by Quinn Peterson
Day 1 of the ACC Tournament featured a slew of upsets, save seventh-seeded Georgia Tech holding serve against 10-seeded North Carolina for the third time this year, winning out 62-58. Luckily for Clemson and Wake Forest, they’ve likely already done enough to have their NCAA tourney bids locked up. The sixth-seeded Tigers fell to 11th-seeded N.C. State 59-57, while the fifth-seeded Demon Deacons dropped to 12th-seeded Miami 83-62. To complete the upsets, ninth-seeded Virginia topped eighth-seeded Boston College 68-62.
Georgia Tech’s win was by far the most significant of the day, as they desperately needed the game to keep themselves in the hunt for a bid of their own. Their Day 1 win may have been enough to safely get them in, but a Day 2 victory over Maryland, would stamp their ticket for sure. It’s also gonna be a big day for Duke, as well. Not that they really need to win any games, but doing so would put them in a viable position for a 1-seed in the Big Dance. They also need to show people – such as myself – just how legit they’re actually gonna be come tourney time. (Their last five trips have travelled no further than the Sweet Sixteen).
Virginia Tech, Maryland and Florida St. are all locked into the tourney as well, and while none are expected to make major noise, all now have the national platform to showcase why they can.
It was a down year in the ACC, but come conference tourney time, teams get after it. So with no further adieu, let’s jump into the action:
No. 9 Virginia vs. No. 1 Duke
– Forgive me for my tardiness…it’s 14-8 with 7:00 minutes to go here in the first half. Duke in the lead behind seven points from Nolan Smith. Both teams are off to slow starts from the field. Virginia shooting just 4-19, while the Blue Devils are only shooting 33% themselves.
– And the struggling shooting for the Blue Devils continues, as Jon Scheyer puts up an airball. Luckily for the Dukies, Nolan Smith is 4-7 and ready to go. A runner in the lane puts them up 18-10.
– As bad as Virginia has been shooting, they’re right in this game. A four-point play by Jeff Jones and a goaltending call on the next possession brought the well-traveled Cavalier fan section to life. Duke needs to be careful. They aren’t playing well, and despite shooting just 29% thus far, Virginia is only down four, 20-16. Virginia is hungry and seems to want it more right now.
–Nolan Smith is carrying the Blue Devils right now. He’s been their only consistent option on offense and has half of their points. He just did the old pump fake-draw contact move to get to the line where he knocked down both free throws. Duke’s getting eaten alive and the Cav’s are starting to shoot better from the outside. Two Jerome Meyinsse free throws put Virginia in the lead, 22-21. Jon Scheyer answers with a quick two.
– 32 seconds to go here in the first half, things knotted up at 27. Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennet calls a wise timeout to get things set up.
– Jeff Jones corner jumper hit just about every part of the rim including the tip of the backboard before bouncing out. 27-27 at the half. Nolan Smith leads Duke with 11. Jon Scheyer has eight, but is shooting just 2-10. Kyle Singler, hindered by foul trouble, has struggled as well, scoring just four points. Mike Scott leads the Cavaliers with 10 and Jeff Jones has 9. The Blue Devils need Scheyer and Singler to get going, and their big men need step up on both ends of the floor in order to pull away. Virginia is scrapping, though, and won’t make it easy for the Dukies. Second Half underway in a few.
– Right away, Duke goes into Brian Zoubek, who converts for a quick two. Duke’s really stepped up the intensity on defense, but Virginia’s managed to stay in the game. Duke doesn’t look great on offense, but like Virginia, they’ve found ways to score the ball. Scheyer and Singler still pretty quiet It’s Blue Devils 35, Cavaliers 33 with 15:16 left play.
–Guys hustling, bodies flying left and right. Gotta love it. Virginia hasn’t done a good job handling Duke’s ball pressure, and have turned it over a number of times already here in the second half.
– Kyle Singler has arrived at the Greensboro Coliseum ladies and gentleman. Fresh out of a timeout, Duke runs a play to perfection, and Singler drains a three. Then, after a stop, it’s Singler with the And-1. Two possessions later, another trey piece. Virginia timeout, Duke fans going crazy. Duke leads 43-35, 11:53 left to play.
– Jon Scheyer with the no-look, two-hand pass over his head to the other side of the block. Nice.
– Danger zone for Virginia. Duke’s starting to get things going on offense, and the Cavaliers are coming up with answers fewer and further between. A Meyinsse hook is their first basket in minutes. Duke leads it, 46-37.
