ACC Weekend Review: 02.06.17 Edition

Posted by Brad Jenkins (@bradjenk) on February 6th, 2017

Even though surprises and upsets galore dotted the national landscape on Saturday, the ACC experienced a fairly normal weekend of results. Still, there were some good conference storylines throughout the weekend: Jim Boeheim attained a milestone in his team’s home upset of Virginia; Mike Krzyzewski returned to the sideline following back surgery as Duke held off visiting Pittsburgh; and North Carolina triumphed over Notre Dame in a game that had to be rescheduled to Sunday in the Greensboro Coliseum due to a water crisis in Chapel Hill. Here are the highlights from the weekend around the ACC:

Jim Boeheim celebrates Syracuse’s big win over Virginia, the 1,000th victory of his career.
(Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

  • Best Win: Syracuse‘s 66-62 comeback win over Virginia on Saturday was important for several reasons. First, the fourth consecutive victory moved the Orange to a solid 7-4 mark in league play. Next, it also provides another high-quality win that will get them closer to the 10 or possibly even 11 conference wins that will be necessary for an invitation to the NCAA Tournament. Finally — even though the NCAA doesn’t agree — the 72-year-old Boeheim earned his 1,000th win as a head coach, every one of which came at his alma mater. The Orange were led by freshman Tyus Battle, who finished with a season-high 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting, as they rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit to notch the big win. Tony Bennett‘s Virginia teams have only suffered two defeats when leading by double-figures at the half — last year’s Elite Eight loss and Saturday’s defeat.

  • Worst Loss: NC State let another one get away at home in falling 84-79 to Miami on Saturday afternoon. The Wolfpack entered conference play as a projected NCAA Tournament team, but their hopes for any type of postseason play are in major jeopardy after suffering their 10th overall defeat this weekend. The Hurricanes took advantage of the Wolfpack’s weak perimeter defense, making 11-of-21 from deep, becoming the third consecutive NC State opponent to shoot over 50 percent from three-point land.

Davon Reed had a career scoring day in Miami’s big road win at N.C. State. (

  • Most Outstanding Player: Miami trailed NC State by nine points at the half but rallied to get itself back to .500 in league play. The catalyst for the comeback was senior Davon Reed, who finished with a career-best 26 points and seven rebounds. In the crucial first five minutes after the intermission, Reed scored nine points as the Hurricanes quickly caught the Wolfpack and made things uncomfortable the rest of the way. For the game, Reed hit seven of his 10 three-point tries to lead Miami’s barrage from deep.
  • Unsung Heroes: This was truly the weekend for strong reserve performances — five different bench players for victorious teams posted conference season-highs in scoring: North Carolina’s Tony Bradley (12 points), Florida State’s Braian Angola-Rodas (12), Louisville’s Mangok Mathiang (16), Wake Forest’s Mitchell Wilbekin (16) and Miami’s Ebuka Izundo (16). The biggest surprise among those five performances has to be from the sophomore Izundo, who also added six boards and made some crucial free throws down the stretch. He had not scored a single point in Miami’s four previous outings.
  • Most Efficient Offense/Least Efficient Defense: Florida State reached several highs while posting 1.49 points per possession in Sunday’s 109-61 rout of visiting Clemson — marking the best offensive rating of the Leonard Hamilton era. On the other side, the 109 points that Clemson gave up is easily the most a Brad Brownell team has ever allowed at the school. Florida State tied its season high of 17 threes and posted the best field goal percentage (66.1%) of the season of any ACC school.
  • Most Efficient Defense/Least Efficient Offense: In the same game as above, Clemson managed only 0.84 points per possession against a clearly fired-up Florida State defense. It’s almost like the teams were shooting at differently shaped baskets — as hot as the Seminoles were, the Tigers were equally cold. Clemson only made 37.5 percent of its attempts from the field and did itself no favors by giving the ball away on 30 percent of its possessions, resulting in a season-high 22 turnovers.
Upcoming Week – Four Games to Watch
  • Monday 2/6 – Louisville at Virginia (7:00 ET, ESPN)
  • Thursday 2/9 – North Carolina at Duke (8:00 ET, ESPN/ACCN)
  • Saturday 2/11 – Florida State at Notre Dame (2:00 ET, ESPN)
  • Sunday 2/12 – Virginia at Virginia Tech (6:30 ET, ESPNU)
Brad Jenkins (383 Posts)

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