The Atlantic Coast Conference tournament will begin on Thursday, and there are some great teams who could potentially see each other at some point this weekend.
One of the top matchups that could happen early on is the North Carolina State Wolfpack versus the Virginia Cavaliers.
Although we may have to wait a little longer, the North Carolina Tar Heels against the Duke Blue Devils is a marquee matchup to look for in the semifinals, while Duke could possibly take on the ACC champs in the tourney championship, the Miami Hurricanes.
Let's take a closer look at each of these matchups and the entire ACC Tournament schedule.
2013 ACC Tournament Schedule (via TheACC.com)
|Date||Round||Game||Start Time (ET)||Network|
|Thursday, March 14||First Round|| |
No. 8 Georgia Tech vs. No. 9 BC
No. 12 Virginia Tech vs. No. 5 NC State
No. 10 Wake Forest vs. No. 7 Maryland
No. 11 Clemson vs. No. 6 Florida State
|Friday, March 15||Quarters|| |
No. 1 Miami vs. Game 1 winner
No. 4 Virginia vs. Game 2 winner
No. 2 Duke vs. Game 3 winner
No. 3 North Carolina vs. Game 4 winner
|Saturday, March 16||Semis|| |
Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner
Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner
|Sunday, March 17||Final||Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner||1 p.m.||ESPN|
ACC Tournament Bracket
Potential Marquee Matchups
Quarterfinals: No. 5 NC State Wolfpack vs. No. 4 Virginia Cavaliers
The Wolfpack will have to get past their first-round matchup against Virginia Tech Thursday to make this game happen, but the Wolfpack have already beaten the Hokies this season and should do so again.
Both Virginia and N.C. State finished with the same record in the ACC (11-7), but the Wolfpack's 22-9 record bested the Cavaliers' 21-10 mark.
The Wolfpack is led by C.J. Leslie who averaged 14.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, as well as Richard Howell, who averaged a double-double this season with 12.7 points and 10.6 rebounds. In all, the Wolfpack have a ton of scoring options as five players averaged 12 points or more per contest this season.
Joe Harris is the heart and soul of the Cavaliers offense as he's scoring 17 points per game this season but also added 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists. Supporting him is Akil Mitchell, who is good for a near double-double per night with 13.1 points and 8.9 boards.
In the pair's only meeting this season, Virginia emerged victorious over N.C. State in a close game, 58-55.
Semifinals: No. 3 North Carolina Tar Heels vs. No. 2 Duke Blue Devils
In the pair's last meeting of the season, it was Duke who looked like a far superior team than North Carolina, but in an earlier meeting during the season, the Blue Devils beat the Tar Heels by just five points.
That was without Ryan Kelly, however, as the Blue Devils have yet to be defeated with one of their star players in the lineup this season.
Along with Kelly, the Blue Devils will sport Seth Curry, who is averaging 17.1 points and is a threat from anywhere on the floor, as well as the team's leading scorer and elite collegiate big man, Mason Plumlee. The Duke forward is averaging a double-double per contest with 17.2 points and 10.3 boards.
North Carolina will likely stick with its small lineup in this contest unless something changes leading up to this game. That didn't prove to be a successful formula last time around, but it has been successful in other matchups.
The Tar Heels are led by James Michael McAdoo, who is averaging 14.6 points and 7.6 rebounds with 1.5 steals per game. Reggie Bullock also provides some help with 14.2 points and 6.4 boards every contest.
Championship: No. 1 Miami Hurricanes vs. No. 2 Duke Blue Devils
This will be the matchup everyone wants to see, so let's hope both of these squads can make it to the ACC Championship game.
Miami and Duke faced each other twice during the season and split the series. In the first matchup, Miami routed Duke, but that was without Kelly on the floor for the Blue Devils. In the second meeting, Kelly was on the floor and went off for Duke as it topped Miami, 79-76.
The Hurricanes have a talented roster led by point guard Shane Larkin who can do it all with 13.7 points, 4.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game. Durand Scott has the ability to take a game over, but don't forget the team's second-leading scorer, Kenny Kadji, who is averaging 13.6 points and 6.9 boards per game.
Again, the trend for Duke is when Kelly is on the floor, it wins. As long as the Blue Devils forward can stay healthy throughout this tournament, there's no reason why they won't take the crown even with the Hurricanes standing in their way.
This will be the premiere game in the ACC tourney and should be a classic as long as both teams can make it happen.
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