Monday Rundown: ACC Basketball

Two weeks in and as the late Denny Green might say, “They are who we thought they were!” The usual ACC blue bloods are up top, with the standings shaking out roughly how you might have guessed they would.

It’s still extremely early however and this week will tell us a tremendous deal about the true depth of the ACC.

No. 18 Orange upset by South Carolina, Outscored by Football Team

Sindarius Thornwell scored 16 points to lead the Gamecocks to a 64-50 win over Syracuse in the Brooklyn Invitational. South Carolina is now 6-0 and upset not only the Orange, but also the No. 25 Michigan Wolverines with both games coming last week.

Syracuse struggled to score against Frank Martin’s tough defensive squad and, in a bizarre occurrence, the Orange were outscored by their football team in a record-setting 76-61 loss to Pittsburgh.

Tyler Lydon continued his strong start to the season with 18 points and seven rebounds to lead the Syracuse effort. It’s worth noting that Zach Mahoney threw five touchdown passes to Amba Etta-Tawo to score 30 points apiece to lead all scorers, but now I’m just being silly.

No. 10 Louisville Blows a 22-point lead against No. 20 Baylor

The Battle 4 Atlantis championship game was a wild 66-63 cap to an exciting tournament that saw champion Baylor come back from halftime deficits on three consecutive days. The Bears outscored Louisville (5-1) 42-24 in the second half led by sophomore guard King McClure who scored all 15 of his points in the second frame.

The Cardinals played 12 players but proven depth is clearly going to be a hampering factor going forward, particularly in the backcourt. The starters played 19, 29, 30, 36, and 34 minutes respectively. Those last two numbers represent starting guards Donovan Mitchell and Quentin Snider.

Only one reserve guard played and that was David Levitch who scored two points and grabbed a rebound in seven minutes of action.

Big Ten Looks for Third Straight ACC/Big Ten Challenge Title

The Big Ten has certainly been a strong conference the last few seasons and top to bottom, this season looks even more promising early. The same can be said for the ACC and while the body of work is too small a sample size to tell if preseason expectations will be met, it’s clear that the ACC has its best chance in a while to assert its dominance in the challenge.

The Big Ten won eight games to six the last two seasons, and this year may be just as close. Overall, the ACC leads the all-time challenge series with a record of 10-5-2.

Keep an eye on the Monday game featuring Florida State against Minnesota. The Seminoles are 5-1 as most expected and clearly quite talented, but the Gophers are off to a suprisingly fast start. At 6-0, Minnesota has nearly equaled last season’s win total of eight.

I have a feeling that whichever conference is the victor in this match up will win the whole thing.

Follow me on Twitter @BestCates and follow @InsideTheACC for more Atlantic Coast Conference coverage.


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