If the first and second rounds of March Madness are the most exciting time in college basketball, conference championship week is a close second. And of those tournaments, no league demands more attention in 2016-17 than the ACC.
As the exciting week approaches, the conference has eight teams locked into the NCAA tournament while four others live on the bubble.
One final day of regular-season action remains, but we're peeking toward the future and have laid out the complete ACC tourney schedule with game times and television listings.
The league's tournament runs from March 7-11. All games will be played at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
|ACC Tournament Schedule|
|Date||Game No.||Matchup||Time (ET)||TV|
|March 7||1||No. 13 seed vs. No. 12 seed||12 p.m.||ESPN2|
|March 7||2||Boston College vs. No. 10||2 p.m.||ESPN2|
|March 7||3||No. 14 vs. No. 11||7 p.m||ESPNU|
|March 8||4||No. 9 vs. No. 8||12 p.m.||ESPN|
|March 8||5||No. 5 seed vs. Game 1 winner||2 p.m.||ESPN|
|March 8||6||No. 7 vs. Game 2 winner||7 p.m.||ESPN2|
|March 8||7||No. 6 vs. Game 3 winner||9 p.m.||ESPN2|
|March 9||8||North Carolina vs. Game 4 winner||12 p.m.||ESPN|
|March 9||9||No. 4 vs. Game 5 winner||2 p.m.||ESPN|
|March 9||10||No. 2 vs. Game 6 winner||7 p.m.||ESPN|
|March 9||11||No. 3 vs. Game 7 winner||9 p.m.||ESPN|
|March 10||12||Game 8 winner vs. Game 9 winner||7 p.m.||ESPN/ESPN2|
|March 10||13||Game 10 winner vs. Game 11 winner||9 p.m.||ESPN/ESPN2|
|March 11||14||Championship Game||9 p.m.||ESPN|
|Projected Final ACC Standings|
|Seed||Team||Projected ACC W-L|
Early-Round Team to Watch: Virginia Tech
Depending on how the final day shakes out, Virginia Tech may avoid the 8/9 game that results in a quarterfinals date with North Carolina. Instead, the Hokies would face a more favorable opponent before taking on a top ACC squad.
They've played well down the stretch, winning five of the last six games and only falling at Louisville by four points. And, according to ESPN Insider's John Gasaway, Buzz Williams' efficient squad is approaching an impressive achievement.
Virginia Tech doesn't need a victory in the ACC tourney to solidify an NCAA bid, but another marquee win would be a great benefit.
It's flirting with a seventh—and maybe, if things go perfectly, a sixth—seed for a March Madness, which is preferable to an 8/9 matchup because of the virtual certainty a matchup with a No. 1 team comes next.
Because of Chris Clark's injury, the Hokies probably don't have enough to assemble a championship run. But it won't be surprising if they steal an upset in the quarterfinals to pad the NCAA resume and rise a seed line.
Wild Card: Virginia
In a recent seven-day stretch, Tony Bennett's team struggled to score. Virginia mustered 55 points in a loss to Duke, 41 in a blowout at UNC and just 48 during an overtime loss to Miami.
Had the cold streak occurred in the middle of the season, the panic meter wouldn't have been on watch. The Hoos have limited time to shake the troubles.
Yes, Virginia scored 70 against NC State, but it would be worrisome if that didn't happen against the ACC's worst defense. And yes, the Cavaliers toppled North Carolina, but they still shot a meager 32.2 percent from the field.
Although defense carries Virginia, that's not a sustainable way to win. When the Hoos finish with a shooting percentage 45 percent or worse, they're just 4-4. At 50 percent or above, however, Virginia is 9-1, with the only loss coming at Villanova.
Which UVA offense shows up during the tournament?
Favorite and Projected Winner: North Carolina
North Carolina needs to rebound from a terrible showing at Virginia, but it followed the pattern of a once-a-month stinker.
|UNC's Worst Shooting Days 2016-17|
|Dec. 31||Georgia Tech||33.3||19.2||L 75-63|
|Jan. 28||Miami||35.0||29.2||L 77-62|
|Feb. 27||Virginia||35.4||25.0||L 53-43|
Both overall success (25-6) and trends suggest the Tar Heels—who have already clinched the No. 1 seed—will recover quickly.
Among the eight other programs with nine-plus conference wins this season, UNC holds a 6-3 record against those teams. No team has a better mark, and Roy Williams' club could improve that with a home victory over Duke in the finale.
Though Justin Jackson, Joel Berry II and Kennedy Meeks are the featured players, Isaiah Hicks is an important piece for a championship chase. He's picked up at least four personal fouls in four of the last five games, but if he can avoid early foul trouble, the Heels will be a burden to contain.
North Carolina, which will attempt to repeat as ACC tournament champions for the first time since 2007-2008, is the deserving pick.
Follow Bleacher Report Writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.