By Mychal Hunter
In an interesting turn of events last night the home teams combined to go 1-3 on a four game Wednesday slate. The only team to hold serve was Georgia Tech against a depleted Notre Dame team who continue to be competitive despite missing their two senior stars, Matt Farrell and Bonzie Colson.
The most disappointing team of the evening had to be Florida State who blew a 13 point half time cushion at home to Louisville, losing 73-69. The loss snapped the Seminoles 28 game home winning streak. Deng Adel (16pts) and Ray Spaulding (15pts) led the second half charge for the Cardinals and Ryan McMahon put the game away late with a clutch triple and a couple free throws.
Terance Mann tied a career high with 24 points but for the third game in a row Phil Cofer played poorly, going 1-10. This was one thing I was really concerned with and led to my “holding” on FSU on last weeks podcast. Cofer is now a combined 8-34 in his last 3 games and 3-15 from deep. CJ Walker also struggled in this game, scoring 0 points in 27 minutes.
Duke traveled to Pittsburgh and snapped their 5 game ACC road losing streak as anticipated. All five starters were in double figures along with sophomore Justin Robinson who saw time as the reserve big man due to the fact that both Marques Bolden and Javin DeLaurier were unavailable, hampered by injuries. Pittsburgh went 17-51 from the field including 4-22 from deep and that is pretty much that. The 52 points is the fewest Duke has surrendered all season.
Virginia Tech went into Winston Salem and got their shit together, recording 20 assists on 29 made field goals while shooting 40% from three en route to an 83-75 victory. Ahmed Hill finally snapped out of his recent funk, going 5-10 from deep while leading the Hokies with 21 points. Bryant Crawford had an abysmal evening going 4-13 with 4 turnovers for the Demon Deacons.
Clemson @ NC State 9PM ESPN
Clemson takes their show on the road tonight, visiting the Wolfpack while looking to make it 11 in a row. The Tigers already own a victory over State this season as well as true road victories over surprise Big Ten contender Ohio State and fellow ACC program Boston College but Kevin Keatts team is 10-1 at home this year with their last home court game being a win against the Duke Blue Devils.
Clemson is obviously rolling and are both battle tested and talented, I don’t see any reason not to pick them to win this game especially given the way Al Freeman has played lately for State. While the senior transfer is a consistent double digit scorer for the Pack, he has not been efficient at all, shooting 29.7% in his last three contests, one of those being a 5-19 effort against these same Clemson Tigers. Expect Gabe Devoe and Marcquise Reed to put him on lock down again and make someone else beat them.
I’ll take the Tigers here as I continue to believe that they are for real while NC State, even with the Duke win, is not a team that I can get behind right now. Clemson opens today at (-4) but this is a game I am staying away from. If you can get it to (-2) that might be the way to go.
Power Rankings will be updated tomorrow!