-2) has been silent on the matter, though several online sources have reported it’s a broken toe that will likely require significant missed time.

That’s obviously bad news for a team that was already incredibly thin and now will be forced into a six-man rotation. It worked against a shockingly inept State team Saturday, but how sustainable that is remains to be seen. The good news for Tech is that guard Wabissa Bede had one of his better games of the season running the Tech offense for all 40 minutes, and freshman reserve Isaiah Wilkins scored five points and seven rebounds to ease the burden on the starters.

No. 9 North Carolina Upends No. 16 Louisville

The Tar Heels got a vintage performance from Luke Maye who led all scorers and rebounders with 20 points and 11 boards in a 79-69 UNC victory. The Tar Heels (17-4, 7-1) only got eight points off the bench, but that’s hardly an issue when four of five starters post double figure scoring performances. UNC outrebounded the Cardinals by 17 and got to the free throw line 10 more times than their opponent which proved to be the difference.

Louisville (16-6, 7-2) is still in a great position that few predicted coming off an offseason filled with turmoil. The loss Saturday snapped a six-game winning streak, but the Cardinals currently sit in a three-way tie for third place in the ACC. Things will get tougher though with five of their remaining nine regular season games are against ranked opponents.

Quick Hits

-Since the upset of North Carolina State —which has proven to be an outlier and not something overly noteworthy— Wake Forest has resorted to the mean and lost four straight. They’re now 8-13 overall and 1-8 in the ACC. They only scored 37 points against Clemson Sunday, giving State’s historic low a serious run. Times are lean in Winston-Salem.

-Duke ran roughshod over a solid 16-win St. John’s team Saturday. The Blue Devils (19-2, 11-1) won by 30 points. Zion Williamson had 29 points and R.J. Barrett tossed in a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds.

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-Virginia (20-1, 8-1) continues to rack up wins, though the close call against N.C. State reminds you that they are in fact mortal. The 10-point win over Miami Saturday was actually sneaky dominant. The ‘Hoos finished with 20 more rebounds and 10 more assists, but unusually turned it over twice as much as Miami (9-12, 1-8). The Hurricanes just don’t have enough bodies right now due to injuries and eligibility issues.

-Clemson kept Wake Forest under 20 points in both halves of a 64-37 drubbing Sunday. The win keeps Clemson in the postseason hunt at 13-8 overall and 3-5 in conference.

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