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Aaron Schoonmaker

ACC tourney seeds set; where do advantages lie?

Posted March 10, 2013

The seeds for the ACC Tournament were not written in pen until overtime expired of the final game of the regular season. After an unpredictable year, it seems only appropriate.

Miami surprised many fans and experts alike to claim the ACC No. 1 seed at the tournament in Greensboro this season. Virginia Tech surprised the same group by finishing dead last and “earning” the No. 12 seed. North Carolina might have turned the heads of an even bigger following to claim the No. 3 seed after starting ACC play 0-2, then “progressing” to 3-3. And raise your hand if you had Wake Forest going 6-3 at home in conference play with wins over Miami, NC State and Florida State.

Ahh, the ACC…

The conference could have the Player of the Year come from the last place team. The preseason favorite to win the conference will finish the regular season unranked. A team with three 7-footers will play on day one of the tournament. And yet again, a team from Virginia finds itself on the NCAA Tournament bubble.

Speaking of Virginia, they fought tooth-and-nail in their finale, rallied from 17 points down and needed overtime to beat Maryland and wrap up the No. 4 seed.

It is now time for all 12 programs to put the panic buttons down, and take the un-anointed crowns off the heads.

Crazy man’s interjection: If Liberty can go 15-20 on the year, win their conference and make the tournament, who is to say Virginia Tech and Clemson are done? 

Now back to reality: The seeds are set, the schedule has been drawn up and all that is left in the ACC season is the tournament to crown a winner. Let’s take a peek at the teams: 

1 – Miami (24-6, 15-3 ACC)
Storylines: Miami has arguably the best point guard in the league in Shane Larkin. They have the inevitable Coach of the Year in Jim Larranaga. And they are experienced with six seniors on their roster – five of which average at least 20 minutes per game.
Longest win streak in ACC: 13 Games
Home in ACC: 8-1
Road in ACC: 7-2
Record vs. Top 4 ACC seeds: 4-1
On Neutral Courts in 2012-13 Season: 0-2

2 – Duke (27-4, 14-4 ACC)
Storylines: Duke has Ryan Kelly back and they are undefeated this season with him in the lineup. Duke spent five weeks this season as the No. 1 team in the nation. The Blue Devils have won 3 of the last 4 and 5 of the last 8 ACC tournaments. They are playing for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Oh, and did I mention they have Ryan Kelly back?
Longest win streak in ACC: 6 Games
Home in ACC: 9-0
Road in ACC: 5-4
Record vs. Top 4 ACC seeds: 3-2
On Neutral Courts in 2012-13 Season: 6-0

3 – North Carolina (22-9, 12-6 ACC)
Storylines: They have gone small and they are still 13th in the nation in rebounding. The Tar Heels are also 3rd in the nation in assists per game. With players learning to play their roles, and Roy Williams swallowing some pride to find creative ways to win over sexy ways to win, UNC is a real threat.
Longest win streak in ACC: 6 Games
Home in ACC: 7-2
Road in ACC 5-4
Record vs. Top 4 ACC seeds: 1-5
On Neutral Courts in 2012-13 Season: 1-1

4 – Virginia (21-10, 11-7 ACC )
Storylines: They have been on the NCAA bubble for a month. Every win streak seems to come with a pair of losses but they managed to earn a first-round bye in the ACC Tournament with an OT win against Maryland. When Virginia is on, they are good. For a team that likes to control the tempo, they exceeded 70 points seven times in conference play. The biggest knock is they don’t rebound - ranked in the 280’s nationally. Oh, and they don’t win on the road.
Longest win streak in ACC: 4 Games
Home in ACC: 9-0
Road in ACC 2-7
Record vs. Top 4 ACC seeds: 2-2
On Neutral Courts in 2012-13 Season: 0-1

5 –NC State (22-9, 11-7 ACC)
Storylines: The preseason hype was there. The talent still is. The results have not been. NC State has the ability to go deep into March and they proved last year that all it takes is getting hot. With Lorenzo Brown running the point, they are in more control. With Richard Howell staying out of foul trouble, they are unstoppable. Does Calvin or CJ show up in Greensboro?
Longest win streak in ACC: 3 Games
Home in ACC: 8-1
Road in ACC 3-6
Record vs. Top 4 ACC seeds: 2-4
On Neutral Courts in 2012-13 Season: 3-1

6 – Florida St. (17-14, 9-9 ACC)
Storylines: The Seminoles have the best closer in college basketball in Michael Snaer. He has 3 ½ game winners this season and five for his career. If only the game was 5 seconds long instead of 40 minutes. Florida State is also tall with three 7-footers. But they are soft and slow and even with their height, rank 309 in the country in rebounding. 309!
Longest win streak in ACC: 2 Games
Home in ACC: 6-3
Road in ACC 3-6
Record vs. Top 4 ACC seeds: 1-6
On Neutral Courts in 2012-13 Season: 4-0

