A couple of days ago I did my preview of the ACC Tournament’s Day One. Now, after the first four games have been played it is time to check out how I did with my picks and how the Second Round will go in the conference tournament. I went for the chalk in the first round and for the most part did well, hitting on three out of four games, with the only exception being No. 10 Virginia Tech taking down No. 7 Clemson. But let’s see how close I was in my train of thoughts for the rest of the first day.
In the game between No. 8 Maryland and No. 9 Wake Forest I said that the key would be the Terps’ Terrell Stoglin, who would go off for and score over 20 points in this match up. The game ended with Maryland winning by 22 points, 82 to 60, and with sophomore guard scoring a game high 25 points. And while this might not change much, due to the lopsided score Stoglin got those buckets in just 30 minutes. For the other three winners of day one I will then give a small paragraph about the next game, for this one, since Maryland will take on North Carolina, there will be a full preview of the game later today.
The second game of the day was No. 5 N.C. State and No. 12 Boston College, where my prediction was the Wolfpack winning by about a dozen points. Unfortunately the final was a lot wider as State took this one by 21 points, with the final tally being 78 to 57. Where I went wrong in this prediction is by saying that the Eagles would hit their threes, when in reality they did not, going 7 for 23 from beyond the arc. This game was needed for the Pack if they wanted to shore up their chance at getting into March Madness. Right now they are on the proverbial bubble, but if they were to have another good showing today the selection committee should have them good to go once the brackets come out this Sunday.
This means that No. 5 N.C. State (21-11 ~ 9-7 in the ACC) will take on No. 4 Virginia (22-8 ~ 9-7 in the ACC) in the second game of the afternoon, with ESPN2 televising the game, starting about half hour after the UNC/MD game is over. This is a game between a team that needs the win in State and another one that could win the whole thing or lose in this round in UVa. While for the Cavs it’s going to be Mike Scott looking to prove all the ACC voters that they were wrong in not picking him as the conference’s Player of the Year, in the end, in a truly tight game, thanks to the duo of Scott Wood and C.J. Williams, it will be State winning this one by a bucket.
As I said before, in the game between No. 7 Clemson vs. No. 10 Virginia Tech, I got this one wrong, and it will be the Hokies going forward, winning the game 68 to 63. The thing I did get right was the fact that the game would be a close one, with the winner taking it by about five points, and that the game would not be decided until close to the end of the game. That part I got right, as with 17 seconds three points divided the two teams and with 14 seconds Clemson missed a three pointer, got the offensive rebound and missed another trifecta. Had they hit either one they would have been down by 2 and with plenty of time to go on the clock.
However the game did not go that way and now it will be No. 10 Virginia Tech (16-16 ~ 4-12 in the ACC) taking on No. 2 Duke (26-5 ~ 13-3 in the ACC) in the first game of the night session, with tip off being at 7:00 p.m. EST, with the game being on the Duece. As I had said in the first preview for VT it would take winning the tournament in order to make it to March Madness, and I doubt that the Hokies are going to get past the Blue Devils, even if they won’t be at full force in this one. It will be Duke’s three point shooting, and guard play, that will propel them to a victory that will be closer than most would imagine, with the second best team in the conference will win by less than 10 points in this one.
The final game of day one was No. 6 Miami vs. No. 11 Georgia Tech where my prediction was the `Canes dominating and winning by 20 or more points. While in the first half Miami was nowhere close to being the better team, in the end my prediction was pretty close as they won by eighteen points, with the final of 54 to 36. This gives the Hurricanes a chance at 20 wins for the season, something that has always been some sort of plateau when it comes to making it to the big dance, meaning that another win by Miami would go a long way in making sure that the selection committee does not forget about them come Sunday night, especially since it would be against a ranked team.
This means No. 6 Miami (19-11 ~ 9-7 in the ACC) trying to beat No. 3 Florida State (21-9 ~ 12-4 in the ACC) in the last game of day two of the ACC Tournament, starting about half hour after the first game of the night, and being televised by ESPN2. Unfortunately this will not happen as the Seminoles will take this one by about 10 points, ending the Hurricanes’ ACC tournament run and their chances of getting into March Madness. The difference is just going to be the talent on each squad and the `Noles just have a bit more and will prove it on the court winning by more than a dozen points.
If my picks are correct for this part of the Atlantic Coast Conference it would mean that when Sunday comes the most that the ACC would get in the Big Dance is five teams. Somehow that just seems too little for a conference that has always been atop of the rankings when it comes to the hardwoods. So, while as fans (and bloggers), we enjoy the games I am hoping that both the conference and the schools are trying very hard to find a way to bring back this conference as the cream of the crop when it comes to basketball.