ACC Blogger Bracket Watch – 3/9

Posted by Brandon Rink on March 9, 2012 under ACC Basketball | 2 Comments to Read

NC State can't lose to Virginia today and feel good about their NCAA chances. (Pic per OrangeandWhite.com)

March Madness is here and how do the ACC bubble teams look?

ESPN’s latest blog update via Joe Lunardi has both Miami and NC State in the “First Four Out.” In his latest full field, he has UNC, Duke and FSU all in the top-4 seeds (1, 2 & 4 respectively) and Virginia in the 8/9 game.

CBS’s Jerry Palm has both ACC teams in the field – Miami firmly in the field and NC State in the First Four.

SI.com’s Andy Glockner says NC State needs two more wins to feel secure, while Miami has to beat FSU as well.

Yahoo’s The Dagger has the Hurricanes just in the NCAAs, but the Wolfpack barely on the bubble – not in the first 8 considered.

Analysis: As I thought I going into the weekend, Miami and NC State need at least two wins – so Wolfpack, beat Virginia, and Miami, beat FSU again to keep feeling good. Even with as optimistic a projection as CBS, the bubble is so volatile that they could both drop out of that one easily with losses today. And frankly…after watching the two struggle through yesterday, I wouldn’t put them in if they lost today either. Earn your way in.

ACC Weekend B-Ball Picks/ACC Tournament Projections – 3/2-4

Posted by Brandon Rink on March 2, 2012 under ACC Basketball | Comments are off for this article

Clemson is charging hard for that last ACC Tourney bye, but they'll fall somewhere in the middle with a Miami win over BC (pic per OrangeandWhite.com).

Here we go (projection after the picks)…

(67-22 on ACC season picks)

Saturday

12:00 PM ET – Georgia Tech 64 Wake Forest 59 (Atlanta) – Wake Forest dismissed senior center Ty Walker Fri. before its season finale at Georgia Tech – he played 17 minutes and didn’t score against Duke on Tuesday. With a Senior Day win, the Jackets are looking to play their way out of last place – they actually out-shot Wake 37 to 33 percent from the field in a 59-50 loss at Winston-Salem in mid-February. The Deacs are 4-0 against the bottom-four teams around them, but Georgia Tech gets an inspired effort here to grab ACC win No. 4.

ACC Tourney Fallout: Wake Forest is a 10-seed, Georgia Tech a 11-seed by a three-way 4-12 tie with BC.

2:30 PM ET – Miami 74 Boston College 63 (Coral Gables) – After a misstep in Raliegh, Miami has to close out the season by taking down likely 12-seed BC for their fading NCAA hopes. Without three wins, they’ll fail to reach that 20-win benchmark usually good for a bid, so that means a win here and two in the ACC Tournament, which could be tough depending on where they land. The ‘Canes dominated the Eagles in Chestnut Hill, winning 76-54. With a lot on the line, I’d expect more of the same here.

ACC Tourney Fallout: Miami ties with Virginia at 9-7 for a 5-seed, BC gets rematch with the Hurricanes on Thursday next week as a 12-seed.

7:00 PM ET – UNC 80 Duke 76 (Durham) –  Not much on the line here, only an out-right ACC regular season title, 1-seed in ACC Tournament and staying alive for 1-seed NCAA Tournament chances. Duke comes in on a 7-game winning streak – UNC a 6-gamer, since the home loss to the Blue Devils on Austin Rivers’ cold-blooded buzzer-beater. Rivers put on a show in Chapel Hill with 29 points (6-of-10 on 3-pointers), while Harrison Barnes posted 25 and Tyler Zeller had 23 and 11 rebounds.  Relatively speaking, Duke hasn’t been a good home team, and UNC hasn’t been a great road team despite their twin 13-2 ACC records (26-4 overall). There’s a lot to like about how the Tar Heels matchup against Duke, but obviously, if Rivers goes off again that could be equalized a second-time.

ACC Tourney Fallout: UNC clinches a 1-seed, Duke a 2-seed.

Sunday

12:00 PM ET – FSU 64 Clemson 58 (Tallahassee) – Winners of five of their last six, Clemson is charging towards the front going into postseason play with an increasingly better shot at the NIT after struggling through the early part of the season. They face a trip to a team they beat by 20 points in Littlejohn at FSU, who has a little momentum of their own off Ian Miller’s shot to steal one in Charlottesville. The Seminoles will honor six seniors who’ve had their share of ups and downs in Tallahassee, but overall, have put together a pretty strong season. This seems to be a series where the home team wins, but the Tigers have had more success in FSU than the other way around – taking two of the last five at The Tuck. Clemson stands a decent shot at making things interesting in the ACC Tourney bye race here (especially watch turnovers – Clemson is first in turnovers forced and FSU last in turnovers committed in ACC play), but come up just shot.

