Here's what we know about the ACC: North Carolina, Duke and Florida State are definitely dancing. Virginia is a safe bet as well.
And Miami and NC State will need strong showings in the ACC Tournament to sneak off the bubble and into the dance.
Meanwhile, the Tar Heels and Blue Devils will each be gunning for a one seed in the NCAA tournament. Duke will need to win the tourney to make that happen; North Carolina needs to avoid a major upset and it should be a lock.
There's a lot to watch for in the ACC Tournament. Below you'll find all the information you need to ensure you won't miss a 3-point shot or no-look pass.
Bracket, Dates, Start Time and TV Schedule (all in one neat and tidy package!)
|First||1||Thursday, March 8th|| #8 Maryland vs. #9 Wake Forest ||Noon||ESPNU / ACC Network|
|First ||2||Thursday, March 8th|| #5 NC State/ vs. #12 Boston College ||2 p.m.||ESPNU / ACC Network|
|First ||3||Thursday, March 8th||#7 Clemson vs. #10 Virginia Tech ||7 p.m.||ESPNU / ACC Network|
|First ||4||Thursday, March 8th|| #6 Miami vs. #11 Georgia Tech ||9 p.m.||ESPNU / ACC Network|
|Second||5||Friday, March 9th|| |
#1 North Carolina vs. Game 1 winner
|Noon||ESPN2 / ACC Network|
|Second||6||Friday, March 9th|| #4 Virginia vs. Game 2 winner ||2 p.m.||ESPN2 / ACC Network|
|Second||7||Friday, March 9th||#2 Duke vs. Game 3 winner||7 p.m.||ESPN2 / ACC Network|
|Second||8||Friday, March 9th||#3 Florida State vs. Game 4 winner||9 p.m.||ESPN2 / ACC Network|
|Semifinals||9||Saturday, March 10th||ACC Semifinal 1||1 p.m.||ESPN / ACC Network|
|Semifinals||10||Saturday, March 10th|| ACC Semifinal 2 ||3 p.m.||ESPN / ACC Network|
|Final||11||Sunday, March 11th|| Championship Game ||1 p.m.||ESPN / ACC Network|
What They're Saying
The buzz heading into this tournament is the beatdown North Carolina put on Duke and what it says about this Tar Heels team. Robbi Pickerall of ESPN summed it up nicely:
This is what everyone expected North Carolina to be right about now: the ACC regular season champion, the top seed in next week’s league tournament, in the mix for a No. 1 seed in the NCAAs.
It’s just not quite the way everyone expected the Tar Heels to achieve it all.
Dismissed as heart-lacking after losing by 33 points at Florida State on Jan. 14, overlooked as focus-less after losing a 10-point lead (and the game) to Duke in the final three minutes Feb. 8, sixth-ranked UNC finally showed what all the ballyhoo was about in the first place during its 88-70 victory over the third-ranked Blue Devils on Saturday night.
Teams With Most To Gain: Miami, NC State
Obviously, winning the ACC Tournament guarantees a spot in the dance for either team. But if either wants a shot at making the NCAA tourney without winning the ACC, they'll need to at least advance to the semifinals.
A run to the finals for either squad would probably lock up a spot. A first or second-round loss for either is probably a March Madness death sentence.
Team With Most To Lose: Virginia
Virginia may still make the tournament with a second-round loss, but it would be opening the door for another team with a strong resume to bump it out of the dance.
It's pretty simple for Virginia—win one game in the ACC Tournament and it'll likely make the NCAA Tournament.
Lose, and it will be leaving its fate up to the committee.
Prediction: North Carolina
The Tar Heels look like they're peaking at the right time this season. With the talent on their roster, they'll be tough to beat if they dictate the pace of the game and don't become lackadaisical for stretches. Look for UNC to win the ACC Tournament and earn themselves a one seed in the dance.
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