ACC Tournament, third round games…


Well maybe I can pick games after all. After going 0 for 3 in the first day of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament, I was a perfect four for four in day two. Heading into session three, this is where the games could count the most for all the teams involved. Besides the level of intensity, one thing that should change dramatically in Greensboro Coliseum is that the attendance, which should be a lot higher than what we have seen in the first two days of action.

In the first game of the day, tipping off at noon EST on ESPN2/WatchESPN, it’s going to be #9 Florida State (19~12 & 9~9 ACC) and #1 Virginia (25~6 & 16~2 ACC) going at it. For FSU, if the program wants a chance to get to the Big Dance this is a must win game. For UVa going to March Madness is a given, being the sixth ranked team in the nation, but the next games are a must if the team wants to be on the one seed come next weekend. Virginia is only a seven point favorite in this one, and I will take the top seed of the tournament and give the points in this one.

Tipping off half hour after the first game is over is the match up between #5 Pittsburgh (24~8 & 11~7 ACC) and #4 North Carolina (23~8 & 13~5 ACC) where of all of the games this might just have the least amount of pressure for both squads. Yes, moving up the ladder err tournament for both teams means a better seeding at Selection Sunday. On the other hand both teams are in the tournament and a loss today will not change that, and probably would not drop them from their current status. UNC is a 1 point favorite, which is not even the closest spread of the day, and I will go with the Tar Heels in this one.

The first game of the night, starting at 7:00 p.m. EST, has the #7 N.C. State (20~12 & 9~9 ACC) taking on #2 Syracuse (27~4 & 14~4 ACC) in what is a must win for the Pack to be sure that their name is called when the seeding comes out and for the `Cuse it’s a must win if they want to push up to the two line in the Big Dance. This is the match up between two Wooden Finalists from Syracuse against the ACC Player of the Year from N.C. State. All three of these players will get theirs, it is what their team mates do that will tell who wins this game. In what I thought was a head scratcher, this is a Pick’Em between the two squads, and will take the Orange to win this one and make a statement to the rest of the conference.

The last game of the night, which will feature #6 Clemson (20~11 & 10~8 ACC) and #3 Duke (24~7 & 13~5 ACC), will tip off about thirty minutes after the 7 p.m. game ends. This is again one of those games that both need, as Clemson could use the quality win, while Duke needs to win out if they want a shot at being on the top line when the brackets come out. In what is the first double digit spread in the tournament, the Blue Devils are a 10 points favorite in this one, and I see them winning by even more.

Today’s games should all be quite good, however, if the seeds hold tomorrow’s games would definitely be some that most of the nation, not just ACC fans, would be watching. Duke and SU back up for part three, while UNC would get a chance at revenge versus the top team in the conference. And if both teams from the Tar Heel state were to win, it would yield UNC/Duke part three for all the ACC marbles. As I said before, put your seat belt on and enjoy the ride, this conference is on its way back to being the top in the land.

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