The NCAA field is set and the ACC got seven teams in. Duke was left out, as expected and Louisville is on standby in case a team Covids out.
Virginia is #4 in the West and will open with Ohio.
Florida State is #4 in the East and draws UNCG.
UNC gets the 8/9 game in the South against Wisconsin.
Virginia Tech is in the South as well and gets Florida in the 7/10 game (the Hokies are the #10 team here).
Georgia Tech gets #8 Loyola of Chicago as the #9 seed in the Midwest where #11 Syracuse draws #6 San Diego State.
Finally, Clemson gets Rutgers in the Midwest’s #7 vs. #10 game
Our conclusion? This could get ugly for the ACC, and fast.
We don't know a lot about Ohio, Jim Christian’s old employer incidentally, but we know enough about Virginia to know playing them the first time, UBMC aside, ain’t easy.
For some reason, CBS decided to call UNCG NCGRN and that’s who Florida State opens with. FSU should win, but we always factor in coaching and Wes Miller is a highly promising coach who could have easily moved up by now (hint, hint). FSU should win but it wouldn’t shock us if UNCG - excuse us, NCGRN - pulled a shocker.
When Wisconsin came to Duke a few years ago in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, the sheer size of that team stunned us. Didn’t matter, Duke won, but this year’s team is big too. UNC has more big man talent, but Wisconsin seems to crank big guys out on an assembly line and they have several big strong gys. Plus they have crafty guard Brad Davison, a 6-4 senior. We could easily see Wisconsin winning there. Or UNC. Should be a good matchup.
Virginia Tech and Florida should be fun but serious question: will Omar Payne play? After his vicious two elbows knocked Tennessee’s John Fulkerson out of the SEC tournament and apparently the NCAA as well, he should be suspended for the rest of the year. It was disgraceful and dangerous.
We think Tech can win this if they get some good practice time in, not a guarantee this year obviously, but Florida is good enough to win too.
Georgia Tech gets Loyola? That’s not going to be easy. Neither is SDSU for Syracuse. Both ACC teams get a bit of a break in that their opponents will have a tough time prepping for their defenses. Realistically though both could lose and for Syracuse, San Diego State plays great defense too.
Clemson and Rutgers is a match between two team that are perpetual conference also-rans but also teams that have shown they can excel lately. So no sure bet here either.
In fact, if only Virginia and Florida State win it won’t surprise us a bit.
We’ll be back later with a more in-depth look at the brackets and various matchups.