7 – Maryland (20-11, 8-10 ACC)
Storylines: Despite the lower seed, Maryland is closer to an NCAA at-large bid than FSU if they were to reach the semi’s and/or title game in Greensboro. Maryland has proven they can beat better teams as they took out Duke – or should I say Alex Len took out Duke. The 7-foot-1 Ukrainian, Len made Mason Plumlee invisible in a Terps win and he is a big reason why Maryland is right with UNC at No. 3 in the nation in rebounds per game with 41.
Longest win streak in ACC: 2 Games
Home in ACC: 6-3
Road in ACC 2-7
Record vs. Top 4 ACC seeds: 1-6
On Neutral Courts in 2012-13 Season: 1-1

8 – Boston College (15-16, 7-11 ACC)
Storylines: The Eagles are led by Freshman of the Year candidate Olivier Hanlan and enter the tournament on a three-game win streak. Bad losses fill their overall resume, though, including one against Bryant. Who?
Longest win streak in ACC: 3 Games
Home in ACC: 5-4
Road in ACC 2-7
Record vs. Top 4 ACC seeds: 1-6
On Neutral Courts in 2012-13 Season: 0-2

9 – Georgia Tech (16-14, 6-12 ACC)
Storylines: They don’t score a lot of points and no player is averaging even 11 per game on the year. They are able to go deep in their rotation if the game warrants as nine players are averaging at least nine minutes per game. They don’t rebound either, though, and that is a problem.
Longest win streak in ACC: 1 Game
Home in ACC: 3-6
Road in ACC 3-6
Record vs. Top 4 ACC seeds: 2-5
On Neutral Courts in 2012-13 Season: 2-1

10 – Wake Forest (13-17, 6-12 ACC)
Storylines: The Deacons are really good at home. Not so much on the road. Travis McKie and CJ Harris are as good as any player at their positions in the conference when they are on. Consistency has been a major problem for Wake, though. Devin Thomas playing well and may be an X-factor for Wake Forest if they are to grab a tournament win or two.
Longest win streak in ACC: 2 Games
Home in ACC: 6-3
Road in ACC 0-9
Record vs. Top 4 ACC seeds: 2-3
On Neutral Courts in 2012-13 Season: 1-2

11 – Clemson (13-17, 5-13 ACC)
Storylines: Brad Brownell has had better seasons – and offenses. The Tigers are in the 300’s nationally in points per game (61.3) and assists per game (10.7). Devin Booker has the ability to score, but at just 7.6 rebounds per game (a team best), Clemson doesn’t scare anybody inside.
Longest win streak in ACC: 2 Games
Home in ACC: 4-5
Road in ACC 1-8
Record vs. Top 4 ACC seeds: 1-5
On Neutral Courts in 2012-13 Season: 2-1

12 – Virginia Tech (13-18, 4-14 ACC)
Storylines: Erick Green.
Longest win streak in ACC: 1 Game
Home in ACC: 3-6
Road in ACC 1-8
Record vs. Top 4 ACC seeds: 0-7
On Neutral Courts in 2012-13 Season: 1-1

 

Tournament schedule:

 ** All games can be seen on WRAL-TV and heard on either 99.9 The Fan ESPN Radio or 620 AM The Buzz. All NC State games can also be heard on WRAL-FM. All games heard on 99.9 The Fan can also be streamed online via WRALSportsFan.com and The WRALSportsFan App for iPhone and Android devices. **

Thursday, March 14 – First Round
Gm 1. No. 8 Boston College vs. No. 9 Georgia Tech, Noon
Gm 2. No. 5 NC State vs. No. 12 Virginia Tech, 2 pm            
Gm 3. No. 7 Maryland vs. No. 10 Wake Forest, 7 pm             
Gm 4. No. 6 Florida St. vs. No. 11 Clemson, 9 pm

Friday, March 15 - Quarterfinals
No. 1 Miami vs. Game 1 winner, Noon             
No. 4 Virginia vs. Game 2 winner, 2 pm       
No. 2 Duke vs. Game 3 winner, 7 pm                
No. 3 North Carolina vs. Game 4 winner, 9 pm

80 Comments

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  • badcompany1023 Mar 11, 3:04 p.m.

    I'll just be glad when Duke loses. All that talk about the Kelly win streak is over hyped and... View More

    — Posted by 879wins

    954-879=75
    4>2
    69>53 and so on

  • Hokies94 Mar 11, 2:35 p.m.

    Picking Duke to win it.

  • tlg0022 Mar 11, 1:47 p.m.

    I'll just be glad when Duke loses. All that talk about the Kelly win streak is over hyped and... View More

    — Posted by 879wins

    Sorry but you might have to wait a while..UNC knows all about being overrated don't they?

  • davidgnews Mar 11, 1:16 p.m.

    "Does Calvin or CJ show up in Greensboro?"

    That sums it up for the Wolfpack. GO STATE !!!!!

