Duke stuns UNC: ACC race tight as a tick

acc basketball#20 Duke hung around, hung around, hung around, and then turned it around late in a 74-73 win at fifth-ranked North Carolina Wednesday night.

And with that result, and #12 Miami’s big win at home over Virginia Tech, we have a new-look ACC.

Miami (21-4, 10-3 ACC) is tied with UNC (21-5, 10-3 ACC) in first place, #7 Virginia (21-5, 10-4 ACC) is a half-game back, and Duke (20-6, 9-4 ACC), Louisville (20-6, 9-4 ACC) and Notre Dame (18-7, 9-4 ACC) are a full game back.

And game and a half back, for those still keeping score, is Clemson (16-10, 9-5 ACC).

So there you go. Seven teams within a game and a half of the lead, and six teams competing for the coveted double-byes in the March 8-12 ACC Tournament.

Louisville is ineligible for the tournament with its self-imposed postseason ban announced a couple of weeks back.

Remember back when it seemed like the Tar Heels were going to run away and hide with this thing? Carolina started conference play 8-0, but with three losses in the past five games are now in danger of a free fall, with games still upcoming with Miami, at Virginia and at Duke.

(And I’m overlooking at NC State and at home with Syracuse in noting that.)

Miami has its own toughies – at UNC on Saturday, at home against Virginia on Big Monday, Louisville at home, at Notre Dame.

Virginia has the game at Miami, Carolina at home, at Clemson, and Louisville at home to finish up.

Duke is at Louisville, at Pitt and home with UNC down the stretch

Notre Dame has maybe the easiest stretch drive – at bottom-feeders Georgia Tech and Wake Forest, at bubble team Florida State, finishing with Miami and NC State at home.

Things are definitely going to get interesting the next two weeks, both in the race for the top spot and for those top four seeds.

– Story by Chris Graham



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