GREENSBORO, N.C. — The 8th seed Syracuse Orange eliminated the 9th seed North Carolina State Wolfpack 89-68 to open the second round of the ACC Tournament Wednesday afternoon. The Wolfpack trailed the majority of the game and could never find a defensive rhythm. Syracuse’s Buddy Boheim is a three-level scorer that caused a lot of problems for NC State. Wolfpack guards Shakeel Moore and Cam Hayes couldn’t contain him in isolation or when double teaming. Boheim scored 27 of the Orange’s points today and shot 50% from deep.
The Wolfpack’s perimeter defense was non-existent as the Orange was able to score at will from behind the arc. The team shot 48% from three. The Wolfpack was not able to find success on the other end as the Orange clamped down defensively. Forward’s Marek Dolezaj and Quincy Guerrier double-teamed under the rim for the majority of the game. This made it almost impossible for NC State’s smaller guards to penetrate the lane. NC State only scored 24 points in the paint compared to Syracuse’s 32. The Syracuse Orange will advance to face the No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers tomorrow at Noon in the quarterfinal round.
“You know, today he got a lot of open looks. His teammates did a great job of setting him up, finding him,” Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim said on Buddy Boeheim. “Again, it was a really good offensive game, one of our best all year.”
The #13 Miami Hurricanes eliminated the #5 Clemson Tigers 67-64 for the first big upset of the tournament. Miami is now the first No. 13 seed to ever reach the quarterfinals in the New York Life ACC Tournament. Miami guards’ Isaiah Wong and Kameron McGusty were extremely productive driving inside the lane in the upset over Clemson. They split double teams with ease and scored 40 of their points in the paint. The Hurricanes will proceed to face the #4 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the quarterfinals on Thursday afternoon. Georgia Tech will make their 2021 tournament debut after a double-bye and with their highest seed since 2004. Tech and Miami met back in February and the Yellow Jackets won the regular-season matchup 87-60. Both teams are coming in hot as Tech is on a six-game winning streak and Miami is on a three-game streak.
“I just told the guys, forget the hand-offs, forget running offense and just attack their guards. Their guards are very good at pressuring,” Miami Head Coach Jim Larrañaga said. “But when you clear a whole side, it gives Isaiah and Kam a chance to do what they do really well, and that’s basically just play one-on-one.”
The #10 Duke Blue Devils overcame the #7 Louisville Cardinals 70-56 in the third game of the second round. The Blue Devils lost to the Cardinals twice in the regular season and broke the trend tonight. Duke clamped down defensively the pace throughout the whole game scoring 16 points off turnovers and grabbing 46 rebounds. Duke Freshman Mark Williams posted his second double-double of the season with 23 points and 19 rebounds. Duke will advance to the quarterfinals tomorrow to face the No. 2 Florida State Seminoles for their first matchup of the season.
“Look, Mark was fabulous, not good. He only had one rebound yesterday, so he’s averaging 10 a game,” Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski stated. “Just to keep his ego in check. But to get 19 rebounds in a game, and those defensive rebounds in the last eight, ten minutes were the deciding factor in the game, really.”
The second round concluded with the No. 6 North Carolina Tar Heels blowing out the No. 11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 101-59. The Tar Heels had five players in double digits before pulling their starters in garbage time. Armando Bacot, Day’Ron Sharpe, and Walker Kessler all posted double-doubles for North Carolina tonight. Forward Armando Bacot led the night with 20 points and 13 rebounds. North Carolina will face off against the No. 3 Virginia Tech Cavaliers tomorrow night in the final game of the quarterfinals.
“There were times during this year that Armando was our most consistent player,” North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams said. “and I think that that was extremely important to us all season. He and Day’Ron really dominated the game early in the first half.”