ACC Feast Week In Review

Posted by Brad Jenkins (@bradjenk) on November 28th, 2017

Ten ACC schools saw action in early season tournaments over the last week-plus and the results of those games for conference teams were mixed. A shaky 5-7 start in the first five events caused some early concern, but those tournaments mostly involved lower-tier ACC clubs, and the results improved as the better teams took the court later in the week. Below we will review some Feast Week comparison statistics with the other six major basketball conferences (Power 5 plus the Big East and American) as well as some of the ACC’s best and worst team performances from the last 10 days.

The Big 12 solidified its position during Feast Week as the best and deepest conference in college basketball, taking home five tournament titles (remember, Kansas — the league’s best team — didn’t even participate), defined as neutral site victories in a winners-advance format. This restriction means that Virginia’s pair of wins in the NIT Season Tip-Off over Vanderbilt and Rhode Island count toward the ACC’s 15-10 overall record, but the Cavaliers’ home wins over Austin Peay and Monmouth do not. Also, games against non-Division I competition do not count either, so wins by Notre Dame and Michigan over Chaminade (as well as California’s loss to the Silverswords) are not included. Up next are some of the highs and lows involving ACC squads last week.

THE GOOD

Three Tournament Titles for ACC Teams. They are listed below.

  • VirginiaNIT Season Tip-Off. The Cavaliers were very impressive in dispatching two KenPom top-60 teams in Brooklyn last week. Virginia jumped out to a 26-point halftime against Vanderbilt on the way to a 68-42 win on Thanksgiving Day, and then the Cavaliers methodically wore down Rhode Island, 70-55, in the title game. Tony Bennett‘s defense is already in prime condition in holding those two opponents to a combined 0.78 points per possession (PPP). The Wahoos kept things rolling on Monday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge by holding visiting Wisconsin to 0.65 PPP in a 37-point outing.

Mike Brey’s sideline attire in Hawaii may not have been formal, but there was nothing casual about Notre Dame’s title-winning performance in Maui. (USA TODAY Sports Images)

  • Notre DameMaui Invitational. Things looked rather bleak for the Fighting Irish after 20 minutes of action in last Wednesday’s championship game against Wichita State. Down by 16 points, Mike Brey‘s group proceeded to then launch a dramatic comeback to edge the Shockers behind Bonzie Colson‘s 25 points and 11 rebounds. Notre Dame reached the title contest by dominating Chaminade (83-56) and LSU (92-53) in its first two games on the islands.
  • DukePK-80 (Motion Bracket). Speaking of comebacks, Mike Krzyzewski‘s team needed three in a row to take this championship. In the opener against Portland State, Duke trailed at the half before winning 99-81. The Blue Devils next overcame a 16-point second half deficit to beat Texas, 85-78, in overtime. Finally, in Sunday night’s championship game, Duke looked dead in the water in trailing Florida by 17 points midway through the second half. Once again, however, the Blue Devils stormed back to edge the Gators, 87-84. Freshman stud Marvin Bagley III was the star of the event, averaging 27.3 points and 15.0 rebounds over the three games.

Biggest Upset Win: NC State, 90-84, over Arizona – Battle 4 Atlantis. At the time — before Arizona lost all three of its games in this event — the Wolfpack’s victory appeared to be much more significant. Still, it represents the first big win of new head coach Kevin Keatts‘ tenure even if his team was unable to avoid losses to Northern Iowa (64-60) and Tennessee (67-58) afterward.

THE BAD

  • Worst Loss: Wake Forest, 77-74 to Drake (KenPom #197) – Paradise Jam. Despite this result and several others like it in the Demon Deacons’ abysmal 2-4 start to the season, the school announced that it has extended head coach Danny Manning‘s contract.
  • Biggest Upset Loss: Virginia Tech, 77-71 to Saint Louis (KenPom #168) – 2K Classic. The perimeter-oriented Hokies can’t afford to shoot so badly (40.4% FG) on the same nights that they also get handled on the boards (Saint Louis held a +10 rebound edge).

THE UGLY

  • Ugliest Loss: Pittsburgh, 85-54 to Penn State – Legends Classic. Incredibly, the final 31-point margin of this game was not indicative of the complete and total beatdown absorbed by the Panthers. The Nittany Lions led by as many as 42 points on their way to snapping a seven-game losing streak to their intrastate rival.
  • Ugliest Game: North Carolina, 63-45 loss to Michigan State – PK-80 (Victory Bracket). The Tar Heels experienced a historically poor offensive performance in this title game, shooting a frigid 24.6 percent from the floor (worst in school history) and committing 16 turnovers. The Spartans’ offense did not improve the game’s aesthetic quality much either, though, as Michigan State also shot poorly (40.0%) and was extremely careless with the ball (24 turnovers).
Brad Jenkins (292 Posts)


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