The ACC tournament didn’t feature a ton of excitement, but we did see an end to Clemson head coach Brad Brownell’s streak of never losing the first game of a conference tournament. The Tigers were dropped by Virginia Tech, which used a late run to get a win. Maryland cruised by Wake Forest to advance, while bubble teams Miami (Fl.) and North Carolina State both survived and advanced. Friday is the big day for the latter two teams, while Tech and Maryland look to play spoiler.
No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 8 Maryland: In most years, this would be a must-see game between two of the perennial powers in the conference. Not so much this season. With that said, Terrell Stoglin getting a chance to run up and down against one of the nation’s fastest teams is fun to watch. North Carolina swept the two regular-season meetings.
No. 4 Virginia vs. No. 5 North Carolina State: North Carolina State used a late-season surge to play itself back into NCAA contention, while Virginia need a win in the regular-season finale to stay in the field heading into tournament play. The Wolfpack clearly need this one more than the Cavaliers, and a win here could lift NC State into the tournament. UVA won the first meeting by one.
No. 2 Duke vs. No. 10 Virginia Tech: Duke and Virginia Tech have tangled in plenty of memorable games over the years, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one come down to the final minutes as well. It took the Blue Devils five extra minutes to beat the Hokies in late February, and Virginia Tech has had plenty of close games this season. How will Duke play without Ryan Kelly?
No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 6 Miami (Fl.): One of Miami’s two major scalps on its resume is a win over the Seminoles; the Hurricanes need to do it again in order to get a bid to the NCAA tournament. They stayed alive with a strong second half against Georgia Tech, but Friday is the real test. The battle inside with Reggie Johnson and Kenny Kadji vs. Florida State’s cadre of bigs should be fun.