ACC WEEKEND: Duke hosts Syracuse; Wake gets Notre Dame
Published 12:58 am Saturday, February 24, 2018
By The Associated Press
A look at the upcoming week around the Atlantic Coast Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEKEND: Louisville at Virginia Tech. The Cardinals and Hokies enter the next-to-last weekend of the ACC’s regular season trying to overtake No. 15 Clemson in the standings and earn one of the top-four seeds and two-round byes in the conference tournament. Louisville (18-10, 8-7) — which earlier this week learned it must vacate 123 victories and its 2013 national title after an NCAA appeals panel upheld sanctions from a sex scandal case — is coming off a blowout loss to No. 5 Duke while Virginia Tech (20-8, 9-6) knocked off the Tigers to pull even with them and with N.C. State with three league games remaining.
OTHER GAMES: Today — Notre Dame at Wake Forest, 3 p.m.; Georgia Tech at No. 15 Clemson, 3 p.m.; No. 1 Virginia at Pittsburgh, 4 p.m.; Syracuse at No. 5 Duke, 6:15 p.m.
Sunday — No. 25 Florida State at N.C. State, 6 p.m.
LOOKING AHEAD: All eyes are on Clemson in that fourth spot in the standings — at least, for now. A three-game losing streak has made the Tigers’ position tenuous, and they face another test from a nationally ranked opponent when they host a rematch with No. 25 Florida State on Wednesday night. Clemson’s current slide started with the Seminoles knocking off the Tigers in overtime on Feb. 14 .
PLAYER TO WATCH: Doral Moore has been a bright spot in a rough year for Wake Forest, which needed him to step up after John Collins left for the NBA following a sophomore season that ended in the NCAA Tournament. Moore entered Wednesday night’s game at Pittsburgh leading the ACC and ranking second nationally with a shooting percentage of .706. He’s on pace to break the league record of .697 set by North Carolina’s Brendan Haywood in 2000.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: The ACC’s top three teams in the national rankings — No. 1 Virginia, No. 5 Duke and No. 10 North Carolina — also rank highly in Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency rankings. The ACC is the only conference with three teams in the top 10, with the Cavaliers first, the Blue Devils third and Tar Heels seventh. Only one other conference — the Big Ten — has multiple teams in the top 10.
ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE: With No. 4 Louisville and No. 5 Notre Dame having sewn up the top two seeds in next week’s league tournament, the focus shifts to the race for the other two top-four seeds and the two-round byes that accompany them. No. 9 Florida State and No. 23 N.C. State each brought 10-4 ACC records into Thursday night’s games, with No. 20 Duke and Miami at 10-5 entering their regular-season finales.
Compiled by AP Sports Writer Joedy McCreary in Raleigh, North Carolina.
NO. 18 RHODE ISLAND WINS FIRST OUTRIGHT ATLANTIC-10 TITLE
KINGSTON, Rhode Island (AP) — Jeff Dowtin scored 20 points, E.C. Matthews added 18 and No. 18 Rhode Island wrapped up its first outright Atlantic-10 regular-season title with an 81-56 victory over Dayton on Friday night.
Jared Terrell had 17 points to help the Rams (22-5, 15-1) win for the 19th time in 20 games. It was their third straight after their school-record 16-game winning streak was halted by St. Bonaventure last Friday night.
In 1980-81, the Rams tied Duquesne for a share of the conference title, their only other regular-season A-10 championship.
When the game ended, blue and white confetti — the school colors — and streamers fell from the ceiling. Terrell climbed the scorer’s table, waving to the crowd.
Coach Dan Hurley said to the crowd over a microphone: “Let’s bring down this net baby, what do you say?”
Jalen Crutcher led the Flyers (13-15, 7-9) with 12 points.
In the opening half, the Flyers shot 58.3 percent and led most of the way despite nearly hitting their per-game average with 13 turnovers before URI closed by scoring nine of the final 11 points to take a 36-34 edge into intermission.
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