Sunday, March 4, 2018

ACC tournament preview

This is part 19 of a 32-part series.

Virginia 17-1
Duke 13-5
Miami 11-7
Clemson 11-7
North Carolina 11-7
North Carolina St 11-7
Virginia Tech 10-8
Florida St 9-9
Louisville 9-9
Notre Dame 8-10
Syracuse 8-10
Boston College 7-11
Georgia Tech 6-12
Wake Forest 4-14
Pittsburgh 0-18

March 6-March 10.  Brooklyn neutral site.

1) Virginia vs. 8/9) Florida St/Louisville
4) Clemson vs. 5/12/13) NC State/Boston College/Georgia Tech
3) Miami vs. 6/11/14) North Carolina/Syracuse/Wake Forest
2) Duke vs. 7/10/15) Virginia Tech/Notre Dame/Pitt

The stakes:
Virginia's gonna be #1 overall.  Let's move on.

Duke and UNC are contenders for the 2 line.  I'm not sure the 1 line is attainable from their position.  Here's the tricky thing with them.  They share the same territory as other teams like Auburn, Tennessee, Kansas, Texas Tech...all these teams playing this week also.  I think it'll depend more likely on what these teams do than what UNC/Duke do.  I just feel like these are fully formed resumes while there's some questions I still have about the other teams that need to be answered.

I'm not really sure what to do with Clemson.  They're in the middle of this mess I like to talk about around the 4-5 lines...They've got most of the metrics you need for a high seed, just absorbing one or two too many losses on the road.  A real chance here to help the seed with Virginia in the semis looming.  Could be worth multiple seed lines for them.

Miami is playing for seeding in the middle of the bracket, way too many teams clustered around them to say that any particular win would result in any seed gain.  Same with NC State and Va Tech, but they're a bit behind Miami.

With 7 teams in the lockbox above, let's deal with the bubble.  I think the winner of FSU/Louisville will be safe....and maybe the loser too.  The good news is the winner has a house money game with Virginia that won't hurt them if they lose.  FSU is in better shape; Louisville might be the one team that dies if they lose this game.

Syracuse is the other bubble team...I think they're going to have to beat UNC (and Wake, obvs) to get in.  I think.  It's close though, and I've got them right around the cutline at the moment.  Their profile doesn't have a lot of red flags, but it does have a lot of yellow flags.  Getting one extra Group 1 win would be huge, a loss to UNC means a 3-8 record there.  4-6 road record...great non-con SoS....this profile could get in anyways, but it's close.

Notre Dame.  Beat Duke and...we won't talk.  Not enough.  Get one more after that (Miami or UNC only) and then we'll talk.

Boston College is a NIT bubble team if that's your thing.  7-11 ACC record is in typical NIT range.

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