– Of course just as I say that, they come up with two inside baskets to cut the deficit to four. A Nolan Smith charge forces Coach K to call a timeout. 46-41, Duke.
– Mustapha Farrakhan knocks down a three. After a dribbling for the last 15-20 seconds of the shot clock, Scheyer makes his first field goal since the games early minutes. A possession later, Kyle Singler’s tip-in forces Virginia to call a timeout and gets Duke players, coaches and fans alike all fired up. 52-44, Duke.
– And that just might do it for the Cavs. First Scheyer, curls into the lane for a runner, then finishes at the rim for an and-1 on the next possession to give the Blue Devils all the momentum.
– Smith and Singler leave the game with 1:19 to play to well-deserved standing ovations from Duke fans. Scheyer follows about a minute later.
– It was ugly, but give Duke credit. When it was time for their guys to step up and make plays, they did. Smith, who finished with with 15, carried them all the way through the first half, while Singler did so for much of the second, finishing with game-leading 18 points. Scheyer was just 5-17 for 15 points, but made some key buckets down the stretch to put Virginia away for good. Virginia put up a good fight, but couldn’t make enough shots late in the game to give themselves a chance. Duke lives to see another day, but Virginia is likely NIT-bound, if they get a post-season berth at all. Virginia Tech-Miami gets going in 15 minutes.
No. 12 Miami vs. No. 4 Virginia Tech
– Miami wins the tip and we’re underway. They trap the very first pass, and Miami turns it over just as quickly. These Va. Tech fans travelled pretty well. The Hokies definitely have the “home-court advantage”, but it’s Miami that’s on the board first after a James Dews basket. Malcolm Delaney gives the Hokies their first points finishing a layup and getting fouled, but he misses the free throw. Scored tied at two.
– Va. Tech is so active on D. Causing a lot of problems for the Hurricanes right now. They’re also off to a good start on offense, making shots from everywhere on the floor. Hokies up 12-7 at the first media timeout.
– The game is so much easier when you’re on fire and that’s the case for Virginia Tech right now. They’ve opened up 8-13, including 3-6 from three. Getting after it on the defense end also helps. The Hokies have forced six turnovers already, and currently lead 22-12.
– Both teams have slowed down a bit now after getting out of control for a few moments. The Hokies have come back to reality on offense (and taken some bad shots), and defense and rebounding lapses have allowed Miami to hang around. Virginia Tech 24, Miami 19, 7:35 left to play in the first half.
– DeQuan Jones is out here gettin’ ‘em on for Miami. He’s been very aggressive in the paint and attacking the basket, and leads Miami with seven.
– After a handful of consecutive empty possessions, combined with better offense on Miami’s behalf, the Hokies trial the Hurricanes, 32-33.
– Malcolm Delaney is off to a slow start for the Hokies, but Dorenzo Hudson is not. He has 15 on 5-10 shooting to lead Va. Tech. Delaney is still effective as a floor leader, though, and is, no doubt, still Miami’s main concern on defense. Both teams shot incredibly well – Virginia Tech finished the half shooting 47 percent, while Miami was even better, shooting 52 percent. Although the Hokies had nine steals, forcing a whopping 12 turnovers, they were outrebounded 21-12. Jones leads the Hurricanes with 11 points. Hokies lead at the half, 37-35.
– Back to the action, second half just got started.
– Both teams off to sluggish starts, but Miami’s been able to get into the lane for some easy baskets. Two three’s have put Virginia Tech back in the driver’s seat and woken up Hokie fans and Greensboro Coliseum. 47-43, Hokies up – 14:26 to go.
– Miami gets the nod on cheerleaders, too. Now that’s church on the move.
– The Miami zone is stifling the Hokies, who have grown stagnant on offense. They’re also not finishing well around the rim and not knocking down outside shots like they did to start the game. Both teams field goal percentages are on a steady decline, and Malcolm Delaney continues to struggle. Hokies clinging to a three-point lead. 53-50, 8:50 to go.
– Two free throws keep the Hokies up three, and Head Coach Seth Greenberg is getting the crowd amped up.
– Delaney took the shooting sleeve off…let’s see if this helps.
– Tied ball game, 57-57. Certainly doesn’t feel like it, though. Neither team playing very well right now.
– And Miami takes the lead, 59-57.
