With what I refer to as the "play-in round" now in the books, we begin to really get into the meat of the ACC Tournament on Wednesday at the Greensboro Coliseum with the first of four exciting games tipping off at Noon.
(8)Syracuse vs. (9) Wake Forest (Noon EST)
We start the day off with two teams that potentially pose quite a bit of danger if they are able to get things rolling.
Jim Boeheim's Orange are coming off a victory over the Demon Deacons just four days ago but this isn't a matchup that I particularly like for Syracuse. They have struggled mightily on defense this year (194th per KenPom). Teams who shoot the ball well tend to give the Cuse' zone serious problems and Wake Forest is a top 50 team in three-point percentage, as well as a top 25 team in three-point shots attempted.
The loss of Damari Monsanto, one of the best three-point shooters in the country, has clearly impacted Wake Forest's offense but Tyree Appleby is a guy who certainly isn't afraid to shoot from deep and should be able to take advantage of whichever side of the zone Joe Girard is on.
Players to Watch:
Jesse Edwards | Syracuse | Center
The 6'11 senior from the Netherlands dominated the Deacons on Saturday, going for 27 points on 11-15 shooting and adding 12 rebounds including a mind-numbing 8 offensive rebounds. It will take a similar effort today if Syracuse is going to pull off the victory.
Bobi Klintman | Forward | Wake Forest
After not having much impact over the first 11 ACC games, Klintman has seen his role increase as of late and he now finds himself in the starting lineup with Damari Monsanto out for the year. Klintman, a 6'10 Freshman out of Sweden, is still very raw but doesn't hesitate to shoot the ball from three and can affect the game on the other end with his rim protection. If Klintman is knocking down his shots and can use his length to bother Edwards in the post it could spell a long day for Syracuse.
Best Bet: Over 153.5
Both teams really struggle on the defensive end of the floor and KenPom has a projected total of 156. Couple that with the fact that Tyree Appleby, Joe Girard, Jesse Edwards, and a few others could be playing their final collegiate games, and I would expect a back-and-forth, high-scoring slugfest that may see both teams score into the 80s.