ACC Tournament Preview
The ACC has the rare opportunity to put three (3) teams on the 1 line in the NCAA Tournament this season. Virginia is there right now, North Carolina should be there right now, and Duke is right on the cusp. Aside from the top of the league we’ve got some middle teams playing for their Tournament lives. NC State and Clemson are firmly on the bubble and are essentially playing in a knockout game in the 2nd round. Syracuse should be safe but just in case at least getting a win would be great.
2018 Champion: Virginia
1-seed Virginia Cavaliers 28-2 (16-2)
Coming off of one of the worst upsets in NCAA history, the Cavaliers have been excellent all season long. DeAndre Hunter is having a great season, Kyle Guy is shooting the lights out and Ty Jerome is doing what he does best. This team continues to play well on both sides of the ball and they can win the league if they lockdown defensively like they do.
2-seed North Carolina Tar Heels 26-5 (16-2)
Roy Williams’ team is peaking at the right time. The Tar Heels have played very well down the stretch and are at their best when they get out and run. Points off turnovers are the key to winning the league if they can get more easy buckets their leads can balloon quickly.
3-seed Duke Blue Devils 26-5 (14-4)
Duke can win the league if Zion comes back. It is that simple. There’s a lot missing from this team without him and the biggest is 3-point shooting. The Devils are awful from beyond the arc and Zion helps to spread the floor and attack the glass.
4-seed Florida State Seminoles 25-6 (13-5)
This is one of the most athletic and deepest teams in the league. Florida State has multiple guys that can get it done on both ends of the floor. Kabengele and Terance Mann have been outstanding this year.
5-seed Virginia Tech Hokies 23-7 (12-6)
Losing Justin Robinson or a player of his caliber would be enough to doom most teams, Virginia Tech is not that team. They’ve survived without Robinson and have found ways to win. Kerry Blackshear has been awesome and Nickiel Alexander-Walker is stepping in nicely to fill the void.
6-seed Syracuse Orange 19-12 (10-8)
Cuse can win because teams, for some reason, always forget how to play against the 2-3 zone the Orange run. Tyus Battle and Oshae Brissett are two other strong reasons why they can win the tournament. Consistent offense has been hard to find for Syracuse and that’s what they need.
7-seed Louisville Cardinals 19-12 (10-8)
Before they blew a 23-point lead to Duke at home, this team was right at the top of the ACC. They played a tough schedule in February and took their lumps but Louisville can play with anyone. The Cardinals need Jordan Nwora to keep playing like he is and someone else to step up like Steven Enoch or Christian Cunningham. You cannot rely on Ryan McMahon to shoot you to a win.
8-seed NC State Wolfpack 21-10 (9-9)
Despite a 24 point output, this team is still averages 80+ points per game and are a top-50 team in offensive efficiency. Consistently finding their offense has been a problem, but even more so is stringing together stops.
9-seed Clemson Tigers 19-12 (9-9)
If you look at this team’s numbers, you say there is no chance they can win this league. They’re just 1-9 in Quad 1 opportunities and they’d have to exceed their season total in just a few days to win a title. But they’ve been in most games. If the Tigers can get Elijah Thomas going or someone else to help out Marcquise Reed they will be dangerous.
10-seed Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 14-17 (6-12)
It’s been a rough year for Josh Pastner’s team, they shoot it just 30% from 3, turn it over nearly 15 times a day, and only score 65 points a night. The Jackets best win was against Syracuse. They don’t have wins against anyone else really. They’ll need to shoot the 3 much, much better to compete.
11-seed Boston College Eagles 14-16 (5-13)
Ky Bowman is why this team can win. He’s one of the better scorers in the league and can take over a game. Any and all additional help he can get is huge for BC.
12-seed Miami Hurricanes 13-17 (5-13)
This team had hopes to compete in the league preseason and things went south very quickly for the Canes. They still have Chris Lykes but there’s not much depth there outside of the starting 5. Rebounding and 3-point shooting have been weaknesses this year improve both and they’ll be competitive.
13-seed Wake Forest Demon Deacons 11-19 (4-14)
The Demon Deacons really struggle to score, they shoot under 40% from the field and right around 30% from 3. They do have a really good player in Brandon Childress but he needs help. The Deacons played to their maximum potential against Duke in Cameron, if they play that way, they can make a run.
14-seed Pittsburgh Panthers 13-18 (3-15)
The Panthers stumbled into the ACC Tournament losing 13 of their last 14 games. Pittsburgh needs big things to happen to win the tournament. Like Notre Dame, their chances are slim but I’d say there’s still a chance.
15-seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish 13-18 (3-15)
It’s been a very tough year for Mike Brey in South Bend, I honestly can’t remember the last time the Irish had a losing season, let alone 5 games under .500. The Irish are young, that’s the silver lining. They lost Rex Pflueger early in the season to an injury and TJ Gibbs has had a down year. They’re able to make a run if they rebound well and play to their potential.
Miami over Wake
Notre Dame over Georgia Tech
Boston College over Pitt
NC State over Clemson
Virginia Tech over Miami
Louisville over Notre Dame
Boston College over Syracuse
Virginia over NC State
Florida State over Virginia Tech
North Carolina over Louisville
Duke over Boston College
Virginia over Florida State
Duke over North Carolina
Virginia over Duke