– Va. Tech ties it up, and again Hokie-nation tries to get their team fired up. Didn’t work earlier, and doesn’t work now. Every time Tech gets something going, they turn it over, have an empty possession, or let Miami score.
– Right on cue, Hokies go up 61-59. Hokie fans get loud. Then Miami scores an and-1.
– Give Miami some credit, they’ve had answers all day, namely Durand Scott. He’s gotten into the lane at will and really put the Hurricanes on his back down the stretch. Miami leads 66-65, 1:31 left to play.
– Miami breaks the full court pressure (barely), but doesn’t score. Hokies get the rebound and Seth Greenberg calls a timeout. Let’s see what he draws up and how well the Hokies execute it. 46 seconds left, Hurricanes still up one.
– Delaney puts up a shot and misses. Gets his rebound and misses, and nearly gets the rebound again but can’t handle. Hokies have to foul, and send Malcolm Grant to the line with 25 seconds left. He makes the first.
– Makes the second and Miami Head Coach Frank Heath calls timeout. 68-65, Miami. Still 25 seconds left.
– Hudson puts up a three but falls short. Miami pulls the rebound and the Hokies foul Scott, who knocks down both free throws. Miami up 70-65.
–So Miami picks up where they left off yesterday, pulling off another upset, beating Virginia Tech 70-65. After the Hokies’ hot start it looked like they might run away with it, but the torrid shooting gradually tapered off. By game’s end, they were at 39 percent from the field. Delaney had a shooting nightmare, finishing with just seven points on 3-15 shooting. Jeff Allen led the Hokies with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Hudson had 16. Scott led the Hurricanes - who shot 47 percent as a team – with 17. The Hurricanes advance to take on the Dukies and see if they can continue with the upsets. Their only chance at the tourney is likely winning it all, and so far, they’re taking all the necessary steps.
– Next up is Georgia Tech vs. Maryland, then Florida St. vs. N.C. State. Session two kicks off at 6 PM ET. See you then.
No. 7 Georgia Tech vs. No. 2 Maryland
– Maryland wins the tip.
– Georgia Tech is making a conceited effort to to get the ball inside. They’ve pounded it inside, and after multiple fouls and out-of-bounds calls, Gani Lawal has the first two points of the game.
– Two Jordan Williams free throws give Maryland their first points of the game, and a Greivis Vasquez steal and layup give them their first field goal and force Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Hewitt to call timeout.
– Iman Shumpert is coming out ready to go and looking to assert himself early on with seven quick points. G-Tech leads 12-11 with 14:15 to play in the first half.
– So far its rebounding and free throws keeping the Terps in the game. They’re shooting just 28 percent from the field, but have four offensive rebounds and are 5-6 from the line. Yellow Jackets lead, 15-13. 11:56 to go in the first half.
– Gani Lawal is a work-horse. Four points and five boards already – three offensive.
– The G-Tech big men are definitely winning the battle right now. Lawal is doing his thing and Derrick Favors just flew in for a offensive rebound tip-dunk.
– Yellow Jackets doing everything right right now. Shooting 50 percent, winning the rebounding battle 16-10, and holding Maryland to 22 percent shooting. The result is a 24-15 lead with 7:30 to play in the first.
– After a Favors two-pointer, Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams calls timeout. Terps trail, 26-15.
– The Terps are finally starting to knock down some shots. They’ve got to start getting stops, though. A change to a zone seemed to help, but again the G-Tech big men were all over the offensive glass. This time, Zach Peacock soared in for the tip.
– Yellow Jackets are laying it on, shooting 5-7 from deep. Leading it 34-19.
– Gary Williams on the sideline redder than the Terps fan section. Georgia Tech is dogging Maryland right now, plain and simple.
– Terps trying to put together a run at the end of the half…stay tuned.
– Sometimes teams play terrible. That’s Maryland today. They just seem out of it, a step slow. The Terps are shooting are just 9-31 from the field and are getting murdered on the boards, 21-12. Luckily for them, not much else could be going wrong. At the same time, give the Yellow Jackets their due credit. Sometimes teams play great. That’s Georgia Tech. They came out ready to go from the jump ball. Shumpert got them going early, but it’s been a balanced effort since. The Yellow Jackets are shooting a scorching 62 percent from the field, including 6-8 from downtown. Shumpert finishes the half with 12, while Mo Miller added nine. Zach Peacock, Gani Lawal, and Derrick Favors combined for 19 points and 17 boards in the first half. WOW. G-Tech leads it 41-25. Second half coming soon.
