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ACC Basketball Notebook: Friday, March 1

acc basketballThe next-to-last weekend of the regular season features seven key games as the battle to improve NCAA Tournament resumes and seeding in the upcoming New York Life ACC Tournament continues.

Saturday’s five-game slate finds conference co-leaders Virginia and North Carolina both in action. The second-ranked Cavaliers play host to Pitt, while the fifth-ranked Tar Heels open a two-game road swing at Clemson.

No. 3 Duke is at home versus Miami, No. 18 Florida State plays host to NC State, and Wake Forest welcomes Syracuse.

Sunday afternoon features Notre Dame at Louisville, while Boston College’s road trip to Georgia Tech closes out Sunday evening.

ACC Notes

The ACC leads all conferences with six teams among the top 25 of the NCAA’s latest NET rankings (No. 2 Virginia, No. 3 Duke, No. 8 North Carolina, No. 11 Virginia Tech, No. 24 Florida State and No. 25 Louisville).

The ACC owns three of the top five teams in the AP poll for the 41st time in its history, the first time since the final poll of 2004-05 (No. 2 UNC, No. 3 Duke, No. 5 Wake Forest on March 15) and the fifth time at this stage of the season or later.

Freshmen continue to play big roles down the stretch for ACC teams. Coby White’s 34 points in Tuesday night’s win over Syracuse mark a career high and make him the first Tar Heel freshman in school history to crack the 30-point plateau three times. Reigning ACC Freshman of the Week RJ Barrett of Duke’s 20-point games total now stands at 21, extending his ACC freshman record.

Second-ranked Virginia is assured of winning 13 or more league games for the fifth time in the last six seasons … the Cavaliers have won 25 or more total games for the ninth time in school history, with five of the nine under 10th year head coach Tony Bennett

In ACC history, 163 teams have started 1-4 or 0-5 in conference play … No. 18 Florida State, at 10-5 after a 1-4 start, will become only the fourth of those to finish with a winning conference record.

No. 8 North Carolina has won 11 of its last 12 games (best stretch in ACC play since winning of 13 of 14 in 2013-14) … this is the 15th time UNC has won at least 13 ACC games, including nine times in 16 seasons under head coach Roy Williams.

With 651 points, third-ranked Duke’s RJ Barrett is just 43 points shy of tying the school freshman scoring record set by Marvin Bagley III (694) last season.

No. 20 Virginia Tech’s Kerry Blackshear Jr. has scored in double figures in eight straight games and has scored at least 20 points in four straight and five of the past seven games.

Clemson has held four opponents to under 50 points this season, tied for the Tigers’ most in a season since the 2015-16 campaign … Clemson is 43-2 in such games under head coach Brad Brownell (since the 2010-11 season).

Syracuse guard Tyus Battle’s 29 points at North Carolina on Tuesday night were his most this season in regulation, and the Orange’s 85 points were also a regulation-time season high as a team.

In ACC play, Wake Forest leads the conference in offensive rebounds (14.33 per game) and offensive rebounding percentage (35.3) … the Demon Deacons have had at least 10 offensive rebounds in 22 of 27 games this season, including 14 of 15 ACC games.

augusta free press
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