In just under a month, the 2019 ACC Tournament will kick off in Charlotte, NC. While there are still seven (or six, depending on the team) games left in the regular season, we’re starting to get a better idea of the matchups we may see when things get underway on March 12.
Here are the current standings (as of 2/14) in the ACC:
- Duke (10-1)
- Virginia (9-2)
- North Carolina (9-2)
- Virginia Tech (8-4)
- Louisville (8-4)
- Syracuse (8-4)
- Florida State (7-4)
- NC State (6-6)
- Clemson (5-6)
- Notre Dame (3-8)
- Boston College (3-8)
- Miami (3-9)
- Georgia Tech (3-9)
- Wake Forest (2-9)
- Pittsburgh (2-10)
Here’s what the bracket looks like for the event:
Using those two bits of information (plus a tie-breaker to settle the three-way tie at 4th place) here’s what the bracket looks as of right now:
Tuesday, March 12
#12 Miami vs. #13 Georgia Tech
#10 Notre Dame vs. #15 Pittsburgh
#11 Boston College vs. #14 Wake Forest
Wednesday, March 13
#8 NC State vs. #9 Clemson
Winner of #12/#13 vs. #5 Virginia Tech
Winner of #10/#15 vs. #7 FSU
Winner of #11/#14 vs. #6 Syracuse
Thursday, March 14
#1 Duke vs. Winner of #8/#9
#4 Louisville vs. Winner of #12/#13 vs #5 Virginia Tech
#2 Virginia vs. Winner of #10/#15 vs. #7 FSU
#3 North Carolina vs. Winner of #11/#14 vs. #6 Syracuse
Which could be setting up...
Friday, March 15
#1 Duke vs. #4 Virginia Tech
#2 Virginia vs. #3 North Carolina
Saturday, March 16
#1 Duke vs. #2 Virginia
There’s still a lot of basketball to be played with a lot of post-season implications. The “Turnt Tuesday” squads are just about locks for those positions as Clemson has a two game lead over Notre Dame and still has games against the Fighting Irish, Boston College, and Pittsburgh.
Let’s take a look at the remaining games for each of the top teams and see how that might affect the standings as far as the double-bye goes.
Games Remaining: NC State, North Carolina, @ Syracuse, @ Virginia Tech, Miami, Wake Forest, @ North Carolina
Thoughts: The Blue Devils are heavily favored (85% or better) in five of their remaining seven games, according to KenPom. In road games against Virginia Tech and North Carolina, Duke is only a 66% favorite. Weird things can happen (hi, Syracuse and first 30 minutes vs. Louisville), but with Duke taking both games against Virginia it’s looking like this could be Duke’s first time with at least a share of the ACC regular season title since 2009-10 (they haven’t won it outright since 2005-06, just FYI).
Games Remaining: Notre Dame, @Virginia Tech, @ Louisville, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, @ Syracuse, Louisville
Thoughts: KenPom gives Virginia a 61% chance at VT and a 64% chance for a win at Louisville, but that doesn’t take Justin Robinson’s injury or Louisville’s emotional distress into account. Those two games are certainly the most difficult remaining for the Hoos, closely followed by Syracuse on the road and Louisville at home. Virginia winning out isn’t far-fetched, and if they want a shot at winning the conference, they may have to do just that. As long as they finish No. 1 or No. 2/No. 3 to Duke’s No. 1, I like their chances to go back to the ACC tournament finals.
Games Remaining: @ Wake Forest, @ Duke, Florida State, Syracuse, @ Clemson, @ Boston College, Duke
Thoughts: The Tar Heels have just a 15% chance at getting a win on the road at Duke and 34% chance of beating them within the confines of the Dean Dome. Those two games plus home contests against FSU and Cuse leaves UNC with some tough ones left on their schedule. Virginia’s chances at finishing second (or first) in the league are bolstered by the fact North Carolina still has to battle the Duke machine twice. UNC is currently a 2-seed in ESPN’s latest Bracketology.
Games Remaining: @ Pittsburgh, Virginia, @ Notre Dame, Duke, @ Florida State, Miami
Thoughts: Va Tech is an interesting one. I would have thought they would fall off a cliff after losing Justin Robinson, and while none of their wins since have been impressive (the NC State monstrosity and vs. GT), their losses to Louisville and Clemson aren’t terrible. With Virginia and Duke left (though, granted, at home) and a trip to FSU, I can easily see the Hokies dropping at least two more games this season.
Games Remaining: Clemson, @ Syracuse, Virginia, @ Boston College, Notre Dame, @ Virginia
Thoughts: Oh, Louisville. Sweet, sweet Louisville. I know I shouldn’t have sympathy for them, but Cardinals fans have seen two of the most devastating losses in the last two seasons. Losing to Duke is nothing to be ashamed of, but doing the basketball equivalent of throwing up on yourself over a 9:30 span could certainly take it’s toll emotionally or mentally. Two games against Virginia remain, along with one at Syracuse. If the Cards get out of their own heads (and stop turning the ball over), they could still make a push for the double-bye.
Games Remaining: Louisville, Duke, @ North Carolina, @ Wake Forest, Virginia, @ Clemson
Thoughts: Oh, Syracuse. Another year, another Syracuse squad that is confusing as hell. Cuse handed Duke their only conference loss, got blown out at NC State and Florida State, and snuck by Pittsburgh by six points. With three of the top-4 teams left on their schedule (and a meeting with Louisville, currently tied with them in the standings), who knows what will happen. Seriously, I have no clue and I give up trying to figure out this team.
Games Remaining: @ Georgia Tech, @ Clemson, @ North Carolina, Notre Dame, NC State, Virginia Tech, @ Wake Forest
Thoughts: Florida State had a rough stretch to open ACC play, losing four of their first five games. Granted, FSU had to play Virginia and Duke in that stretch, but they also dropped inexplicable games to Pittsburgh and Boston College. Well, the Seminoles have won six straight with a home OT win over Louisville being the best one in the bunch. FSU’s schedule has been favorable as the Noles only play the current top four teams once.