The Atlantic Coast Conference is one of the most decorated in all of college basketball, and in turn, the tournament to crown the yearly league champion is typically one of the most hard-fought battles of the year.
Powerhouses in the sport like Duke, North Carolina and Miami help make the ACC one of the deepest conferences in college hoops, and it is that depth that results in arguably the best conference tournament in basketball.
Add in the fact that this is the last year of the ACC as we know it—Syracuse and possibly Notre Dame (h/t ESPN) look to join the conference in the 2013-14 season—and the excitement around this year’s tournament is through the roof.
If you love college basketball, you won’t want to miss a second of the ACC action.
Where: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, N.C.
When: March 14-17
Watch: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU
Live Stream: ACC Network Live
Mobile Stream: ACC Network Live App
Thursday, March 14 (First Round)
Game 1: No. 8 Boston College vs. No. 9 Georgia Tech, 12 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Game 2: No. 5 NC State vs. No. 12 Virginia Tech, 2 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Game 3: No. 7 Maryland vs. No. 10 Wake Forest, 7 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Game 4: No. 6 Florida State vs. No. 11 Clemson, 9 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Friday, March 15 (Second Round)
Game 5: No. 1 Miami vs. Game 1 Winner, 12 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Game 6: No. 4 Virginia vs. Game 2 Winner, 2 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Game 7: No. 2 Duke vs. Game 3 Winner, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Game 8: No. 3 North Carolina vs. Game 4 Winner, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Saturday, March 16 (Semifinals)
Game 9: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner, 1 p.m. ET (ESPN/ACC Network)
Game 10: Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner, 3 p.m. ET (ESPN/ACC Network)
Sunday, March 17 (Finals)
Game 11: Game 9 Winner vs. Game 10 Winner, 1 p.m. ET (ESPN/ACC Network)
Sleeper Team to Watch: Virginia Cavaliers (21-10, RPI: 72)
While the focus of the ACC will be the superpowers like Duke, Miami and North Carolina, the 2013 tournament sleeper team is the Virginia Cavaliers.
Everyone is picking the Hurricanes, Blue Devils or Tar Heels to steal the show and head into the NCAA tournament with momentum, but what about the Cavaliers?
At 21-10 on the season (including an astounding 18-1 in their own building), the Cavaliers have the talent to shock the college hoops world and win the ACC tournament.
Virginia deserves immense credit for putting together such an amazing season, despite ranking on paper outside the top 250 in the nation in both points and rebound per game (255th and 272nd, respectively).
The games aren’t played on paper, though.
The Cavaliers' proof that they deserve to be respected in the tournament is not how many wins they have but which teams those wins came at the expense of.
With huge victories over North Carolina, Duke and N.C. State, Virginia has the work ethic and raw skill to stay in contention during every game they play.
If the Cavaliers get hot offensively at the right time, there is little doubt that the talented junior tandem of guard Joe Harris and forward Akil Mitchell will give Virginia the chance to steal the entire ACC tournament.
While they are far from ACC favorites, the Virginia Cavaliers will be flat-out dangerous in the conference tournament format.