The Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament kicked off on March 8th, 2017 with a trio of opening round games. With nine teams projected to come out of this conference, each game will be imperative to avoid being on the right side of the bubble come selection Sunday. Anyways, in the trio of games, the 12th seeded Clemson Tigers, the 10th seeded Wake Forest Demon Deacons and 11th Pittsburgh Panthers all won
The Atlantic Coast Conference is comprised of fifteen teams, all which qualify for the tournament. The top dog this year was the North Carolina Tar Heels, who had a hell of year in a top 2 conference. Like I mentioned before, nine teams are definitely coming out of this conference, so the Tar Heels going 14-4 in conference puts them in good shape seeding-wise come Selection Sunday.
The schedule are as follows:
Tuesday, March 7 (First Round)
Game 1: No. 12 Clemson 75, No. 13 NC State 61
Game 2: No. 10 Wake Forest 92, No. 15 Boston College 78
Game 3: No. 11 Pitt 61, No. 14 Georgia Tech 59
Wednesday, March 8 (Second Round)
Game 4: No. 9 Miami vs. No. 8 Syracuse, noon., ESPN
Game 5: No. 5 Duke vs. No. 12 Clemson, 2 p.m., ESPN
Game 6: No. 7 Virginia Tech vs. No. 10 Wake Forest, 7 p.m., ESPN2
Game 7: No. 6 Virginia vs. No. No. 11 Pitt, 9 p.m., ESPN2
Thursday, March 9 (Quarterfinals)
Game 8: No. 1 North Carolina vs. Game 4 winner, noon, ESPN
Game 9: No. 4 Louisville vs. Game 5 winner., 2 p.m., ESPN
Game 10: No. 2 Florida State vs. Game 6 winner, 7 p.m., ESPN
Game 11: No. 3 Notre Dame vs. Game 7 winner, 9 p.m., ESPN
Friday, March 10 (Semifinals)
Game 12: Game 8 winner vs. Game 9 winner, 7 p.m., ESPN
Game 13: Game 10 winner vs. Game 11 winner, 9 p.m., ESPN
Saturday, March 11 (Finals)
Game 14: Game 12 winner vs. Game 13 winner, 9 p.m., ESPN
Prediction: This is going to be one of the toughest predictions, due to the fact that there are just so many good teams. However, I’m going with the top seeded North Carolina Tar Heels. I just think that they’ve been the most consistent team this year and Justin Jackson is just such a baller.
On the season, the Tar Heels are a solid 26-6 and more impressively 14-4 in conference. A big reason in siding with them, was like I just mentioned before, consistency. They’ve never lost back to back games and are a perfect 16-0 at home, with their only losses coming on the road or on a neutral court. Oddly though, they’re out of conference schedule left much to be desired. Perhaps the only real solid wins come against the Wisconsin Badgers and Oklahoma St. Cowboys. After that, the Davidson Wildcats, Tennessee Volunteers and Monmouth Hawks are their next best wins.
According to Ken Pomeroy, the Tar Heels are the 3rd ranked team. On offense, Pomeroy has the Tar Heels ranked 4th, as well as on defense the 22nd best team. More impressively, is that they are the best offensive rebounding team in the nation. Second chance points are huge and they get plenty.
The Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament games are taking place in Brooklyn, New York. If there’s any home court advantage, it would be the only New York team in the Syracuse Orange. However, teams like Duke and the Tar Heels have large fanbases that I expect to make the trip to support their teams. Anyways, consistency and their offensive rebounds leading to second chance points will put them ahead of the pack in this tournament.