In Saturday’s final day of ACC Action, Virginia visits Louisville, Boston College jets down to Hotlanta, Miami goes from sunny Florida to icy Syracuse, Virginia Tech has a crucial trip to Clemson, NC State heads down to take the measure of Florida State, Pitt goes to Notre Dame for a former K Assistants Battle and we hear there’s some other game too.
It’s Senior Day for Louisville, but does anyone care? Will Malik Williams even be on the bench?
No one can admire Louisville’s recent track record off the court, but it’s still sad to watch a proud program fall so hard. The Cards have now won just twice since January 8th. Virginia has absolutely no room for error and may have to win the ACC Tournament to be sure of a bid. We’ll take them here.
BC vs. Georgia Tech? We’ll bet on the Eagles here (not literally). Earl Grant is building something good.
Virginia Tech at Clemson could be potentially great. Both teams have pulled together and Clemson has been nearly miraculous without PJ Hall. This one is tough...we’ll throw a dart at the Tigers though.
NC State has really struggled too. We just can’t see them pulling this win off. On top of everything else, they’ll have to deal with FSU’s imposing height and the inside has killed this team. Dereon Seabron has trailed off late too after being absolutely sensational for much of the season.
Notre Dame will almost certainly beat Pitt and probably handily, if for no other reason than the Irish are very good with the ball while Pitt is not.
Some seeds are pretty much set. Duke is going to be #1. UNC would have to win and Notre Dame would have to lose for UNC to get the #2 seed. Either way, Duke and UNC can’t meet again until the finals, should both make it.
Miami will be the fourth team with a double bye.
Georgia Tech and NC State are at the bottom of the standings and State has the tiebreaker if it’s needed.
Most of the middle will be sorted out Saturday.
We’ll get into this more after the field is set, but one of the best ways to break down a bracket is to see which teams are most likely to flame out early.
From here it looks like the bottom three - NC State, Georgia Tech and Pitt will go home early. We can’t see Louisville pulling things together at this late stage.
From there? It’s all matchups and getting hot. We don’t expect BC to win a game but it’s not inconceivable. Clemson has shown some real guts. Three point shooting can keep Syracuse in any game. Florida State, Virginia and Virginia Tech have all shown some backbone.
Finally, there’s depth. It’s less important for the top four seeds, none of which are overwhelmingly deep, but it’s critical for others. If Clemson had to play five games in five days, they’ll need everything - and no one could reasonably expect PJ Hall, if he’s good to go, to play five days in a row. So it’s just a question of when the Tigers go out.
And Syracuse looks to be playing four games in four days. That team currently goes about seven deep and relies heavily on three point shooting. And has problems in the post.
It’s just hard to imagine them winning more than three games if that.
Then again, it’s March. It’s time for greatness to emerge.
Saturday’s ACC Action
- Virginia @ Louisville || 12:00 || ESPN2
- BC @ Georgia Tech || 12:00 || ACCNX
- Miami @ Syracuse || 1:00 || ESPNU
- Virginia Tech @ Clemson || 2:00 || ACCNX
- NC State @ Florida State || 2:00 || ESPN2
- Pitt @ Notre Dame || 2:30 || ESPNN
- UNC @ Duke || 6:00 || ESPN
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