Around the ACC: March 15, 2010

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The ACC Tournament ended with Duke being crowned champions as a result of
their 65-61 win over Georgia Tech. The Blue Devils earned an automatic bid to
the NCAA Tournament, and they lead a total of six ACC teams into the Big Dance.
Three ACC teams also made the NIT.

NCAA Tournament Teams

Duke went 29-5 and won the ACC Tournament, and they earned a #1 seed in the
South Regional of the NCAA Tournament. They will take on the winner of the
play-in game between Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Winthrop in the first round, and
will then face either Louisville or California in round two. The Blue Devils
will play their first two games in Jacksonville.

Maryland tied for the regular season championship in the ACC, but they were
upset by Georgia Tech in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals. Despite that loss,
the Terps are still the #4 seed in Midwest Regional. Maryland does have a good
draw in the first round. They will play #13 seed Houston, who had a losing
record in Conference USA, but pulled a major upset to win the conference
tournament and earn the automatic bid.

If Maryland gets by Houston, they will face the winner of #5 Michigan State
and #12 New Mexico State. The games will be played in Spokane.

Clemson is a #7 seed in the East Regional, despite being upset by #11 seed NC
State in the ACC Tournament’s opening round. They will face #10 seed Missouri in
the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, and that game will be played in
Buffalo. If the Tigers pick up the win, they will face either #2 West Virginia
or #15 Morgan State in the second round.

Florida State was another upset victim in the ACC Tournament, falling to NC
State in the quarterfinals. The Noles are now a #9 seed in the West Regional,
and they will play #8 Gonzaga. They will join Clemson in Buffalo. Even if the
Noles get by Gonzaga, their trip to the NCAA Tournament will be a short one.
They will get to play #1 Syracuse in the second round. In Buffalo, that will
basically be a home game for the Orange.

Wake Forest, despite their stumbles down the stretch and their blowout loss
to Miami in the opening round of the ACC Tournament, is a #9 seed in the East
Regional. They will face the #9 seed Texas Longhorns in New Orleans. The winner
will likely get to lose to Kentucky in the second round.

The final ACC team to make it to the NCAA Tournament is Georgia Tech. The
Yellow Jackets only went 7-9 in the ACC during the regular season, but they made
a run to the finals of the ACC Tournament where they narrowly lost to Duke.
Their efforts earned them a #10 seed in the Midwest Regional. They will play #10
seed Oklahoma State in the first round, and will play either #2 seed Ohio State
or #15 UC Santa Barbara if they get past the Cowboys. Those games will be held
in Milwaukee.

Here is the first round schedule in table format.

ACC’s
NCAA Tournament Schedule
Game Date Time

#8 Texas vs. #9 Wake Forest

March 18

9:35pm

#7 Clemson vs. #10 Missouri

March 19

2:35pm

#8 Gonzaga vs. 39 Florida State

March 19

7:10pm

#7 Oklahoma State vs. #10 Georgia Tech

March 19

7:15pm

#1 Duke vs. Play-in Winner

March 19

7:25pm

#4 Maryland vs. #13 Houston

March 19

9:40pm

There is only one ACC team in action on Thursday, with Wake Forest taking on
Texas. Five ACC teams play on Friday, but three of them are scheduled to begin
between 7:10 and 7:25pm.

All NCAA Tournament games will be televised by CBS.

NIT Teams

Three ACC teams earned a bid to the National Invitation Tournament. One of
those teams feels as if they got snubbed by the NCAA Tournament Selection
Committee, while the other two managed to sneak their way in.

Virginia Tech was one of the first teams left out of the NCAA Tournament. As
a result, they are in the NIT for the third straight year. They are a #1 seed in
the 32-team field, and they’ll host #8 Quinnipiac in the first round on
Wednesday night. The Bobcats were the regular season champions of the NEC, but
they lost in the conference tournament finals to Robert Morris. They were
guaranteed a spot in the NIT, thanks to their regular season championship.

If Tech beats the Bobcats, they will take on either UConn or Northeastern in
the second round. As a #1 seed, the Hokies will play all of their NIT games at
home, until (and if) they make the semifinals in New York.

North Carolina is barely even eligible for the NIT, finishing with a 16-16
record. Despite their bad record, they are still a #4 seed and they’ll get to
host a home game against William & Mary. The Tribe already have ACC road
wins against Wake Forest and Maryland this year. The Tar Heels would face either
#1 Mississippi State or #8 Jackson State in the second round.

Thanks to their run to the semifinals of the ACC Tournament, NC State
finished 19-15 and backed their way into the NIT. They will face #3 South
Florida on the road. If they get past the Bulls, they’ll face either #2 UAB or
#7 Coastal Carolina in the second round.

ACC’s
NIT Schedule
Game Date Time TV

#3 South Florida vs. #6 NC State
March 16 8pm ESPNU

#4 UNC vs. #5 William & Mary
March 16 9:30pm ESPN

#1 Virginia Tech vs. #8 Quinnipiac
March 17 7pm No TV

Virginia Tech is the only #1 seed in the NIT whose first round game is not
televised.

Teams With No Postseason

Three ACC teams are not in the postseason: Virginia, Boston College and
Miami. The Hoos and Eagles finished with a losing record, thus they were not
eligible to play postseason basketball.

However, the Miami Hurricanes are probably hurting right now. The Canes went
20-13, beat Wake and Virginia Tech in the ACC Tournament and took Duke down to
the wire in the semifinals, and they get no postseason reward.

Quick Look Ahead to Next Season

2009-10 was considered a down year for the ACC, and they hope to move in the
opposite direction next year. 10 of the 12 teams in the league return three or
more starters, so things should be better.

Key
Numbers
Team Starters
Back
Seniors
Lost

Virginia Tech
5 1

Boston College
5 1

Georgia Tech
4 2

UVA
4 3

Florida State
4 1

Duke
3 3

Miami
3 4

UNC
3 2

NC State
3 2

Clemson
3 2

Wake Forest
2 4

Maryland
2 3

Those numbers do not include possible early defections to the NBA. Wake Forest’s
Al-Farouq Amini, UNC’s Ed Davis and Georgia Tech’s Derrick Favors are among the
ACC prospects who could potentially declare for the NBA Draft.

Virginia Tech and Boston College will be the most experienced teams in the
ACC next season. Both teams return all five starters, and lose just one senior.
BC does lose top three-point threat Tyler Roche, but the Eagles should be a much
better team next season. The Hokies lose little-used reserve Lewis Witcher, and
transfer Allan Chaney is expected to move into the starting lineup. That will
give Tech a big upgrade in the frontcourt.

Georgia Tech, UVA and Florida State all return four starters on paper.
However, the Yellow Jackets have future NBA players in Gani Lawal, Derrick
Favors and Iman Shumpert, and early entries to the NBA could be a problem.
Favors is the most likely to declare. UVA could potentially lose suspended star
Sylven Landesberg to suspension, while FSU starters Chris Singleton and Solomon
Alabi could have decisions to make.

Maryland and Wake Forest will be the least experienced teams in the league
next year. The Terps will lose three starters – Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes and
Landon Milbourne – and they will desperately need someone to step up and replace
the scoring of those three players. It will be a difficult task for Gary
Williams.

Wake Forest loses starting point guard Ish Smith, starting wing L.D. Williams
and starting center Chas McFarland, as well as top backup center David Weaver.
If Al-Farouq Aminu leaves early for the NBA, Dino Gaudio might go into next
season with just one returning starter.

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