ACC Wednesday Preview: Tournament Hopefuls Hit Road In Conference Showdowns

Last Updated: 2018-01-03

The home team is the favorite in 3 of the 6 ACC games on Wednesday night. With most teams playing their second conference game, there’s a chance for slight separation as the schedule ramps up. For example, 4 of the 6 home teams lost their conference debut over the weekend. The only home teams to have an ACC win are the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Boston College Eagles. However, the Eagles are the only team on the schedule with two games under their belt.

In all, the ACC has eight teams three or fewer losses. Three teams come into the night with a single loss. Two of those teams (Clemson, Miami) put their record on the line in road games. They also happen to be favorites in their respective games.

The road teams have a real opportunity to make a statement. Every game has a single digit point spread. These games should also set the stage for what type of season the ACC will be. Will everybody stay in the pack? Will injuries impact the level of play? Find out on Wednesday starting at 7:00 p.m.

No. 25 Clemson (12-1, 1-0) vs. Boston College (10-4, 1-1) +5

It might not be accurate to call the Clemson Tigers and Boston College Eagles the most surprising teams in the ACC, but both teams have played better than expected at the outset. The Eagles opened their conference schedule with a win over Duke last month. They were a possession away from a road victory at Virginia. However, they need to get this win to remain a factor in the conference race. The Eagles have dynamic perimeter players that can take over at any moment. However, Clemson has everything to counteract those players in a road tilt. The Tigers have five double digit scorers, led by Marcquise Reed’s 15 points. He’s part of the reason why the Tigers are a favorite. Another reason is that people don’t really believe in the Eagles yet.

Syracuse (12-2, 1-0) vs. Wake Forest (7-6, 0-1) -2

Surprisingly, the Syracuse Orange dominated large portions of their win over Virginia Tech. Meanwhile, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons had a victory over North Carolina in their grasp. Unfortunately, they couldn’t hold on in the final minute. Instead of coming in on a high note, the Demon Deacons enter their first ACC home game with a must-win mindset. The Orange can prove they can win in a tough road environment. It looks like a great guard matchup between Frank Howard and Bryant Crawford. However, the Orange need their young forwards to continue to rebound at a nice rate. The Demon Deacons are two point favorites. They have already lost three home games.

No. 12 North Carolina (12-2, 1-0) vs. No. 24 Florida State (11-2, 0-1) -1

This is the most intriguing game coming into the night. Both teams are ranked in the Top 25 and they both need this win. First and foremost, the North Carolina Tar Heels are trying to produce a dominant effort on the road. They’ve been adept at winning close games lately, but they have not been overly impressive. Meanwhile, the Seminoles just suffered their second loss of the season with a defeat at Duke. Now, they take on the defending national champions in a home game. Can the Seminoles afford to fall to (0-2). Yes, if they go on a huge run. However, this is a game that can make the Seminoles a legit threat to win the conference. Luke Maye leads the Tar Heels with 18 points and 11 rebounds. The Seminoles have size and depth to battle up front.

No. 15 Miami (12-1, 1-0) vs. Georgia Tech (6-7, 0-1) +6

The Miami Hurricanes took their one loss and bounced back with three straight wins. Now, they are trying to go to (2-0) in the competitive ACC. This should be one of their easier games if form holds. The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have been in a world of confusion since the start of the season. This game looks like a road blowout if the Hurricanes bring their A game. The Yellow Jackets have the only losing record in the ACC.

North Carolina State (10-4, 0-1) vs. Notre Dame (11-3, 1-0) -7

You never want to hear about a player getting injured in a sporting event. It’s even worse when a senior leader might be out for the rest of the season. That’s exactly what the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are going through. Bonzie Colson is the leading scorer and rebounder. Now, he is out for two months. How will that alter the Fighting Irish? We will find out when the North Carolina State Wolfpack bring their press in a road game. The Fighting Irish are still a touchdown + PAT favorite. Luckily, they have Matt Farrell to remain in charge of the offense.

No. 8 Virginia (12-1, 1-0) vs. Virginia Tech (11-3, 0-1) +2

The Virginia Cavaliers opened the conference season with a one point win over the Boston College Eagles. Now, they come into their first road game as a slight two point favorite the Virginia Tech Hokies. Clearly, this will be a matchup of styles and philosophy. Neither team is overwhelmingly big, but the Cavaliers have more size in the middle. The Cavaliers average 71 points per game. The Hokies pour in 88 points per game. However, they were held to 56 points in the conference opener at Syracuse. It’s a must-win at home for the Hokies. If it comes down to the final shot, the Hokies have plenty of 3-point shooters. Yet, Ahmed Hill is their leading scorer and best shooter percentage-wise. Will he be able to discard from the sticky man to man.

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