Well that was an interesting night in the ACC. On one hand, Duke showed that they can play with even the most talented of teams and can be carried by senior leadership. On the other hand, Virginia and Miami lost to Delaware and Florida Gulf Coast, respectively.
Duke 75 Kentucky 68
First, the seniors for Duke set the tone early and in critical situations as Mason Plumlee, Ryan Kelly, and Seth Curry combined for 51 of Duke's 75 points. Each of the 3 made high pressure shots for the Blue Devils, simply doing what seniors should do. That said, the underclassmen provided a big lift, notably Rasheed Sulaimon who didn't have the best of shooting nights finished with 10 points and led the team with 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Josh Hairston may have had his best game as a Blue Devil, coming off the bench to score 5 points and grab 5 rebounds while Mason Plumlee sat for large portions of the game with foul trouble.
Virginia dropped to 1-2 with a loss to Delaware on Tuesday night. The offense was dreadful for the Cavaliers in the first half, scoring just 15 points while trailing by double-figures. Virginia did manage to take the lead in the 2nd half, but Delaware managed to win it and will head to Madison Square Garden as part of the preseason NIT while UVA will stay home and play a couple consolation games. The good news for UVA is that Jontel Evans did play, although in a limited role.
Here is Tony Bennett on Virginia's loss to Delaware.
Florida Gulf Coast 63 Miami 51
Miami lost to Florida Gulf Coast 63-51 on Tuesday night and while the Canes are still playing without Durand Scott, Hurricanes fans are starting to get frustrated. The season holds a lot of promise for Miami, but according to StateOfTheU.com, the Canes got outhustled...
FGCU outhustled the 'Canes at both ends of the court. They demolished Miami on the break. The smaller Eagles somehow dominated the paint and reduced the 'Canes to an ice cold perimeter team. Miami had little success attacking the zone and let the Eagles dictate the pace of the game. The 'Canes committed 18 turnovers and only dished out 10 assists. Miami shot 11-21 from the FT line. Durand Scott was still suspended.
In looking at the box score, the eye-sore is Miami's shooting. The Canes shot 29% for the game, and just 27% from 2 point range. The 2 point shooting is unacceptable when you have players like Kenny Kadji and Reggie Johnson down low. It's a "want to" thing for those two guys. In other words, those guys can get themselves in good scoring position if they want to. Their performance against Florida Gulf Coast says a lot about their motivation. We all know what we'll get when they are playing in the conference on a national stage, unfortunately they didn't decide to show up on Tuesday and their team suffered.