ACC Basketball Update(3/7)

UNC-Duke is not the only winner takes all showdown this weekend

In what can only be described as an odd confluence of events, Clemson and Virginia Tech will square off this weekend in a straight up battle for 3rd place in the ACC while UNC and Duke are battling for 1st.  This is all because Clemson went to Atlanta and lost to Georgia Tech despite the fact the Jackets were playing there third game in six days and lost to Virginia on Monday night.  This result along with Virginia Tech demolishing Wake Forest leaves both teams 9-6 and facing each other this weekend at Clemson.  Since this is the only meeting between these two, the winner takes 3rd.  The loser would fall to 9-7 and should Miami beat FSU this weekend they would also be 9-7.  According to ACC Now, Miami owns all the tiebreakers over the Clemson-VT loser.  As since J.P. Giglio did all the legwork on what happens down the line I am going to let him explain how the ACC Tournament seeding works out.

No. 1: UNC-Duke winner.

No. 2: UNC-Duke loser.

No. 3: Virginia Tech-Clemson winner

No. 4: Miami clinches the No. 4 seed with a win at FSU. Otherwise, No. 4 belongs to the Virginia Tech-Clemson loser.

The Canes, at 9-7, would hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over Virginia Tech (won the only meeting) and Maryland (won the only meeting). The Canes also hold the tie-breaker over Clemson (they split the season series) due to their win over Duke.

If Miami loses, both Virginia Tech and Clemson hold the head-to-head tie-breaker over Maryland.

There is no scenario where Maryland finishes No. 4.

No. 5: If Miami wins, Clemson holds the head-to-head tie-breaker over Maryland (won the only meeting).

Virginia Tech holds the head-to-head tie-breaker over Maryland (season sweep).

Maryland can only finish No. 5 with a win AND a Miami loss.

No. 6: If Miami wins, Maryland’s locked into the No. 6 seed, regardless of what it does against Virginia.
If Miami loses and Maryland wins, Miami is the No. 6 seed. If both teams lose, Miami is the No. 5 and Maryland is the No. 6.

No. 7: Georgia Tech has the best group record among the three 6-9 teams (Wake and FSU).

GT holds the head-to-head tie-breaker over Wake (season sweep). Wake holds the head-to-head tie-breaker over FSU (season sweep). FSU holds head-to-head over GT (won the only meeting).

No. 8: See No. 7.

No. 9: See No. 7.

No. 10: Boston College has the best group record among the three 4-11 teams (UVa and N.C. State).

BC holds the head-to-head tie-breaker over UVa (won the only meeting) and N.C. State (won the only meeting).

UVa holds the tie-breaker over N.C. State (won the only meeting).

N.C. State can only finish No. 10 with a win AND losses by BC AND UVa.

No. 11: See No. 10.

No. 12: N.C. State clinches No. 12 with a loss OR wins by BC AND UVa.

In other words, someone in the league office will be doing calculus until 2 AM Monday morning trying to get the seedings worked out.  And in this UNC could end up with some favorable matchups depending on who wins and loses.  I, for one, do not want to see Clemson in the semifinals but Saturday might be the least of the Heels’ concerns since they could end up playing either GT, Wake or FSU in the quarters.  Quite frankly I do not care for any of those but UNC also will have the advantage of their opponent playing the previous day.  Assuming they get to Saturday, I do not want to see Clemson because winning three times against one team is tough enough and Clemson has been so close twice I have a bad feeling about playing with fire a third time.  That basically means, as far as a potential semifinal matchup goes, UNC and Clemson both need to win this weekend to avoid one another next weekend.  That is assuming they win on Friday which is no guarantee in tournament play.

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17 Responses to ACC Basketball Update(3/7)

  1. Will says:

    Another complicated question is what does UNC have to do to get the #1 seed vis-a-vis Duke. If we win Saturday, we will be “up” 2 games on Duke, and thus would have a better record even if Duke wins the Tournament.

    But if we lose, I suppose our records would be tied, with Duke holding a 2-0 advantage going into the Tournament. If we then go on to win the Tournament, we’d have a better record, but if we beat Duke in the finals, what then? That’s a close call.

  2. Tar Heel Fan says:

    In 1991, UNC and Duke were tied heading into the reg season finale and Duke beat UNC to earn the season sweep. The next week UNC blew Duke out to win the ACC title. What did the committee do? UNC #1 seed in the East, Duke #2 seed in the Midwest.

    The issue this season is you have could make a case that UCLA, Memphis, Tenn and Kansas can all be #1 seeds so if Duke and UNC beat up on each other too much they could both end up #2 seeds. That being said, if they put UNC as the #2 seed in the East against Tenn, I will take that matchup playing the first two weekends in NC any day of the week.

    Bottom line is if UNC beats Duke on Sat. then I think they get a #1 seed but whether they draw East versus another region will depend on how they do in comparison to Tennessee, Kansas and UCLA during the conf tourney weekend. Memphis is a lock because they will not likely lose in CUSA.

  3. william says:

    Whoever wins Saturday gets the first number one seed, unless they meet again in the finals and the result is different. Then the committee has a difficult decision, weighing Lawson’s injury in the first game versus Duke having the home court advantage in the second game.

