ACC Conference Tournament Preview

THE GRANDADDY OF CONFERENCE TOURNAMENTS TIPS OFF WEDNESDAY IN THE ACC

Many of you are too young to remember that the ACC was the first basketball conference to have a tournament. In fact, that was in an era when only the conference tournament champion was invited to the Dance because the NCAA’s were so small! The renewal of this storied event occurs Wednesday, with three “first round” games in what is now an extremely bloated 15 team field.

Let’s take a quick look at the schedule before checking out what the computers are saying about all 15 entries. The event will take place in Greensboro, North Carolina…which will likely give a lift to the schools based in Carolina at the expense of those from further north or south.

WEDNESDAY’S FIRST ROUND
Wake Forest (12) vs. Notre Dame (13)
Miami-Florida (10) vs. Virginia Tech (15)
Georgia Tech (11) vs. Boston College (14)

THURSDAY’S SECOND ROUND
Maryland (8) vs. Florida State (9)
Pittsburgh (5) vs. Wake Forest/Notre Dame winner
NC State (7) vs. Miami/Virginia Tech winner
Clemson (6) vs. Georgia Tech/Boston College winner

FRIDAY’S QUARTERFINALS
Virginia (1) vs. Maryland/Florida State winner
North Carolina (4) vs. Pittsburgh/Wake Forest/Notre Dame survivor
Syracuse (2) vs. NC State/Miami/Virginia Tech survivor
Duke (3) vs. Clemson/Georgia Tech/Boston College survivor

The semifinals and finals are set for Saturday and Sunday in the standard bracket format. The winner of Virginia’s section will play the winner of North Carolina’s section Saturday, followed by the winners of the other two sections.

Let’s see how college basketball guru Ken Pomeroy and USA Today computer whiz Jeff Sagarin have the teams rated…

Computer Rankings by Seed
1…Virginia: #5 in Pomeroy, #8 in Sagarin
2…Syracuse: #11 in Pomeroy, #16 in Sagarin
3…Duke: #7 in Pomeroy, #6 in Sagarin
4…North Carolina: #22 in Pomeroy, #27 in Sagarin
5…Pittsburgh: #20 in Pomeroy, #20 in Sagarin
6…Clemson: #54 in Pomeroy, #58 in Sagarin
7…NC State: #78 in Pomeroy, #82 in Sagarin
8…Maryland: #46 in Pomeroy, #53 in Sagarin
9…Florida State: #39 in Pomeroy, #46 in Sagarin
10…Miami: #63 in Pomeroy, #73 in Sagarin
11…Georgia Tech: #113 in Pomeroy, #116 in Sagarin
12…Wake Forest: #117 in Pomeroy, #114 in Sagarin
13…Notre Dame: #93 in Pomeroy, #83 in Sagarin
14…Boston College: #139 in Pomeroy, #144 in Sagarin
15…Virginia Tech: #191 in Pomeroy, #171 in Sagarin

That’s five teams in the top 30 (though Pittsburgh hasn’t been playing that well in recent action), and then quite a jumble where the computers are out of synch with the seedings. Florida State looks like a dangerous #9 seed. And, Miami’s numbers at #10 are better than NC State’s at #7. Heck, not much separates #13 Notre Dame from #7 NC State according to the computers. That could signal a very competitive tournament, with the possibility of an off-the-radar team getting hot.

Breaking things down on offense and defense…

Pomeroy’s Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Ranks By Seed
1…Virginia: #24 on offense, #4 on defense
2…Syracuse: #26 on offense, #15 on defense
3…Duke: #2 on offense, #80 on defense
4…North Carolina: #51 on offense, #20 on defense
5…Pittsburgh: #18 on offense, #53 on defense
6…Clemson: #162 on offense, #17 on defense
7…NC State: #43 on offense, #143 on defense
8…Maryland: #104 on offense, #26 on defense
9…Florida State: #42 on offense, #57 on defense
10…Miami: #90 on offense, #64 on defense
11…Georgia Tech: #176 on offense, #78 on defense
12…Wake Forest: #152 on offense, #108 on defense
13…Notre Dame: #37 on offense, #182 on defense
14…Boston College: #27 on offense, #301 on defense
15…Virginia Tech: #289 on offense, #86 on defense

Duke’s subpar defense (by Dance standards) really jumps out on that chart. If they have a game where the shots aren’t falling, they could lose to anybody. Don’t forget they lost to #12 seed Wake Forest last week. Virginia brings the best defense to the field. Syracuse is always dangerous with their zone. But, familiarity breeds success for opponents who have seen it enough to make some adjustments.

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Checking in on the markets…

Most Underrated ATS
Virginia: 16-10-1
Duke: 18-12-1
Maryland: 16-11

Most Overrated ATS
Boston College: 9-19-1
Pittsburgh: 10-17-1
Notre Dame: 9-18-2
Wake Forest: 11-16

We’ve talked a few times about how Duke’s offense has been so good this year that the team has been able to cover high spreads at a surprisingly consistent level. Virginia’s run to the title caught oddsmakers by surprise. More overrated teams than underrated teams, which isn’t a surprise. The failures of Pittsburgh and Notre Dame to adjust well to ACC play was a surprise, because they were supposedly coming from the tougher Big East.

JIM HURLEY will definitely have some big plays from Greensboro this week. That may not happen on opening day. It will depend on what our on-site sources can uncover. We can tell you now there’s a chance for a GAME OF THE YEAR selection in this league in the later rounds depending on how things play out. And, BIG PLAY BOMBSHELLS will be hitting the board all week long in various major and mid-major tournaments.

Purchase those MONSTERS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-800-323-4453. Be sure to take care of business EARLY because there are day games on the schedule Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and all weekend.

Back tomorrow to look at the Big 12, with the Big 10 coming on its heels Thursday. Note that additional conference previews in this specific format will be posted on the blog at Vegas-Sports-Masters through the week.

Busy week…BIG MONEY…better get moving! Link up with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK NOW!

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