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ACC Roundup - Good To The Last Drop

Saturday should be a fine conclusion to a wonderful ACC regular season.

Rick Pitino was helpless when Virginia thrashed Louisville earlier. Don't expect it to work like that again.
Rick Pitino was helpless when Virginia thrashed Louisville earlier. Don't expect it to work like that again.
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

The ACC regular season wraps up Saturday and there are some big games with big stakes.

First, pretty much everyone agrees Duke, UNC, Miami, Virginia and Notre Dame are in the NCAA field.

Pitt and Syracuse are very close but both have tough road games against suddenly hot opponents.

And while the window is almost closed, it's still not impossible for Georgia Tech, Clemson, Virginia Tech or Florida State to sneak in.

Realistically though, those four teams are looking at the NIT as is NC State, if things go very well (much less likely for State though).

Clemson should certainly beat BC and if it wins two games in the ACC Tournament, might have an argument. It's unlikely but things could possibly work out for the Tigers.

Syracuse really needs a win over Florida State, but the Seminoles have picked up lately and it won't be easy to win on the road.

Pitt's in a similar situation: the Panthers had a key win over Duke but diminished it with a bad loss to Virginia Tech. And Georgia Tech is playing very, very well. No one is talking about an NCAA bid for Tech and it would take a big run in D.C. (that's where the tournament is this year, not Greensboro as we had said previously), plus a win over Pitt, but they still have hope.

Things get real around 4:00. Virginia Tech has become a very dangerous team. Miami had better not be even slightly complacent or a share of first place is gone.

UNC and Duke is always a barnburner. UNC needs the win for seeding in Greensboro and possibly a #1 seed in the NCAA. If Duke wins, it may get a double bye in the ACC Tourney, which would help a lot with such a thin bench. If Duke loses, Notre Dame gets the tiebreaker (assuming the Irish beat NC State).

If Louisville were playing in the post-season, the Cards would have the fourth seed already.

Instead, win or lose, their season ends at Virginia. This is a really interesting game for three reasons: 1), Virginia beat the ever living snot out of Louisville earlier and Rick Pitino will have his guys ready for revenge; 2) this is the last stand for the Cardinals and 3) it's Malcolm Brogdon's last game.

All things considered, Saturday promises to be a memorable day of ACC basketball.

Of course the end of the season means that various players will get mentioned for the draft. Notre Dame's Demetrius Jackson has moved up to a potential lottery pick according to some. Meanwhile, despite his great season, State's Cat Barber is currently projected as a second-round pick. He's busy obfuscating about his decision.

Other decisions will follow as coaches are fired and wooed. But the idea that Tony Bennett will end up back at Wisconsin? Not happening.

There is also some thought that Rick Pitino might call it a career at Louisville. The board of trustees, however, backs the coach.