March Madness: Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament Projection

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The 30-part series of conference tournament projections finally reaches its conclusion as the computer spits out its predictions for the Atlantic Coast Conference.

This tournament has the potential to produce a rubber match between Duke and North Carolina, this time on the neutral court of Bobcats Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina.

To this point in the year, Duke and North Carolina have met twice, with each team marching into enemy territory and leaving with a win. The long-standing rivalry resumed on the court on February 6, when the then-second-ranked Blue Devils knocked off the then-third-ranked Tar Heels in Chapel Hill by an 89-78 score.

A little over a month later, North Carolina — now the top team in the country — visited sixth-ranked Duke on Senior Night at Cameron Indoor Arena and avenged its earlier loss, coming away with a 76-68 win and evening the season series.

With North Carolina holding the number one seed in the ACC Tournament and Duke seeded second, the teams appear destined for a showdown in the tournament finals that could have a huge impact on where each team is seeded in the NCAA Tournament. Appropriately, that theoretical clash would take place hours before the Selection Committee finalizes the bracket for the 65-team tournament.

So, is UNC-Duke destined to take place? Or will one of those damned other teams fighting to keep their season alive step in and ruin it for everybody else? Let’s have a look.

Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament
(all games to be played at the Bobcats Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina)

First Round — Thursday, March 13
#8 Wake Forest over #9 Florida State
#5 Miami over #12 North Carolina State
#7 Georgia Tech over #10 Virginia
#6 Maryland over #11 Boston College

Quarterfinals — Friday, March 14
#1 North Carolina over #8 Wake Forest
#4 Virginia Tech over #5 Miami
#2 Duke over #7 Georgia Tech
#3 Clemson over #6 Maryland

Semifinals — Saturday, March 15
#1 North Carolina over #4 Virginia Tech
#3 Clemson over #2 Duke

Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game — Sunday, March 16
#1 North Carolina over #3 Clemson

PROJECTED ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE CHAMPION: #1 North Carolina Tar Heels (receive automatic berth in NCAA tournament)
REGULAR SEASON ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE CHAMPION:
#1 North Carolina Tar Heels
KEEP AN EYE ON:
#6 Maryland Terrapins
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina), Tyrese Rice (Boston College), Sean Singletary (Virginia), Greivis Vasquez (Maryland), Jack McClinton (Miami), A.D. Vassallo (Virginia Tech), Wayne Ellington (North Carolina), Toney Douglas (Florida State), James Gist (Maryland), DeMarcus Nelson (Duke), Bambale Osby (Maryland), Jeff Allen (Virginia Tech), J.J. Hickson (N.C. State), James Johnson (wake Forest), Ty Lawson (North Carolina), Greg Paulus (Duke)

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