So here we are less than a month away from NCAA Selection Sunday – lots of questions to be answer for many ACC men’s basketball teams. Many conference teams still have much work to get off that NCAA bubble (and some have to win more even to get on that bubble). North Carolina State, North Carolina, and Virginia all have faults – and again – we had difficulty picking the third place team. We also have a new entry into the upper half of this poll. The big key we see here this week is the fight for that fourth (final first-day ACC tournament bye). Specifically, that final spot will come down to North Carolina and North Carolina State (with the advantage going to the Wolfies because of their schedule which has less bumps in the road – at the same time Wolfies tend to struggle with inferior competition, so there’s that).
Without further ado, here we go:
- Miami – The Hurricanes are 11-0 in ACC play – and this Hurricanes team just finds ways to win – even when they are having a bad game. Miami has very decent shot to be the #1 team in America before the season is over and the NCAA tournament’s overall #1 seed. We have much love for the Canes right now.
- Duke – While the Dookies had a big win over their rivals, North Carolina, they also lost at Maryland (You know the Terrapins always get up for the Blue Devils). In his way out of the Comcast Center, Coach K trolled Maryland HARD (h/t @TerpsInsider). And I quote, “We don’t look at rivalries. We look at each opponent the same. I’ve said that every time I’ve come here. I have a great deal of respect for Maryland. If it was such a rivalry they’d still be in the ACC. Obviously they don’t think it’s that important, or they wouldn’t be in the Big Ten.” #TrollsSoHard. Playing Duke after they lost is bad for any team – um, Virginia Tech has the Devils next.
- NC State – The Wolfies struggled hard with inferior competition this week – they won at Clemson this week by one point – and needed overtime to defeat Virginia Tech. Given that the Wolfies only get up for certain games – and take entire games and/or game segments off – we had a hard time give the Wolfies the #3 spot – but we did because we like Richard Howell.
- North Carolina – We’re starting to see some of the young Tar Heels grow up. UNC almost stole a game on the road at Duke and paid back UVA with a big win at home. Tar Heels need to keep winning.
- Virginia – This week, the Cavs blew out Virginia Tech – but lost a game at UNC that they really needed. The Wahoos are the most curious case in the ACC right now; a real dilemma (h/t @RunTheFloor). Do they deserve an NCAA bid? Based on their metrics – no way says Jerry Palm. Do the Wahoos deserve an NCAA bid based on the eye-test? Yeah – so did Virginia Tech in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 (and heck, we’ll throw in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009). Does the eye-test get you a bid to the tournament? It’s not something we would rely on if we were the Hoos – Virginia needs to be at 12-6 in the ACC to assure themselves of an NCAA bid.
- Maryland – With the win over Duke, the Terrapins are starting to get in the NCAA bubble picture again. We think Maryland needs to win five of six games to get consideration for the NCAA tournament (and six would be better).
- Florida State – The Seminoles might not look like an NCAA tournament team right now, but they have two games left with the Wolfies (which might get them back into the conversation). We also think that Florida State needs to win five of six games to get its name in consideration for an NCAA bid.
- Clemson – Clemson almost found a way to knock off a Miami team ranked #3 in the country, which would have been HUGE. The Tigers always play great defense – and it’s going to keep them in many games.
- Georgia Tech – By virtue of the Jackets win over Wake, they leapfrog the Demon Deacons on our poll this week.
- Wake Forest – Is the sun setting for Jeff Bzdelik? We certainly think so.
- Boston College – Been saying this for a couple of weeks now, but it’s important to repeat it – the Eagles record is not indicative of how they have played. Six of their games have been decided by five points or less. BC is on the right track – and we are big fans of Steve Donahue.
- Virginia Tech – Even though the Hokies lost to NC State, they were in that game until the end. And Erick Green is still the nation’s leading scorer. If you’re the fifth place team in the ACC tournament, do you want to meet Erick Green? I’d say no.
Thanks for checking out the post – and have a good week ahead!!