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ACC March Madness Report: Miami Cooking at Home

North Carolina-NC State Tilt Wraps Up Weekend Slate

Just one game separates the top four teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Miami could have the biggest challenge among those four squads when Wake Forest comes to Coral Gables on Saturday, while the weekend wraps up with North Carolina and North State meeting once again.

Harlond Beverly #5 of the Miami Hurricanes
Harlond Beverly #5 of the Miami Hurricanes - Briggs/Getty Images/afp

Georgia Tech steps outside of conference play to play Florida Tech, a Division II program with a 16-9 record. Dallas Coleman had 21 points to lead all five starters in double figures as the Yellow Jackets topped Virginia Tech for their third conference win of the season.

Virginia received a first-place vote and moved up three spots to No. 6 in the coaches’ poll and went from eighth to seventh in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. Miami went from 20th to 13th in the coaches’ poll while moving up four spots to No. 15 in the writers’ poll. North Carolina State is the only other team in the top 25, coming in at No. 22 in the coaches’ poll and 23rd in the AP rankings.

Pittsburgh is receiving votes in both polls. The Panthers are joined by Clemson and Duke as ACC teams listed on ballots in the coaches’ poll.

According to the college basketball playoff odds, Virginia (+2800) is tied for 12th in the odds to win the national championship. Duke (+5000), Miami (+5000), and North Carolina (+6600) are also in the top 25 in the title odds..

Virginia remains the favorite in the odds to win the ACC title. When it comes to the March Madness bracket, the Cavaliers dropped three spots to No. 16 in the NCAA NET rankings. Miami is 30th, Duke 34th, and North Carolina State 38th. No. 45 North Carolina and No. 48 Pittsburgh are also in the top 50.

Here’s a look at a full slate of ACC games being played this weekend.

Let’s check the latest college basketball news, stats, injury reports, and college basketball lines. We’ve got plenty of NCAA basketball picks for you to consider.

Game of the Week

1. Wake Forest vs Miami

  • Date, time (TV): Saturday, Feb. 18, 2:00 p.m. ET (ACC NX)

Two of the top offensive teams in the ACC will meet up in a game that could impact their March Madness seeding.

Miami (21-5, 12-4 ACC) leads the conference in points per game with Wake Forest coming in fourth. They hold the same rankings in field goal percentage. Miami has four players averaging at least 13 points after Nijel Pack’s 23-point effort the last time out.

Wake Forest (17-9, 9-6) is tied for second in the ACC with 235 3-pointers, with Damari Monsanto connecting on more 3-pointers per game than any other player in the conference. The Demon Deacons top the ACC with 17 of their games going over the Las Vegas odds total.

Miami joins Duke as the only ACC teams still undefeated at home. Wake Forest is just 4-5 on the road.

Miami has won four of the last five meetings with Wake Forest and three of the last four games went under the total.

Other Games to Watch

2. Notre Dame vs Virginia

  • Date, time (TV): Saturday, Feb. 18, Noon ET (ESPN2)

Notre Dame threw a scare into Duke the last time out and will look to do the same against the Cavaliers.

Virginia (20-4, 12-3) had to struggle to beat last-place Louisville on Wednesday with Kihei Clark and Armaan Franklin combining for 28 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in the three-point win.

Notre Dame (10-16, 2-13) is 0-7 on the road and Virginia is 12-1 at home.

The Fighting Irish have attempted the fewest free throws among ACC teams and aren’t a good enough of a shooting team to overcome the points that they give up from the charity stripe.

Notre Dame snapped a six-game losing streak to Virginia with a 69-65 win in the most recent meetings.

Something to consider for those who bet online: The home team has won four of the last five games in the series.

3. Boston vs Florida State

  • Date, time (TV): Saturday, Feb. 18, Noon ET (ACC NX)

After a pair of competitive efforts resulted in losses, the Seminoles were run out of the gym by Clemson on Wednesday night. Florida State (8-19, 6-10) allowed an early 16-0 run and never had a chance. FSU joins Louisville as the only ACC teams with losing records both at home and one the road.

