The other favorites in the tournament are familiar faces from past years: North Carolina and NC State. Some actually believe the Tar Heels and the Wolfpack are more determined and motivated and will make a run at the title since Florida St. has technically already qualified for the NCAA tournament.
Everyone is concerned with which team will prevail, but there are teams who should be watched carefully throughout the tournament. The Virginia Cavaliers seem to be the top sleeper, however, the Clemson Tigers also could be a possible threat and might surprise some people.
The tournament runs from today, May 23rd, until the championship game on Sunday afternoon at 12pm.
Although the 4th seeded Cavaliers (18-12) failed to beat both NC State (19-11) and North Carolina (22-8) in six chances this season, their name is still being tossed around as the team to keep in the back of your mind.
The Cavaliers will square off against the 5th seeded Tigers (16-14) in game four tomorrow at 11am. In their second contest, they will face 8th seeded Georgia Tech (12-18) on Friday morning. Virginia went 5-1 against these two teams this season, which is a bit better than their defeated mark against the two top teams.
The good news for the Cavaliers is that they play both Clemson and Georgia Tech in the first two games, and by the time they face the Florida St. Seminoles (24-6) on Saturday, they will probably give in and prepare more for the NCAA tournament.
Last year, as I’m sure many remember, the Cavaliers defeated the Seminoles 7-2 to win the ACC tournament and advance to the NCAA tournament, so they are familiar with the pressure associated with and what it takes to win the event.
The 5th seeded Tigers, who finished behind both the Seminoles and the Cavaliers last season in the tournament, did not fare as well this season as they earned a 16-14 record.
The Tigers will play their first game against the Cavaliers, but if they can slip past them, they play Florida St. and then Georgia Tech on Friday and Saturday. Like I previously mentioned, there is always a possibility since the Seminoles are the number one seed and already in the tournament, they might not play as hard and use all of their starters in order to keep them fresh for the NCAA tournament.
Plus, Georgia Tech finished the season with 12 wins and 18 losses and are the 8th seed in the tournament. I do not foresee the Tigers having a problem with them on Saturday morning. The only question for the Tigers will be whether or not they can handle the Cavaliers in their first contest.
Wednesday, May 23
Game 1: (1) Florida State vs. (8) Georgia Tech – 11 a.m.
Game 2: (3) NC State vs. (6) Miami – 3 p.m.
Game 3: (2) North Carolina vs. (7) Wake Forest – 7 p.m.
Thursday, May 24
Game 4: (4) Virginia vs. (5) Clemson – 11 a.m.
Game 5: (2) North Carolina vs. (6) Miami – 3 p.m.
Game 6: (3) NC State vs. (7) Wake Forest – 7 p.m.
Friday, May 25
Game 7: (4) Virginia vs. (8) Georgia Tech – 11 a.m.
Game 8: (1) Florida State vs. (5) Clemson – 3 p.m.
Game 9: (6) Miamivs. (7) Wake Forest – 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 26
Game 10: (5) Clemson vs. (8) Georgia Tech – 11 a.m.
Game 11: (1) Florida State vs. (4) Virginia – 3 p.m.
Game 12: (2) North Carolina vs. (3) NC State – 7 p.m.
Sunday, May 27 (televised by CBS Sports Network)
Championship Game – 12 p.m