ACC Final Weekend Previews: March 3
Wake Forest (13-16, 4-11) at Georgia Tech (10-19, 3-12), 12:00 PM, ACC Network/ESPN3
While it looks like Wake Forest head coach Jeff Bzdelik isn’t in immediate danger of losing his job, the Deacons have looked awful at times against good competition. Still, a win would give Wake season sweeps over cellar-dwellers Boston College and Georgia Tech, plus four more ACC wins than last year.
Key to the game: Rebounding. Georgia Tech is actually not a bad rebounding team, but Wake Forest has been most of this year. But in the first meeting, Wake dominated the boards 42-32 (including 18-12 on the offensive glass). Neither Georgia Tech nor Wake generally get many offensive rebounds, but both teams will likely miss plenty of shots. Both teams need to pound the defensive glass and can’t allow second chances.
Random stat: Georgia Tech’s sophomore big men (Daniel Miller and Kammeon Holsey) should make Yellow Jacket fans very optimistic about the future. The duo has combined for 25.5 points on 56.4% shooting in the last two games (adding 13.5 rebounds). But all of their teammates have combined for 32.0 points on 32.4% shooting and 9.5 rebounds in that same span.
Prediction: Wake Forest 68, Georgia Tech 63
Boston College (9-20, 4-11) at Miami (17-11, 8-7), 2:30 PM, ACC Network/ESPN3
This isn’t so much a must-win for Miami as it is a must-not-lose. Not that the committee looks at margin of victory, but I’d go so far as to call it a must-not-win-by-less-than-10-points. Plus, Miami’s still in position to slide into fourth place, should Virginia and NC State falter on Sunday.
Key to the game: Three-pointers/shot selection. Miami is bigger than Boston College nearly everywhere, but the Hurricanes love to shoot a ton of three’s. If they don’t make them, they will give BC essentially their only chance to win. On the flip side, in BC’s four ACC wins, the Eagles have shot nearly 42% from three compared to just 32% in losses. The only road game BC has come really close in this year was at Virginia Tech, where it made 9-of-22 three-pointers.
Random stat: Quietly, Miami’s Malcolm Grant seems to have found himself again. The senior guard has made 11-of-27 3’s (40.7%) in the last four games compared to 17-of-73 (23.3%) in the first 11 ACC games. He’s still not shooting well overall (32.4% in the last four) but Miami needs him to hit three’s, and he’s done that.
Prediction: Miami 77, Boston College 58
Last week: 7-4
Season: 127-46 (63-27 ACC)