An Early Glimpse at ACC Bracketology

Posted by Chris Kehoe on February 5th, 2014

ESPN.com’s most recent bracketology update has six ACC teams making the Big Dance, with Florida State firmly on the bubble and projected into the #8/#9 game. The division between the elite and the rest of the ACC has become clear and it now appears to be a two-team race for the ACC regular season title (although things could spice up considerably if Virginia knocks off Syracuse). With Pittsburgh’s soft strength of schedule and inability to capitalize against Duke and Virginia, look for the Panthers to obtain a gaudy win total but not much substance on their résumé. North Carolina’s up-and-down season seems to have steadied recently and the Tar Heels’ quality wins rival any team in America as they seem to be firmly entrenched barring a complete collapse (you never know with this group). Syracuse is pushing for a number one seed overall and as this week’s unanimous top team in the national polls; the Orange are well on their way to that goal. Virginia continues to trend upward thanks to its elite-level defense and corresponding ACC success, as the Cavaliers have only one ACC loss at Duke and are within striking distance of the Orange. Duke has a good number of losses (five) for a projected #2 or #3 seed, but the Devils also have some good wins and impressed many supporters in their tight loss at the Carrier Dome last weekend.

The Two Winningest All-Time Coaches are Hugging it Out For Bracketology (credit: SI.com)

The Two Winningest All-Time Coaches are Hugging it Out For Bracketology (credit: SI.com)

The final development to keep your eyes on is whether Clemson can find a way of sneaking into the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers have three difficult games on the horizon — at Syracuse and Notre Dame, vs. Virginia — but if they can make it out of that stretch at 1-2, they could win the next five in a row until their season finale versus Pitt. If the Tigers finish out their season strong they could end up with 11 or 12 ACC wins and a seat firmly on the bubble. A win or two in the ACC Tournament could then result in a dance card. With that in mind, here is a snapshot look at the six ACC teams currently projected into ESPN’s Bracketology and their respective profiles.

Syracuse Orange, 22-0 (9-0 ACC)

  • Seed line: #1
  • Wins versus the field: (5) Duke, Minnesota, Villanova, UNC, Pitt
  • Notable losses: None
  • Significant games going forward: @ Pitt, @ Duke, @ Virginia

 Duke Blue Devils, 18-5 (7-3 ACC)

  • Seed line: #3
  • Wins versus the field: (6) Vermont, Michigan, FSU, Virginia, Pitt, UCLA
  • Notable losses: Syracuse, Arizona, Kansas
  • Significant games going forward: @ UNC, vs. Syracuse

 Virginia Cavaliers, 17-5 (8-1 ACC)

  • Seed line: #5
  • Wins versus the field: (5) SMU, FSU (x2), UNC, Pitt
  • Notable losses: VCU, Wisconsin, Green Bay, Tennessee, Duke
  • Significant games going forward: @ Clemson, vs. Syracuse

 Pittsburgh Panthers, 18-4 (6-3 ACC)

  • Seed line: #6
  • Wins versus the field: (1) Stanford
  • Notable losses: Cincinnati, Duke, Virginia, Syracuse
  • Significant games going forward: vs. Syracuse, @ UNC, vs. FSU, @ Clemson

 Florida State Seminoles, 13-8 (4-5 ACC)

  • Seed line: #9
  • Wins versus the field: (2) VCU, UMass
  • Notable losses: Duke, Virginia (x2), Michigan, Florida, Minnesota
  • Significant games going forward: vs. UNC, @ Pitt, vs. Syracuse

 North Carolina Tar Heels, 15-7 (5-4 ACC)

  • Seed line: #10
  • Wins versus the field: (3) Louisville, Michigan State, Kentucky
  • Notable losses: Texas, Syracuse, Virginia
  • Significant games going forward: vs. Duke, vs. Pitt, @ FSU, @ Duke
Christopher Kehoe (42 Posts)


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