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Jan
29
2018

A mid-season look at each ACC Basketball team.

With nine teams having played nine league games, and seven teams having played eight, ACC Men’s Basketball is just about at the midpoint of its league season. With a month left in this season’s schedule, let’s take a look at where each team is in the standings, and who their next two games are against:

1. Virginia (9-0 ACC, 20-1 overall)

Since their Dec. 5th 68-61 loss at West Virginia, the Cavaliers have run off 12 consecutive wins, including nine in the ACC.  The ‘Hoos are playing outstanding defense, holding their opponents to 29.1% shooting from the 3-point line, 37.0% overall. They are forcing nearly 15 turnovers per game, while only committing nine themselves.  Virginia is only surrendering 52.1 points per game.  Offensively they average 69 points per contest on 46.5% field goal shooting, and make 38.6% of their shots from beyond the arc. Although guards Kyle Guy and Devon Hall are the only double figure scorers contributing 15.2 and 12.7 points respectively, six other guys have played in all 21 games and combine to score 38 points per game.  With the way the Cavalier play defense, that’s enough for them to win games.

They take good care of the basketball and don’t beat themselves.  In their big win at Duke this past Saturday, they only turned the ball over 5 times while forcing 16 Blue Devil miscues.  That resulted in Virginia scoring 14 points off those turnovers.  Virginia has two games this week: Jan. 31st hosting Louisville and Feb. 3rd at Syracuse.

2. Louisville (6-2 ACC; 16-5 overall)

After splitting their first two ACC games, the Cardinals have won five of their last six conference games. With eight guys playing in at least 20 games, the Cardinals have a nice nucleus.  Ray Spalding is emerging as one of the most versatile players in the league, ranking fourth in the league in rebounding (9.3 per game), 7th in blocks (2.1 per game), and tied for 7th in steals (1.7).  He’s also averaging 11 points per contest.  Center Anas Mahmoud leads the league in blocks with 3.4 per contest. As stated above in the Virginia paragraph, the Cardinals visit Virginia this coming Wednesday, and host Florida State Saturday, Feb. 3rd.

3. Duke (7-3 ACC; 19-3 overall)

Super freshmen Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter, Jr. combined to score 44 points on 19 baskets (including a 3-pointer by Carter, Jr) against Virginia, but it wasn’t enough to pull out a victory in the 2-point loss.  The rest of the team shot 8 for 26.  Still the Blue Devils only lost by a basket and their defense held the Cavaliers to 39% shooting from the floor, including 27% from 3-point land.  Bagley III continues to lead the league in scoring, rebounding, and field goal percentage.  Duke beat Notre Dame Monday night, then has an out of conference contest in New York vs. St. John’s of the Big East Conference.

4. Clemson (6-3 ACC; 17-4 overall)

After scoring 36 points as a team in the 25-point loss at Virginia last Tuesday, the Tigers rallied to pull out a 72-70 win at Georgia Tech last night (Sunday, Jan. 28th).  Gabe Devoe scored 25 points while Shelton Mitchell and Marcquise Reed combined to score 30 more in the victory.  The Tigers took good care of the basketball only making 7 turnovers.  Reed also dished out 11 assists.  Clemson shot 10-for-21 from beyond the arc.  The Tigers host North Carolina on Tuesday and go to Wake Forest Saturday.

5. Florida State (5-4 ACC; 16-5 overall)

The Seminoles are riding a 3-game winning streak and lighting up the scoreboard while doing it.  In their 5 league wins, they are averaging nearly 93 points per game, and scored a season-high 103 against Miami this past Saturday.  They shoot 37.2% from the 3-point line as a team, and 48.4% overall, which ranks third in the ACC.  The Seminoles take to the road for their next 2 games as they visit Wake Forest on Jan. 31st and Louisville Feb. 3rd.

6. North Carolina (5-4 ACC; 16-6 overall)

The Tar Heels have dropped their last two games, at Virginia Tech, and at home in overtime to North Carolina State. In the Virginia Tech game, North Carolina only went to the free throw line 5 times the entire game (they made them all), while the Hokies shot 12 free throws and made 8.  UNC shot 42.9% from the floor vs. Tech’s 47.6% accuracy.  In the NC State game, the Tar Heels out-rebounded the Wolf Pack by 14, but State shot 50% from the 3-point line (15 of 30). Luke Maye had 54 points and 21 rebounds total in these two games. This week North Carolina goes to Clemson on Tuesday and hosts Pittsburgh Saturday.

