ACC Tournament 2018: Complete Schedule and Updated Bracket Predictions

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMarch 1, 2018

PITTSBURGH, PA - FEBRUARY 24:  Devon Hall #0 of the Virginia Cavaliers takes a shot against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Petersen Events Center on February 24, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

For the third straight season, the ACC tournament is being played outside of its spiritual home of Greensboro, North Carolina.

One of the best conference tournaments in men's basketball takes place from March 6-10 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, for the second straight year.

North Carolina and Duke reclaimed their dominance of the tournament in the last two years, as the Tar Heels won in 2016 and Duke took the title a year ago.

While both powerhouses are expected to challenge for the ACC throne, Virginia enters as the favorite following its fantastic regular season.

Virginia, North Carolina, Duke and a few others enter Brooklyn with an opportunity to improve their NCAA tournament seeding, while teams like Louisville and Notre Dame are hoping to catch fire and make a deep run to improve their respective resumes.

      

ACC Tournament Schedule (All Times ET)

Tuesday, March 6

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1st Round

No. 12 seed vs. No. 13 seed (Noon)

No. 10 seed vs. No. 15 seed (approximately 2 p.m.)

No. 11 seed vs. No. 14 seed (7 p.m.)

       

Wednesday, March 7

2nd Round

No. 8 seed vs. No. 9 seed (Noon) 

No. 5 seed vs. winner of No. 12 seed vs. No. 13 seed (approximately 2 p.m.) 

No. 7 seed vs. winner of No. 10 seed vs. No. 15 seed (7 p.m.) 

No. 6 seed vs. winner of No. 11 seed vs. No. 14 seed (approximately 9 p.m.) 

       

Thursday, March 8

Quarterfinals

No. 1 seed vs. winner of No. 8 seed vs. No. 9 seed (Noon)

No. 4 seed vs. winner of No. 5 seed vs. No. 12/No.13 seed (approximately 2 p.m.)

No. 2 seed vs. winner of No. 7 seed vs. No. 10/No. 15 seed (7 p.m.)

No. 3 seed vs. winner of No. 6 seed vs. No. 11/No. 14 seed (approximately 9 p.m.)

        

Friday, March 9

Semifinals

Winner of No. 1 vs. No. 8 or No. 9 vs. winner of No. 4 vs. No. 5 or No. 12/No. 13 (7 p.m.)

Winner of No. 2 vs. No. 7 or No. 10/No. 15 vs. winner of No. 3 vs. No. 6 or No. 11/No. 14 (approximately 9 p.m.)

        

Saturday, March 10

Final

Winner of semifinal No. 1 vs. winner of semifinal No. 2 (8:30 p.m.)

     

Predictions

Seeds

1. Virginia

2. Duke

3. Clemson

4. NC State

5. North Carolina

6. Miami

7. Virginia Tech

8. Louisville

9. Notre Dame

10. Florida State

11. Boston College

12. Syracuse

13. Georgia Tech

14. Wake Forest

15. Pittsburgh

         

1st-Round Predictions

No. 10 Florida State def. No. 15 Pittsburgh

No. 11 Boston College def. No. 14 Wake Forest

No. 12 Syracuse def. No. 13 Georgia Tech 

       

2nd-Round Predictions

No. 9 Notre Dame def. No. 8 Louisville

No. 5 North Carolina def. No. 12 Syracuse

No. 7 Virginia Tech def. No. 10 Florida State

No. 6 Miami def. No. 11 Boston College

       

Quarterfinals Predictions

No. 1 Virginia def. No. 9 Notre Dame

No. 5 North Carolina def. No. 4 NC State

No. 2 Duke def. No. 7 Virginia Tech

No. 6 Miami def. No. 3 Clemson

        

Semifinals Predictions

No. 1 Virginia def. No. 5 North Carolina

No. 2 Duke def. No. 6 Miami

         

Final Prediction

No. 1 Virginia def. No. 2 Duke

         

Virginia Looking to Secure No. 1 Overall Seed

Virginia already has the inside track for the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament thanks to its domination of the ACC regular season.

Tony Bennett's team collected wins over Clemson, North Carolina and Duke, with its only conference loss coming by a point in overtime to Virginia Tech.

As long as the Cavaliers advance to the final, they should secure the top seed in the nation, as Villanova and Xavier battle for Big East supremacy, while Kansas and Michigan State might not have enough on their respective resumes to challenge the Cavaliers.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - FEBRUARY 21: Devon Hall #0 of the Virginia Cavaliers drives past Brandon Alston #4 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the second half during a game at John Paul Jones Arena on February 21, 2018 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Virgin
Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

Although the Cavaliers are capable of succeeding in any venue, a pair of contests to open the NCAA tournament in Charlotte and a trip to Atlanta for the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 is preferred.

If Virginia is upset in the quarterfinals and leaves Brooklyn without a victory, it could open the door for one of the two Big East teams to take the No. 1 overall seed, but it's still seen as an unlikely scenario given how much Virginia has separated itself from the pack.

       

Healthy Notre Dame Attempting to Make Late Surge

At the beginning of the season, Notre Dame appeared to be a lock to secure a spot in the field of 68, but an injury to Bonzie Colson derailed those plans.

However, the Fighting Irish have one more chance to qualify for March Madness by way of the ACC tournament with Colson back on the court.

Colson couldn't have asked for a better return Wednesday, as he recorded 12 points and nine rebounds against lowly Pittsburgh.

Robert Franklin/Associated Press

Mike Brey's squad faces a massive test to conclude the regular season at Virginia Saturday, but even if it loses to the Cavaliers, it has a chance to make noise at the Barclays Center.

However, a potential deep run in the ACC tournament might require beating Virginia, which could keep Notre Dame out of the bubble conversation before it even jumps head first into it.

If the Fighting Irish spring an upset or two, they could be an interesting team for the selection committee to consider since a serious argument can be made that they are one of the top 68 teams in the nation with Colson on the floor.

     

Can ACC Get 10 Teams into the Big Dance?

The top seven teams in the ACC appear to be safe regardless of what happens in Brooklyn next week because of the strength of the conference.

However, there are a few teams in need of at least one victory at the ACC tournament in order to stay away from the bubble, or to thrust themselves into the conversation.

Florida State looks to be headed for March Madness at the moment, but an 8-9 conference record and 10 overall losses isn't exactly impressive.

SOUTH BEND, IN - FEBRUARY 10: Braian Angola #11 of the Florida State Seminoles brings the ball up court during the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Purcell Pavilion on February 10, 2018 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty I
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

A potential second-round showdown with Virginia Tech presents the Seminoles with an opportunity to solidify their position in the NCAA tournament.

With Notre Dame attempting to make a push, Louisville could be in trouble if it is involved in a second-round clash with the Fighting Irish.

While most bracketologists have the ACC getting eight or nine teams into the tournament, there is a scenario in which it can get 10 into the Big Dance, but that involves Notre Dame and Louisville avoiding each other in the second round—that way both teams have the opportunity to pick up quality wins instead of knocking each other off the bubble.

Syracuse is also on the bubble, but its NCAA tournament bid is on life support after losing to Boston College Wednesday. The Orange are in need of at least two wins at the Barclays Center to be included in the bubble discussion.

       

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.