ACC: Jackets nip Seminoles, Boston College beats Louisville to open tournament
Published 8:25 pm Tuesday, March 7, 2023
GREENSBORO — Miles Kelly scored 21 points, Javon Franklin made a go-ahead free throw with 0.3 seconds left and 13th-seeded Georgia Tech rallied to beat No. 12 seed Florida State 61-60 on Tuesday in the opening game of the ACC Tournament.
Georgia Tech (15-17) looks to extend a four-game winning streak today against No. 5 seed Pittsburgh.
Georgia Tech trailed by as many as 11 points early in the second half. Kelly sank a 3-pointer with 5:08 remaining to pull within 51-48 and Dallan Coleman tied it at 53-all on a jumper from the free-throw line. But Florida State made a field goal on its next three possessions, capped by a 3-pointer by Caleb Mills for a 60-55 lead.
Kelly added another 3-pointer at 1:46 to get within two points and Kyle Sturdivant got a friendly bounce on a jumper to tie it at 60-all with 55.9 seconds left. Florida State had a 3-pointer rattle out and Georgia Tech dribbled down the clock.
Lance Terry drove the baseline and had a dunk bounce off the rim but Franklin grabbed the rebound and was fouled on a putback. Franklin made the first free throw before intentionally missing the second.
Franklin finished with 19 of Georgia Tech’s 29 rebounds, to go with 10 points. Coleman also scored 10 points for the Yellow Jackets, who snapped a four-game losing streak in opening-round games at the ACC Tournament.
Cam Corhen and Darin Green Jr. each scored 12 points for Florida State (9-23). Corhen also grabbed 11 rebounds. Matthew Cleveland, averaging a team-high 14 points per game, was helped off the court with 9:56 remaining in the first half due to an ankle injury and he started the second half before finishing with eight points in 21 minutes.
Cleveland and Green each made a 3-pointer on back-to-back possessions early in the second half for a 40-29 lead.
Florida State won the only regular-season matchup 75-64 on Jan. 7 behind 21 points from Cleveland.
BC beats Louisville in opener
GREENSBORO (AP) — Makai Ashton-Langford scored 16 points and Jaeden Zachery added 15 points and eight assists to lead Boston College over Louisville 80-62 on Tuesday in the first round of the ACC Tournament despite playing without leading scorer and rebounder Quinten Post.
Boston College coach Earl Grant said Monday that Post was day-to-day after injuring an ankle in a loss to Georgia Tech in the regular-season finale. Post, a 7-footer who was voted the conference’s most improved player, didn’t dress for the game but the Eagles outscored the Cardinals by 21 in the second half to prevail.
Tenth-seeded Boston College (16-16) will play seventh-seeded North Carolina in the second round on Wednesday.
Prince Aligbe added 14 points and Devin McGlockton 11 for the Eagles.
El Ellis scored 16 points, Brandon Huntley-Hatfield 13 and JJ Traynor 12 for the 15th-seed Cardinals (4-28).
The Eagles outscored the Cardinals 18-6 over a nine-plus minute span to build a 63-51 lead with six minutes left after Mason Madsen scored five straight points. Boston College finished the final two minutes on a 11-2 run.
Boston College outrebounded the Cardinals 40-29, including 14-7 on the offensive boards for a 17-5 edge in second-chance points. The Eagles also had a 40-26 edge in the paint.
Louisville scored 10 straight points to tie it with 3 1/2 minutes left in the first half and completed the 19-6 run on a three-point play by Ellis and Huntley-Hatfield’s putback for a 34-31 lead at the break.
The Eagles won the regular-season meeting 75-65 on Jan. 25 with Post scoring 22 points to lead Boston College.
NEW CHALLENGE FOR MIAMI
Miami coach Jim Larrañaga congratulated his 14th-ranked Hurricanes for battling through a “marathon” and claiming a share of the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title. The Hurricanes face a different challenge now as the top seed for this week’s ACC Tournament.
“He told us what we have next is just a bunch of sprints,” wing Jordan Miller said after the team beat Pittsburgh on Saturday to clinch that No. 1 seed.
The Hurricanes, No. 13 Virginia and No. 21 Duke are the headliners for the five-day event in Greensboro, North Carolina. Yet there’s been plenty of parity in the ACC this season, with no clearly dominant team. That seemingly has the makings for an unpredictable tournament, and it’s not clear how many teams can use the event to solidify their NCAA Tournament chances.
Miami (24-6, 15-5) claimed the top seed for the first time since 2013, when the Hurricanes won three games in the same venue to claim their lone title. The Hurricanes finished tied atop the league standings with the Cavaliers (23-6, 15-5), who hold the No. 2 seed.
Virginia, which fell on the wrong side of the NCAA bubble last year, closed its schedule with wins against Clemson and Louisville after looking wobbly in consecutive losses to Boston College and North Carolina.
“I think the last two games were a step in the right direction,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said after the Louisville win.
The fourth-seeded Blue Devils (23-8, 14-6) are the league’s hottest team with six straight wins. Freshman big man Kyle Filipowski has been terrific all year (team highs of 15.0 points and 9.2 rebounds), but the Blue Devils have taken off with the growth and development of freshman point guard Tyrese Proctor and shot-altering big man Dereck Lively II.
Both of them have been key for a team that has forged a defense-and-rebounding identity under first-year coach Jon Scheyer.
“We’ve won games from loose balls and rebounds,” Scheyer said. “It’s just incredible will, and it’s really effort.”
This is the last time Mike Brey will lead Notre Dame into the ACC Tournament, with the school announcing in January he’d step down after his 23rd season.
Brey took over in 2000, leading the Fighting Irish as they moved from the Big East to the ACC and reaching 13 NCAA Tournaments — including regional finals in 2015 and 2016. One of his biggest moments came in Greensboro, leading his 2015 team to the ACC Tournament title by beating North Carolina.
THE LAST SHOT
Does North Carolina have one last bit of March magic left?
The Tar Heels pulled off an improbable late-season run to reach last year’s NCAA title game, including a win over Duke in the Final Four during an epic first-ever NCAA Tournament meeting between the rivals. But they’ll arrive in Greensboro as the seventh seed and flirting with becoming the first No. 1-ranked team in The Associated Press preseason poll to miss the NCAAs since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985.
As of Monday, ESPN and BracketMatrix.com — which charted an average of 70 mock brackets — had the Tar Heels (19-12, 19-11) well short of an NCAA bid.
The tournament could change the number of NCAA bids for ACC teams.
Miami, Virginia and Duke are set. It also looks likely for fifth-seeded Pittsburgh, a 10-seed in ESPN’s Bracketology projections. That’s also where Pitt showed up in 61 of Bracketmatrix.com’s 70 mock brackets on Monday. And sixth-seeded North Carolina State looks positioned for its first bid since 2018, appearing as a 10-seed on ESPN and in 67 of BracketMatrix’s mock brackets.
That leaves third-seeded Clemson (22-9, 14-6) alongside UNC on the cut line, with the Tigers among ESPN’s projected first four teams out.
“At the end of the day you can’t really worry about all that because then your mind is elsewhere,” Tigers guard Hunter Tyson said.
The top four seeds have byes into Thursday’s quarterfinals. The championship game is Saturday night, a little less than 24 hours before the NCAA field is announced.