Here's the final tournament pairings, as released by the ACC:
- #1 Duke vs. winner of #8 UVa vs. #9 Clemson
- #4 Tech vs. #5 UNC
- #2 NC State vs. #7 FSU
- #3 Wake Forest vs. #6 Maryland
As you know if you've followed the ACC for awhile, seedings are meaningless.
But in the bottom half, we'd be pretty surprised if Wake or State lost.
FSU has not won on the road since the Clinton presidency, so we aren't holding
our breaths. And while Maryland is no doubt relieved to be 7-9, out of the
play-in game, and in play for the NCAA, they still have the same basic issues
which made them worry in the first place. Beating Wake is a different
story. The ACC tradition is that beating a school three times is hard,
which is basically correct.
Duke should win the first game, not least of all since it will end at 9 and
the winner has to go again at noon the next day.
Tech and UNC is a very interesting matchup. Both teams can make
arguments, and either could beat Duke in the semis. You'd have to think,
though, that Duke wouldn't mind a crack at Tech about now. And given the
intensity of the first two games, a Duke-UNC match up would likely leave the
winner pretty drained for the finals - and with both teams having short benches,
it would just be that much harder.
The possibility of a Big Four semifinals would have immense appeal in North
Carolina, of course, and the other schools would leave immediately for the most
By the way, if you want to get in and don't have a ticket, be outside the
Coliseum after the play-in game. Tickets will definitely be sold.