ACC Tourney Fallout: FSU already clinched a 3-seed, Clemson is right in the middle as a 6-seed.

2:00 PM ET – Virginia 57 Maryland 54 (College Park) – All eyes turn to College Park Sun. as a pack of teams in the middle of the conference eye that last ACC Tourney bye. After heartbreaking losses to FSU and UNC at home, Virginia has to hope they regain that mojo that helped them dominate these same Terps just weeks ago, 71-44 in Charlottesville. Maryland shot 27 percent from the field and Mike Scott put up 25 points in the win. The Cavaliers’ depth is an increasing problem, Malcolm Brogdon (who scored 14 points against Maryland) didn’t play against FSU Thurs. with a foot injury and Assane Sene remains out after the collision way back in the Georgia Tech win. On the other side, Maryland struggled at Chapel Hill like everybody else not named “Duke” to a 88-64 loss coming off the 63-61 defeat in Atlanta. They’ll honor a couple of seniors Sun. and seem to be due for a good game – will Virginia shut them down again?

ACC Tourney Fallout: Virginia holds on to a 4-seed and tourney bye, while Maryland already clinched an 8-seed.

6:00 PM ET – Virginia Tech 63 NC State 59 (Blacksburg) – The ACC’s regular season closes on what could be a very interesting game when it comes to determining that last ACC Tourney bye, and the shuffle at the bottom of the conference for who’s playing who in Atlanta next week. The hard-luck Hokies couldn’t close in Clemson Thurs. despite multiple chances given to them down the stretch, while NC State kept flickering NCAA hopes alive by sweeping the Miami series, 77-73 in Raliegh Wednesday. This is their first meeting of the season, and don’t let the Hokies’ record fool you, they’re solid team. Six-straight Virginia Tech games have either gone to OT or been decided by two points (2-4 in that stretch – h/t HokiesJournal). Just seems like something is bound to go right for them here, leaving NC State’s one hope at the NCAA Tournament being an ACC Tournament title.

ACC Tourney Fallout: NC State slips back to a 7-seed, and Virginia Tech moves up to a 9-seed.

My Projection

1) UNC vs. 8) Maryland/9) Virginia Tech

2) Duke vs. 7) NC State/10) Wake Forest

3) Florida State vs. 6) Clemson/11) Georgia Tech

4) Virginia vs. 5) Miami/12) Boston College

Game Schedule

Day One (March 8)

12:00 (EST)–8) Maryland vs. 9) Virginia Tech
2:00–5) Miami vs. 12) Boston College
7:00–7) NC State vs. 10) Wake Forest
9:00–6) Clemson vs. 11) Georgia Tech

Day Two (March 9)

12:00–1) UNC vs. 8) Maryland/9) Virginia Tech
2:00–4) Virginia vs. 5) Miami/12) Boston College

7:00–2) Duke vs. 7) NC State/10) Wake Forest
9:00–3) Florida State vs. 6) Clemson/11) Georgia Tech

ACC Tournament Projections/Scenarios – 2/27

Posted by Brandon Rink on February 27, 2012 under ACC Basketball | Comments are off for this article

This shot, and multiple NC State mistakes Saturday kept the Tigers' ACC Tournament bye hopes alive, and made things harder for the Wolfpack seeding-wise (Pic per OrangeandWhite.com).

Two games to go!

My Projection

1) UNC vs. 8) Maryland/9) Wake Forest

2) Duke vs. 7) Clemson/10) Virginia Tech

3) Florida State vs. 6) Miami/11) Georgia Tech

4) Virginia vs. 5) NC State/12) Boston College

Game Schedule

Day One (March 8)

12:00 (EST)–8) Maryland vs. 9) Wake Forest
2:00–5) NC State vs. 12) Boston College
7:00–7) Clemson vs. 10) Virginia Tech
9:00–6) Miami vs. 11) Georgia Tech

Day Two (March 9)

12:00–1) UNC vs. 8) Maryland/9) Wake Forest
2:00–4) Virginia vs. 5) NC State/12) Boston College

7:00–2) Duke vs. 7) Clemson/10) Virginia Tech
9:00–3) Florida State vs. 6) Miami/11) Georgia Tech

Team by Team Scenarios

1) Duke (12-2, 25-4)

Remaining Games: at Wake Forest and UNC.

