February 27, 2024 

ACC notebook: Dyaisha Fair moves to fifth on all-time scoring list

Cavaliers upset Louisville and Hokies, Syracuse earn top-four seeds

As ACC basketball approaches the last week of the regular season, competition is as tumultuous as ever — top-ranked Louisville and NC State are struggling to close out the season strong while Virginia Tech and Syracuse, the latter powered by Dyaisha Fair, have already secured double byes in the conference tournament. 

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Amidst the chaos, the Orange’s Fair surpassed Brittney Griner on the NCAA DI women’s basketball all-time scoring list and the Hokies hosted the first-ever ESPN College Gameday at an ACC women’s pregame.

Here’s your week 16 ACC notebook.

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What everybody’s talking about: Virginia upsets Louisville

The Cavaliers pulled off a 73-68 upset over then-No. 20 Louisville to hand the Cardinals their fourth loss in as many weeks. Forward Camryn Taylor led Virginia with 22 points, followed by guard Kymora Johnson with 18 points. The Cavaliers maintained a consistently solid effort throughout the first three periods and then outscored Louisville 26-14 in the fourth quarter to secure the win. 

While Virginia was happy to take home a victory over a ranked team, this game fueled the Cardinals’ concerning downhill trajectory. Despite sitting atop the conference rankings in January, Louisville has lost one game per week in the month of February and the team hasn’t won on a Sunday since Jan. 28 — a trend it’ll certainly hope to break this week when it hosts No. 17 Notre Dame. The Cardinals are still in the running for a top-four seed, with a chance to prove themselves this week against the Irish and Florida State.

This caught my attention: Dyaisha Fair moves to No. 5 on the NCAA D1 women’s basketball all-time scoring list

Syracuse’s Dyaisha Fair scored 22 points against Duke and 23 points against Pitt to bring her career total to 3,302 points and surpass current WNBA star and former Baylor center Brittney Griner on the NCAA D1 women’s basketball all-time scoring list. 

Fair has averaged 21.8 points this season, the third-most in the ACC. She’s tallied 18 20-point performances this season, including three 30-point games. 

Now that she’s passed Griner’s 3,283 points, Fair will set her sights on Jackie Stiles’ 3,393 career total to move up to fourth on the list. This could prove to be a lofty goal, depending on how far the Orange goes in the postseason. 

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Other notable headlines

Virginia Tech, Syracuse secure top four seeds in ACC tournament

With one week left to play in the regular season, only two ACC teams have clinched a top-four seed and double-bye in the conference tournament. The Hokies were awarded the No. 1 overall seed and rightfully so — since losing back-to-back games against Florida State and Duke in mid-January, Virginia Tech has won 10 straight games, including multiple double-digit wins over ranked opponents. 

Syracuse has secured a spot in the top-four but it is still to be determined which spot that will be. With a win over NC State on Thursday, the Orange could guarantee a No. 2 seed. 

The remaining two double-byes are still up for grabs, with potential to go to NC State, Notre Dame, Louisville, Florida State, Duke, or North Carolina depending on how this week’s games play out. Prior to last week’s surprising skid, the Wolfpack had nearly locked down a top-four seed.

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NC State falls to both Triangle opponents

Week 16 was a rough one for the then-No. 6 Wolfpack — the red-and-white fell to both Duke and rival North Carolina in consecutive games, both by double-digit margins. Following the losses, the Pack dropped six spots in the AP poll. 

On Thursday, the Wolfpack kept pace with North Carolina for the majority of the contest, but the Tar Heels managed to keep the visitors contained en route to an 80-70 victory. 

Against the Blue Devils, NC State struggled to bounce back from a dismal first-half performance. The Pack headed into the locker room down 35-20, a deficit it couldn’t overcome with a 37-point performance in the second half. 

With a top-25 matchup with No. 17 Syracuse on the horizon, the Pack will need to get it together quickly if it wants to secure a top seed in the upcoming conference tournament. 

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Virginia Tech hosts ESPN College Gameday 

Virginia Tech hosted the first ever ESPN College Gameday at an ACC women’s school and the second ever College Gameday at Cassell Coliseum when it faced North Carolina on Sunday, Feb. 25. The Hokies have been as dominant as ever in the past couple of weeks and are making a strong case for repeat ACC Champions, setting the perfect stage for an rowdy Gameday atmosphere in Blacksburg.

The game drew a sellout crowd of 8,925 fans for just the ninth time since 2010 that College Gameday has traveled to a women’s basketball game. The Hokies overwhelmed the Tar Heels, 74-62, behind 34 points from center Elizabeth Kitley.

This week in ACC action

  • Thursday: Virginia Tech plays Notre Dame at 7 p.m. ET
  • Thursday: Syracuse plays NC State at 7 p.m. ET
  • Thursday: Florida State plays Louisville at 8 p.m. ET
  • Sunday: Louisville plays Notre Dame at 2 p.m. ET
  • Sunday: Duke plays North Carolina at 4 p.m.

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Written by Jenna Cuniowski

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