ACC Tournament 2020: Schedule and Bracket Predictions for Conference Tourney

Jake RillSenior Analyst IIMarch 6, 2020

Florida State guard Devin Vassell (24) dribbles against Duke during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

Since joining the ACC in 1991, Florida State has won the conference's men's basketball tournament only once, which came in 2012.

Louisville has yet to win the ACC Tournament since joining the conference in 2015.

Perhaps one of those winless stretches will end this year.

Entering the final weekend of the regular season, Florida State and Louisville are atop the ACC standings. Both schools have already clinched double byes for the ACC Tournament and won't play their respective first tourney games until Thursday, and one will likely be the No. 1 seed.

The ACC has been a bit down this season, but there are still some strong teams that could get hot and roll into March Madness with momentum and a chance to compete for the national championship.

Here's a look at the schedule for next week's ACC Tournament, along with predictions for how the teams will be seeded when it begins Tuesday.

                

ACC Tournament Schedule

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Games to be broadcast on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ACC Network.

Tuesday, March 10

No. 12 seed vs. No. 13 seed (4:30 p.m.)

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

               

Wednesday, March 11

No. 8 seed vs. No. 9 seed (noon)

No. 5 seed vs. Winner of No. 12 vs. No. 13 (approx. 2 p.m.)

No. 7 seed vs. No. 10 seed (7 p.m.)

No. 6 seed vs. Winner of No. 11 vs. No. 14 (approx. 9 p.m.)

              

Thursday, March 12

No. 1 seed vs. Winner of No. 8 vs. No. 9 (12:30 p.m.)

No. 4 seed vs. Winner of No. 5 vs. No. 12/No. 13 (approx. 2:30 p.m.)

No. 2 seed vs. Winner of No. 7 vs. No. 10 (7 p.m.)

No. 3 seed vs. Winner of No. 6 vs. No. 11/No. 14 (approx. 9 p.m.)

             

Friday, March 13

Semifinal No. 1 (7 p.m.)

Semifinal No. 2 (approx. 9 p.m.)

                

Saturday, March 14

Championship (8:30 p.m.)

All Times ET.

                  

Bracket Predictions

1. Florida State

2. Virginia

3. Louisville

4. Duke

5. Syracuse

6. NC State

7. Notre Dame

8. Clemson

9. Boston College

10. Virginia Tech

11. Pittsburgh

12. Wake Forest

13. Miami

14. North Carolina

                  

In order to secure the No. 1 seed, Florida State has to beat Boston College at home Saturday evening. That shouldn't be a problem.

All five of the Seminoles' losses this season have come on the road. They should continue that home-court dominance over Boston College, which has lost four straight games and five of its past six.

It will be the first time that the Seminoles have won the ACC regular-season championship—they haven't won a regular-season title since finishing first in the Metro Conference in 1989.

The game that will have the largest impact on the top seeds will be Saturday's matchup between No. 10 Louisville and No. 22 Virginia. The Cavaliers are hosting the Cardinals, and although both teams are guaranteed top-four seeds and double byes for the ACC tourney, the seeding could be important for potential matchups in the tournament.

Virginia hasn't been nearly as strong as last season, when it lost only three regular-season games and rolled to the first national championship in program history. This year, the Cavaliers have lost seven games. However, they have been playing better of late, winning their past seven contests.

However, Virginia's most recent loss came at Louisville on Feb. 8, an 80-73 defeat. So the Cavaliers will be looking to avenge that loss as they try to secure the No. 2 seed for the ACC Tournament.

That's what will happen, as Virginia will utilize its recent momentum to beat Louisville, while Duke will win its regular-season finale against North Carolina to create a three-way tie at 15-5 in conference play between the Cavaliers, Cardinals and Blue Devils. Virginia owns that tiebreaker after its 52-50 win over Duke on Saturday.

While there will be more seeding to sort out in the middle and bottom of the ACC standings, those will turn out to not be as important. The conference is top-heavy this year, and Florida State, Virginia, Louisville and Duke should end up as the four teams playing in the tournament semifinals.

From there, anything could happen. Virginia and Duke are dangerous teams in March, as the two schools have combined to win the three ACC Tournaments (Duke in 2017 and 2019, Virginia in 2018). But Florida State and Louisville are having strong seasons. Plus, the Seminoles nearly won the ACC tourney last year, losing to Duke in the championship game.

It's just hard to count out Virginia, which can win any game with its low-scoring, defensive-minded style of play. The national champs still have two starters from last year's team (forward Mamadi Diakite and guard Kihei Clark), and that veteran leadership should help in March.

Expect some exciting games to conclude the ACC Tournament, but Virginia will come out on top for the second time in three years.