While Virginia does not play tonight until 9:00 p.m., some earlier ACC Tournament games are still of varying levels of interest for Hoos fans. In some cases, we want to give the Hoos an easier path the championship game. In some cases, teams are still fighting for NCAA berths and in some cases, we are fighting with a certain team for NCAA Tournament seeding and location.
Game 4: #8 Syracuse Orange vs #9 Miami Hurricanes
Hoo to root for: Miami
Why: The winner of this game faces UNC, and knocking off the Heels early on would be nice. Miami has already beaten the Heels this year, whereas Syracuse did not. This isn’t open and shut. Syracuse will enjoy a nice home-court advantage at the Barclays Center and could use energy to knock off the Heels. Furthermore, Jim Boeheim’s teams have always performed well in conference tourneys in NYC (mostly at MSG). Also, a UNC win might lock them into an NCAAT #1 seed, which would be good for the ACC as a whole. We’re still going to Miami, but we won’t fault you for picking Cuse.
Game 5 : #12 Clemson Tigers vs #5 Duke Blue Devils
Hoo to root for: Clemson
Why: How many reasons do you need? Clemson is still on the bubble, and a win here almost definitely gets them into the NCAA Tourney. Also, we don’t like Duke. Also the Hoos are probably fighting with Duke for NCAA seeding, so an early Duke loss would help the Hoos case for a top-4 seed and spot in Greensville.
There’s your cheering guide for Day 2 of the ACC Tournament. Check back tomorrow for Day 3.