ACC Tournament Outlook

ACC Tournament Outlook

By Thursday morning I’ll have my preview of VT vs wake/miami up, but for now let’s look at the 2010 ACC Tournament and who has the best chances.

ACC TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE:

Thursday:

  • Noon – #8 bc vs #9 uva
  • ~2:20 PM – #5 wake vs #12 miami
  • 7 PM – #7 georgia tech vs #10 unc
  • ~9:20 PM – #6 clemson vs #11 nc state

Friday:

  • Noon – #1 duke vs bc/uva winner
  • ~2:20 PM – #4 VIRGINIA TECH vs wake/miami winner
  • 7 PM – #2 maryland vs georgia tech/unc winner
  • ~9:20 PM – #3 fsu vs clemson/nc state winner

Saturday:

  • 1:30 PM – duke/bc/uva vs VT/wake/miami
  • ~3:50 PM – md/gt/unc vs fsu/clemson/ncsu

Sunday: Championship Game at 1 PM

Let’s breakdown Thursday first:

  • #8 bc vs #9 uva – I cannot even imagine what the spread will be in this game.  But if I were a gambler (I’m not), I wouldn’t touch this game.  Classic trap game.  The eagles won 3 of their final 5 games (including blowing out VT and beating uva by 13).  uva lost their final 9 games, including 6 in a row by double digits at one point.  The hoos have lost the services of Sylven Landesberg (academics) and Calvin Baker (family illness).  But the eagles were 1-7 on the road in the ACC, including a loss to lowly nc state in their regular season finale.  That’s why I wouldn’t touch this game as a gambler, but you have to pick the eagles to win.  After all, they just beat uva by 13 with Landesberg.  Pick: boston college
  • #5 wake vs #12 miami – The game we all care about.  On paper, this seems like a slam dunk to pick wake – they finished 5 games ahead of miami in the standings; they are playing just a stone’s throw from their campus; they are the far superior team.  Not so fast, my friend!  Neither team is playing well right now – wake has lost 4 of 5 and miami has lost 5 of 6.  And last year the #12 seed, a 2-14 georgia tech team, upset the 18th ranked clemson tigers in the first round and lost to the 22nd ranked seminoles by just 2 points in the quarterfinals.  Plus, miami defeated wake by a point earlier in the season.  But that was at miami.  I just don’t see wake losing this game, especially since miami will have no fans there and wake should bring plenty.  Let’s just hope the c-a-n-e-s canes keep it close and wear down the deacons for Friday.  Pick: wake forest
  • #7 georgia tech vs #10 unc – My buddy, vt1fan, has already predicted unc is going to the ACC Tournament Finals (he may have even said they win, I can’t remember).  unc, who always has about 40% of the seats at any tournament, should have a solid crowd since the game is in NC even with their terrible season (for the first time ever, no heels were named All-ACC).  Adding to the pressure on the jackets is the fact they must win this game (maybe even two) to have any shot at a NCAA Tournament bid.  Add georgia tech’s AD announced Tuesday he’ll decide on Head Coach Paul Hewitt’s future after the season.  So you have one team with every thing to play for, and a team with absolutely no pressure.  Hmm… I’m so torn here.  gt is 6-34 in ACC road games the last 5 seasons, but their one win on the road this year was at unc (whom they beat twice).  Plus, the heels are without Ed Davis, the one man that can match up with gt’s bigs.  But, whenever any chips are on the table, bet against the jackets.  Pick: tar heels (I’m with you so far, vt1fan)
  • #6 clemson vs #11 nc state – I’m not wasting any typing, and risking Carpal Tunnel Syndrome writing about nc state.  They stink.  They will lose.  Sidney Lowe should be fired (and Hewitt if he loses to unc).  Pick: clemson

Friday – I’m not going to pick games after Thursday because I’m really uneasy about the Hokie game if they are playing wake.  The team that played the day before has the advantage of being in the flow and usually comes out shooting better than the team that has been off.  But they usually tire as the game goes on.  However, the Hokies will be playing with two starters nursing injuries – Dorenzo Hudson’s foot and Jeff Allen’s shoulder.  Both were limited in practice this week.  I’d be more worried about that but Hudson hasn’t been practicing much the last two months according to Greenberg.  And, VT has won their first game in 10 straight tournaments, so that’s some solid mojo.  So who knows.  Of course, Friday morning, I’ll be 100% sure the Hokies are going to win like I always am on game days.

