It seems like we learn something new after every week of ACC basketball. This
past weekend, I learned that karma does indeed come back around. There were
several examples of this in Sunday’s Tech-NC State game, but examples could be
found in another ACC game as well.
We all know the story by now. NC State had beaten Virginia Tech six straight
times. They were blowing the Hokies out in the second half, leading 63-45 with
13 minutes remaining. Things weren’t looking good for the home team.
I told several people recently that Tech would probably beat NC State when we
least expect it. I thought the Hokies stood a good chance to win this game
before it started, but I sure didn’t expect it to happen when they were down by
18 in the second half. Sure enough, when I least expected it, they won. After
six straight games of futility against the Wolfpack, Tech deserved some
basketball luck, and they got it.
You want to talk about some karma coming back around? Look no further than
the free throw shooting of Ben McCauley and Dennis Horner. McCauley entered the
game hitting 62-of-95 from the free throw line this year, good for 65.3%.
Against Virginia Tech, he played like a typical NC State basketball player does
against the Hokies. He hardly missed. He made 13-of-15 from the charity stripe,
obviously a much greater clip than his usual average.
With McCauley shooting out of his mind from the line, it just didn’t seem
like Tech’s day. Particularly with Dennis Horner going to the free throw line
with State up 76-74 and 31 seconds showing on the clock. Horner was shooting
86.2% from the line heading into the game, the highest percentage on his team.
Conventional wisdom said that he’d hit both free throws, which probably would
have ended Tech’s chances for a comeback win.
However, Horner missed both free throws, which is almost like Malcolm Delaney
going to the line and missing a pair. Horner’s misses canceled out the
impressive day at the line by McCauley. In the end, things evened out at the
free throw line.
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