After an interesting day one of the ACC Tourney, we have four matchups today that could absolutely impact the Hoos. The first game is the obvious one, because it determines who the Hoos play tomorrow. The other games all involve teams with whom the Hoos could be fighting for NCAA seeding, and also may determine who the Hoos play later in the weekend, should they get that far.
With that in mind, here's a brief rundown of who to root for today.
Game 4: #8 Maryland vs #9 Florida State
Hoo Should The Hoos Root For: FSU
Why: This comes back to that idea of it being difficult to beat a team three times in a season. But, considering we just lost to Maryland, I don't think anybody wants to replay them just a few days later. Or ever again, for that matter. Let's get FSU, a team the Hoos handled twice with relative ease, but haven't seen in some time.
Also, good riddance to Maryland. Enjoy the Big Ten.
Game 5: Pitt vs Wake Forest
Hoo Should the Hoos Root For: Pitt
Why: Let's face it, Wake Forest isn't beating UNC. Despite the school's proximity to Greensboro, they aren't likely to have any home court advantage because UNC travels better. Pitt, on the other hand, is actually ranked higher by KenPom (kenpom.com), and has a decent shot of beating UNC, even in Greensboro. the Hoos may be fighting with UNC for seeding and for a spot in Raleigh. A UNC loss would almost definitely take them out of the running for Raleigh. However, the Hoos matchup with Pitt is a tough one. The Hoos and Panthers play a similar style, and the regular season contest between the two came down to the wire. The Hoos manhandled the Tar Heels, but that UNC team was different from this one. I'd much rather take my chances against Pitt than against UNC. Obviously, the best outcome would be for Wake Forest to win two more games, but that is exceedingly unlikely.
Game 6: #7 NC State vs Miami
Hoo Should the Hoos Root For: NC State
Why: Despite being the 7 seed, NC State is not really any better than Miami. As I mentioned yesterday, Miami is a good defensive team that could cause problems for a Syracuse offense that has been struggling of late. Also, Miami looked very bad offensively against the Hokies. On the other hand, NC State nearly won @Syracuse a month ago, and they alway seem to play well in Greensboro. They figure to have a big fan contingent there, and could pull off the upset over the Orange.
Game 7: #6 Clemson vs Georgia Tech
Hoo Should the Hoos Root For: Clemson
Why: As mentioned yesterday, Clemson beat Duke earlier this year, and is absolutely capable of doing it again. As the very least, Clemson should give Duke a tough game, and force Duke's starters to play big minutes, which could hurt them over the weekend. Georgia Tech got smoked in their matchup @Duke, and aren't likely to do any better in a rematch in Greensboro.