The final weekend of ACC games has arrived and then it’s on to the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament in Greensboro, NC. on Tuesday, March 10 thru Saturday, March 14. Most things with regards to the event in Greensboro have been decided. Now, it’s all about getting there and playing for the championship and the automatic bid to the NCAA’s that goes with it. It is an exciting time of the year and we cannot wait to see what happens. But before that, here is some other news around the conference.
The league will be without one member school when the tournament begins on Tuesday. On Monday, Georgia Tech decided to withdraw its appeal of the competition penalty that was brought against them by the NCAA. The men’s basketball program will not play any postseason hoops this year which will include the ACC tournament. With that said, the Yellow Jackets final game of 2019-20 season will take place on Friday night on the road at Clemson.
The one-two punch of Buddy Boeheim and Elijah Hughes continued to get it done for Syracuse. Hughes is leading the conference in scoring at 19.1 points per game. He has scored in double figures in 29 of the 30 games played by the Orange. The only game Hughes did not score in double figures came on Feb.11 at home vs North Carolina State. The reason Hughes did not reach ten or more points was that he was injured during that game. His coach, Jim Boeheim, believes that Hughes should be Player of the Week in this league. However, that weekly award does not have Hughes’ name on it just yet. Buddy Boeheim (15.4 a game) has had back to back twenty point games for Syracuse since returning from an injury. Versus North Carolina, he had 22 last Saturday and this past Tuesday night at BC, he dropped 21 on the Eagles. Boeheim leads the leagues in 3-point field goal percentage (.375), and in 3-point field goal makes (93). For Syracuse to make any noise in the ACC tournament and beyond, these two guys will have to be playing at a high level.
It has been a bit of an up and down ride for the BC Eagles this season. Three times this season the Eagles have had four-game losing streaks including the one they are on right now. Their final game of the regular season is no gimme as they will head to Florida State to play the #7 ranked Seminoles. Injuries have played a role in the struggles of the team. Starting three freshmen can be a problem as well. However, something needs to change for Boston College to make that move up the standings instead of making a possible appearance on the first day of the tournament for the second year in a row.
North Carolina State freshman center, Manny Bates, recorded another blocked shot in Monday night’s loss vs Duke. He has now blocked 82 shots this season which leads the conference by a wide margin. With one more regular-season game to play Friday against Wake Forest, Bates is already third on N.C.State all-time single-season shot blocking list with 82 in 28 games.
Clemson’s win over Florida State last Saturday gave them wins over three top-6 opponents for the first time since the 1979-80 team. This Friday night, they will have a chance to finish the regular season with double-figures in wins when they play host to the Yellow Jackets.
The ACC Player of the week is Oliver Sarr of Wake Forest. He averaged 27.5 points and 12 rebounds in wins over then-#7 Duke and Notre Dame. Sarr set career highs in scoring in both contests. That included a 30 point night vs the Irish. Oliver is second in the league in rebounding at 8.89 a game and is second in defensive rebounding at 6.39 a game. The Rookie of the Week is Cole Anthony of North Carolina. He averaged 22 points and six assists as the Tar Heels won twice over N.C. State and Syracuse. Against the Wolfpack, Anthony recorded 19 points, five rebounds, and five assists. In the win over Syracuse, Cole went for 25 points and seven assists. He made a season-high seven 3-pointers with five coming in the second half at Syracuse.
Virginia Tech freshman guard Jalen Cone knocked down five 3-pointers on Sunday vs Louisville. It marks the third time that Cone has done this. Over his last five games, Cone has hit 17 three-point shots. Cone is tied for tenth in three-point makes averaging 2.07 a game and 60 over 27 games.
That’s it for Atlantic Coast Conference notes for the season. We appreciate the readers and we look forward to a great ACC Tournament.