Duke, Carolina and who else? ACC Tournament preview
When & Where: Thursday, March 8 to Sunday, March 11, Philips Arena, Atlanta, Ga.
No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels (bye)
No. 2 Duke Blue Devils (bye)
No. 3 Florida State Seminoles (bye)
No. 4 Virginia Cavaliers (bye)
No. 5 North Carolina State Wolfpack
No. 6 Miami Hurricanes
No. 7 Clemson Tigers
No. 8 Maryland Terrapins
No. 9 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
No. 10 Virginia Tech Hokies
No. 11 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
No. 12 Boston College Eagles
Favorite: North Carolina Tar Heels
Potential Cinderella: Virginia Tech Hokies
What's at stake?
There are two teams in the ACC that sit firmly on the bubble: North Carolina State and Miami. A third, Virginia, is probably a lock for the tournament, but not getting upset in the quarterfinals wouldn't be a good idea for the Cavaliers, just to be safe.
Both Miami and North Carolina State might need to make runs in the ACC Tournament to get into the NCAAs. It's hard to say which team is ahead of which right now. NC State swept the Hurricanes in both head-to-head meetings and played a harder schedule. However, Miami boasts wins over Duke and Florida State.
For Miami to get in they will likely need to be Georgia Tech in the first round and then upset Florida State again in the quarterfinals. Even then, the Hurricanes wouldn't be out of the woods, and might need an upset of Duke in the semifinals to feel perfectly comfortable.
The Wolfpack are in a similar boat. They need to beat Boston College then upset Virginia in the quarterfinals. After that, an upset of No. 1 seed North Carolina would sure be a nice win to add to their resume.
For the Tar Heels and Blue Devils No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament are at stake. Right now Kentucky, Syracuse, Kansas and the winner of the ACC Tournament (if it is Carolina or Duke) are in the driver's seats for No. 1 seeds.