The regular season concluded over the weekend, and the ACC tournament field
has been set. One team helped itself in their quest to make the NCAA tournament,
and another suffered a damaging home loss. The Maryland Terrapins won a share of
the regular season championship, while Saturday night’s Duke-Carolina game
wasn’t the battle that we have grown accustomed to.
Here’s a look at the seeding for this weekend’s ACC tournament.
Duke and Maryland finished in a tie for first place in the conference, but
the Blue Devils won the tiebreaker and will be the #1 seed in the ACC
Tiebreakers also decided the #3 through #6 seeds. Florida State and Virginia
Tech both finished 10-6, and since the Noles won the only regular season meeting
between the teams, they will be the #3 seed. Wake Forest and Clemson both tied
at 9-7, but Wake will get the #5 seed based on their win last night against the
The top seven seeds are still in contention for the NCAA tournament at this
point, and six of them can be considered locks. Here are the resumes for all
Possible NCAA Tournament Teams
Those top six teams should be considered locks at this point. Georgia Tech hurt
themselves by losing at home to Virginia Tech on Saturday. Thanks to a weak
bubble this year, the Jackets are still in at this point. However, an ACC
tournament loss to North Carolina in the first round could knock them off the
The Weekend’s Winners
No team in the ACC helped itself more than Virginia Tech. The Hokies defeated
Georgia Tech on the road 88-82, and they did it without injured guard Dorenzo
Hudson. Tech picked up its third top 50 win of the season, improved to 10-6 in
the ACC, and earned a first round bye in the ACC tournament. Especially
considering the weak bubble field this year, the selection committee now has no
legitimate reason to keep the Hokies out of the Big Dance.
The Duke Blue Devils ended the season on a high note, blowing out rival North
Carolina 82-50 on Saturday night. It was not a surprise that Duke won, and the
margin of victory wasn’t even a shocker. However, the Blue Devils have to be
feeling good about themselves heading into the ACC tournament after beating
Carolina by 32.
Florida State survived a scare by the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday, but
prevailed 61-60. The Noles finished 10-6, and earned the #3 seed in the ACC
tournament. FSU will play either Clemson or NC State in the quarterfinals, most
likely Clemson. Unfortunately for the Noles, they lost both meetings to the
Tigers this year.
The Weekend’s Losers
Georgia Tech needed to beat Virginia Tech at home on Saturday to clinch a
spot in the NCAA tournament. They had the advantage, playing in the Thrillerdome
where they were 14-1 heading into the game. They also had at least three future
NBA draft picks, while the Hokies were missing Dorenzo Hudson. Naturally, the
Jackets underperformed, as they’ve done so often in the Paul Hewitt era.
The Clemson Tigers had a chance to earn a first round bye with a win at Wake
Forest on Sunday night. Thanks to their two wins over FSU, the Tigers would have
won a three-way tie at 10-6 with the Noles and Virginia Tech, and Clemson would
have been the #3 seed in the ACC tournament. However, Trevor Booker scored just
six points and Clemson lost to Wake Forest 70-65.
North Carolina ended their worst season under Roy Williams with an 82-50
shellacking at the hands of Duke. For a Tar Heel fan, such a season is a
difficult thing to bear. The Heels are nowhere close to the NCAA tournament, and
they could be on the wrong side of the NIT bubble as well.
Landesberg in Limbo
Sylven Landesberg, UVA’s leading scorer, has been suspended for the remainder
of the season by UVA coach Tony Bennett for academic issues. Considering that
the Hoos have lost nine games in a row, their season will probably be over by
Friday at the latest.
Sources indicated to the Washington Post that Landesberg may have played his
last game in a Virginia uniform. Those sources said that he is considering a
move to professional basketball, whether that be in the NBA or in Europe.
Game of the Week
Sunday night’s game between Clemson and Wake Forest went down to the wire,
with Wake winning 70-65. The win halted a four game losing streak for the Demon
Deacons, while it knocked Clemson out of a first round bye in the ACC
It was an impressive defensive performance from Wake Forest, who used their
superior height to shut down the inside. Trevor Booker only had six points and
was just 2-of-8 from the field while grabbing four rebounds. The Tigers had to
settle for outside jumpers, and they went just 5-of-25 from three-point range.
Clemson had plenty of opportunities down the stretch, but they didn’t get it
done. As a result, they will have to play on Thursday instead of waiting until
Delaney Heating Up Heading into ACC Tournament
Virginia Tech guard Malcolm Delaney, the ACC’s leading scorer, spent much of
conference play mired in a shooting slump. Over Tech’s last three games, he has
certainly pulled himself out of that slump.
Against Maryland, NC State and Georgia Tech, Delaney is averaged 26.7 points
per game, while shooting exactly 50% from the field and 47.1% from three-point
range. He also had 16 assist in those three games. He’s back to shooting like
the dominant player that he’s been in the past.
If Delaney keeps up his hot shooting, and Dorenzo Hudson returns for the ACC
tournament, the Hokies have the potential to be a very dangerous team in