ACC Weekend Review: 02.12.18 Edition

Posted by Brad Jenkins (@bradjenk) on February 12th, 2018

It was another exciting Saturday of ACC hoops over the weekend, with the highlight being the biggest upset of the conference season as Virginia Tech handed Virginia its first conference loss in Charlottesville. In other action, North Carolina backed up last week’s impressive victory over Duke by winning a shootout over N.C. State in Raleigh, Notre Dame blitzed Florida State in South Bend, and Boston College rallied late to stun Miami. On Sunday night, Duke ended its two-game losing streak by handling Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Here are the highlights from this weekend’s action around the ACC.

Justin Robinson celebrates Virginia Tech’s big upset win over Virginia on Saturday night. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

  • Best Win: Few gave Virginia Tech much of a chance to knock off Virginia in John Paul Jones Arena after suffering a humiliating 26-point home loss to the Cavaliers in early January. But this time around, Buzz Williams‘ team was ready from the opening tip — the Hokies led by seven at the half and held the lead for most of the second half. After the Cavaliers rallied to force overtime it appeared that Tony Bennett’s squad would stay unbeaten, but Virginia Tech didn’t quit in pulling off the 61-60 stunner. In a sense, the Hokies beat Virginia at its own game – finishing with a 20-14 edge in points in the paint and holding Virginia to a paltry 34.4 percent shooting from the floor. Point guard Justin Robinson led the way with a game-high 20 points and seven assists as Virginia Tech picked up a huge NCAA Tournament resume-booster.

  • Worst Loss: Even with Jim Larranaga unable to coach the game because of illness, Miami let a big ACC road win slip away by falling to Boston College, 72-70. The Hurricanes went scoreless over the last six minutes of action, committing five turnovers and missing its last nine field goal attempts in allowing the Eagles to close on a 9-0 run and end a 12-game losing streak to Miami. The usually stingy Hurricanes’ defense had no answer for Boston College’s dynamic backcourt of Jerome Robinson (29 points) and Ky Bowman (24 points, 12 boards and six assists). This defeat drops Miami to 7-5 in ACC play and dampens its chances at a top-four finish and the accompanying double-bye in the ACC Tournament.

North Carolina’s Luke Maye was dominant in the second half in the Tar Heels’ win against NC State. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

  • Most Outstanding PlayerNorth Carolina junior forward Luke Maye solidified his status as a likely all-ACC first teamer in the Tar Heels’ 96-89 win at N.C. State Saturday. His team trailed at the break but Maye responded with 27 points in the second half on the way to a career-high 33-point, 17-rebound performance. According to his teammates, part of Maye’s motivation may have come from some disrespectful trash talk from several unidentified Wolfpack players. Whatever the case, Maye obviously likes to play against his Triangle “rival” — he posted 31 points and 12 rebounds in the earlier meeting with the Wolfpack this year.
  • Unsung Heroes: Virginia Tech head coach Buzz Williams’s decision to insert fifth-year senior Devin Wilson into the starting lineup last week has paid off with huge dividends. In Saturday’s upset victory over Virginia, Wilson scored a season-best seven points, grabbed seven boards and did not commit a turnover against the nation’s best defense. Additionally, he was matched up with Cavaliers’ star Kyle Guy for most of the game, holding him to a chilly 5-of-21 shooting performance. Notre Dame got a surprisingly easy 84-69 home win against Florida State and Rex Pflueger was a major contributor, tallying a career-high 19 points to go with six rebounds and four assists.
  • Most Efficient Offense/Least Efficient Defense: There’s nothing like a match-up with Pittsburgh to get the offensive juices flowing, and Louisville took advantage by posting a robust 1.34 points per possession in its 94-60 thumping of the Panthers. The Cardinals shot lights-out from the field (63.0%) and posted an impressive ratio of 23 assists versus only eight turnovers.
  • Most Efficient Defense/Least Efficient Offense: As potent as Louisville was offensively, they were equally effective on the defensive end of the floor. The Cardinals held Pittsburgh to a dismal 34.5 field goal percentage and just 0.86 points per possession.
Upcoming Week – Four Games to Watch
  • Tuesday 2/13 – Virginia @ Miami (9:00 ET ESPN2)
  • Wednesday 2/14 – Virginia Tech @ Duke (7:00 ET ESPN2)
  • Saturday 2/17 – North Carolina @ Louisville  (8:00 ET ESPN)
  • Sunday 2/1 – Duke @ Clemson (1:00 ET ACCN)
Brad Jenkins (307 Posts)


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