ACC Tournament Quarter-Final Previews: Nightcap
Two down two to go on Day 3 of the ACC tournament and the first two games couldn't have gone more differently with Miami edging out Wake Forest in a game that came down to the wire and Duke nearly setting the record for margin of victory versus Pitt. So what will the nightcap bring us in Greensboro? Let's take a look.
Virginia vs. North Carolina
Without the win over Virginia in Chapel Hill nearly two weeks ago the Tarheels hopes of securing an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament would probably already be dashed. As it stands the Heels remain in the mix but a loss to the Cavaliers tonight would put them in a precarious spot. At the same time, a win would add a much-needed Q1 victory to their resume and could set up a potential showdown with fellow at-large hopeful NC State in the semi-finals, giving the Heels yet another opportunity to add some meat to their thin credentials.
Armando Bacot's health is a concern after he came up gimpy last night against Boston College. If Bacot is 100% the Heels have a big advantage in the paint they should be able to exploit.
The matchup between Reece Beekman and Caleb Love is one to watch in this game. If Beekman can force Love into some early turnovers and get him frustrated this game could get away from Carolina quickly.
Clemson vs. NC State
If the Wolfpack had even been somewhat competitive in their loss at Clemson nearly two weeks ago they probably wouldn't find themselves in the position of sweating on Selection Sunday. Unfortunately for the Pack a win tonight alone probably still doesn't seal their fate but it would give them an opportunity for a Q1/Q2 showdown with Virginia or Carolina that could well give them the quality win they need.
The Pack shot the lights out last night against Virginia Tech and Terquavion Smith finally looked like himself again after a rough 6 game stretch to finish the season. If the Wolfpack can get both Smith and Senior point guard Jarkel Joiner going at once they could find themselves running through the field in Greensboro.
Clemson finds themselves in the position of most likely needing to win the ACC Tournament to advance to the big dance despite being the third seed in Greensboro. The Tigers faded down the stretch and never really were able to secure the quality wins necessary to warrant a bid.
Both teams should be playing with desperation but the Wolfpack ultimately have more weapons and with revenge on their mind, I think they pull off a lopsided victory in the final game of the evening.