The 2011 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament is set to get underway, with the prize once again being an automatic berth into the 2011 NCAA tournament. As of this minute, only three ACC schools can feel that they are safely in already.
By winning its final regular season game in the greatest rivalry in all of sports, the University of North Carolina earned the No. 1 seed by annihilating Duke University at home this past Saturday night. It was quite the turnaround for the Tar Heels, who reached another level once Kendall Marshall took over at point guard.
The Tar Heels and Blue Devils are fighting for a possible No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament next week, but both could be looking at a No. 2 seed depending how things play out in the other conference tournaments this weekend.
No. 3 seed Florida State University is the other ACC school that should feel rather comfortable with the odds of hearing its name called on Selection Sunday. The Seminoles hold a few quality wins, including one over Duke. Winning one more game will cement their status, but they should be in as of now.
No. 4 seed Clemson, No. 5 seed Boston College and No. 6 seed Virginia Tech, the ACC's three bubble teams, all remain hopeful that a deep conference tournament run can earn them a bid in the Big Dance starting next week.
However, they may all have to win at least one more game, which could be tough for Clemson since the Tigers received a first-round bye and would most likely play Boston College should the Eagles hold fort and defeat No. 12 seed Wake Forest in the first round. Virginia Tech will play No. 11 seed Georgia Tech in the first round, and that matchup's winner will face Florida State.
No. 7 seed Maryland faces No. 10 seed North Carolina State and No. 8 seed Virginia plays No. 9 seed Miami in the first round as well.
The ACC tournament is back where it belongs this season, in the Greensboro Coliseum, and the action promises to be top notch as usual!