ACC Tournament Preview: Day 3

Updated: Mar 24


Image courtesy of ACC.com

The action continues in the ACC Tournament after an amazing day of games yesterday in Brooklyn.

No. 1 Duke (26-5) vs. No. 9 Syracuse (16-16) - 12 PM - ESPN

The big story coming out of yesterday was the one game suspension of Buddy Boeheim for the body shot he gave to Wyatt Wilkes of Florida State during the first half of yesterday’s game. It is absolutely not unprecedented for the ACC to make a decision like this. If you remember back to the 2005 ACC Tournament where Chris Paul was retroactively suspended for a very similar incident.

So, without Boeheim, can the Orange rise to the occasion and knock off the Blue Devils? It will certainly be tough. Duke swept the season series and both matchups were of the lopsided variety and will be playing with a chip on their shoulder after dropping Coach K’s final home game. Even with Jesse Edwards the Orange struggled to matchup with Duke down low and without him they have no one to combat the size and physicality of Paolo Banchero and Mark Williams.

PREDICTION:

Duke 95 - Syracuse 68

Without their best scorer in Buddy Boeheim I just don’t think Syracuse has enough firepower to keep up. As we seen in both prior matchups the 2-3 zone hasn’t been a problem for the Blue Devils and Syracuse doesn’t have the athleticism to stay in front of Duke’s guards.

No. 5 Miami (22-9) vs No. 13 Boston College (13-19) - 2:30 PM - ESPN2

After sending Wake Forest home to sweat out selection Sunday can BC continue their Cinderella run in Brooklyn? Or does the clock strike midnight on the Eagles tournament hopes?

Meanwhile, Miami is firmly entrenched in the tournament field but a loss to BC today could give pause to the committee as far as where to seed the Hurricanes.

Miami took the only regular season meeting by 11 in Chestnut Hill just over a month ago.

PREDICTION:

Miami 78 - Boston College 65

Isaiah Wong dominated the first matchup going for 27 points and I would expect to see much of the same today especially considering BC is coming off of two games in less than 48 hours.

No. 2 Notre Dame (22-9) vs. No. 7 Virginia Tech (19-12) - 7 PM - ESPN2

Virginia Tech was able to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive with Darius Maddox’s shot at the buzzer to beat Clemson in overtime.

This game has definite NCAA tourney implications. While Notre Dame is mostly likely safe as far as their place in the tournament, another quad one victory certainly wouldn’t hurt their resume and would without a doubt cement them in the field of 68. On the other hand Virginia Tech simply still can’t afford to lose. A win over the Irish would give the Hokies a second quad one win, which they desperately need to pad a resume that is otherwise solid.

PREDICTION:

Notre Dame 66 - Virginia Tech 60

The Fighting Irish just have more offensive options they can lean on and in a game I expect to be close, every possession will be crucial.

No. 3 North Carolina (23-8) vs. No. 7 Virginia (19-12) - 9:30 PM - ESPN2

Our final game of the night at the Barclays Center sees two of the premier programs in the ACC.

UNC was able to solidify their place in the tourney with the win at Cameron Indoor Stadium over Duke in their season finale but the Tarheels stand to gain ground in the battle for seeding if they can make a run through the ACC tournament. RJ Davis has been great for the Heels lately finally giving them the classic Carolina point guard they’ve been seeking for a while. If Davis is able to maintain the same level of play the Tar Heels look like a team primed for a second weekend run in the NCAA tournament.


Virginia is still on the outside of the field looking in but a quad 1 victory over a hot Carolina team would give them another victory to hang their hat on. If they are able to advance and Virginia Tech gets past Notre Dame we are very likely looking at a Commonwealth Cup NCAA tournament eliminator.

PREDICTION

North Carolina 75 - Virginia 67

The Cavaliers tourney hopes die tonight at Barclays. Virginia has really struggled offensively this season but they haven’t been able to lean on their defense either which is atypical of a Tony Bennett coached squad. Overall I think Carolina’s combo of inside presence with Bacot and guard play with Davis is too much to overcome for the Cavs.


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