The ACC Guru
Bracketology Version 4.0 & State of the ACC
We're now essentially one-third of the way through conference play in the ACC, as every team has played 5, 6, or 7 games, and the standings are taking shape. For the first time this year, the standings are a pretty good representation of which teams are the best. So far this season, Duke and Miami have been the two best teams in the league, and they are at the top of the standings. The group right behind them is North Carolina, Notre Dame, and Florida State. I think the top 4 seeds in the tournament will come from these 5 teams. North Carolina is dominating people inside, Notre Dame is excelling now that Blake Wesley is taking more shots (31.6% of the teams total shots), and Florida State is starting to look like the team they were supposed to be (especially at home). Talent wise, Virginia Tech also belongs in this group, but they have 4 league losses already. Even though they did pick up a nice win over Notre Dame the other night for their first conference W. The only other team that has a legitimate chance at making the NCAA Tournament as things currently stand. Alondes Williams led them to a comeback win on the road at Virginia the other night, and continues to make his case for First Team All ACC.
The middle of the standings (Virginia, Louisville, Clemson, Syracuse, and NC State) are full of teams with too many questions and inconsistencies. Virginia looked like they were going to establish themselves as a contender for the top 4, and then they got outscored 23-8 in the last ten minutes against Wake Forest. Louisville started 4-0 in conference, then lost the next 3. Including a 12 point loss to Pittsburgh Saturday. Clemson was looking like a good team earlier in the season, and then they lost to Boston College. Syracuse has looked better than their record indicates, as they've been competitive in most of their games, but they need to finish better. Their schedule gets a little easier coming up. NC State also has a couple of nice conference wins, but they've already got 5 losses as well. It's going to be tough to crawl out of that hole.
I'm lumping Boston College, Pittsburgh, and Georgia Tech all together at the bottom of the conference, but none of these teams are cake walks. They've already picked up 5 conference wins collectively including wins over Louisville, Clemson, and Notre Dame. I think all three will continue to fight all year.
Games to watch this week:
North Carolina @ Miami- Tuesday 7 PM
Duke @ Florida State- Tuesday 9 PM
Virginia Tech @ NC State- Wednesday 7 PM
Syracuse @ Duke- Saturday 12 PM
Florida State @ Miami- Saturday 2 PM
Notre Dame @ Louisville- Saturday 4 PM
Virginia @ NC State- Saturday 4 PM
North Carolina @ Wake Forest- Saturday 8 PM
As far as the ACC is concerned, I currently have 6 teams in the tournament, but 4 of them are right on the bubble. Right now I have Duke as a 3 seed, UNC as a 7 seed, Miami and Virginia Tech as 10 seeds, and Florida State and Wake Forest in the First Four games. Outside of the ACC, Gonzaga has retaken the top overall seed after Baylor dropped 2 games this week. They have been dominating a stronger than normal West Coast Conference and Drew Timme is a real contender for the Wooden Award. Auburn has also pushed themselves all the way up to the 1 line after winning 13 straight games. Check out the full bracket below.
Last Four Byes
Last Four In
First Four Out
Next Four Out