Friday, February 22, 2008

ACC Hoops - Feb 23-24

Wake, Miami and Va. Tech look to make late-season runs...
Maryland and Clemson try to hold on...
Ga. Tech and everyone else need miracles...

click here to view schedule

If you want to make it to the NCAA's now is the time to make your move. The ACC is still in danger of only getting three teams into the Big Dance. Four or Five teams is a more likely, and there is even a shot at getting seven teams in. Here's the break-down.

Duke and Carolina are in. Given their records and RPI's, they can't lose enough of their remaining games to miss the tourney.

Clemson is in good shape. A 19-7 record and a respectable RPI should get them into the dance barring an absolute disaster down the stretch.

Maryland is not a lock. Even with the win at Carolina, their RPI is a bit shaky at 77. A 9-7 record should get them in, while 8-8 will put them on the bubble.

Miami was left for dead just two weeks ago, but three straight wins including the huge upset against Duke has bought renewed excitement to Coral Gables. With an 18-7 record, an RPI of 34, I think 8-8 will get them into the NCAA's. If they can split their next 2 with Maryland and Clemson they have a shot at 9-7.

Wake and Va Tech are 65th and 66th in RPI. Wake's RPI should climb after the Carolina game. After that they face Maryland in Winston-Salem. The March 4 game between the Hokies and Deacs in Blacksburg will be huge. The Hokies will finish the regular season at Clemson. Realistically, the Deacs and Hokies will need to finish 9-7 in the conference to get bids.

Ga Tech needs a miracle bigger than a drought busting rain to make it to the Big Dance. That 10th ranked schedule is nice... a few more non-conference wins would be nicer. Without a big run down the stretch, the Yellow Jackets season will be over by mid-March.

Everyone else... Well there was the '76 Virginia team and the '87 NC State team that won the ACC tournament to get the League's automatic bid. That's about what it's going to take to get Virginia, Florida State, Boston College and NC State to the NCAA's. At 15-11, State has the best chance of this group, but even then, they will need to win out and win one in the ACC Tournament.

Congratulations to the Terry Sanford Bulldogs on winning the Two Rivers Athletic Conference Regular Season and Tournament Championships. Next week, I'll be following them though North Carolina's version of March Madness as they begin play in the NCHSAA 4A Tournament.

Zach Faircloth #32 (far left) was named Tournament MVP. Keep an eye on him... He's only a junior but he's definitely D1 talent. Unless he has an unreal summer, he's probably headed somewhere like Wilmington, but he has great range and has more "court smarts" than a lot of today's college players. He will be one of those guys that scares the crap out of a high seed in an NCAA Tournament.