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Caulton Tudor

ACC's Friday the 14th could be boom or bust for Triangle

Posted March 14

Fans watch North Carolina State battle against Miami in the second round of the 2014 ACC Tournament on Thursday, March 13, 2014.

— Saturday in Greensboro Coliseum could be a great day for Triangle basketball fans.

Or it could be a perfectly miserable, totally disgusting experience that might turn Tourney Town – as Greensboro likes to bill itself – into Boot Hill.

The possibilities during today’s ACC Tournament quarterfinals are just that radical from an in-state perspective.
No. 4 seed North Carolina, No. 7 N.C. State and No. 3 Duke all are still in the chase for Sunday’s championship.

But just as fast as 1-2-3, all could be eliminated by the time the Blue Devils and No. 6 Clemson turn out of the lights near midnight. Top seed Virginia and No. 9 Florida State begin the quarterfinals at noon.

Triangle teams were absent from the semifinal round in 1996 in Greensboro, but the overall regional situation was hardly dire since Tim Duncan and Tony Rutland carried Wake Forest to a memorable 75-74 title win over top-seeded Georgia Tech.

In 1990 at Charlotte, only second-seeded Duke survived the quarterfinals. The Blue Devils then were eliminated by Georgia Tech, which then whipped Virginia with ease for the championship.

Duke was the lone Triangle semifinal rep in 1986 (Greensboro) but made the most of it by edging Georgia Tech for the title.

With half the ACC’s eight members for years, obviously odds favored the North Carolina teams in general and the three Triangle schools specifically.

But with the dawn of the 15-team, five-day event this week, the odds are beginning to even out against the locals. Proof of that was found in regular season when for the first time since 2003 and only the second time since 1996, either Duke or Carolina failed to crack the top two seedings spots.

Virginia and No. 2 Syracuse, the Wolfpack’s problem tonight at 7 p.m. (WRAL-TV), ended that streak in Syracuse’s first season as an ACC member.

In fact, there had never been a season in which at least one North Carolina-based team wasn’t one of the top two seeds, and that dates all the way back to the first conference tournament in 1954 in Raleigh.

Early Friday, as fans were busy having breakfast and greeting friends in Greensboro’s Sheraton Hotel, there were splashes of orange and blue (Virginia, Clemson and Syracuse) and even a few newcomers from Pitt in the hotel’s three sweeping lobby areas.

But by far, there was a great deal more Wolfpack red and Carolina sky blue with an ample serving of Duke royal blue woven throughout the human fabric.

Wilson Price, a middle-aged UNC fan from Charlotte, was asked how it might feel in the coliseum Saturday if Virginia and Pitt played in the first semifinal, followed by Syracuse and Clemson in the second?

“Oh my Lord!” he virtually shouted. “I hadn’t even given that the first thought. Wow, that could happen couldn’t it? Heck, I’d probably faint and then run home. This is my 25th ACC and I’d hate like the devil for that to happen. I wouldn’t even wish that on State and Duke.”

13 Comments

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  • sjb2k1 Mar 14, 5:54 p.m.

    Just so long as Syracuse loses, it will be a great ACC tournament.

    — Posted by thomasew

    I want this to happen just so my dad will shut up. Earlier this season he wouldn't stop talking about how Cuse was "devouring the ACC" ...then they lost to BC...hahahhaha

  • thomasew Mar 14, 3:51 p.m.

    Just so long as Syracuse loses, it will be a great ACC tournament.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Mar 14, 1:57 p.m.

    I don't think its a problem with the North Carolina teams not being a top 2 seed. Don't think... View More

    — Posted by lec02572

    Agree. I think the State/Cuse game and the Carolina/Pitt games will be the most competitive and interesting, and I do see at least two teams from NC playing tomorrow.

  • smcallah Mar 14, 12:51 p.m.

    "Duke was the lone Triangle semifinal rep in 1986 (Greensboro) but made the most of it by edging... View More

    — Posted by sjb2k1

    Little known fact, up until 1988 it was named George Tech after George Washington, but then changed to Georgia Tech by Georgia State Legislature.

    Or was it...?

  • baldchip Mar 14, 12:32 p.m.

    GO PACK!! GO DEVILS-GO HEELS-IT'S TIME TO KEEP THE ACC HERE!!

  • lec02572 Mar 14, 12:02 p.m.

    I don't think its a problem with the North Carolina teams not being a top 2 seed. Don't think Duke will have a problem with Clemson, this time. NCSU has just as good a chance of beating the Cuse as anyone there, UNC and Pitt should be a great game. I think we will have at least 2 teams playing tomorrow.

  • trolllordv00 Mar 14, 11:42 a.m.

    Seems they fixed the mistakes you mentioned, the proof reading is terrible on this site.

  • sjb2k1 Mar 14, 10:53 a.m.

    So when do I get my check for proofreading your story?

  • sjb2k1 Mar 14, 10:32 a.m.

    "Virginia and No. 2 Syracuse, the Wolfpack’s problem tonight at 7 o.m. (WRAL-TV), ended that streak in Syracuse’s first season as an ACC member."

    o.m. ?????

  • sjb2k1 Mar 14, 10:31 a.m.

    "Duke was the lone Triangle semifinal rep in 1986 (Greensboro) but made the most of it by edging George Tech for the title."

    George Tech? Come on guys.

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