First-round action of the 2013 ACC tournament tips off on Thursday in Greensboro, North Carolina.
N.C. State, featuring star C.J. Leslie, is the top seed (No. 5) in the first round. Virginia Tech (No. 12) is the low seed in the tournament. But that doesn't mean the Hokies won't make life difficult for the Wolfpack.
There are three other first-round matchups, of course. Here's a look at each of them, ranked in order of potential entertainment value.
4. Florida State (6) vs. Clemson (11)
This may prove to be the stinker of the ACC tournament.
Clemson (13-17, 5-13 ACC) lost both regular-season matchups to Florida State. The Tigers have also dropped their last six games and rank 301st in points per game, 227th in rebounds per contest, 304th in assists per game and 218th in field-goal percentage. The team also ranks 92nd in opponents' field-goal percentage, via TeamRankings.com.
Meanwhile, Florida State (17-14, 9-9 ACC) has won three of its last four games, including a 71-67 victory over N.C. State on Saturday.
3. Maryland (7) vs. Wake Forest (10)
Maryland (20-11, 8-10 ACC) dominated Wake Forest on Feb. 2 and beat the Demon Deacons by 10 points on March 2, but what makes this a potentially close game is the Terrapins' inconsistency this season.
Despite ranking second in rebounds per game and in the top 40 in assists per game and field-goal percentage, the Terrapins have lost 10 of their last 17 games. They have leading scorer Dez Wells and sophomore center Alex Len, but both have underachieved.
It would be a shocker if Wake Forest (13-17, 6-12 ACC) defeated Maryland in the ACC tournament. Then again, Wake Forest shot 59 percent against Virginia Tech on Sunday and Maryland has been wildly inconsistent.
2. Boston College (8) vs. Georgia Tech (9)
This could be one of the most competitive games in the ACC tournament.
Georgia Tech (16-14, 6-12 ACC) has the better overall record than Boston College (15-16, 7-11 ACC), but the Yellow Jackets have gone 6-12 since a Jan. 2 victory over Chattanooga.
On the other hand, the Eagles have won their last three games, including a 74-72 nail-biter against Georgia Tech on Saturday. In the victory over the Yellow Jackets, the Eagles shot 55 percent from the field (including 6-of-14 from downtown) while constantly getting to the free-throw line (25 attempts).
It is worth noting that Georgia Tech shot well in that game (53 percent) and upset then-No. 6 Miami (Fla.) on March 6.
1. N.C. State (5) vs. Virginia Tech (12)
You would expect this to be a blowout, with the best seed in the first round facing the worst seed in the tournament.
But no one in the first round is a world-beater. Yes, the Wolfpack have star C.J. Leslie, but they narrowly beat Virginia Tech on Feb. 16, 90-86. In the overtime thriller, N.C. State's season-long woes on the glass came to the forefront, allowing 17 offensive rebounds to the Hokies.
N.C. State (22-9, 11-7 ACC) also lost to Florida State on Saturday, 71-67, allowing the Seminoles to shoot 46 percent from the floor. Expect this matchup to come down to the wire.
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