Boston College (12-15, 6-10) has lost three of its last four games since upsetting a nationally-ranked Clemson team. BC has fallen by 30 points to North Carolina State and to 19 points to Pittsburgh in its last two games.

The Eagles have allowed 26 3-pointers in those two losses.

Seven of the last eight games between the Seminoles and Eagles have finished under the total.

4. Pittsburgh vs Virginia

  • Date, time (TV): Saturday, Feb. 18, 5:00 p.m. ET (ACC Network)

Pittsburgh (19-7, 12-3) has won six games in a row to move into first place in the ACC standings. The Panthers still have some work to do to improve their chances of receiving an at-large bid into the March Madness bracket.

The Panthers won one-possession games against Wake Forest, Miami, and North Carolina. Ben Hinson has topped 20 points four times over his last six games.

Grant Basile’s third straight 20-point game wasn’t enough to lead the Hokies past Georgia Tech on Wednesday. He had 21 points in the seven-point loss to give him 87 points over the last three games for Virginia Tech (15-11, 5-10).

Pittsburgh is 19-6-1 against the college basketball spreads, the best mark in the ACC, and among all Division I men’s teams.

Virginia Tech has won seven of the last eight meetings against Pittsburgh. The last time the teams met, the Hokies won by 27 points at home.

Four of the last six games between the teams finished over the total.

5. Duke vs Syracuse

Elijah Hughes #33 of the Syracuse Orange dribbles as Cassius Stanley guards. Read our Syracuse Orange vs Duke Blue Devils betting preview
Elijah Hughes #33 of the Syracuse Orange vs Duke Blue Devils – Bryan M. Bennett / AFP
  • Date, time (TV): Saturday, Feb. 18, 6:00 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Not too long ago this might have been one of the top games on the ACC schedule. Now, it is just another matchup.

Duke (18-8, 9-6) barely escaped with a win at home against a struggling Notre Dame team. Freshman Kyle Filipowski was questionable heading into the game, but he had 22 points in the four-point win.

Syracuse (16-10, 9-6) and Duke are tied for sixth in the ACC standings. Ten of Syracuse’s wins have come at home.

The Orange has a pretty talented freshman of its own with Judah Mintz scoring at least 15 points in each of his last six games.

Duke has won the last seven meetings with Syracuse and has covered five of those matchups. Five of the last six games between the teams finished over the total.

6. Clemson vs Louisville

  • Date, time (TV): Saturday, Feb. 18, 7:00 p.m. ET (ACC Network)

Clemson is coming off an emphatic win over Florida State so that could bode well after some recent struggles.

Clemson (19-7, 11-4) shot 60% from the floor and made 12 3-pointers in a 40-point win over visiting Florida State. P.J. Hall scored in double figures for the 11th time in the last 12 games with 20 points on 8 of 10 shooting. He made all four of his 3-pointers as well.

Louisville (3-23, 1-14) got 21 points from El Ellis but it wasn’t enough for the Cardinals to pull off the biggest upset of the season in the ACC as Virginia escaped with a three-point win. Louisville is now 0-6 this season in games decided by three points or less.

Clemson has won three of the last four games against Louisville. When the teams met on Jan. 11, Hunter Tyson had 28 points in a 13-point win by the Tigers.

7. North Carolina vs NC State

  • Date, time (TV): Sunday, Feb. 19, 1:00 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Two of the top three scoring teams in the ACC will be meeting up in Raleigh.

North Carolina State (20-7, 10-6) has attempted more shots than any other team in the conference. The Wolfpack average three more shots per game than the Tar Heels.

NC State is second in the conference in blocked shots with North Carolina is second in rebounding margin, led by Armando Bacot, the top rebounder in the conference.

North Carolina (16-10, 8-7) has won the last four meetings and covered in each of those meetings.

Six of the last seven games in the series finished over the total.

North Carolina is looking for the season sweep after its 80-69 win on Jan. 21, with the Tar Heels outscoring NC State 36-12 at the foul line.

The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.


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