  • 879wins Mar 11, 12:21 p.m.

    I'll just be glad when Duke loses. All that talk about the Kelly win streak is over hyped and over rated.

  • FatherofFour Mar 11, 12:00 p.m.

    ^^^^^^

    Edit not working. Also Warren and Purvis - they may have been streaky, but they're... View More

    — Posted by StunGunn

    Thanks for your comments Gunny. I know the season is not over and there is still post season... View More

    — Posted by FatherofFour

    Tim, I appreciate your honesty, and I think fans have a right to express their frustration - or... View More

    — Posted by StunGunn

    I guess as a long time State fan, I saw this as our one chance for a bite at the apple. It seemed that all the pieces were in place to make a serious run at the regular season title. We have had a few superstar players in the past, and some decent players with big hearts, but the State teams of old would have to play a perfect game, and hope that their opponent did not, in order to get a win against a solid NCAAT team. I just thought with the talent that we had this year, and the fact it was supposed to be a down year for the ACC that the result would have been more satisfying. Now I fear we will lose all 4 of our upper classmen next year to the draft and graduation, and it may be several more years before we might have this same opportunity and caliber of team again. Heck, the way Warren played this year, we may lose him too. We currently only have 3 top recruits coming in next season, so our bench will probably be short again. I think Gott has the ability to build a quality program, but it is going to take a little longer than I had hoped. When you have waited as long as I have, then I guess I might get a little impatient. But, since I plan on pulling for State until the day I die, or they close down the university for some reason, I will wait as long as it takes. I would just prefer sooner rather than later.

  • fbguru Mar 11, 11:42 a.m.

    ...like last year and the year before...But funny, we did MAKE the NCAA, and didn't have to settle for the NIT. And Duke is one of the most successful programs, EVER in the NCAA, so your point is not at all valid, matter of fact, it's silly. We'll take going out early a time or two in the past decade, last couple years, when we WON IT ALL only 3 years ago! Yeah, we'll take it.

  • StunGunn Mar 11, 11:38 a.m.

    ^^^^^^

    Edit not working. Also Warren and Purvis - they may have been streaky, but they're... View More

    — Posted by StunGunn

    Thanks for your comments Gunny. I know the season is not over and there is still post season... View More

    — Posted by FatherofFour

    Tim, I appreciate your honesty, and I think fans have a right to express their frustration - or sdatisfaction - with how their team is playing. Good point about CJ's talent, and why Gott chose to stick with him. "The Curious Case of CJ Leslie" was an excellent piece.

    As for improvement, State didn't have as far to go as Carolina did - Carolina was so young, they had more room for improvement, State was already very good, and therefore, had less room for marked improvement IMHO. I do understand how you feel, though, and some of the things State fans wrote this year reminded me of things Heels fans used to write in years past - being frustrated with things like consistency and effort.

    At any rate, you have every right to express your opinion here - that's what this forum is for. And your honesty is refreshing.

  • lec02572 Mar 11, 11:23 a.m.

    It does no good to cry about what could have been or should have been for State. They deserve to be right where they are. However, there is still oppurtunity to achieve this year. Players either need to show up every game for the entire game or ride the pine and let someone who has some drive play in the game. Its time to either man up or just go home early. I commend the freshman for their performances this year, they have been a joy to watch along with Powell and Brown.

  • FatherofFour Mar 11, 11:21 a.m.

    ^^^^^^

    Edit not working. Also Warren and Purvis - they may have been streaky, but they're... View More

    — Posted by StunGunn

    Thanks for your comments Gunny. I know the season is not over and there is still post season left to go, but this team has not played up to their potential all year. I can't fault the freshmen, because they are freshmen, but like I said before, they kept us in a lot of games. We had plenty of good individual performances, but they never really developed that team chemistry. The reason Gott did not sit CJ (IMHO) is because the players behind him on the bench were far less talented. It was worth the risk to him to leave him in the game and hope for the best. After all, most fans were practically begging him to stay for his junior year, and how would it have looked to sit him most of the season. Either way, he never materialized as a team leader or ACC POY, although I think he has the potential. I read a good article on WRAL a few weeks back entitled something like "The curious case of CJ Leslie" which summed it up really well.

    I was thinking last night after I had finished ranting, and I think what frustrated me the most was that I did not see very much, if any, improvement in this team as the season went on. That is generally the measure of a team when the end of the season comes is how much they improved. Look at your Heels for example. They started slow, but steadily improved, and now a danger to beat anybody. The Pack just did not show any improvement, except for Tyler Lewis as a player, but everyone else is pretty much playing like they were in November. I kept thinking that they would learn from one of the tough losses, but that never seemed to happen.

    Perhaps I went a little overboard with my criticism, but I think the agrees and disagrees have been split pretty evenly since my original post. All that said, I am still not giving up on the team, and never will, but that does not mean that am happy with their overall performance this season.

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