– Here we go, second half underway!
– Maryland opens up with some energy, forcing three turnovers in the first four possessions.
– Maryland is trying to make this a game. Vasquez knocks down a three, then leads the fast break and gets assist to bring the Terps back within nine. DeAndre Bell answers with a quick jumper, and Coach Hewitt calls a very wise timeout to get things under control. Tech leads, 44-33.
– Terps kncok down a three, then force a turnover out immediately out of Hewitt’s timeout. Vasquez knocked down a baseline jumper, and Maryland is back within six. Terrapin nation has come alive. 44-38, GT. 15:55 left to play.
– This Maryland full court pressure has been giving GT major problems, even early on when they were up big. We’ll see how they handle it now that things are getting close.
– Gary Williams is crazy.
– The full-court press is on. G-Tech turns it over and Maryland converts. 46-42, Yellow Jackets lead. 14:18 to play.
– Georgia Tech just making some bad decisions with the basketball. 21 turnovers and there’s still 12:07 to play. Yellow Jackets hanging on, 48-46.
– G. Tech killing themselves from the free throw. Terps are in the penalty the rest of the way, but the Yellow Jackets aren’t taking advantage, shooting 42 percent from the stripe. Maryland has had multiple chances to take the lead but hasn’t been able to get over the hump. Yellow Jackets dodging bullets with the missed free throws but that could come back to haunt them. At the same time, Maryland hasn’t shown they can get the timely score they need to take the lead. 53-48, Georgia Tech with nine minutes to play.
– G. Tech doing a much better job taking care of the rock as of late and its resulted in field goals. Part of that has been not letting Maryland score, thereby being able to set up their press. They’ve done a great job keeping Vasquez under control. He’s just 4-15 for 10 points thus far.
– Georgia Tech has also done a great job getting themselves back under control after Maryland made a strong push. Not over yet, though. 62-55, GT. 5:20 to play.
– Vasquez is just not on today. His three that could have tied it at 62 rims in and out.
– 62-59. 2:47 to go.
– Georgia Tech gets away with a shot-clock violation. Miller put up a layup that hits nothing and Favors gets the tip-dunk – after the buzzer. No replay, basket counts. Vasquez come back down and finally knocks one down from deep. Yellow Jackets up 64-62, 1:02 to play.
– Great defensive stand by the Yellow Jackets. They force a miss, but can’t come up with the board. Jump ball, Maryland ball, seven seconds on the shot clock.
– Vasquez airballs a contested three, Jackets pull the rebound. Shumpert stepping to the line for two, and knocks down the first.
– Makes the second, Georgia Tech up 66-62. 20 seconds to play.
– Vasquez draws a foul. Makes both, 12 seconds to go. Terps foul immediately. Peacock at the line for GT. Misses the first.
– Makes the second. GT up 66-64.
– Shumpert strips Vasquez as he goes up for three and recovers the loose ball. Vasquez grabs his jersey, refs call intentional foul. Shumpert makes the free throw. Jackets up 68-64, 4 seconds to play.
– After getting out to a hot start, the Yellow Jackets held on through Maryland’s second half push, and continued the string of upsets in the ACC Tourney, beating the Terps 69-64. Shumpert led Georgia Tech with 14, followed by 13 from Moe Miller, and 11 apiece from Lawal and Favors. They shot a tremendous 56 percent from the field, but were a wary 13-27 from the free throw line. After being down by as many as 18, Maryland came within two, but was never able tie it up or take the lead. They shot 37 percent from the field, and including 4-21 from downtown. Vasquez led the Terps with 17, but was just 6-21 and had six turnovers. Landon Milbourne and Eric Hayes had 15 and 14, respectively. If there was still any doubt about the the Yellow Jackets tourney bid, it’s all gone now, as the win punched their ticket for sure. Florida St. vs N.C. State up next. Stay tuned.
No. 11 N.C. State vs. No. 3 Florida St.
– N.C. State wins the tip and gets on the board first with a Dennis Horner jumper.
– Chris Singleton gets Florida St. their first bucket.
– I love Sidney Lowe’s red blazer. This is virually a home game for N.C. State, especially because they’re playing a team from Florida.
