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State of the U 2016 ACC Tournament Preview

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Plenty of teams are playing for NCAA Tournament seeding, while others hope to make their way off the bubble. Can the Hurricanes make a case for a #1 seed? All that and more plus predictions.

Evan Pike-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament kicks off today with two preliminary match-ups (NC State/Wake & FSU/BC starting at Noon on ESPN2).

Plenty of upper tier teams (we are looking at you Duke and Miami) are still playing for higher seeds in the big dance.

UNC and Virginia also can lock up #1 seeds (both are in good shape either way) with a win.

For the Seminoles, Pitt, Syracuse, Va Tech, and Clemson, a win or two (or three) could make the difference between heading to March Madness or the NIT.

I think the ACC gets 8 or 9 in the Tourney.

But the Cuse can ill afford an early departure.

FSU needs 2 wins to be safe.

There is going to be high drama this week in the Nation's Capital.

Teams with the most to play for -  FSU, Syracuse, Clemson, Va Tech, Pitt

Who gets in from the ACC after this week - UNC, UVA, Miami, Duke, Notre Dame, Pitt, FSU, Syracuse


Here is how I see it all playing out:

1st Round:


NC State over Wake - Cat Barber will not let his team falter to Danny Manning's up and down Deacs.

FSU over BC - Xavier Rathan-Mayes comes up clutch in a game that may be closer than most expect.


2nd Round:

Syracuse over Pitt - That long 2-3 zone and the stellar play of Michael Gbinije overcome Michael Young. Trevor Cooney can not afford on off day though.

Duke over NC State -  The Pack have no answers for Brandon Ingram nor Grayson Allen.  Malik Abu would need a huge game for them to pull the upset.  I do not see it happening.

Clemson over Georgia Tech -  The Tigers still have a shot to go dancing.  That motivates them to get to the next round, plus Jaron Blossomgame is the best player on the court.

FSU over Virginia Tech -  The Seminoles size and desperation carry them to the quarter finals.  VT has been red hot of late but they are due for an off shooting night, even with Seth Allen.

Quarterfinals:

UNC over Syracuse -  The zone could give the Heels trouble, but I see Justin Jackson and Marcus Paige knocking down enough open jumpers to get past the Orange.

Duke over Notre Dame - Unless Zach Auguste comes up huge, I think the Devils have more firepower in a game featuring lots of offense.

Virginia over Clemson -  Malcolm Brogdon wants this game bad.  So does Anthony Gill.

Miami over FSU -  Young and hungry FSU finally runs out of gas against Angel Rodriguez, Davon Reed, Sheldon McClellan and Co.

Semifinals:

UNC over Duke -  Brice Johnson is just too much on the inside for Coach K's team.

Miami over UVA -  McClellan and Reed out do Brogdon in a tight, tight contest.

Championship:

UNC over Miami -  The 'Canes make it closer than the teams' first match-up two weeks ago.  But Carolina pushes the tempo and punishes Miami on the glass to take the Ship'.

Tourney MVP - Brice Johnson

All Tournament Team - Johnson, Reed, McClellan, Paige, Brogdon

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Here's the full ACCT Schedule:

Tuesday, March 8

First round

Noon – No. 12 NC State vs. No. 13 Wake Forest (ESPN2/ACC Network)

2 p.m. – No. 11 Florida State vs. No. 14 Boston College (ESPN2/ACC Network)

Wednesday, March 9

Second round

Noon – No. 8 Pitt vs. No. 9 Syracuse (ESPN/ACC Network)

2 p.m. – No. 5 Duke vs. Tuesday noon winner (ESPN/ACC Network)

7 p.m. – No. 7 Clemson vs. No. 10 Georgia Tech (ESPN2/ACC Network)

9 p.m. – No. 6 Virginia Tech vs. Tuesday 2 p.m. winner (ESPN2/ACC Network)

Thursday, March 10

Quarterfinals

Noon – No. 1 North Carolina vs. Wednesday noon winner (ESPN/ACC Network)

2 p.m. – No. 4 Notre Dame vs. Wednesday 2 p.m. winner (ESPN/ACC Network)

7 p.m. – No. 2 Virginia vs. Wednesday 7 p.m. winner (ESPN/ACC Network)

9 p.m. – No. 3 Miami vs. Wednesday 9 p.m. winner (ESPN/ACC Network)

Friday, March 11

Semifinals

7 p.m. – Thursday afternoon winners (ESPN/ACC Network)

9 p.m. – Thursday evening winners (ESPN/ACC Network)

Saturday, March 12

Championship

9 p.m. – Friday evening winners (ESPN/ACC Network)

Enjoy!!