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ACC Tournament Preview: Day 1

Updated: Mar 23, 2022

Courtesy of the ACC

The ACC Tournament kicks off today at the Barclays Center with all six teams in action desperate for a win to keep their season alive.

No. 12 Pittsburgh (11-20) vs. No. 13 Boston College (11-19) – 2 P.M. (EST) – ACC NETWORK

How fitting is it that leading off the ACC Tournament in Brooklyn we have two former Big East foes going at it? Both teams come into this game struggling of late with Pittsburgh losing four in a row including the last three by 20 or more and BC on a three game losing streak. The season series was split, with both teams winning on their home floor. Despite Pittsburgh being the more highly seeded of the two teams, the metrics at KenPom favor Boston College, giving the Eagles a 58.5% chance of advancing. The key to the game will be the play of John Hugley, who dominated the first matchup, going for 32 in the Panthers’ two point home victory but was then held to nine points on ten attempts in the Eagles 69-57 victory in Chestnut Hill.

PREDICTION | Pitt 72 - BC 64

The team with the best player on the floor usually manages to find a way to win in March and John Hugley will be the best player in this game. The Eagles don’t have anyone who should really give him problems so if he stays aggressive and can avoid getting into foul trouble it should be a big game for Hugley.

No. 10 Clemson (16-15) vs. No. 15 NC State (11-20) – 4:30 P.M. – ACC NETWORK

The ACC purists will be a little happier with the second matchup of the day featuring some of the originals of the conference. The pressure is off the Wolfpack as NC State athletic director Boo Corrigan removed all doubt and announced last week Kevin Keatts will return for a sixth season in Raleigh. The same however can’t be said for Brad Brownell. While his seat may not be red hot it is certainly getting warm and a first round ACC Tournament exit to a 20 loss team wouldn’t help in cooling it off. Clemson comes into the tournament riding a four game winning streak including impressive victories over Wake Forest and Virginia Tech while NC State comes in the loser of four in a row themselves. Hunter Tyson returned for the Tigers against Georgia Tech after breaking his collarbone and should play a big factor in this one with his role increasing as he works himself back into game shape. PJ Hall will be playing with a chip on his shoulder as well after being snubbed for All ACC honors despite averaging better than 15 points, 5 rebounds, and a block per game this season. The Wolfpack will look to Dareon Seabron to lead the way. Seabron got off to a red hot start in ACC play but has cooled considerably down the stretch which has coincided with NC State losing 10 of their final 11 games.

PREDICTION | Clemson 75 – NC State 61

While the Pack may be the more talented of the two teams it hasn’t showed recently and the team has looked ready for the season to end for about a month now. Couple that with the heat Brownell is facing and PJ Hall’s personal motivation, I see Clemson coming out and taking this one pretty easily.

No. 11 Louisville (12-18) vs. No.14 Georgia Tech (12-19) – 7 P.M. – ACC NETWORK

The nightcap in Brooklyn should be an entertaining one if their first matchup of the season was any indication. The Cardinals beat the Yellow Jackets in a three point nail biter earlier in the year. Quite a bit has changed for the Cardinals since that game however as they were 9-4 at the time with Chris Mack still on the bench. They unfortunately were unable to get the season turned around under interim coach Mike Pegues who finished 1-9 in ACC play. Georgia Tech features the dangerous backcourt of Michael Devoe and Jordan Usher who are averaging just over 32 points combined this season. The computers at KenPom slightly favor Louisville in this one giving the Cardinals a 53.3% chance of advancing to the next round.

PREDICTION | Louisville 64 – Georgia Tech 78

The backcourt of Georgia Tech is capabale of going off at any time and I expect Michael Devoe to rise to the occasion in Brooklyn and give us the most impressive performance of the day at the Barclays Center.


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