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ACC Roundup

So the bids are out, and seven ACC teams are in: Duke, UNC, Wake, Clemson, Florida State, B.C., and Maryland.  Virginia Tech and Miami made the NIT field.

Duke's half of the East bracket is good but not backbreaking. As usual, there are a number of tough opponents, but no one jumps out like, say, LSU did a few years ago. UCLA, Minnesota and Texas are likely the best on Duke's side. Pitt looms on the top, but Florida State and Xavier are there as well, and they're both solid, and odds are both would like another crack at Duke.

In the South, UNC has a few teams to worry about should they play them: Oklahoma, Clemson, Michigan, Syracuse and Arizona State could cause problems for the Heels. On the top side of the bracket, we're not sure if Butler is up to it, but they're very well-coached.  Western Kentucky and Gonzaga are there as well, and you may remember that Western beat Louisville earlier this season.

It's a reasonably tough bracket, in other words.  A matchup between Tyler Hansbrough and Blake Griffin would thrill TV.  UNC opens with Radford whose coach, Brad Greenberg, can probaby get a good scouting report from his brother Seth. It wouldn't shock us to see Michigan go on a run here, and their offense would give anyone, including UNC, fits.

In the Midwest, Wake should play the winner of the Louisville-Ohio State game (we don't see anyone beating either of them prior to Wake), assuming they don't get rattled or go into an extended offensive funk.  And if it's Louisville, in an up-and-down game, Wake would be ecstatic because that would cover up a lot of their weaknesses.

We don't know that much about Southern Cal, but they seem like the sort of team that B.C. often takes and turns against itself. Michigan State is a bit beaten up and if they can get past the Spartans, they'll likely get the winner of Kansas and West Virginia.

Maryland will have a stiff test from Cal, and if they get past them, they'll get Memphis.  Not a fun weekend, and a total contrast in styles and preparation.

We'll have more thoughts over the next few days.

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