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Caulton Tudor

Sorting through ACC tournament traffic

Posted February 12, 2014
Updated February 13, 2014

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

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  • Jeanne Gunn Feb 12, 2014

    I love the ACCT, and while it will be different this year with Syracuse and ND, I still really enjoy watching all the ACC teams play, some of which will be playing their last game of the season, unfortunately.

  • JACKSON SAWYER REVENGE Feb 12, 2014

    once again getting way ahead the game, there will be major changes in the next 3 weeks

  • dougsutton919 Feb 12, 2014

    Hey Caulton, Louisville will not make it 16 teams, Maryland is leaving, it has been in the news.

  • jmcdow2792 Feb 12, 2014

    This is getting really complicated. At some point, do we simply disqualify some of the lower seeds? I think that may make it more realistic. Those teams that play on day one are at a real disadvantage.

  • ncguy Feb 12, 2014

    are tournament tickets same price?

    that would be a good deal with all the extra games

  • Toddler10-21 Feb 12, 2014

    Cant wait for it to be in the Garden.

  • Jeanne Gunn Feb 12, 2014

    View quoted thread



    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.

  • cjw6105 Feb 12, 2014

    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.

  • RD28327 Feb 12, 2014

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

  • djc21 Feb 12, 2014

    I recommend copy editors.

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Local
Final
UCF 66
ECU 71
Final
BC 79
NCSU 63
Final
MIAMI 64
UNC 73
Final
NCCU 72
COOK 49
 
2nd
NYI 1
CAR 3
 
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NAVY 57
 
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LAF 74
ARMY 64
 
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AMER 69
BUCK 71
 
Final
UCF 66
ECU 71
Final
STJ 81
GEOR 70
Final
CLEM 70
GT 63
Final
COL 61
LEH 55
 
Final
FSU 59
LOU 81
Final
MD 66
MICH 56
Final
UGA 68
MIZZ 44
Final
BC 79
NCSU 63
Final
LAS 56
RIU 59
Final
UNH 65
MAINE 56
 
Final
IUPUI 80
NEOM 87
 
Final
WINT 80
PBY 53
 
Final
VMI 69
SAMF 80
 
Final
CITA 54
WCU 67
 
Final
DEP 53
BUT 67
Final
LONG 70
CAMP 65
 
Final
TULA 47
CIN 63
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VCU 55
DAY 59
Final
TOWS 60
DEL 65
 
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WMARY 66
DREX 80
 
Final
JVU 75
FLGC 67
 
Final
EVAN 67
ILLST 69
 
Final
BRAD 52
INDST 60
 
Final
MIAMI 64
UNC 73
Final
WICHS 74
NIOWA 60
Final
UWGB 83
OU 63
 
Final
LSU 73
MISS 63
Final
OKLA 67
TCU 60
Final
BING 76
UMBC 69
 
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AFA 60
UTST 74
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GTDNS 79
VERM 73
 
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XAV 66
VILL 78
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MNTER 74
WAGN 64
 
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ILLCH 61
WRST 46
 
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SARAHLAW 55
 
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UAB 100
MTST 95
 
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NDAK 65
SUTAH 71
 
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LIB 77
UNCA 95
 
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CHIST 65
WLVRN 44
 
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UMO 57
BGU 62
 
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SHU 84
LIU 73
 
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APP 66
LAMON 43
 
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VANDY 73
ALA 66
 
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KENT 84
ARK 67
 
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NCCU 72
COOK 49
 
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MRGST 63
COPST 72
 
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SHU 67
CREI 66
 
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BONA 92
DUQ 75
 
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MERC 69
ETST 64
 
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UMASS 82
FORD 74
 
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RAD 72
GWEBB 62
 
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JMU 82
HOF 73
 
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BU 70
HC 77
 
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MDES 69
 
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MIZST 51
 
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MNTST 73
 
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MCNST 83
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TTU 63
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PORT 66
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BRY 61
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RMU 71
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UVA 69
VT 57
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BAY 78
WVU 66
 
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FUR 60
WOFF 62
 
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SILL 63
DRAK 57
 
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FD 73
CCST 66
 
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WMICH 74
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CSOU 69
HIGH 67
 
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UNCG 41
CHAT 29
 
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SD 60
SDKST 48
 
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CARK 31
SELA 33
 
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KU 42
TEX 44
 
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EWASH 61
MONT 60
 
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TROY 25
UGST 44
 
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TXST 34
ARKST 23
 
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UNT 33
ODU 27
 
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DART 10
 
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NCAT 9
FAM 7
 
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PSU 23
IOWA 13
 
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MORE 22
JVST 14
 
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PEPP 15
LMU 20
 
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SCAR 25
MSST 15
 
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BRO 17
PRIN 25
 
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NEV 13
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BEL 23
TENST 14
 
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UF 20
TENN 12
 
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