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ACC Roundup - It’s Tournament Time

But the ACC Tournament isn’t what it used to be.

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Duke v North Carolina
CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 09: Zion Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils watches on from the bench during their game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Dean Smith Center on March 09, 2019 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

In 1975, with seven teams, the total margin of victory in all six games was 18 points. The biggest margin of victory was six points.

Some things never change though: Maryland was top seeded and lost in its only game.

Every game was close and exciting and worth watching. Wake Forest was the last place team and it took UNC overtime to beat them in the opening round (Maryland had the bye).

We’re almost certainly not going to see basketball like that on Tuesday.

All the matchups are between mediocre teams.

In 1975, NC State had David Thompson, Virginia had Wally Walker, UNC had freshman Phil Ford, Wake had Skip Brown, Clemson had Tree Rollins and Duke didn’t have much but the Tigers only won by two points. Maryland still had John Lucas and Mo Howard and a number of other excellent players.

On Tuesday, we’ll see Chris Lykes, Brandon Childress, John Mooney, Jose Alvarado, Ky Bowman and Trey McGowan and Xavier Johnson.

Some of these guys are pretty good but the era of Thompson, Ford, Lucas and company was incredible.

Expansion has changed things. We’ll watch Tuesday but a lot of people won’t.

The structure of the tournament has changed too. It’s not like there’s a ton of rest between Saturday and Tuesday and if someone did get on a freaky hot roll, that team would have to win Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

It’s essentially impossible.

Things will get better on Wednesday and the real tournament will start then or Thursday.

The State-Clemson game Wednesday should be fun but we’re not expecting much out of the others.

In retrospect John Swofford was right about expansion. If the ACC hadn’t done it, a number of schools would have been peeled off.

But it doesn’t mean that everything is better. By Thursday and Friday we’ll have excellent basketball in Charlotte but the days when anyone could beat anyone are, at least for now, gone.

As noted earlier, Zion Williamson was named both ACC Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year. Here are the All-ACC teams and votes.

It’s pretty good but we think Virginia’s Ty Jerome is underrated here.

First Team

  • Zion Williamson, Duke, 350
  • RJ Barrett, Duke, 346
  • De’Andre Hunter, Virginia, 302
  • Cameron Johnson, North Carolina, 277
  • Kyle Guy, Virginia, 231

Second Team

  • Luke Maye, North Carolina, 221
  • Ky Bowman, Boston College, 188
  • Ty Jerome, Virginia, 177
  • Coby White, North Carolina, 171
  • Kerry Blackshear Jr., Virginia Tech, 170

Third Team

  • Jordan Nwora, Louisville, 135
  • Marcquise Reed, Clemson, 129
  • Tyus Battle, Syracuse, 128
  • Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Virginia Tech, 72
  • John Mooney, Notre Dame, 71

Honorable Mention

  • Mifondu Kabengele, Florida State, 69
  • Cam Reddish, Duke, 37
  • Tre Jones, Duke, 18
  • Terance Mann, Florida State, 16
  • Elijah Thomas, Clemson, 10

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