ACC College Basketball Tournament Preview 2018
A Preview of the 2018 ACC Tournament
March 6th-10th, 2018 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
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With the 2018 ACC Conference Championship Tournament set to get underway in just over 48 hours, now is a perfect time to get some expert analysis and accompanying free picks on just which teams are offering the best value to win this year’s conference tourney. Whether you like one of the top favorites, a middle-of-the-pack title hopeful or a straight-up longshot, you’re going to get the insight you’ll need in order to make a wise wager on this year’s ACC Conference Championship Tournament.
USA TODAY Sports
North Carolina +500
Virginia Tech +1200
North Carolina State +1400
Florida State +1600
Notre Dame +3000
Boston College +5000
Georgia Tech +10000
Wake Forest +10000
Tuesday, March 6
No. 12 Boston College vs. No. 13 Georgia Tech (ESPN2/ACC Network), noon.
Boston College (17-14) is the easy pick to win the tourney opener against a Georgia Tech (13-18) team that allowed two more points per game (67.3 ppg) than they averaged this season. BC already beat Georgia Tech once this season, 80-72 on Feb. 4, although it took OT to get it done!
No. 10 Notre Dame vs. No. 15 Pittsburgh (ESPN2/ACC Network), 2 p.m.
While Notre Dame (18-13) had a bit of a down season this year, they’re the ‘super easy’ pick to get past a Pittsburgh team that was completely awful in going 8-23 this season while giving up a whopping 10.5 points more per game than they averaged (62.0 ppg).
No. 11 Syracuse vs. No. 14 Wake Forest (ESPNU/ACC Network), 7 p.m.
Syracuse (19-12) beat Wake Forest 78-70 on Feb. 11 to cash in as a 7-point home fave that day and the Orange will get another win over a beleaguered Demon Deacons team that enters the ACC tournament having lost its final two regular season games and three of its last four.
Wednesday, March 7
No. 8 Florida State vs. No. 9 Louisville (ESPN/ACC Network), noon.
Florida State (20-10) didn’t exactly set the ACC on fire while going 5-5 over their last 10 games and dropping two of their final three regular season contests although they did manage to win their finale against Boston College. No matter, the Seminoles are the pick to beat a Louisville (19-12) team that struggled mightily down the stretch by dropping their final two ACC games, four of five and six of their last nine overall. Back the desperate Florida State Seminoles to duplicate their 80-76 win over the Cardinals on Feb. 3 to advance to the quarterfinal round.
No. 5 NC State vs. Tuesday noon winner (ESPN/ACC Network), 2 p.m.
NC State (21-10) will avoid the upset in this matchup against Boston College, seeing as how they pounded the eagles senseless in their 82-66 home win over BC on Feb. 20.
No. 7 Virginia Tech vs. Tuesday 2 p.m. winner (ESPN2/ACC Network), 7 p.m.
Virginia Tech (21-10) got past Notre Dame 80-75 on Jan. 27 despite being on the road and I like the Hokies to avoid the upset against the Fighting Irish in this contest seeing as how they’ll be highly motivated after dropping their regular season finale against Miami 69-68 in a complete heartbreaker and have just too much size and athleticism for Notre Dame this season!
No. 6 North Carolina vs. Tuesday 7 p.m. winner (ESPN2/ACC Network), 9 p.m.
I’m not real high on North Carolina (22-9) this season, but I like the Tar Heels to avoid the upset against Syracuse in this contest by getting the narrow win against the Orange, much like they did in their 78-74 road win over their ACC rivals on Feb. 21. Carolina should be plenty focused for their ACC opener after getting smacked around by Duke 74-64 in their regular season finale this past weekend.
Thursday, March 8
No. 1 Virginia vs. Wednesday noon winner (ESPN/ACC Network), noon.
Top-ranked Virginia (28-2) had their hands full against Florida State when they met on Feb. 7 but they managed to get a solid 59-55 win that day despite being on the road. This time around, the cavaliers will duplicate that victory with a little more room to spare simply because they’re not playing in hostile territory.
No. 4 Clemson vs. Wednesday 2 p.m. winner (ESPN/ACC Network), 2 p.m.
Clemson (22-8) is struggling mightily entering the ACC tourney, having lost four of their final six games including an ugly 55-52 road loss against Syracuse this past weekend and I think the Tigers are ripe for an upset loss against an NC State team they split two regular season meetings against.
No. 2 Duke vs. Wednesday 7 p.m. winner (ESPN/ACC Network), 7 p.m.
I’ve got Duke (25-6) meeting Virginia Tech in this matchup and the Blue devils are the easy pick apparently seeing as how they beat the Hokies in both of their regular season meetings this, including at home by a whopping 22 points.
No. 3 Miami vs. Wednesday 9 p.m. winner (ESPN/ACC Network), 9 p.m.
Miami (22-8) beat Carolina 91-88 on a game-winning three on Feb. 27, but I’m banking on the Hurricanes not needing one to advance when they pull off the upset over the Tar Heels this time around.
Friday, March 9
Thursday afternoon winners (ESPN or ESPN2/ACC Network), 7 p.m.
Virginia beat NC State 68-51 on Jan. 14 and they’ll win this semifinal matchup with ease to reach the conference championship.
Thursday evening winners (ESPN or ESPN2/ACC Network), 9 p.m.
Miami lost to Duke 83-75 at home on Jan. 15 and the Canes will fall again in this contest, simply because the Blue devils will be focused with a capital ‘F’’.
Saturday, March 10
Friday evening winners (ESPN/ACC Network), 8:30 p.m.
I’ve got the top two seeds going at it in the conference championship and I like Virginia to duplicate their narrow 65-63 win over Duke that they recorded on Jan. 27. Virginia has the best defense in the nation and they’re more mature than the Blue Devils. Plus, the Cavaliers just look like a team with a date with destiny this season.