I know by this time this is published there will be a few games already complete, but I want to discuss the tournament a little bit anyway and give a rundown of my hypothetical predictions.
Games completed as of this writing:
Boston College 87-77 Georgia Tech
Notre Dame 67-64 Pittsburgh
Boston College advances to play NC State, a tough but not impossible matchup. They handily defeated Georgia Tech in an uneventful game. Notre Dame, on the other hand, has reason for concern, as they barely beat the worst team in Division 1 basketball in the first round. Not great for a healthy team. Virginia Tech looms on the horizon, an offensive juggernaut.
Round 1 Prediction:
Syracuse over Wake Forest
This one isn’t too hard. The Orange are better than their 11 seed would lead one to believe, and lowly Wake Forest should be no problem.
Round 2 Predictions:
Florida State over Louisville
This game could go either way, but Louisville has shown that even games that seem to be locked up can slip away from them. Florida State hasn’t been spectacular, but I think they do just enough in the end to get a win.
NC State over Boston College
The Wolfpack should have no trouble against the Eagles, though the loss to Georgia Tech last Thursday was tough to swallow. Newly motivated, they should take down BC by about 10 points.
Notre Dame over Virginia Tech
This is most definitely a biased pick, but I don’t care. The Irish are motivated and too good (and healthy) to lose in the second round of the ACC tournament. With their NCAA Tournament hopes on the line, the Irish win by two to become a 20 win team.
North Carolina over Syracuse
Despite a recent stretch of losses, the Tar Heels are too talented and experienced to lose this early. Syracuse keeps it close at the half, but North Carolina breaks it open and wins by 12.
Virginia over Florida State
The Cavaliers don’t win by much, or score many points, but what they do well is win. Florida State will keep it within single digits, but Virginia will never feel uncomfortable as they pester their way to a win.
NC State over Clemson
Clemson is arguably the coldest team in the ACC, and their skid won’t end here. They split the regular season matchups with the Wolfpack, but their late season capitulation will cost them dearly in a six-point loss to NC State.
Duke over Notre Dame
Notre Dame’s upstart mini-run will grind to a halt against the mighty Blue Devils, who have their eyes on the title. Aside from a one-point loss to VT on the road, Duke has been on fire, and they should win by 15 over the Irish, even though ND is at full health.
North Carolina over Miami
Look, I know it’s no fun to have Miami lose right away. Maybe I’m still harboring a grudge for their November 11 beatdown in football over Notre Dame. Really though, I just think North Carolina is the better team. They should pull out a last-second win in what could be the best game of the ACC Tournament.
Virginia over NC State
This game will be very boring. Like, think 56-52 boring. Defense will have the last laugh in this clash, but the winning formula of Virginia won’t soon meet its match. Virginia takes a win in a deceptively close game.
North Carolina over Duke
The classic age-old rivalry returns, and it’ll be on the big stage. North Carolina will have revenge on its mind after losing at Cameron Indoor on Saturday, and revenge it will get. Dickie V better be in the booth for this one, because I’m going to be glued to the TV. NC over Duke by one.
Virginia over North Carolina
I didn’t want to have to pick this, but Virginia is the best team in the country and my pick to win it all in both the conference tournament and the NCAA Tournament. They’re simply masterful on defense and can make things happen on offense when necessary. Virginia by 4 in a nail-biter.