As a reader pointed out, based on Ken Pomeroy percentages UNC had a 9% chance of grabbing the #1 seed heading into the weekend. UNC needed to beat Duke but also have Virginia lose to the 11th place team in the conference and Virginia Tech lose to the 8th place team in the conference at home. So what happens? All of the above. Add to the mix Georgia Tech still looks impressive in their win over Boston College, Duke is going to be without one of their best players against an NC State team who is convinced they mailed it in versus Duke earlier this season and a Maryland team who is the hottest in the conference. Here is a nice bracket from fellow Tar Heel blog Carolina March.
So who is going to win this thing? That is anyone's guess. The interesting aspect is the two hottest teams in the ACC, Maryland and Georgia Tech would have to win four games, something that has not been done in the ACC. Fortunate for them they are also two of the teams which do not experience depth issues. So how do you think Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Boston College feel knowing they could face Duke, Georgia Tech, and Maryland on Friday? UNC handled both FSU and Clemson during the regular season which is no guarantee now but the prospect of facing BC or MD on Saturday should they make it that far is a frightening prospect. The first round game that intrigues me the most is Duke-NC State simply because Duke comes in missing a key player and NC State is capable of knocking them off should they shoot well. Clemson-FSU should be a well contested game given the loser is NCAA toast if they are not already. Maryland-Miami and Wake-GT should be ho-hum affairs.
I will say one thing though. I agree with something Roy said last season and that was when you enter a tournament or each round of the NCAAs, you have to reinvent your momentum. The nature of the game changes in a single elimination tournament. I think everyone plays tighter and if you have a shooter get hot for the weekend, you can ride that through. So in one respect Maryland and GT could come out playing poorly while the three Commonwealth based schools could play some improved basketball.
At any rate I do not expect a dull moment.