ACC TOURNAMENT: March 10-14
The jockeying is tightening for seeding in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. What we know is that the two games Tuesday, March 10 will include the last four teams from the regular season. Wake Forest appears to be the best of the four. The other three are Georgia Tech, Boston College and Virginia Tech. No matter which teams meet that day, the Greensboro Coliseum will be nearly empty for those two games, and whoever wins will have to win four more games in four more days to win the tournament.
It appears the top four teams will be Virginia, Duke, Notre Dame and Louisville, and all will miss out on playing Tuesday or Wednesday, automatically advancing to Thursday’s quarter-final round. This is when the tournament really begins, as it was with an 8-team league. Thank goodness there are enough teams to make sure the eventual conference champion will have to win three games–Thursday, Friday and Saturday–to claim the title and the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
That leaves the middle of the pack: North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Miami, NC State, Clemson, and Florida State (which could finish in the bottom four with Wake Forest jumping ahead). Syracuse has re-‘Cused itself this year from all post-season play, thinking the NCAA will look favorably on self-punishment when penalty time comes around when the NCAA gets around to it. The top two of these six–probably North Carolina and possibly any of the other five–will play Wednesday the winners from Tuesday. The other four will also play Wednesday with that day’s winners meeting the top four Thursday.
If you love basketball, if you love ACC basketball, here’s what you do: watch every game as if it means something to you, no matter your preference. Some will be boring; some will be pedestrian; some will offer you excitement from start to finish. The world as we know it in North Carolina doesn’t stop as it once did when the ball went up to open the first game to the final buzzer of the last. That may be because there are so many teams, but you’re still a fan of the game, of the ACC, so show it.