If they go 2-0: Win ACC (1-seed).

If they go 1-1: Beat Wake, but lose to UNC – they’d have to have the Tar Heels lose to Maryland earlier in the week for hopes of taking the ACC’s top spot by tiebreaker. They’ll be a 2-seed if that doesn’t happen.

If they go 0-2: If FSU wins out, they’ll fall to third – but of course in this scenario, Duke has to lose to Wake Forest.

Prediction: 1-1 (13-3 overall), loss to UNC, 2-seed in ACC Tourney.

2) North Carolina  (12-2, 25-4)

Remaining Games: Maryland and at Duke.

If they go 2-0: Win ACC (1-seed).

If they go 1-1: If the loss comes at Cameron, they’re a 2-seed – if somehow they lose to Maryland, but beat Duke – the Blue Devils still take the top spot.

If they go 0-2: Their chances to hold on to a 2-seed in this situation went up with FSU’s loss at Miami. If the Seminoles win out, UNC falls to third.

Prediction: 2-0 (14-2 overall), 1-seed in ACC Tourney.

3) Florida State (10-4, 19-9)

Remaining Games: at Virginia and Clemson.

If they go 2-0: They can’t win the ACC now, as Duke or UNC are guaranteed to win at least 13 league wins. Their best shot is a 2-seed thanks to either UNC or Duke losing out.

If they go 1-1: 3-seed.

If they go 0-2: They own a tiebreaker on Virginia should they make a run, but Miami is another matter. If the ‘Canes win out, they’ll be 10-6 as well and would be rooting hard for Duke to win to earn a tiebreaker over the Seminoles. In that scenario, Miami is a 3-seed and FSU a 4-seed. If Virginia, FSU and Miami all end up in a 3-way tie…it’s 3-seed Virginia, 4-seed FSU and 5-seed Miami.

Prediction: 2-0 (12-4 overall), 3-seed in ACC Tourney.

4) Virginia (8-6, 21-7)

Remaining Games: FSU and at Maryland.

If they go 2-0: If they end up in a 3-way tie with Miami and FSU at 10-6: it’s beneficial for the ‘Hoos with it being 3-seed Virginia, 4-seed FSU and 5-seed Miami. If FSU beats Clemson, Virginia would still own a tiebreaker with Miami to stay on day one.

If they go 1-1: They have to hope Clemson doesn’t win out, otherwise, they have the tiebreaker on NC State and Miami if either of them make it to 9-7. If all four end up 9-7, Clemson would be a 4-seed, Virginia a 5, NC State a 6 and Miami a 7. We also have three three-way tie scenarios – one with Virginia-NC State-Clemson, where the Tigers would be a 4 seed, Virginia a 5 and NC State a 6 seed. In the Virginia-Miami-Clemson situation, the Cavaliers get the bye, Miami is a 5-seed and Clemson is the 6-seed. In a Miami-NC State-Virginia one, it’s 4-seed Virginia, 5-seed NC State and 6-seed Miami.

If they go 0-2: At 8-8, that’s a precarious spot for hanging on to that bye with NC State, Miami and Clemson all in range. As we’ve referenced, they get locked into a tiebreaker with NC State and/or Miami – they’re good…but throw Clemson in there and all bets are off due to the Tigers’ marquee win over FSU to start the conference season. In this scenario since UVa. didn’t beat FSU or Duke or UNC, they lose the head-to-head tiebreaker with Clemson since they split the season series. Of course, if they go 8-8…Maryland stands a shot to jump up to 8-8 as well if they knock off Maryland, forcing a possible 5-way tie. If my math is correct there – say it happens with Miami over NC State…it’d be 4-seed Virginia, 5-seed NC State, 6-seed Maryland, 7-seed Clemson and 8-seed Miami. If Miami loses at NC State and beats BC (a more likely scenario), it’s 4-seed UVa, 5-seed Miami, 6-seed Maryland, 7-seed Clemson and 8-seed NC State. But really, is a 5-way tie going to happen?

Prediction: 1-1 (9-7 overall), 4-seed in ACC Tourney.

5) Miami (8-6, 17-10)

Remaining Games: at NC State and BC.

If they go 2-0: They have a chance to move as high as a 3-seed (see above FSU tiebreaker scenarios), but could be as low as a 5-seed.

