Friday, February 28, 2014

ACC Tournament Outlook

As Selection Sunday and the conference tournament around the corner, things are starting to shape up in the ACC, let's take a look at who's in for sure, who might get in, and who has had their March dreams crushed. Check out more at Only College Sports

Locks: Virginia, Syracuse, Duke, UNC, Pitt


Virginia is sitting real pretty right now, they can lock up the ACC regular season title with one more win, either against Syracuse or Maryland. They could go up to a 2 seed but more realistically they will probably not win the ACC tournament and maybe not Syracuse on the first. I see them around a 4 seed.

Syracuse had a two game skid but still has a legitimate chance at getting the #1 overall seed in the tournament if they win out. The ACC tournament won't be easy for anyone, especially the offensively slumping Syracuse, but they have the talent and clearly the defensive ability to win the ACC.

I'll bet Duke can't wait until UNC comes in to Cameron Indoor. That win against Syracuse would have been sweeter if they didn't have the bitter taste of losing to their biggest rival just two days before. But Duke is in good  shape to make a run in the ACC tournament, I don't see them getting out before the finals, hopefully against Syracuse. A rubber match is needed in that one after those first two classics.

UNC has been an interesting topic all season. Losing to Belmont then beating Louisville, then losing to UAB and beating Michigan State on the road. All in all, they've legitimized themselves as of recently, winning 11 of their last 12, and their last 10 in a row. The most probable outcome for them is beating V-Tech and Notre Dame and losing to Duke, giving them a solid 4 seed going in to the ACC tournament and depending on how they do there, even a 4 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Pitt is 3-5 in their last 8, with two of those wins in OT. Needless to say they're struggling, and at the wrong time. In that 8 game span they average around 61 points per game, and that's including 15 extra minutes of play in the overtimes. For the whole season they average 72 ppg, which is already a weak 153rd in the country. They are still a lock for the tournament, but they aren't making it easy for themselves. They could drop to an 11 or 12 in the NCAA tournament if the struggles continue.


Bubble: Florida State, Clemson, NC State 


Florida State is sitting at 16-11 right now, they will probably win their next two games against Georgia Tech and BC, but the one they are going to need is home against Syracuse. They're a long team, which can cause problems for a lot of teams, especially the guard heavy teams they played early in the season. VCU and UMass could be very favorable wins when the committee looks at their resume in just a few weeks. But they are going to need to impress, and they are going to have to do it soon.

Clemson has a pretty weak resume. They're only impressive win is home against Duke, which was huge for them and all, but after that, their best win is... NC State? If you're comparing their resume to Florida State you will have to give the edge to the Seminoles, they've split the head to head series and Florida State has better wins. Two things are going to have to happen for Clemson, one is that Florida State will have to make the tournament, the other is that they will have to win out in the regular season and maybe two wins in the conference tournament too.

NC State was one turnover away from beating Syracuse in the Carrier Dome and one defensive stop away from beating UNC at home. If both of those happened, NC State would be at the top of the bubble instead of the bottom looking up. Even if they had one of those wins, they would be in an extremely better case. They are going to have to win out the regular season, which includes @ Pitt, which isn't easy even if they're slumping. Even if that happens they might need a win over one of those top 4 teams in the conference tournament to be proud of and more confident going in to Selection Sunday. I feel bad for NC State, I love watching T.J. Warren play, but their chances are pretty slim at this point.


No Chance: Everybody Else


Maryland couldn't get the wins they needed to as of recently to get in to tournament considerations. Two point loss at Duke and then a two point loss to Syracuse really killed them. Now they play the role of season-killer against Clemson and just look to cause havoc in the tournament, but they have no shot at this point.

Notre Dame just didn't step up enough during the season, they can really hurt Pitt's chances at a favorable seed though, and get another good win possible at UNC, but their hopes are up.

And BC, let's not forget that they were getting votes to be ranked in the pre-season. That was a nice win over Syracuse, sure shocked them. But I'm sure they expected more than 7-21 out of this season.
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