    UCLA and Georgetown keep getting bailed out by the officials and should have both lost this week, which would have cleared some things out at the top, but really, apart from momentum and the issue of playing in NC, I don’t think a number 2 seed is that different from a number one seed. Historically, you still have a pretty easy first game. The games start getting more competitive when you get down to the third and forth seeds (Weber State). Of course, does anyone remember Carolina almost being the first 16 seed to lose back in 1997 to a team with a horrible, horrible record, like 8-20 or something. The game was not on where I was and I had to listen on the radio and it was nervewracking. I think we won by like 6 points after trailing a lot of the game. I think it was Fairfield or something like that.

  4. william says:

    Boy, 1991 was disappointing. We weren’t actually all that great, but the East Region was terrible that year, maybe the worst its been since the 70’s and we still barely won it. Then we were lucky enough not to draw UNLV in the Semi’s and even though we lost to Kansas, I was not that upset because everyone knew we could not be UNLV anyway, so it wasn’t as though we blew a chance to win the championship. Oops!.

    That should be one of our fantasy games, THF. In the alternate reality, Carolina edges Kansas and faces Duke in the finals. What kind of game is it and who wins?

  5. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Except UNC has never won a national title without being the #1 seed in the East. Of course as 2007, 1998, 1997, 1994, 1991, 1987 and 1984 tells us being #1 in the East is no assurance of anything either.

  6. Tar Heel alum and fan says:

    UNC also seems to play well on the road so I don’t know that a seeding outside the East will make the road to the Final Four significantly more difficult. All depends on the matchups. We could get the #1 or #2 seed in the East and face teams we don’t match up with too well. It’s all a bit of a crapshoot.

  7. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Duke-UNC in 1991?

    That would be interesting. Heels dropped the season series but beat them by 22 in the ACC Championship game. UNC had King Rice, Rick Fox, Pete Chilcutt and the class that won the title as juniors which still included Clifford Rozier. Duke had Hurley, both Hills, Laettner and Brian Davis. I am not sure how Duke would have handled that game from a psychological edge considering they upset UNLV who beat them by 30 the previous season. Undoubtedly the experience factor would have played a role in favor of Duke but you have no way of knowing if Duke would have played a letdown game against UNC or the combination of a potential letdown and the pressure of playing UNC for ALL the marbles might have been too much. That being said, for some reason I am inclined to think Duke would have had an edge in that one but not much. Whatever the case it would have been a fun game.

  8. william says:

    THF, let’s not make the mistake that the media guys make by placing too much importance on the point that Carolina has never made it to the Final Four as a number two seed. First of all, these teams and seasons are all different and don’t influence one another. Second, Roy Williams has, in fact, made it to the Final Four with a number two seed, not that that really matters either. Non of these factors are statistically correlated as far as I can see.

    With respect to the 1991 Blue Devils, I think the question is, did they take the ACC tournament final off essentially, knowing they were already going to be a number one seed? I didn’t think so at the time, but on the other hand, they were clearly at team on the rise as shown by their performance the next season. This was during the phase where K was having the bulk of his success against Smith, something that ended abruptly in February of 1993. I hated to say it but I fear that Duke probably would have beaten us, but emotion would have played such a big part that there is no way to know. Perhaps, having already won a title, Smith would have had an advantage over K that Roy lacked, There is little doubt that Kansas could have won that game had they played like they had on the Saturday before.

  9. C. Michael says:

    UNC was a #2 seed in 1995 when they took out a loaded Kentucky team in the Elite 8 to go to the Final 4.

  10. Tar Heel Fan says:

    UNC has made it as a #2 seed. 1995 they knocked off #1 seeded UK in the South to advance to the FF. They also made it as a #8 seed in 2000.

  11. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Okay, let’s try not to do that again okay?

  12. C. Michael says:

    Wow, THAT is creepy. Almost verbatim!

  13. Tar Heel alum and fan says:

    Great (Tar Heel) minds think alike

  14. Tar Heel Fan says:

    BTW, had that regional final vs UK been played today I am pretty sure Rasheed Wallace would have been ejected for taking a swing and suspended for the Final Four game.

  15. Josh Bowling says:

    I am scared that an injury to Paulus may happen in tomorrow night’s game. Why he chooses to guard people so physically I do not know, and why the ACC allows it I do not know as well. When he is put to the task of guarding Lawson, we know he will be all over him. It seems as if every time he defends a guard real physically, he gets injured. I see this game as being no different. I just don’t want to be thought of as being malicious if he happens to draw an elbow. I know our players aren’t like that and I don’t want them to be associated with players/teams like that. Hopefully he will just flop instead.

  16. william says:

    Oh right, I thought you meant Final Four and you meant title. Well, haven’t all of our titles been either in a state that has a Kansas City or in Louisiana? Where are the finals this year?

  17. Josh Bowling says:

    I am pleased that both UNC/Duke games have been officiated pretty well. Duke did not get nearly the home court advantage that I thought they might. Neither did we. Probably why we got the results we have. They outplayed us the first trip, and us likewise the second trip. Great game.

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