My ACC Tournament Bracket


While we wait on the more popular bracket later in March.  Our immediate Tar Heel fortunes lie in the ACC conference tournament.  Win it all and come Selection Sunday, the committee won’t have an excuse to withhold a #1 seed from UNC.  The ACC tourney is always exciting and always full of surprises.  It’s as important this season as ever given the season long hate shower the Tar Heels have been under.  Without winning the tournament, who knows what seed UNC will end up with.  Here I’ll do my best to fill out my ACC Tournament Bracket, should be fun to compare this next Monday when all is said and done.

In a season many thought would be a down year in the ACC.  I really like the conferences top five seeds.  Duke will only go as far as their three point shooting takes them and ultimately I worry about FSU beating them on Saturday.  I’m rooting for a UNC-Duke finale for selfish reasons, I want Carolina to get the chance to beat them again this season.  The Virginia-NC State game could be the best game of the tournament outside of the championship game.  The tourney’s #1 seed affords Carolina the opportunity to bypass facing Florida State unless they get into the championship game.  UNC avenged an embarrassing 33 point loss to FSU already, but I prefer Virginia or NC State on Saturday instead.

Keeping It Heel will preview each ACC Tournament game in it’s feature on each game day.


Noon: No. 8 Maryland vs. No. 9 Wake Forest-I like Wake to pull off the upset here in the opening game.  Not that beating MD is much of an upset but the Terps are favored in this game for what it’s worth.  Terrell Stoglin is the most overrated player in the nation in my humble opinion.  His awful shot selection and low shooting percentage will plague the offensively incapable Maryland team and Wake will win in a close contest.

2 p.m.: No. 5 N.C. State vs. No. 12 Boston College- I got NC State all the way in this one.  Outside of Carolinas opening game, I’m most confident in my pick here against BC.  The Eagles are a mess this season and I fully expect State to blow them out in the opening round.  The only thing that sucks about this match up is Scott Wood, my most hated player in college basketball outside of anyone wearing a Duke uniform will get a win.

7 p.m.: No. 7 Clemson vs. No. 10 Virginia Tech-Clemson wins easily in this one.  I like the Tigers and think they can make some noise if the ball bounces their way a few times in the tourney and they could be the surprise team in the conference.  VT started out the season playing well but have fallen far from grace since then and won’t give Clemson much of a contest.

9 p.m.: No. 6 Miami vs. No. 11 Georgia Tech-GT doesn’t stand a chance in against the Hurricanes.  Miami beat Duke in Cameron and played the Tar Heels tough.  Reggie Johnson is tough inside the paint and the Yellow Jackets won’t have any type of answer for him.  Miami in a rout.


Noon: No. 1 North Carolina vs. Maryland/Wake Forest winner-Carolina is going to kill the Decons, and if Wake happens to prove me wrong and gets beat by MD in the opening round, UNC will have no trouble taking care of them either.

2 p.m.: No. 4 Virginia vs. N.C. State/BC winner-This has the makings of a great game.  Virginia vs NC State, #4 vs #5, both gritty defensive teams that play hard for 40 minutes every contest will make for an entertaining match up.  Virginia has the edge with Mike Scott in the post and State will have zero answers for him and that will ultimately be their undoing.

7 p.m.: No. 2 Duke vs. Clemson/Virginia Tech winner-The Blue Devils will crush whichever team they face in their first game.  I hate predicting a Duke win, and you hate reading it I know.  But remember, we want Duke one more time this season.  Neither Clemson nor Virginia Tech has the ability to stay with Duke even if they aren’t particularly hot from outside they will cruise in this one.

9 p.m.: No. 3 Florida State vs. Miami/Georgia Tech winner-Honestly, if I had to root for someone other than Carolina to win it all this year, I’d root for the Seminoles.  It’s hard not to have a mini nightmare every time I think of FSU, but you have to respect a team that destroyed UNC by 33 AND beat Duke at home in the same season.  FSU also proved the critics wrong that the ACC would suck this year by being that third formidable team in the conference.  Miami has no chance here and I don’t feel obligated to explain why.


1 p.m.: UNC/Maryland-Wake Forest winner vs. Virginia/N.C. State-BC winner-Another reason why the #1 seed in this tournament was HUGE.  No chance of running into the Seminoles before the title game.  FSU not Duke scares me the most amongst all ACC teams and I’m glad we won’t have to see them again this year.  I expect Carolina to crush Virginia in this one.  Both wins this year were pretty close against the Cavaliers.  Virginia successfully slowed the pace and made it a half court game against UNC this year.  That won’t happen this time as UNC will find a way to get out on the break more and open up a big lead early.  The one thing the Cavaliers absolutely can’t do, is put up a bunch of points and once Carolina establishes that big lead, it’s going to be over.  It’s off to the ACC Tournament Title game for UNC.

4 p.m.: Duke/Clemson-Virginia Tech winner vs. FSU/Miami-Georgia Tech winner-After watching UNC destroy the Virginia Cavaliers earlier in the day.  The Blue Devils are chomping at the bit and I expect to watch them play a great game against FSU.  As much as I hate them, Duke will not let anything stand in their way of playing Carolina again.  FSU is a good team and I don’t think Duke is that much better, but they will be on this day.  Dream rematch, here we come.


1 p.m.: Championship game UNC vs Duke!  This one settles everything and it would be the perfect end to the tournament and give each time a great opportunity to face a powerhouse before the big dance.  After suffering an improbable, shocking collapse to Duke at home in early February.  The Heels blew Duke out of Cameron with an 18 point blowout to end the regular season and capture the regular season conference title.  The only thing better than winning the regular season and conference tournament in the same season.  Beating Duke to clinch both titles would be the sweet, sweet icing on the cake for UNC.  More importantly, it would seal up a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and put the Tar Heels right square on the path we all predicted before the season started.   Oh yeah, I got Carolina in this one, make sure you pack your scissors boys, your cutting down some nets at the end of this trip.

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