Washington D.C. – The ACC Tournament kicked off play at the Verizon Center with two first-round games Tuesday. Washington, D.C. hosts the tournament for the first time since 2005, when Maryland was still member of the conference.
In the opening game of the tournament, NC State’s Maverick Rowan connected on a career-high six 3-pointers en route to a 24-point performance. ACC leading scorer Cat Barber added another 22 points as the Wolfpack defeated Wake Forest 75-72.
The game was filled with excitement, with 15 ties and 17 lead changes.
The 13th seeded Demon Deacons were led by Freshman Bryant Crawford, who connected on 7-17 shooting for 19 points. Wake Forest led by 1 at the half.
The teams went back and forth with neither leading by more than six points until the final six minutes of regulation. Rowan and Crawford went shot for shot late in the second half, but an offensive foul by Crawford with 3:28 left allowed NC State to solidify a lead.
NC State’s Head Coach Mark Gottfried spoke after the game, “I think it was a gutsy win. It wasn’t a pretty game necessarily. But I thought both teams played extremely hard.”
NC State moves on the face Duke Wednesday in the second round.
The second game of the day pitted a young Florida State Seminoles team against a winless 14th seeded Boston College. FSU’s Devon Bookert led his team with 15 points, as they defeated the Eagles 88-66.
The Seminoles led by only nine at half, but scored the first six points of the second and never looked back. Malik Beasley and Dwayne Bacon added 13 points apiece.
The Eagles finish a historically bad season, becoming only the sixth ACC men’s basketball team to go winless in conference games. A freshmen-filled roster and injuries to key players plagued the team’s season. BC becomes the first team to lose 19 of 19 games in the league. Boston College’s Eli Carter finished the game with 21 points.
BC senior Dennis Clifford had 15 points and nine rebounds to finish his career, while helping to keep the game close early.
FSU moves on to play Virginia Tech on Wednesday and has the talent to be a possible spoiler for higher seeds later in the tournament.
Wednesday’s four game second round begins at 2pm, with the following games scheduled for 2, 7, and 9 pm.