Wildest ACC Weekend Ever?

As a reader pointed out, based on Ken Pomeroy percentages UNC had a 9% chance of grabbing the #1 seed heading into the weekend.  UNC needed to beat Duke but also have Virginia lose to the 11th place team in the conference and Virginia Tech lose to the 8th place team in the conference at home.  So what happens?  All of the above.  Add to the mix Georgia Tech still looks impressive in their win over Boston College, Duke is going to be without one of their best players against an NC State team who is convinced they mailed it in versus Duke earlier this season and a Maryland team who is the hottest in the conference.  Here is a nice bracket from fellow Tar Heel blog Carolina March.

acc_brackets.JPG

So who is going to win this thing?  That is anyone’s guess.  The interesting aspect is the two hottest teams in the ACC, Maryland and Georgia Tech would have to win four games, something that has not been done in the ACC.  Fortunate for them they are also two of the teams which do not experience depth issues.    So how do you think Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Boston College feel knowing they could face Duke, Georgia Tech, and Maryland on Friday?  UNC handled both FSU and Clemson during the regular season which is no guarantee now but the prospect of facing BC or MD on Saturday should they make it that far is a frightening prospect.  The first round game that intrigues me the most is Duke-NC State simply because Duke comes in missing a key player and NC State is capable of knocking them off should they shoot well.   Clemson-FSU should be a well contested game given the loser is NCAA toast if they are not already.  Maryland-Miami and Wake-GT should be ho-hum affairs.

I will say one thing though.  I agree with something Roy said last season and that was when you enter a tournament or each round of the NCAAs, you have to reinvent your momentum.  The nature of the game changes in a single elimination tournament.  I think everyone plays tighter and if you have a shooter get hot for the weekend, you can ride that through.  So in one respect Maryland and GT could come out playing poorly while the three Commonwealth based schools could play some improved basketball.

At any rate I do not expect a dull moment.

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6 Responses to Wildest ACC Weekend Ever?

  1. jackiemanuel says:

    Hopefully we’ll finally get this one!

  2. williamodouglas says:

    I generally don’t believe in trying very hard to win the ACC tournament and this has generally been the policy of both Dean Smith and Roy Williams. Dean never admitted it during his coaching career, but does in his autobiography. Certain years after 1977, he would really try to win the tournament, but other years he would de-emphasize it. I think Roy takes the same approach as one can tell from his statements in his biography by Adam Lucas.

    Nevertheless, I think that this year might be a year to put more energy into it. We are very deep and have plenty of players, unlike in 2005 when McCants was ill. We are also very young and obviously our players could use the work that some extra games provide.

  3. Tar Heel alum and fan says:

    I’d say use the AAC Tourney to work out remaining kinks. Despite our win over Duke, which we simply wore down with our depth the last two games, I still have concerns about our half-court offense, which with Hansbrough and Wright in the paint and both slashers and 3-point shooters outside, should be much better. I think we’ll see a lot of zone defense in the NCAAs. Our defensive rebounding also could use improvement though I wonder whether that simply is because UNC players are releasing to get the break going on offense.

  4. williamodouglas says:

    I agree. The halfcourt offense still didn’t look that good, although I didn’t see a large part of the first half because I was watching Creighton and Missouri State. If CBS doesn’t want to televise the Duke-Carolina game then put it back on Raycom. The ACC should not allow CBS to do this in the future, they either need to switch to the game, provide alternate channels on Directv or cable, or make sure they have 15 minutes of lead in.

    I don’t even know what seniors got to start or how long they played or anything. And thanks to Duke, such a classy program, for ruining our Senior day with your antics, if not your play.

  5. T Square says:

    “So how do you think Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Boston College feel knowing they could face Duke, Georgia Tech, and Maryland on Friday?”

    I like this question because I can answer that Duke should be a non-issue. They are not a great team. McRoberts is a dope and easily frustrated, Paulus is on some sort of weird coach K voodoo that has greatly inproved his shooting, but still not a great player. Otherwise, the team has potential, but not like the Duke teams of the recent past. Any concerns about playing Duke are mental. Maryland and GT have stepped up. Concerns about playing them are real. Ultimately, any team can beat any other team in this crazy ACC Tourny. That’s what’s makes it so great! Me, I’m pulling for the HEELS!!

  6. Mark says:

    Duke is not a great team this year, however they are always dangerous in the tournament. It isn’t just “mental” to be concerned about them. It isn’t as if we haven’t looked like paper tigers ourselves at times this year (ZAGS, Tech, etc). That said, of course I hope they make it through to the final, so we can have the third game with them.

    Beating Dook 3 times a year >>>>> NCAA title.

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