If they go 1-1: Day one chances diminish a bit – they’d need Virginia to lose out to still have a shot. They’ll be stuck somewhere in the middle otherwise.

If they go 0-2: Definitely stuck in the middle, and possibly back in the 8-seed range.

Prediction: 1-1 (9-7 overall), lose at NC State, 6-seed in ACC Tourney.

6) Clemson (7-7, 15-13)

Remaining Games: Virginia Tech and at FSU.

If they go 2-0: They have a really good shot at an ACC Tourney bye for being 7-7 right now – they own tiebreakers on NC State and Virginia. Miami is the wild card though as the Hurricanes hold the edge there. If there’s a 3-way tie with Miami, Virginia and Clemson, the Cavaliers would be a 4-seed, Miami a 5-seed and Clemson a 6-seed.

If they go 1-1: Probably somewhere in the middle of the pack, ahead of Maryland, but probably behind Miami and NC State.

If they go 0-2: Either a 7 or 8-seed depending on if they’re tied with Maryland.

Prediction: 1-1 (8-8 overall, beat VT, 7-seed in ACC Tourney).

7) NC State (7-7, 18-11)

Remaining Games: Miami and at Virginia Tech.

If they go 2-0: They win out and Virginia loses out, and Clemson doesn’t win out…they get that 4-seed. Most of the crazy scenarios are played out above in the Virginia section, but essentially, they’re a 6-seed in a 4-way tiebreaker with Clemson-Virginia-Miami…6-seed with Virginia and Clemson, and a 5-seed with Virginia and Miami.

If they go 1-1: Seriously, see the scenarios with Virginia and 8-8 under “0-2″ – crazy stuff.

If they go 0-2: With Clemson and Miami likely moving to 8-8, they’ll likely be a 7 or 8-seed depending on how Maryland finishes.

Prediction: 2-0 (9-7 overall), win the final two, 5-seed in ACC Tourney.

8) Maryland (6-8, 16-12)

Remaining Games: at UNC and Virginia.

If they go 2-0: As far as I can see, their best shot at moving up is a 6-seed in a multiple-team tiebreaker.

If they go 1-1: 8-seed most likely.

If they go 0-2: 8-seed.

Prediction: 0-2 (6-10 overall), 8-seed in ACC Tourney.

9) Virginia Tech (4-10, 15-13)

Remaining Games: at Clemson and NC State.

If they go 2-0: 9-seed most likely.

If they go 1-1: A chance Wake knocks them down to a 10-seed.

If they go 0-2: 10-seed or worse. I’ll mention it here, and in the below capsules, but I’m projecting a 4-12 4-way tie which would work out like…9-seed Wake Forest, 10-seed Virginia Tech, 11-seed Georgia Tech and 12-seed BC. If Wake wins out and BC splits its two, Virginia Tech slips to an 11-seed.

Prediction: 0-2 (4-12 overall), 10-seed in ACC Tourney.

10) Wake Forest (4-10, 13-15)

Remaining Games: Duke and at Georgia Tech.

If they go 2-0: They’ll grab that 9-seed by either head-to-head v. Virginia Tech or the three-way between the Hokies and Terps.

If they go 1-1: 9-seed.

If they go 0-2: It starts to get fun – I’m projecting a 4-12 4-way tie which would work out like…9-seed Wake Forest, 10-seed Virginia Tech, 11-seed Georgia Tech and 12-seed BC. The Deacs would be 4-1 against the group.

Prediction: 0-2 (4-12 overall), 9-seed in ACC Tourney.

11) Boston College (3-11, 8-20)

Remaining Games: GT and at Miami

If they go 2-0: They’ll have a solid chance at that 9-seed, as they own a tiebreaker over Virginia Tech.

If they go 1-1: Let’s assume the win is GT, and the loss Miami – that would put them in my 4-12 4-way tie territory, which pegs the Eagles last. If it’s just BC-VT and Wake moves up to a 9-seed, they split the season series so the Eagles’ FSU win propels them to a 10-seed.

If they go 0-2: 12-seed.

Prediction: 1-1 (4-12 overall), 12-seed in ACC Tourney.

12) Georgia Tech (3-11, 10-18)

Remaining Games: at BC and Wake Forest.

If they go 2-0: Good shot at that 9-seed if the Hokies lose out.

If they go 1-1: They’ll fall into the 4-12 4-way tiebreaker where they end up an 11-seed.

If they go 0-2: 12-seed.

Prediction: 1-1 (4-12 overall), 11-seed in ACC Tourney.