– Florida St.’s size advantage is really benefitting them and causing problems for N.C. State. Singleton has twice been caught in traps, but his ability to see over the top has allowed him to pass out of them. Inside, the Wolfpack hasn’t had answers for Slomon Alabi and Ryan Reid.
– Xavier Gibson flies in for the ill tip-dunk. Seminoles up, 14-7, with 12 minutes to play.
– Neither team seems to be in a good rhythm offensively. 14-11, Florida St.
– 7:34 left to go here in the first half. Pretty sloppy game. A lot of missed shots and a lot turnovers. Florida St. still leading, 17-13.
– This cat Scott Wood from N.C. State appears to have a burner.
– N.C. State has been getting after it on D, and is dictating the tempo more so than Florida St. They’re problem has been scoring the ball – they’re 5-14 from the field.
– To really put in perspective just how poorly each of these teams is playing: both have more turnovers than field goals.
– Yeah, Wood has a burner. His third trey piece of the game brings the Wolfpack crowd to life and puts N.C. State in the lead, 19-18. Five minutes to play in the half. Unfortunately, he also just picked up his second foul and is headed to the bench.
– Whew! Chris Singleton just put Johnny Williams on a poster!
– Other than plays by Singleton and Alabi for Florida St., and Wood for N.C. State, neither team has found any kind of consistency on the offensive end. The shooting hasn’t been terrible – Florida St. shooting 45 percent to N.C. State’s 38 – but the turnovers are just outrageous. The two teams have combined for more turnovers than they have baskets (24 turnovers to 18 field goals). Alabi leads the Seminoles with 11, while Wood leads the Wolfpack with 9. Florida St. leads it, 28-25, at the half.
– Well the second half is already better than the first. Florida St. finally operates with some continuity on offense, and it results in an Chris Snaer layup. For the Wolfpack, Scott Wood opens up with another deep ball. 3o-28, FSU.
– Farnold Degand puts the Wolfpack up 1 with a three of his own and Greensboro Coliseum erupts.
– The Wolfpack have turned up the heat on defense and gotten themselves some easy baskets to put themselves ahead, 37-33, with 15:46 left to play. Javier Gonzalez has led the way with seven points already to start the half.
– Again, Scott Wood has a burner. His fifth three of the game puts the Pack up eight.
– WOOD WITH ANOTHER! And Florida St. Head Coach Leonard Hamilton is forced to call a timeout.
– Man, this is home game for N.C. State. Fans are going wild, so loud they’re drowning out the Florida St. fight song.
– Gonzalez with another steal and a fast-break layup. He and Wood have spearheaded this Wolfpack rally and put them in the driver’s seat.
– Florida St. has looked even worse on offense this half, but two Deividas Dulkys three’s have helped keep them within reach. Turnovers are continuing to haunt them, though, coming right as they attempt to make a run. N.C. State has done a much better job taking care of the ball this half. Wolfpack leads it, 51-46, 5:57 left to play.
– The struggles continue for both teams. It feels like N.C. State has complete control, but it’s just a four-point game. Wolfpack up, 52-48, with 2:26 to play.
– Alabi goes to the line, but misses the front-end of a one-and-one.
– After getting the rebound, and calling timeout, the Seminoles are bitten by another turnover. On the other end, Tracy Smith gets a wide open, two-hand dunk. Xavier Gibson finishes at the basket for the Seminoles, keeping the margin at four. 54-50, N.C. State. 1:13 to play.
– Tracy Smith makes a baseline jumper as the shot clock runs out.
– Now Gonzalez is at the line. He knocks down the first, but misses the second. Florida St. answers with a quick layup, then calls timeout. 57-52, N.C. State. 35 seconds on the game clock.
– N.C. State wins 58-52.
– After several missed three point attempts by the Seminoles, Wood finally steals the ball, sealing the victory. It wasn’t pretty by any means – especially for Florida St. They never seemed to be in sync. Wood and Gonzalez were huge for N.C. State in the second half, carrying the Wolfpack on offense and setting the tone for the rest of the game. It also helped that N.C. State had so much fan support, which really carried them down the stretch. Again, this was pretty much a home game for them. Wood finished with 18, all on three’s, while Gonzalez had 13 along with Tracy Smith to lead N.C. State. Florida St. finished with just one guy in double figures – Solomon Alabi, who had 13. The upsets continue….check back tomorrow for Duke vs. Miami at 1:30 ET, then Georgia Tech vs. N.C. State at 3:30.