ACC Weekend Review: 02.26.18 Edition

Posted by Brad Jenkins (@bradjenk) on February 26th, 2018

Several ACC teams enhanced or maintained their NCAA Tournament chances with important victories over the weekend. Slumping Louisville picked up a crucial road win over Virginia Tech on Saturday, and Miami dodged a bullet by rallying to edge Boston College at home. On Sunday night, NC State continued its rise up the standings by blasting Florida State in Raleigh. In other action, Virginia clinched first place in the ACC regular season race — for the third time in five seasons — by dominating Pittsburgh. Also, Duke welcomed Marvin Bagley III back to the lineup and handled Syracuse in a slugfest in Durham. Here are the highlights from this weekend’s action around the ACC.

David Padgett was rewarded for his decision to put Dwayne Sutton (#24) in the starting lineup as Louisville gained a big win at Virginia Tech on Saturday.
(Michael Thomas Shroyer/USA TODAY Sports)

  • Best Win: It’s been a rough February for Louisville, both on and off the court. The Cardinals entered the weekend having lost four of their last six games, and the NCAA recently denied the school’s appeal of punishments handed down in the wake of the school’s stripper scandal. Nevertheless, David Padgett’s team got off the mat to score a much-needed 75-68 win in Blacksburg. Louisville dominated the offensive boards to the tune of a 39.4 percent offensive rebounding rate, and got hot from deep down the stretch by sinking six consecutive threes near the end of the game. There’s something about the Hokies that brings out the best in Louisville’s shooters. In two wins over Virginia Tech this year, the Cardinals have gone 25-of-50 from behind the arc. More importantly, Louisville got its third road win over a KenPom top-40 team and a nice boost to its NCAA Tournament resume.

  • Worst Loss: Wake Forest was in great position to send its seniors out with a win in their last home game, leading Notre Dame by nine points with just under eight minutes to play. Instead, the Deacons were outscored 16-2 from that point, enabling the Irish to snatch a surprising 76-71 victory. The last two possessions of the game summed up Danny Manning‘s year in Winston-Salem. With the shot clock running down, Notre Dame’s Matt Ferrell drilled a three-pointer to take the lead with less than 10 seconds remaining. The Deacons subsequently threw the ball away on the ensuing inbounds play to seal their fate.

Senior point guard Quentin Snider had a career day from deep, sinking seven 3-pointers in Louisville’s win in Blacksburg.
(Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP)

  • Most Outstanding PlayerAfter Louisville’s big win over Virginia Tech, Padgett heaped praise on senior point guard Quentin Snider, and with good reason. Snider matched his career-high by scoring 22 points, which included a sizzling 7-of-14 performance from distance, along with six assists and six boards in a nice all-around effort. Those seven made three-pointers are three more than Snider has ever connected on in a single game to this point of his career.
  • Unsung Heroes: In addition to Snider’s overall brilliant play, Louisville also got a great performance from an unexpected source. In his first start of the season, Dwayne Sutton rewarded his coach’s confidence by posting a double-double (17 points, 11 boards) and going 3-of-4 from three-point range in the victory. Since returning from a knee injury four weeks ago, Duke’s Marques Bolden has also looked like a different player — he’s made an impressive 18-of-22 field goal tries in those eight games. Bolden probably had his best outing of the year in Duke’s win over Syracuse, posting seven points and six rebounds in 12 minutes of action. Perhaps no bench player in the conference is as hot as NC State graduate transfer Sam Hunt. In the Wolfpack’s win over Florida State, Hunt scored 14 points and sank all four of his three-point attempts — his second consecutive 4-for-4 performance from deep.
  • Most Efficient Offense/Least Efficient Defense: NC State was on fire again as it posted 1.26 points per possession in the Wolfpack’s 92-72 blowout of Florida State this weekend. The Wolfpack converted a blistering 13-of-22 from behind the arc for an accuracy rate of 59.1 percent. Over their last five games, Kevin Keatts’ guys have been burning up the nets, sinking 50.4 percent (52-of-102) of their three-pointers.
  • Most Efficient Defense/Least Efficient Offense: This was inevitable, right? As expected, Pittsburgh had no chance against the nation’s top defense as Virginia held the Panthers to 0.67 points per possession in the Cavaliers’ 66-37 domination at the Petersen Events Center. It could have been far worse — Pittsburgh was a pitiful 1-of-22 from the floor in the first half and trailed 30-7 at the break. For the game, the Panthers made just 19.0 percent of their twos and 28.0 percent of their threes.
Upcoming Week – Five Games to Watch
  • Monday 2/26 – Duke @ Virginia Tech (7:00 ET ESPN)
  • Tuesday 2/27 – Miami @ North Carolina (9:00 ET ESPN)
  • Wednesday 2/28 – Florida State @ Clemson (7:00 ET ESPNU)
  • Thursday 3/1 – Virginia @ Louisville  (8:00 ET ACCN)
  • Saturday 3/3 – North Carolina @ Duke (8:15 ET ESPN)
Brad Jenkins (323 Posts)

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