Monday, March 9, 2009

ACC Basketball Rankings: NCAA Tournament Edition

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The regular season has come to an end and the conference tourney will start up on Thursday in Atlanta with the winner receiving the ACC's automatic bid. It is kind of fruitless to do a conference ranking at this point because after 16 games, the conference has pretty well shook itself out. Everyone knows North Carolina is the best team and Virginia and Georgia Tech are the worst. So I will take a look at the teams in comparison to their NCAA Tournament position.

NCAA Tournament Locks:

North Carolina
The Tar Heels likely locked up a #1 seed with the win over Duke giving them the ACC regular season title. Only way I see UNC dropping from a #1 is due to a blowout by the Virginia Tech/Miami winner in the ACC second round.

Wake Forest
The Deacons have been surging lately working their way up to the three or four seed line. An ACC Tournament title could push them to a two seed.

Despite Sunday's loss, the Blue Devils have down very well down the stretch and solidified a top four seed. Just like Wake, a conference tournament title could land Duke a two seed.

Florida State
This is the highest finish for FSU since their first year in the ACC. FSU could be anywhere from a five to a seven seed depending on how they do in Atlanta.

The Tigers fell out of the top four seeds late in the season, but are still in the NCAA Tournament with a 9-7 conference record. I think Clemson is looking at a six through eight seed right now, but they will have an opportunity to move up this week.

Bubble Teams (Falling In)
These team(s) are ones I feel are in the NCAA Tournament, but will have a nervous selection Sunday unless they state their case with at least one ACC Tournament win.

Boston College
The Eagles probaby sewed up a bid with their ninth conference win on Saturday. BC has wins over Duke and UNC this season, but they did fall to some lesser opponents as well. Still, Al Skinner's club should be in barring a complete collapse this week.

Bubble Teams (Falling Out)
These team(s) are ones I feel are out of the Tournament right now, but still can still make the Tournament without having to win the conference Tournament

The Terps really hindered their hopes this weekend with a loss to Virginia. I think the Terps need at least two ACC wins which would give them wins over NC State and Wake Forest to have a shot.

Virginia Tech
The Hokies struggled in their last 12 games and missed out on some opportunities to take down some of the ACC's elite. The Hokies still have a shot with the Miami game being an elimination game and the winner getting a crack at North Carolina. I think the Hokies need to reach the Tournament finals though to get in the NCAA Tournament.

The Hurricanes might have blown their chance with the loss to last place Georgia Tech on Wednesday. The Va Tech first round game is an elimination game and I think Miami needs to make it to the finals to get in.

Teams That Have to Win The Tournament:
NC State
Georgia Tech

I think the ACC will end up getting six teams into the Tournament with a possibility of a seventh team. I give the best chance to Maryland of the three true bubble teams considering they do not have to beat North Carolina to make the semi finals. Should be a great ACC Tournament!

Season: 25-22 SU through 3/8

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