7. North Carolina State (5-4 ACC; 15-7 overall)

The Wolfpack got a huge overtime win in Chapel Hill over the Tar Heels in overtime.  After losing their first two league games of the season, N.C. State has rallied to win 5 of their last seven games.  With wins over Duke, Clemson, and UNC, North Carolina State is proving they are very capable of beating anyone.  They host Notre Dame Saturday.

8. Miami (4-4 ACC; 15-5 overall)

The Hurricane is at .500 in the league so far.  Their wins are over Florida State, NC State, Pittsburgh and Louisville.  Their losses at Georgia Tech, at Clemson, home to Duke, and at Florida State.  Their games this week are Wednesday hosting Pittsburgh, and Saturday at Virginia Tech.

9. Syracuse (4-4 ACC; 15-6 overall)

Currently riding a 3-game winning streak, the ‘Cuse has rallied to be .500 in the league again.  They currently are the second best defensive team in the ACC behind Virginia as they’re holding their opponents to 63.2 points per game.  Opponents are only shooting 37.9% from the floor against them, which again ranks second in the league again to Virginia.  In the win at Pittsburgh Saturday, they blocked 10 Panther shots.  They rank second in the league in rejections behind Louisville, as they are blocking more than 6 shots per game.  Center Bourama Sidibe had a monster game vs. Pittsburgh as he led the Orange with 18 points, 16 rebounds, and 3 blocks.  Tyus Battle ranks third in the league in scoring at 19.7 points per contest.  The Orange goes to Georgia Tech Wednesday and hosts the conference’s #1 team Virginia Saturday before a large crowd in the Carrier Dome.

10. Virginia Tech (4-4 ACC; 15-6 overall)

After losing two in a row at Louisville and at home to Florida State, the Hokies got a huge win over North Carolina and won at Notre Dame.  Wednesday, they go to Boston College for a tussle with the Eagles before hosting Miami Saturday in a game that could break the current 4-4 league record triumvirate that exists among the Hokies, the Hurricanes, and the Orange.

11. Boston College (3-5 ACC; 13-8 overall)

After starting the season with a respectable 6-3 record, the Eagles upset Duke in the league’s early December conference opener, 89-84.  Since then the Eagles have gone 6-5.  Hey everyone gets psyched for playing the team that beat Duke!  The Eagles host Virginia Tech Wednesday and welcome Georgia Tech on Sunday.

12. Georgia Tech (3-5 ACC; 10-11 overall)

After starting the conference season with a 3-1 record, the Yellow Jackets have dropped four straight league games.  Georgia Tech’s defense seems good enough but they’re not getting the stops they need to get at key points of a game.  They’re only outscoring their opponents by a total of 22 points over the entire season thus far. They host Syracuse Wednesday and visit Boston College on Sunday.

13. Notre Dame (3-6 ACC; 13-9 overall)

Has the injury bug bitten the Fighting Irish or what?  First Bonzie Colson goes down before the North Carolina State game, then they lost point guard Matt Farrell in the North Carolina State game.  He sat out the Syracuse, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina games, and returned for the Louisville and Clemson games.  He’s injured again, and sat out the Virginia Tech game this past Saturday.  Notre Dame took another loss to Duke to Monday night.  The Irish visit North Carolina State Saturday.

14. Wake Forest (1-8 ACC; 8-13 overall)

The Deacons looked very promising at the beginning of the ACC season in their six-point loss in Chapel Hill to North Carolina, a game they should’ve won.  They then beat Syracuse in their league home opener, and the season has gone south and further south since.  Wake is in the midst of a 7-game losing streak, and their games this week are hosting Florida State Wednesday and Clemson Saturday.  They’re being outscored 80 to 68 per game on average in this losing streak

15. Pittsburgh (0-9 ACC; 8-14 overall)

It’s been a tough season for the Panthers, as they lost their best player Ryan Luther for the season.  Their last win was back on Dec. 22nd vs. Towson.  They have lost their nine ACC games by an average of 17.1 points per game, but their last two games at home they lost to North Carolina State by 4 points and to Syracuse by 5.  They continue to play hard and with this continued effort, they could score a conference win over someone.  Jared Wilson-Frame leads the team in scoring at 12.8 points per game, while Marcus Carr is scoring at a 10.4 per game clip. The Panthers are at Miami Wednesday and at North Carolina on Saturday.

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