Here’s my odds on the top four seeds winning the whole tournament:

  • #1 duke – They won 10 of their final 11 ACC games, with their lone loss at maryland.  I still think they are the best team in the league and well better than maryland on a neutral court.  They will have a lot of fans there, though everyone not in royal blue will be rooting against duke.  They are my favorite to win.  Odds: 40%
  • #2 maryland – The terps were 4-1 against the other three teams that got byes and have won 7 straight.  They are the hottest team heading to Greensboro.  They also boast the leagues Player of the Year in Greivis “Greasy Face-quez” Vasquez… and the Coach of the Year in Gary Williams.  If they can get by the gt/unc winner, they would face fsu or clemson in the semis.  clemson and maryland split on each other’s floors, which the terps swept fsu.  But honestly, I think the yellow jackets could give the terps fits if they beat unc.  The jackets should have won at maryland but lost on two shots at the buzzer.  The terps don’t have a lot of depth or bulk inside, and if Jordan Williams gets in foul trouble, they are in real trouble.  I think they’ll have a hard time making the finals unless they get unc and then fsu who simply can’t keep pace with the terps’ scoring.  Odds: 25%
  • #3 florida state – clemson swept the noles this year.  And even if fsu beats clemson, they likely would have to face maryland who also swept them this year.  It’s not a good thing when your likely first two opponents went 4-0 against you (4 of their 6 losses).  They have a great defense, but they stink on offense, and you need good guards in tournaments.  Freshman Michael Snaer is playing better of late, but when you have to play on consecutive days, defense tends to suffer as you get tired.  Luckily, fsu’s players don’t average that many minutes, but I think their lack of offense will cost them dearly.  Odds: 12.5%
  • #4 VIRGINIA TECH – I talked about us up above.  The pros for VT are this is a down year for the ACC and the Hokies can play with anyone.  A con is the Hokies’ starters play too many minutes and if they keep winning, may tire as the tournament goes on, especially guys like Hudson and Allen that are battling injuries.  Another pro is VT has one of the top three back courts in the league with Delaney and Hudson, who both made All-ACC teams – one of only two teams in the league to accomplish that with duke.  A con is VT’s struggles to rebound most of the second half of the season, especially when Jeff Allen was in foul trouble.  A pro is the way Manny Atkins and Terrell Bell stepped up with 20 combined rebounds at georgia tech and could provide additional minutes.  A con is VT will likely have to play duke in the semifinals if they are able to get past the quarters.  A pro is everyone in the arena will be pro-VT in that one except for the duke nerds.  And this may be the best opportunity the Hokies have at the title (especially if Delaney doesn’t return next year), with unc in a down year and no real dominant team.  Odds: 12.5%
  • The Field (seeds 5-12): Hard to win 4 games in 4 days.  Very hard.  Odds: 10%

So there you have it.  Check back for my game preview on Thursday morning before I head out to Greensberg-o with the Weekend Warrior and DuffHokie!

This post was written by:

- who has written 1217 posts on Tech Hoops.

Niemo is a member of the VT Class of '98. While not a professional journalist by any stretch, Niemo analyzes and breaks down every minute of Hokie hoop action. He also researches topics of interest such as Hokie recruits, program revenue, statistical data on the team, previews VT opponents, and discusses his favorite bourbons/Scotches. In addition to his passion for Hokie hoops, Niemo has attended 126 straight VT football home games (every game since '94), eclipsing the 100 mark in September of '09 and recently attended his 20th consecutive VT/uva game. During the final home basketball game of his senior year, he was brought onto the court and was awarded 2 passes to the Atlantic 10 Basketball Tournament in Philly during a timeout for being a "Super Fan" during his time at VT. The Hokie Bird made the award on behalf of Athletic Director Jim Weaver. Niemo was known to be in the front row of every home game with his familiar red afro hairdo.

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  • daveywoods

    I give the Hokies a 60% chance on Friday, 35% chance if they get to Saturday, and a 40% chance if they get to Sunday. So I’ve got the Hokies at an 8.4% chance of winning the tournament. I’ll take it.

  • http://www.heyhokie.com Goodraisin

    I am hoping that the Hokies learned the best way to defend Wake during the second half of our last game. If Ish Smith is allowed to create a fastbreak after a miss and just drive in and dish the ball whenever he wants, we’re going to be in trouble. With that said, I do like how we match up against Wake Forest and I have a gut feeling that we’ll shoot better than we did in the last matchup.

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