ACC Tournament 2019
The three titans of the ACC are expected to thrive at the 2019 ACC tournament with No. 1 seeds in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on the line.
Virginia, who won the regular-season crown, enters the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, as the No. 1 seed, while North Carolina and Duke are on the same side of the bracket as the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds, respectively.
But before the Cavaliers, Tar Heels and Blue Devils hit the floor, a crucial game with NCAA tournament bubble implications has to be played.
While Tuesday’s opening games at the ACC tournament might not be intriguing, the competition heats up Wednesday, and it will only continue to get better as it builds up to Saturday’s championship game.
All Times ET.
Tuesday, March 12
No. 12 Miami vs. No. 13 Wake Forest (Noon)
No. 10 Georgia Tech vs. No. 15 Notre Dame (2 p.m.)
No. 11 Boston College vs. No. 14 Pittsburgh (7 p.m.)
Wednesday, March 13
No. 8 NC State vs. No. 9 Clemson (Noon)
No. 5 Virginia Tech vs. Miami/Wake Forest winner (2 p.m.)
No. 7 Louisville vs. Georgia Tech/Notre Dame winner (7 p.m.)
No. 6 Syracuse vs. Boston College/Pittsburgh winner (9 p.m.)
Thursday, March 14
No. 1 Virginia vs. NC State/Clemson winner (12:30 p.m.)
No. 4 Florida State vs. Virginia Tech vs. Miami/Wake Forest winner (2:30 p.m.)
No. 2 North Carolina vs. Louisville vs. Georgia Tech/Notre Dame winner (7 p.m.)
No. 3 Duke vs. Syracuse vs. Boston College/Pittsburgh winner (9 p.m.)
Friday, March 15
Semifinal No. 1 (7 p.m.)
Semifinal No. 2 (9 p.m.)
Saturday, March 16
Championship (8:30 p.m.)
Clemson Beats NC State In Bubble Showdown
The first game in Charlotte with NCAA tournament significance opens Wednesday’s slate.
Clemson and NC State both have work left to do in order to secure their respective spots in the field of 68, and luckily for the selection committee, the head-to-head meeting in the ACC tournament should provide some clarity.
NC State, who won the regular-season meeting with the Tigers, is one of the last four teams in, according to ESPN.com’s Joe Lunardi, but CBSSports.com’s Jerry Palm has the Wolfpack as one of his first four teams out.
The Wolfpack are once again associated with the bubble after losing two of their last three regular-season games to Florida State and Georgia Tech, the latter of which was especially bad.
Clemson is the second-to-last team in, according to Lunardi and Palm’s most-recent projections.
Conversely, Clemson enters Charlotte with wins in four of its last five games, including back-to-back victories over Notre Dame and Syracuse.
The Tigers are playing the better basketball, and we’re picking them to advance into the quarterfinals for a matchup against Virginia.
Senior guard Marcquise Reed will be the driving force of Clemson’s victory, as he enters the ACC tournament off five 20-plus point performances in his last six games.
Clemson might not be able to earn a quality win over Virginia, but by beating NC State, it will separate itself from at least one of its fellow bubble contenders.
Virginia Adds To Trophy Case
Virginia has an opportunity to become the first back-to-back ACC tournament champion since Duke won three in a row from 2009-2011.
Although the road to the championship will be difficult for Tony Bennett’s team, it appears to be focused on not suffering a postseason disappointment again in 2019.
The Cavaliers, who should secure a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament if they win the ACC tournament, have only lost to Duke this season.
Of course, a third meeting with Duke in the ACC tournament final would be an ideal outcome for the Cavaliers, as a final quality win would reinforce their resume to earn a No. 1 seed.
With Kyle Guy, De’Andre Hunter, Ty Jerome and Co. hungry for a victory over Duke, the Cavaliers avenge their defeats to Duke by controlling the production of the Blue Devils freshmen.
It won’t be an easy task for the Cavaliers since Duke is looking to get back into a rhythm with Zion Williamson potentially returning to the lineup, but we’re trusting the experience of the Cavaliers to finally get the job done after losing by 12 combined points in their meetings with Duke.
With the win over Duke, the Cavaliers will make a compelling case to secure the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament as they start their quest to eliminate the bad memories of the 2018 first-round loss to UMBC.