banner
Caulton Tudor

Sorting through ACC tournament traffic

Posted February 12
Updated February 13

The 61st ACC men’s basketball tournament is exactly one month away, March 12-16, Greensboro Coliseum, and you can bet it’s going to be the most frantic ever.

With 15 members, there will be three games on Wednesday, 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., but the top four seeds won’t actually play until Friday’s quarterfinals begin at noon.

Fans will find the litany of tiebreaking rules bewildering and even controversial since the varying degrees of schedule difficulty likely will wind up with one or two weaker teams tied or maybe even ahead of obviously stronger rivals in the final standings.

After Tuesday, when N.C. State’s defeated Wake Forest and Notre Dame stopped Clemson, seven teams have four, five or six wins. There’s little reason to believe the final standings on March 9 will display a lot more separation. There could be any number of teams at 10-8, 9-9 or 8-10. 

But at least for now, some of the picture is coming into fairly clear focus.
Three teams, Virginia Tech (1-10 in league play), Boston College (2-8) and Miami (2-8), are but certain to be involved in the Wednesday opening-round mix. 

If it started today, before tonight’s Duke-UNC, Boston College-Georgia Tech and Syracuse-Pitt games, those first-round pairings would be more or less set.

Virginia (15th seed) would face No. 10 Wake Forest (4-7). Boston College (No. 14) would play No. 11 Notre Dame (4-8) and No. 12 Georgia Tech (3-8) would play No. 13 Miami.

By the same token, those valuable top four seeds would be set with Syracuse (10-0), Virginia (11-1), Duke (8-3) and Pitt (8-3) all idle until Friday. 

UNC (6-4 and No. 5 entering the Duke test) would play on Thursday in the 2 p.m. second-round game against the winner of Georgia Tech and Miami. Keep in mind that Miami defeated the Tar Heels 63-57 on Jan 8 in Chapel Hill.

Late night, late night 

After Tuesday’s one-sided win, the Wolfpack improved to 6-5 and moved into a tie with Clemson for No. 6 but that’s potentially a good news/bad news situation.

With remaining games at Syracuse, Clemson (Feb.18) and Pitt (March 3), the Pack has a more difficult schedule than the Tigers. But if State could win the Feb. 18, it would have the first tiebreaker over the Tigers if the pecking order ends as it stands today. 

However, the opening game for the 6th seed is no bargain since it probably will not even begin until 9:30 (or later) on Thursday night against the winner of the Wednesday Nos. 11 versus 14 game. Then the winner of last game on Thursday gets the same tip time on Friday against the No. 3 seed. 

The 7th seed would get the 7 p.m. Thursday/Friday slots, a starting time most coaches and players find much more preferable to 9:30 in post-season settings.

New pressure points

Historically, the ACC’s Saturday semifinals have produced great sports theater and some of the most compelling games in college hoops history.

It’s likely that No. 1 regional seeds will at stake in one of the games this season, as usual. 

But in reality, the new format with its likely stable of NCAA bubble teams and/or bubble hopefuls will put more pressure on the Nos. 5 through 9 seeds in the Thursday games. Any sort of Thursday loss by those five teams could be a deal buster on the NCAA front.

The 5th seed, particularly if it’s UNC this season, probably would survive a Thursday “bad loss” but that would be about as deep as the NCAA cushion goes. A Thursday loss by the Nos. 6-9 seeds easily could result in a punched ticket to the NIT.

15 Comments

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • dave437 Feb 13, 8:03 p.m.

    at this point, it looks like Tudor is going to mail in his all-ACC team with Hansbrough on the first team again....

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Feb 13, 12:05 p.m.

    NCSU, UNC, Duke, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, UVA, Maryland, Clemson.

    8 teams.

    I miss those days,... View More

    — Posted by funnything

    Yes! I don't mind FSU as the 9th ACC team - we still had a round robin in b ball with FSU in the conference.

  • dave437 Feb 13, 9:03 a.m.

    Virginia is both the '15th seed' and one of the 'top four seeds'? Does anyone proofread Tudor's stuff?

  • jmcdow2792 Feb 13, 6:03 a.m.

    are tournament tickets same price?

    that would be a good deal with all the extra games

    — Posted by ncguy

    You likely know the answer to your question, but the additional games add to the price of the total tournament package. Would it be any other way?

  • funnything Feb 13, 1:30 a.m.

    NCSU, UNC, Duke, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, UVA, Maryland, Clemson.

    8 teams.

    I miss those days, anyone else?

  • djc21 Feb 12, 11:53 p.m.

    I recommend copy editors.

  • RD28327 Feb 12, 9:58 p.m.

    Louisville becomes the 16th team??? The league will still be at 15 teams when the Cardinals enter and Maryland leaves!

