ACC Tournament 2013: Predictions for Miami-North Carolina Final

Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2013

CHAPEL HILL, NC - JANUARY 10:  Shane Larkin #0 of the Miami Hurricanes drives against defender Marcus Paige #5 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during play at Dean Smith Center on January 10, 2013 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

After a fast and furious three rounds of action, the 2013 ACC tournament culminates on Sunday with a clash between the Miami Hurricanes and the North Carolina Tar Heels.

The Hurricanes took over the mantle as the favorite in the field after Duke's surprise early exit at the hands of the Maryland Terrapins. They responded by defeating Boston College and North Carolina State by double digits.

A win in the ACC title game would give the Hurricanes one last accomplishment on their resume to be considered for one of the four No. 1 seeds.

The Tar Heels advanced by dominating Florida State and narrowly avoiding the upset bug against the Maryland Terrapins. Ultimately, those wins won't mean much for their seeding, but a win over the Hurricanes would.

With both teams needing a win to move up the tournament ladder and garner conference bragging rights, here are some predictions for the big game.


Durand Scott Lights it Up

Scott's performance against North Carolina State in the tournament's semifinal is the best individual effort in the tournament thus far.

He carried the Hurricanes offensively, scoring 32 points on 12-of-18 shooting with five three-pointers. He also dished out four assists. That's the kind of prime time performance that the Hurricanes will want to carry over into the championship game and beyond.

Scott has had success against the Tar Heels in the past this season. He went for 17 points, five assists and six rebounds in their last encounter.

Expect Scott to have at least a 20-point performance with five assists in this one.


James McAdoo Leads the Tar Heels

The Tar Heels have been led by a balanced attack in their first two tournament games. This time McAdoo will step up as the Tar Heels' leader.

When the Hurricanes have lost this year it's been because of tremendous individual efforts from good big men. When they were upset by Georgia Tech, it was center Daniel Miller leading the way with 17 points.

McAdoo doesn't possess the size of some of the ACC's best big men, but he's a versatile scorer and he will make things tough for the Hurricanes.


Miami Wins the ACC Championship

Heading into this tournament, it looked like the Hurricanes had peaked at the wrong time. After dominating throughout January and February, they entered the tournament at just 2-3 in their last five games.

However, they seem to have found their groove again. They've won their first two ACC tournament games rather convincingly while the Tar Heels barely avoided the upset bug against Maryland.

Miami has the better backcourt. Shane Larkin and Durand Scott are playing at a very high level right now. With both guards clicking, the Heels will have their work cut out for them if they want to pull off the upset.

Miami 75, North Carolina 70