Tag: ACC Championship
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.
Preview: Clemson vs. Pittsburgh
Not many ACC teams can claim wins over Clemson in recent years, but Pittsburgh is one of them. The Panthers will try to play spoiler once again when they face the No. 2 Tigers on Saturday in the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte, N.C.
The Panthers handed Clemson a 43-42 home loss in the most recent meeting in 2016 – the Tigers’ only loss en route to the national championship. Another loss to Pittsburgh would cost the Tigers their fourth consecutive ACC title, and it might deny them a chance to play for another national crown. Clemson has hardly been challenged lately, winning its past seven games by at least 20 points, though the vaunted defense had its most worrisome performance of the season in last week’s 56-35 victory over rival South Carolina. Pittsburgh had its four-game winning streak snapped with a 24-3 loss at Miami last week as the offense inexplicably fell flat after totaling 86 points in the previous two contests.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ABC. LINE: Clemson -27.5
ABOUT CLEMSON (12-0, 8-0 ACC): The Tigers have been dominant on both sides of the ball as they rank third in the nation in total offense and seventh in defense. Clemson boasts one of the most prolific – and most balanced – offenses in the nation with freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence (2,488 yards, 22 touchdowns, four interceptions) and running back Travis Etienne (1,307 yards, 19 TDs) leading the way. The defense has been especially tough against the run, allowing more than 117 rushing yards once and holding seven opponents to 90 yards or fewer on the ground.
ABOUT PITTSBURGH (7-5, 6-2): The Panthers averaged 40.8 points during their four-game run to clinch the ACC Coastal Division title, but managed only 200 total yards and did not find the end zone last week. To have a chance Saturday, they’ll need a big rebound from running backs Qadree Ollison (1,134 yards, 10 TDs) and Darrin Hall (935 yards, nine TDs), and quarterback Kenny Pickett (1,825 yards, 12 TDs, 5 interceptions) can’t make many back-breaking mistakes. They’ll likely need to put up some points, because a defense that allows 399.9 yards and 27.8 points per game will have a tough time shutting down the Tigers.
1. Clemson has won eight consecutive games in December dating to a loss to Virginia Tech in the 2011 ACC Championship.
2. The Tigers have scored at least 27 points in a school-record 12 straight contests.
3. Pitt has won its last four games against top-three teams when unranked, including the 2016 victory over No. 2 Clemson and a 24-14 win over No. 2 Miami to close the 2017 regular season.
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ACC Championship Preview
Clemson Tigers vs Virginia Tech Hokies
Third-ranked Clemson’s goal of making it to the College Football Playoff for a second consecutive year is within reach. They need to take care of No. 23 Virginia Tech in the ACC championship game in Orlando on Saturday before (Enter Contest). The Tigers are trying to win back-to-back ACC titles for the first time since 1987-88. The Hokies are looking for their first conference crown since 2010 and first 10-win season since 2011.
The Tigers have had a singular focus since a 45-40 loss to Alabama in last year’s national championship game and, despite a 43-42 setback against Pittsburgh three weeks ago, they’ve put themselves in position to earn another shot. First-year coach Justin Fuente quickly has revived Virginia Tech following back-to-back 7-6 seasons. Three of the Hokies’ last four wins have been by three points, but they’re coming off a 52-10 rout of rival Virginia on Saturday.
ABOUT CLEMSON (11-1, 7-1 ACC)
Star quarterback Deshaun Watson got off to a somewhat sluggish start this season. He has returned to form recently and threw six touchdown passes against South Carolina, including three to Mike Williams. Over the last four games, Watson has completed 75.5 percent of his passes for 1,298 yards and 12 touchdowns, setting the ACC record with 580 passing yards in a loss to Pittsburgh and tying the conference mark with his six touchdown tosses against South Carolina. Running back Wayne Gallman also has come to life of late. He racked up 273 yards and three scores over the last two games after failing to reach the 100-yard plateau in his previous four contests. The Tigers’ strong defense thrives on getting into the backfield, ranking second nationally in tackles for loss (8.7) and fourth in sacks (3.5).
ABOUT VIRGINIA TECH (9-3, 6-2 ACC)
The Hokies’ resurgence has been built on a hard-nosed defense. It’s much like the Virginia Tech teams that enjoyed success under long-time coach Frank Beamer. The Hokies are especially tough against the pass and have produced 17 takeaways in their nine wins. The offense is fueled by junior-college transfer quarterback Jerod Evans. He quietly has put up Heisman-like numbers, completing 63.8 percent of his passes for 3,045 yards with 26 touchdowns and five interceptions while adding 713 yards and eight TDs on the ground. Virginia Tech ranks third among Power Five teams in third-down defense, allowing opponents to convert just 26.8 percent.