ACC Tournament 2020: Bracket Predictions Before Final Regular-Season Games

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMarch 7, 2020

Florida State forward Patrick Williams (4) slams a dunk against Louisville in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Tallahassee, Fla., Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)
Mark Wallheiser/Associated Press

The most competitive games on the final day of the ACC regular season will determine the order beneath the Florida State Seminoles in the ACC tournament seeding.

Leonard Hamilton's team is expected to lock up the regular-season crown with a home victory over the Boston College Eagles.

That would leave the Louisville Cardinals, Duke Blue Devils and Virginia Cavaliers fighting for the Nos. 2-4 seeds for the tournament, which begins Tuesday in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Louisville visits Virginia in Saturday's marquee ACC clash, while Duke will try to avoid an upset at the hands of the North Carolina Tar Heels.

The order of the next four teams could be shuffled during Saturday's five-game league slate, as the Syracuse Orange visit the Miami Hurricanes and Notre Dame Fighting Irish host the Virginia Tech Hokies.


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 (2 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. No. 12/No. 13 winner (2:30 p.m.)

No. 7 seed vs. No. 10 seed (7 p.m.) 

No. 6 seed vs. No. 11/No. 14 winner (9:30 p.m.)


Thursday, March 12

No. 1 seed vs. No. 8/No. 9 winner (12:30 p.m.)

No. 4 seed vs. No. 5/No. 12/No. 13 winner (3 p.m.)

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

No. 3 seed vs. No. 6/No. 11/No. 14 winner (9:30 p.m.)


Friday, March 13

Semifinal No. 1 (7 p.m.)

Semifinal No. 2 (9:30 p.m.)


Saturday, March 14

Championship (8:30 p.m.)

All Times ET.


Bracket Predictions

1. Florida State

2. Louisville

3. Duke

4. Virginia

5. Syracuse

6. NC State

7. Notre Dame

8. Clemson

9. Boston College

10. Virginia Tech 

11. Pittsburgh

12. Miami

13. Wake Forest 

14. North Carolina


Florida State is tied with Louisville on conference record at 15-4, but the Seminoles own the head-to-head tiebreaker thanks to a pair of regular-season wins.

The projected top seed in the ACC is 15-0 at home, and it is facing a Boston College team with a 4-7 road mark that is on a four-game losing streak. Saturday should be more of a coronation of Florida State's ACC crown than a struggle with the Eagles.

That leaves Louisville, Duke and Virginia to fight for the No. 2 seed.

The Cardinals beat the Cavaliers by seven points in their first meeting at the KFC Yum! Center on February 8. Chris Mack's side was one of the few to put up 80 points on Virginia, which caused havoc against Duke's offense by limiting the Blue Devils to 50 on Feb. 29.

If Tony Bennett's side is capable of slowing down Louisville, it stands a chance to add another quality win to its resume.

Virginia has held its past four opponents under 60 points, but the Cardinals have eclipsed that mark in every game since January 1.

Jordan Nwora shot 50 percent from the field in the first meeting, and if he comes close to replicating his 22-point performance, Louisville should find a way past Virginia's defense and solidify the No. 2 seed.

If that occurs, Duke would be playing for the No. 3 seed in its rematch with North Carolina, which enters Cameron Indoor Stadium with three straight wins. The Blue Devils are still the superior team, but the Tar Heels almost sprung the upset on home soil on February 8.

Mike Krzyzewski's side needed a few bounces to go its way to pull off the comeback win, but it likely will not need that type of luck Saturday.

Vernon Carey Jr. has been a force inside with six double-doubles in ACC play, and the Tar Heels do not have a matchup answer for the freshman. If Carey finds a rhythm thanks to the distribution of Tre Jones, the Tar Heels may be forced to focus on him, which would leave open looks for Cassius Stanley, Matthew Hurt or Wendell Moore Jr.

Wins by Duke and Louisville would set up a potential semifinal clash between the two Friday in Greensboro, while Florida State and Virginia would be on the opposite end of the bracket.

Syracuse can lock in the No. 5 seed with a road win over Miami. The Orange have won three of their past four games, and they could spell trouble for any of the top seeds with their trademark zone defense. Jim Boeheim's side would earn that position because the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets accepted a postseason ban Monday, per Ken Sugiura of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Georgia Tech finished with an 11-9 ACC record, but since it is ineligible to play in Greensboro, each squad beneath it moves up a spot.

If Notre Dame beats Virginia Tech to finish 10-10, it would land the No. 7 seed since the NC State Wolfpack own a head-to-head tiebreaker. That would put NC State in line for a quarterfinal matchup with Duke, which it upset on home soil February 19.

Were both Syracuse and Notre Dame to win, the Clemson Tigers earn the No. 8 seed as the only team with a 9-11 mark, while Boston College and Virginia Tech would slot in to the No. 9 and No. 10 seeds, respectively.

The biggest shock when the bracket is finalized could be North Carolina as the No. 14 seed.

If Roy Williams' side loses Saturday, it would open the tournament Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Panthers, whom it lost to on two occasions. If the Tar Heels won their potential first-round matchup, their path to a surprise run in Greensboro would go through rivals NC State and Duke.


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