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Thursday, March 12, 2009

ACC Bubble Check-up

Posted by on Thu, Mar 12, 2009 at 10:56 AM


Since the last update not too much has changed on the ACC bubble. For starters the teams that were locks are obviously still locks. Along with those four teams (UNC, Duke, Wake and Clemson) Florida State has since become a lock to make the NCAA Tournament.

The teams' seeds in the tournament are roughly unchanged as well. UNC has essentially locked up a No. 1 seed, Duke is still looking like a No. 2 seed and Wake Forest has solidified their position as a No. 3 seed.

However, Clemson has slipped down to the No. 4 seed with a somewhat shaky finish to the regular season. The newest member of the "Lock" category, Florida State, looks to be a No. 5 seed. Of course most of the seeds could slip down with an embarrassing loss or inch upwards with a run to the tournament finals.

Wake Forest and Duke are still locked in a battle for the right to play in Greensboro in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Since Duke presently has the higher NCAA seed, they are favored to take the short first round trip. However, if the two teams meet in the semifinals look for the winner to earn the easier NCAA road trip.

Need One Win

Boston College is in the best position of the rest of the field. They have a 9-7 record with several quality wins. If they avoid an upset to Virginia in the first round of the ACC Tournament, they'll make the NCAA Tournament. Currently they are projected at a No. 9 or No. 10 seed, but like the "Locks" that can change with a strong conference tournament performance.

Need Two Wins

Miami and Maryland are in nearly identical situations. Both lost a game in the last week of ACC regular season play that they should have won (Georgia Tech and Virginia respectively) which has bumped them to the wrong side of the bubble. Both need to win their first round game and then defeat their next opponent (UNC and Duke respectively) to ensure a bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Need Three Wins

Virginia Tech has a weaker overall resume than Maryland and Miami and thus falls into a category all its own. Winning in the quarterfinals over the Lawson-less Tar Heels might not do it for the Hokies, they'll need to make it to the finals to be assured of a spot in the NCAA Tournament. If bubble teams in other conferences lose two wins could be enough, but to ensure a spot in the NCAA Tournament the Hokies will need to play all the way to Sunday.

Cutting Down the Nets Required

The remaining teams, NC State, Virginia and Georgia Tech, all need to win all four of their remaining games and thus the ACC Tournament to receive a ticket to the big dance. NC State does have slim NIT hopes, which would be strongly bolstered by winning a game or two.

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