Sunday, March 11, 2007

Thoughts Before the Tourney Finals

It would not be right if the ACC and SEC Tournaments were not full of upsets, especially the ACC Tournament.

ACC
What is it about NC State? It seems like almost every year out of the last 6 or 7, they have been average or below average in the ACC regular season, but yet make a run during the ACC Tournament. They did this under Herb Sendek and have continued it with Sidney Lowe. One year I can remember when they were seeded high (2 or 3) they lost after a huge halftime lead in the semifinals. The Wolfpack is 4-0.5 when Lowe wears the red blazer. That 0.5 loss? Lowe left at halftime of the UNC a few weeks back when he fell ill. Does he wear it or not today? Makes you wonder what is going on during the regular season with them. North Carolina has a chance to win its first conference tournament in a long time. Everything seems like a long time when Duke has won 8 out of the last 9 ACC Tournaments.

And speaking of Duke, they are just not very good in close, late game situations. Coach K talks about how he hopes all these close losses will help them in March; I think it hurts them because they have shown they can't win the tight ones.

Speaking of close games, did you catch the Georgia Tech - Wake Forest game Thursday night. Two overtimes and a clean look to take the game into a third. Georgia Tech is another team which has struggled in some down to the wire games.

You just never know what you are going to get at the ACC Tournament. Who would have thought Maryland would be upset by Miami, therefore losing the season series 2-1? All four lower seeds won on Thursday. It does not matter the venue, the ACC Tournament remains the best college conference tournament.

I think the ACC gets 7 teams in:
North Carolina - 1 seed
Virginia Tech - 4 seed
Maryland - 5 seed
Virginia - 6 seed
Boston College - 7 seed
Duke - 7 seed
Georgia Tech - 10 seed

SI.com
Do Tiger and Sidney have something in common on Sundays?


SEC
The SEC has been a little more sane in their conference tournament. Arkansas was a surprise to many, but not me. I thought the Razorbacks were playing well at the end and are fueled by speculation that Stan Heath may be on his way out if the Hogs do not make the NCAA Tournament this year.

Florida looks like it wants to make a statement to the rest of the SEC that they are head and shoulders above.

Just like the ACC with Maryland, the hottest team coming in goes out in the first round (Tennessee). LSU was physical and would not back down from the Vols. How did LSU go from Final 4 to bottom of the SEC West - a division who might not get a Tournament bid?

The cries for Tubby to be gone probably got a little louder on Friday as the Wildcats made their exit on the day they are used to just getting started on. Tubby admitted the free throw line violation was probably his fault.

Back to Arkansas; even with a loss, the Hogs still might sneak in at a 11 or 12 seed, but just get the win and don't leave your fate in someone else's hands. If they do lose, they can't lose big. A close loss with their string team of wins so far will go a long way in the Selection Committees' eyes Arkansas did play Florida pretty tough for about 35 minutes in Gainesville earlier this year and have the inside muscle to contain Florida's bigs.

I think the SEC gets five teams in:
Florida - 1 seed
Vanderbilt - 6 seed
Tennessee - 6 seed
Kentucky - 8 seed
Arkansas - 11 seed

SI.com
Arkansas after their SEC Tournament run with the NCAA Selection Committee

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