ACC Tournament 2012 Schedule: Breaking Down Tourney's Best Possible Matchups

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2012

CHAPEL HILL, NC - FEBRUARY 08:  Harrison Barnes #40 of the North Carolina Tar Heels and Austin Rivers #0 of the Duke Blue Devils during their game at the Dean Smith Center on February 8, 2012 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Either Duke or North Carolina has won the ACC Tournament for seven straight years, and the powerhouses are once again the top two seeds in this year's tourney. If another team has plans of ending that streak, they will face an uphill battle to say the least.

Let's take a look at some of the most intriguing potential matchups. To get a complete look at the tournament bracket and schedule, visit the conference website.


Miami vs. Florida State (Quarterfinals)

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 25:  Michael Snaer #21 of the Florida State Seminoles celebrates after a three point shot against the Virginia Commonwealth Rams during the southwest regional of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Alamodome on March 2
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

It might not be as good as their football rivalry, but the intensity level always goes up when the Hurricanes and Seminoles face off. If Miami gets past Georgia Tech in the first round, which it should, the two sides will prepare to battle once again.

The Hurricanes are a possible sleeper team with four players averaging at least 10 points. Depth scoring is key when you have to potentially play four games in as many days. Miami did beat Florida State by 16 in late February to earn a regular season split.

Bernard James is one of the most underrated players in the country. He is a dominant post presence that has allowed the Seminoles to keep pace with the conference big boys for most of the season. He'll need some more support to run the table, however.


Florida State vs. Duke (Semifinals)

CHAPEL HILL, NC - FEBRUARY 08:  Seth Curry #30 of the Duke Blue Devils during their game at the Dean Smith Center on February 8, 2012 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Florida State was the first team to beat Duke inside Cameron Indoor Stadium this season, so the Blue Devils would view a semifinal game as a chance at revenge. Not to mention both teams are still fighting to improve their March Madness seeding.

The Seminoles are once again led by a stout defense. They do a terrific job of being aggressive in going for steals and blocked shots, but still maintain a structure to avoid easy baskets. If they find enough sources of scoring, it's impossible to count them out.

Duke has been the complete opposite. While the Blue Devils have been able to score at will throughout the campaign, getting key defensive stops has been a struggle. That diversity in styles would lead to a tremendous game.


North Carolina vs. Duke (Final)

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 13:  Miles Plumlee #21 of the Duke Blue Devils moves the ball against Dexter Strickland #1 and Tyler Zeller #44 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during the first half in the championship game of the 2011 ACC men's basketball tourname
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

There's really no other choice. When you think about ACC basketball, Duke and North Carolina immediately come to mind. The teams have had countless memorable battles over the years and this would be the latest chapter in an unmatched rivalry.

The Tar Heels have an inside track to get a No. 1 seed. A loss in the championship game to Duke might force the committee to reconsider, though. So there would be no shortage of motivation. North Carolina would rely heavily on their frontcourt trio like they did in the regular season finale.

Since the sour taste of that blowout is still fresh in Duke's memory, you have to figure the Blue Devils would come out with a major chip on their shoulder. But when it comes to these battles, fans wouldn't want it any other way.