ACC Tournament 2018: Day 4 Schedule, Live-Stream Info and Bracket PredictionsMarch 9, 2018
The ACC is usually one of the most competitive conferences in men's basketball, but when it comes down to the final two days of the ACC tournament, the league's elite normally rises to the top.
Virginia enters Friday's semifinals at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, in search of its third final appearance in the last five years, while North Carolina and Duke are the last two champions of the event.
Joining the trio of blue bloods is Clemson, who is enjoying a historic ACC campaign that could be extended into Saturday if it reverses a poor result from earlier in the season against Virginia.
Duke and North Carolina have combined for 38 ACC tournament championships, while Virginia has two of its own and Clemson is in search of its first.
Friday ACC Tournament Schedule (All Times ET)
No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 4 Clemson (7 p.m., ESPN2)
No. 2 Duke vs. No. 6 North Carolina (9 p.m., ESPN)
*Games can be live-streamed on Watch ESPN.
No. 1 Virginia def. No. 4 Clemson
No. 6 North Carolina def. No. 2 Duke
Clemson Looking For Upset and Chance At 1st ACC Tournament Title
Of the four ACC tournament semifinalists, Clemson lacks a storied basketball history.
Clemson's quarterfinal victory over Boston College moved its win total to 23, a number the Tigers haven't reached since the 2013-14 season, per ESPN Stats and Info:
The Tigers have a handful of quality wins over Ohio State, Florida, Miami and North Carolina, but one result sticks out on their resume.
In its lone meeting with Virginia, Clemson fell 61-36 in which it shot 31.9 percent from the field and 15 percent from three-point range.
Gabe DeVoe, who is Clemson's third-best scorer, was the only Tigers player to record over 10 points in the blowout defeat to Virginia, a result that should fuel the team with plenty of motivation Friday.
In addition to earning redemption against the top-seeded Cavaliers, the Tigers are in search of their first ACC tournament title.
Clemson last reached the final in 2008, when it fell 86-81 to Tyler Hansbrough and North Carolina.
On that run 10 years ago, the Tigers knocked off Boston College in the quarterfinals before taking down a Duke team that featured Kyle Singler, Greg Paulus and Jon Scheyer in the semifinals.
In order to upset Virginia and earn a long-awaited return to the ACC tournament final, the Tigers must be patient against the stingy defense of the Cavaliers.
Look for DeVoe, who scored 25 points in the win over Boston College, Shelton Mitchell and Marcquise Reed to take turns threatening the Virginia defense.
As long as the Tigers are able to distribute the ball around the paint and force early stops on defense, they should at least contend for a victory against one of the best teams in the nation.
Duke, UNC Meet For 2nd Straight Year in ACC Tournament Semifinals
There's no such thing as too much Duke vs. North Carolina.
The Blue Devils and Tar Heels face off in the second semifinal Friday night, with high stakes on the line for both teams.
The winner of the contest could set up a matchup with Virginia, and it marks the 22nd consecutive season in which either Duke or North Carolina features in the ACC tournament final, per Stephen Wiseman of the News and Observer:
Duke could be playing for a No. 1 seed on Selection Sunday, as it carries an impressive resume into Friday.
The freshman-laden Blue Devils have wins over Michigan State, Florida, Florida State, Miami and North Carolina, with only a victory against Virginia missing.
Duke has the potential to change that if it gets past North Carolina for the second time in three meetings.
In the regular-season finale victory over the Tar Heels, Marvin Bagley III, Gary Trent Jr. and Grayson Allen reached double digits in scoring.
Although he's been pushed away from the spotlight due to the talented freshman class at Duke, Allen could be the X-factor for the Blue Devils, as he's scored over 20 points in five of his last eight games.
North Carolina relies more on experience, with seniors Joel Berry II and Theo Pinson leading the way. The latter shined in the quarterfinal win over Miami, as he recorded a career high of 25 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.
Berry contributed 11 points to go along with Pinson's 25, but the Tar Heels didn't receive much from junior Luke Maye, who shot 1-of-15 from the field.
In order to beat Duke for a second time, UNC's offense must be firing on all cylinders. If Maye is unable to find his scoring touch, the team's defensive length could focus in on Pinson and Berry and wreak havoc for 40 minutes.
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All statistics obtained from ESPN.com