  • cjw6105 Feb 12, 9:51 p.m.

    This is no longer a real tournament but rather an endurance contest with 15 teams, many with sub-.500 ACC records.

    A frantic tourney? No college basketball tournament that I'm award of is "frantic" when the first two nights will be general admission seating. The Coliseum may not even be half full.

    The ACC should send only its top 8 teams to the ACCT. Go back to a Thursday, Friday and Saturday night format. Make the games mean more than they'll mean with 5 rounds, and give the champion and runner-up an extra day's rest before the NCAAT.

    The expanded conference will probably toughen the league a little, but will probably beat us down some too. The ACC may not have the Sweet 16 or Final Four presence this season that so many are expecting.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Feb 12, 6:25 p.m.

    This is getting really complicated. At some point, do we simply disqualify some of the lower... View More

    — Posted by jmcdow2792

    I hope not - all the teams deserve to play in their conference tourney; they may not have a chance to win, but they still deserve a chance to play in the tourney IMHO.

  • Toddler10-21 Feb 12, 5:57 p.m.

    Cant wait for it to be in the Garden.

More...

 

 

  • Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Tonight at 11:35 on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Virginia Tech at Wake Forest

    Tomorrow at 12:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Ole Miss at Arkansas

    Tomorrow at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • The Logan Zone

    Sunday at 11:30 am on WRAL-TV

  • HS Playoffs Round 2: Southern Durham at Cleveland

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ORL
9:30pm Tonight
DUKE
TEMPL
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ORL
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
PHO
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
DET
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
MIL
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
BOS
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
BRK
8:00pm Tonight
WAS
CLE
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
SAN
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
LAL
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
NOP
10:30pm Tonight
POR
CHI
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
UTA
1:00pm Today
BUF 0
KSU 0
8:00pm Tonight
RICE
UTEP
9:30pm Tonight
SDST
AFA
9:30pm Tonight
UTST
SJST
12:00pm Today
COC
TEXAM
12:00pm Today
DREX
USC
1:30pm Today
GWEBB
CLEM
2:30pm Today
MIAMI
AKR
2:30pm Today
UCONN
DAY
4:00pm Today
NEV
SHU
4:30pm Today
LONG
UNCG
4:30pm Today
ARKPB
VALPO
 
5:00pm Tonight
WVU
BC
5:00pm Tonight
TOWS
CCST
5:00pm Tonight
YALE
ILLCH
5:00pm Tonight
IOWA
SYR
5:30pm Tonight
HAMP
ALCOR
 
6:30pm Tonight
ODU
LSU
7:00pm Tonight
KENT
BU
7:00pm Tonight
SCAR
CHAR
7:00pm Tonight
UVA
GWU
7:00pm Tonight
WCU
HIWASSEE
 
7:00pm Tonight
GT
MAST
7:00pm Tonight
RIDE
LEH
 
7:00pm Tonight
MSU
LOYC
7:00pm Tonight
CMICH
MAINE
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF 0
MNTST 0
 
7:00pm Tonight
GMAS
NMU
7:00pm Tonight
BAY
PVU
 
7:00pm Tonight
HOF
USB
 
7:00pm Tonight
OREG
TOL
7:00pm Tonight
UGA
TROY
7:00pm Tonight
STAN
UNLV
7:00pm Tonight
FAIR
WOFF
7:00pm Tonight
EMICH
YOUNG
7:30pm Tonight
MON
COOK
7:30pm Tonight
FIU
FLMEM
 
7:30pm Tonight
KSU
SILL
7:30pm Tonight
CAL
TEX
8:00pm Tonight
ILL
PEAY
8:00pm Tonight
ARK
DELST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MCNST
JCHR
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDST
KNST
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKST
UWMIL
8:00pm Tonight
LATU
MORE
8:00pm Tonight
SDKST
NDAK
8:00pm Tonight
XAV
STEPH
 
8:00pm Tonight
UF
LAMON
8:30pm Tonight
WAKE
IONA
9:00pm Tonight
GRCN
FAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
COLST
UGST
9:00pm Tonight
WASU
IDST
9:00pm Tonight
WEBER
ILLST
9:00pm Tonight
AUB
LALAF
9:00pm Tonight
LOU
MARS
9:00pm Tonight
ORST
ORU
9:00pm Tonight
CORN
PSU
9:00pm Tonight
SD
SHSU
9:00pm Tonight
UTAH
UCR
9:30pm Tonight
DUKE
TEMPL
10:00pm Tonight
CPSL
DEL
10:00pm Tonight
AMER
PBY
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
WASH
 
10:30pm Tonight
LBSU
KYST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
PITT
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
BOS
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
NYI
7:00pm Tonight
BUF 0
NYR 0
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
NJD