With three of the five past national champions, the ACC conference tournament is always worth keeping an eye on as we head toward March Madness.
If that trend is going to continue, there are some teams that have some work to do in the conference tourney. Florida State, Louisville and Duke have been the class of the conference this season but all three are outside of the top five right now.
In all, ESPN's Joe Lunardi has five ACC teams in the tournament field, but NC State is among his last four in. The Wolfpack are among the teams in the league who will be looking to solidify their resume and get some momentum going to win the game.
Here's a look at the whole bracket and a schedule for the early games:
ACC Tournament Schedule
All games are streamed through ACC Network
First Round: Tuesday, March 10
Game 1: No. 12 Wake Forest vs. No. 13 Pitt | 4:30 p.m. | ACC Network
Game 2: No. 11 Virginia Tech vs. No. 14 North Carolina | 7 p.m. | ACC Network
Second Round: Wednesday, March 11
Game 3: No. 8 Clemson vs. No. 9 Miami | 12 p.m. | ESPN
Game 4: No. 5 NC State vs. Game 1 winner | 2 p.m.* | ESPN
Game 5: No. 7 Notre Dame vs. No. 10 Boston College | 7 p.m. | ESPN2
Game 6: No. 6 Syracuse vs. Game 2 winner | 9 p.m.* | ESPN2
Quarterfinals: Thursday, March 12
Game 7: No. 1 Florida State vs. Game 3 winner | 12:30 p.m.
Game 8: No. 4 Duke vs. Game 4 winner | 2:30 p.m.
Game 9: No. 2 Virginia vs. Game 5 winner | 7 p.m.
Game 10: No. 3 Louisville vs. Game 6 winner | 9 p.m.
Schedule via NCAA.com.
Florida State Disappoints
Leonard Hamilton's Seminoles have been one of the biggest stories in the ACC this season. They won their first regular-season championship after losing six of their top eight scorers from a year ago.
It was a tremendous season, and they've clearly stepped up in a year in which North Carolina finished No. 14 and Duke isn't where they are traditionally. Finding success in the ACC tournament will be another hurdle, though.
Under Hamilton, the Noles have won the tournament just once, in 2012. Recently, they have been underwhelming in the event. They've won more than one game just once since that title-winning run.
The way the bracket falls, Florida State could be set up for another disappointment. It should easily defeat the winner of Clemson vs. Miami, but Duke looms as the No. 4 seed on its side of the slate.
The Blue Devils beat the Noles 70-65 in their only showdown this season, and Duke has five consecutive wins over Florida State stretching back to 2016.
North Carolina Makes a Little Run
It's been a rough season to say the least for the Tar Heels. The team had its first-ever losing season under Roy Williams and its first for the storied program since 2002.
It's led to an unprecedented 14th seed in the tournament, but that doesn't mean the Tar Heels can't make some noise.
After a dreadful run 2-12 from the beginning of 2020 to mid-February they have been playing a semblance of good basketball to end the season. They finished the campaign by winning three of their last four with the lone loss coming by seven at Duke.
Garrison Brooks has been a big reason for that success. He has scored more than 20 points in six straight contests, putting him in rare company.
The Tar Heels will start their tournament run with Virginia Tech and will face Syracuse if they win. Even during the team's worst run of the season, they took the Hokies to double overtime. They just beat the Orange 92-79.
With Brooks playing well and the Tar Heels finally getting some positive momentum, it wouldn't be surprising to see them make a run to Louisville in the third round.
Virginia over Duke in the Championship
Between Florida State, Virginia, Duke and Louisville, there's good parity at the top of the league.
Duke is well-positioned to take out Florida State. Not only does it have the aforementioned historic edge over the Noles, but it is slightly better when looking at efficiency. It is KenPom's fifth-ranked team in the nation while Florida State is 15.
Virginia, on the other hand, isn't a favorite of the efficiency metrics this season. It once again has a suffocating defense, ranked No. 1 in the nation on KenPom. But the offense is bad, like 235th-in-the-nation bad.
The Cavaliers have the fortunate draw of getting Louisville in the semifinal. Tony Bennett's squad just held the Cardinals to 52 points and the Blue Devils to 54 points, proving they can slow down the pace and play their game against their likely semifinal and conference championship game opponents.
The Hoos aren't as good as they were last year when they won the championship, but they are still plenty dangerous to anyone they face in the ACC tournament.