Just when it looked like Wake was ready to pack it in, the Deacs pull off an upset: Wake knocked off Clemson at home Tuesday night to break a seven-game losing streak.
And impressively, given Clemson's brilliant defense this season, Wake Forest shot 55% from the floor.
It's probably too late to turn Wake's season around - at 15-13, the Demon Deacons would have to win in Greensboro to have a shot at the NCAA - but it's not too late to crush Clemson's dream.
Wake has BC and Duke at home and closes out with Miami on the road.
Win all three and 18-13 is respectable though not enough to get into the Big Dance. The NIT? Sure.
But what about Greensboro?
It's about time to start speculating. If we got any of this mixed up, let us know and we'll take another stab at it later.
There are currently three ties in the standings. UNC takes third with its win over Duke. Florida State and Maryland split, with FSU's win being by 10 points more. Wake and Notre Dame are tied, with the tiebreaker going to Wake since the Deacs won the only game between the two.
The tournament structure would have opening Wednesday like this if it were today:
- Game 1 #12 Notre Dame vs. #13 Georgia Tech
- Game 2 #10 Miami vs. #15 Virginia Tech
- Game 3 #11 Wake Forest vs. #14 Boston College
Thursday would see:
- Game 4 #8 FSU vs. #9 Maryland
- Game 5 Game 1 Winner vs. #5 Pitt
- Game 6 Game 2 Winner vs. #7 NC State
- Game 7 Game 3 Winner vs. #6 Clemson
Friday would see:
- Game 8 Game 4 Winner vs. #1 Virginia
- Game 9 Game 5 Winner vs. #2 Syracuse
- Game 10 Game 6 Winner vs. #3 UNC
- Game 11 Game 7 Winner vs. #4 Duke
Rank speculation: let's assume Notre Dame, Miami, Wake Forest and Maryland advance. On Thursday we'd then see Notre Dame vs. Pitt and we'd guess Pitt would win there. If Miami plays State, we'd pick State. And in the third Thursday game, we'd then see a rematch between Wake and Clemson, and we'd expect Clemson to win.
Then Friday we'd see Maryland play Virginia for the second time in a week, Pitt with a Syracuse rematch, a grudge match with State and UNC and Clemson against Duke.
We'd expect Virginia, Syracuse, UNC and Duke to move on, with all four games being powerful rematches.
If that played out, then Saturday would see Virginia play Syracuse and and Duke play UNC.
And if John Swofford gets his wish, that could mean Duke and Syracuse in the finals for a third go-round.
Of course, tons of things can change. Wake could certainly beat Duke in Winston, and Duke-UNC is always a crap shoot.
UNC could run into trouble at State on Wednesday, and Leslie McDonald and Kennedy Meek are supposedly hurt.
And with the final ACC home game against conference leading Virginia, Maryland could pull an emotional upset.
For that matter, it wouldn't surprise us terribly if Virginia lost to Syracuse - almost destined to be a toss-up in the last three minutes - and Maryland.
Which is to say that all of the preceding nonsense is an exercise in futility. But it would be fun to see a Friday with Virginia/Maryland, Pitt/Syracuse, State/UNC and Duke/Clemson - all four games grudge matches, and a Duke-Syracuse finale would drive people crazy.
Back to reality: State-UNC highlights Wednesday, and the other games are at this point probably not very important. Georgia Tech and Notre Dame could be interesting, but both teams are bottom dwellers. Pitt actually really needs to beat BC - a loss here could be devastating, and Pitt has been pretty vulnerable lately.
For that matter, it's important to the league: right now, Pitt, Clemson and State are all likely bubble teams, and 8-15 are going to have to blaze a path through Greensboro to go anywhere. Only Virginia, Syracuse, Duke and UNC are locks.