Monday, March 12, 2007

ACC: First Thoughts on the Tournament

ACC gets in 7 teams leading all conferences once again. Today, I will take a look at some notes and observations and give a little insight into the keys to advancing. Tomorrow- SEC

North Carolina #1 Seed East
- UNC has as much talent as anyone in the NCAA Tournament, but they suffer defensive lapses for extended periods and this is the games they have lost
- You have to wonder about the effectiveness of Hansbrough with the mask; he seemed timid at times this past weekend
- Tar Heels have shown they can win on the road and at neutral sites (Arizona, Duke, ACCT)

Maryland #4 Seed Midwest
- Terrapins finished very strong with 7 straight to end the regular season, but they have been up and down all year
- Have good balance inside and out
- How does this team go 1-2 versus Miami? Graham hurt them bad on the inside, are they susceptible to a good post presence?

Virginia #4 Seed South
- Seed is a little surprising considering their low RPI
- Best set of guards in ACC, maybe the nation, but no inside offensive force
- How good was that conference record? They were undefeated at home, but struggled on the road
- Lost to some teams early on who are much lower seeds

Virginia Tech #5 Seed West
- Hokies can match any teams athleticism
- Much like their in state rivals, the Hokies are lead by a experienced backcourt of Jamon Gordon and Zabian Dowdell
- Execute much better in transition than half court, which could prove costly in Tournament
- How did they sweep North Carolina and lose 3 times to NC State? Which team will show up?

Duke #6 Seed West
- Seed seems a little high, but they were sent out West which may be worse than a 7 Seed in the East or South
- Not deep at all especially on the inside where McRoberts is their only legit post man
- Lots of close losses - always hope this close game experience pays off in the NCAA Tournament, but if you can't win the close ones what makes you think you can win them now?
- All that said, you cannot discount Coach K's success in the NCAA Tournament - 9 straight Sweet 16 appearances

Boston College #7 Seed East
- Maybe the seed is low, but they stay close to home which may be more important

- Eagles really faded down the stretch and showed that in their loss to North Carolina
- Jared Dudley must put this team on his back if they want to make it past the first weekend

Georgia Tech #10 Seed Midwest
- Looked much improved down the stretch
- Javaris Crittenton makes this team go and his play will be key
- Go 9 deep which allows them to be very aggressive on defense, but sometimes they foul out a lot more than getting steals
- Need to guard against "reading the clippings" as many consider them the favorites in their first round matchup despite lower seed

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