It. Is. March.
While the men’s team still has one more game before their regular season is complete, it’s time for some postseason action for the women. This year’s ACC Tournament has tipped off in Greensboro, with the opening round happening yesterday. Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Georgia Tech have already seen their season end. The action gets serious today as seeds five through nine join the action, including Carolina.
The ACC has been a real grinder, as teams that join the action today are all projected into the field of 68 according to the latest ESPN Bracketology. Thus, this tournament becomes about solidifying their position, and in some cases, making an argument that they should be a top four seed that gives them the right to host the first and second rounds in their own gym.
That’s where Carolina comes in. They seemed to be on a clear path to hosting before a wave of injuries struck. They struggled with a four losses in six game stretch, before things clicked back with their win over Duke on Sunday. In it, they handed the Blue Devils their only defeat at home, knocked the Blue Devils to the second seed, and announced that they were getting back to the team they looked like before the injuries all around the team. The latest Bracketoloty has them as a four seed, acknowledging that injuries may have been a big reason for the losses and rewarding them for their play in arguably the most difficult conference in the county.
That spot is tenuous, though, and they could stand to make some noise this week to help lock that up. That begins today as they start the tournament as the seven seed, facing off against the 10 seed Clemson. The Tigers easily handled 15th-seeded Pitt 71-53 yesterday, and are looking to avenge their loss in the season’s only meeting down in South Carolina on January 29th. The projections don’t have the Tigers near the field, so they are going to be playing as if their only hope to get in will be to take down the whole tournament.
The Tar Heels can’t get caught looking ahead to a potential third matchup with Duke tomorrow should they win. A victory today likely won’t make any difference in their seeding for the NCAA’s, but a loss will likely knock them back to the point where they would have to travel for the first weekend, and stare at playing a four seed on that four seed’s home court. They don’t need to win the whole tournament to stay home the first weekend.
But the thing is, they absolutely could win the whole tournament.
The Tar Heels are on the side of the bracket where they would potentially see Virginia Tech in the semifinals-and while the Hokies swept Carolina they needed every second in both games to do it, and then they can boast beating the tournament's top seed-Notre Dame-back on January 8th. It should be a wild day.
Also good news, unlike previous seasons every game of the ACC Women’s tournament will be on an actual ESPN Network, with all of the games up to the Final on the ACC Network, and the championship Sunday on ESPN.
There are plenty of tickets available for the games in Greensboro, and at a really good price for action featuring teams that could go deep in this year’s tournament. However, if you can’t make the tip tonight, here’s how you can catch the action:
- Time: 6:00 PM ET
- Location: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC
- TV: ACC Network; Jenn Hildreth with play by play, Debbie Antonelli doing color, and Angel Gray on the sidelines
- Radio: Tar Heel Sports Network-here is the list of affiliates, sort by the sport column for “Basketball-women’s” to see if a station in your area is covering the game. Matt Krause handles the call for the Tar Heels. On Sirius XM, you can find the call on channel 193 and 955. You can also listen to them on GoHeels.com, The Varsity Network, and Tune In.
- Streaming: The ACC Network is available on the ESPN App for anyone that has the ACC Network on your cable service, and it’ll also be available through the computer on Watch ESPN