NEW YORK (AP) — Brandon Johns Jr. scored 18 points, Zeb Jackson added a season-high 16 points, and VCU beat Pittsburgh 71-67 in the Legends Classic consolation game. In a second half game-winning streak, VCU had the final run, retaking the lead as Johns scored five straight points and the Rams outscored the Panthers 15-7 in the final two minutes. Blake Hinson led the Panthers (1-3) with 19 points, Jamarius Burton added 14, Nelly Cummings 11 and Jorge Diaz Graham 10.
CHARLESTON, SC (AP) — Sean Pedulla had 18 points with seven assists as Virginia Tech held off Old Dominion 75-71 in the first round of the Charleston Classic. The Hokies will play Penn State in the semifinals on Friday while the Monarchs face Furman. Grant Basile had 15 points, Darius Maddox added 12 and Justyn Mutts had 11 along with nine rebounds. Chaunce Jenkins scored 16 of his 24 career points in a second half rally for Old Dominion. Mekhi Long added 10 points and 11 rebounds.
UNDATED (AP) — Surprising Duke and Pittsburgh will play to improve bowl placement when they meet on Saturday. The Blue Devils are tied for #3 in the ACC with seven wins #20 Florida State and #20 North Carolina State. They will have to find a new formula against the Panthers, who have won 10 of their last 11 meetings. A busy weekend also sees Syracuse and Wake Forest meet in a meeting of faltering teams, Boston College playing at 18 Notre Dame and Virginia Tech at the Liberty.
CLEMSON, SC (AP) — Miami first-year head coach Mario Cristobal knows No. 9 Clemson is the ACC program he needs to chase. Cristobal says the Tigers have a hit culture that has put them at the top of the conference. Clemson is looking for its fourth undefeated ACC regular season since 2015. The Tigers have also won 39 straight at home, a streak that began in November 2016. Miami had its struggles in Cristobal’s rookie season. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said the Hurricanes have what it takes to get back on top. The two teams play on Saturday.
ATLANTA (AP) — Javon Franklin had 14 points and 11 rebounds, Deivon Smith added 11 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three blocks as Georgia Tech beat Northern Illinois 68-50. Georgia Tech started a season with a three-game hitting streak for the first time since the 2015-16 season. Georgia Tech scored the first seven points of the game and never trailed, leading 43–20 at halftime. Northern Illinois started the second half on a 17-1 run to make it 44-37, but Franklin started a 9-0 run that put Georgia Tech ahead in double figures the rest of the way. Miles Kelly had 13 points and Dallan Coleman added 12 for Georgia Tech, who play Utah on Monday. The Yellow Jackets shot just 39% from the field but held NIU to 27%.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Coach Mike Norvell has built a culture that embraces hard work at Florida State and the No. 2 Seminoles. 19 are delivering the kind of progress he envisioned. Florida State has won three games in 2020, its freshman year, and five in 2021. After a three-game midseason skid this year, the Seminoles have won three straight games, including a 42-point rout of rival Miami and a 38-3 loss of Syracuse last Saturday night finished Atlantic Coast Conference play at 5-3. It’s the most league wins for the program since 2016. The Seminoles will chase their eighth win of the season against Louisiana on Saturday.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — No. 18 Notre Dame has won 27 consecutive regular season games against the ACC. On Saturday, the Fighting Irish can extend that streak on Saturday when they host Boston College. The Eagles are exiting after snapping a streak, finally beating a ranked opponent after 25 tries. The Eagles have the worst rushing offense in the Bowl Subdivision and their starting quarterback was injured.
CHAPEL HILL, NC (AP) — Coach Mack Brown had been clear he didn’t want to talk various scenarios for his North Carolina team to clinch the Atlantic Coast Conference division title, just by winning. The 13th-ranked Tar Heels did so and secured a spot in the championship game. He sets up a new challenge entering Saturday’s home game against Georgia Tech: Focus on the task at hand with so much ahead. The Tar Heels (9-1, 6-0 ACC) clinched the divisional game with last weekend’s win at Wake Forest, capping off the season’s first 6-0 road record in program history. Now they’re back home for their last two games, the first against the Yellow Jackets (4-6, 3-4) before hosting the Wolfpack as they look to hit 10 wins for the first time since 2015.
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