2014 ACC Tournament Superlatives

Posted by Brad Jenkins & Matt Patton on March 16th, 2014

ACC Microsite writers Matt Patton and Brad Jenkins will be reporting live from Greensboro at the 2014 ACC Tournament throughout the week. Based on our observations from the entire tournament here are our choices for the best of the best, on and off the court.

All ACC Tournament Team

  • Joe Harris, Virginia
  • Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia
  • Jabari Parker, Duke
  • Talib Zanna, Pittsburgh
  • T.J. Warren, N.C. State

ACC Superlatives

Clemson' Rod Hall Loses The Ball in Attempt to Upset Duke at the Buzzer. (Photo: Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports)

Clemson’ Rod Hall Loses The Ball in Attempt to Upset Duke at the Buzzer.
(Photo: Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports)

  • Tournament co-MVP’s – Harris and Brogdon. On a team as balanced and unselfish as Virginia, its hard to just pick one guy.
  • Best Defensive Player – Akil Mitchell, Virginia. In the championship game, Mitchell harassed Parker into 15 missed shots, and collected 11 defensive rebounds.
  • Craziest Game – #5 Pittsburgh 80, #5 North Carolina 75 in Friday’s Quarter-Finals. Pittsburgh raced out to an 18 point lead in the first half before a North Carolina rallied to within 10 at the half. The second half almost became one of the all-time tournament comebacks. Pittsburgh led by 16 with 4:30 to go, but then the Tar Heels turned up the defensive pressure and closed to within 3 with 12 seconds left before the Panthers held on. During the furious comeback, the North Carolina fans came alive and almost pulled their team all the way back.
  • Most Intense Moment – Clemson’s Rod Hall’s mad dash at the end of the Tigers’ Quarterfinal game with Duke. The last play of the day Friday was the most dramatic moment of the tournament. With four seconds left and his team trailing by one, Hall drove towards the lane, split two defenders, had the ball poked away and hit the floor, leaving most of the remaining folks in the arena screaming for a foul call that never came. Meanwhile, Duke and its fans exhaled deeply, knowing how close they came to an early exit.
  • Best Individual Game – Talib Zanna, Pittsburgh in the above game with North Carolina. Zanna was a dominant force inside and the key to the Panthers win, finishing with 19 points and 21 rebounds, which included 10 on the offensive glass. That 21 rebound total ties the senior Zanna for third-most in an ACC Tournament game.

  • Best Fans – Virginia. Maybe it was the fact that the Cavaliers were the top seed for the first time since 1981, along with the fairly short drive from Charlottesville, but the Virginia folks in attendance were excited. They enthusiastically supported their team throughout each moment of every game, all the way to the championship.
  • Best Halftime Entertainment: The Russian Bar Trio. At halftime of the first quarterfinal game on Friday, the trio took the floor. Basically the act is a female gymnast doing acrobatics on a long bar held on either end by two guys. Think of it as doing trampoline tricks on a moving balance beam. Very impressive!
fsu team

The Russian Bar Trio Act  Was Great

  • Best Official School Spirit – Florida State. The Seminole Band was so good and loud that a media member who’s view of the band was blocked thought it was recorded sounds being piped in through the arena sound system. And the Golden Girls dance team was the best squad of its kind by far.
  • Best Coach in Postgame – Virginia’s Tony Bennett. After every game Bennett answered every question in a smooth and highly accommodating manner. He doesn’t view the media as a bother, answering each question thoughtfully and respectfully.  Also the story he told about not knowing when or if his father was coming to the tournament was great as well. Of course its easier to be charming when you are always walking into the press conference as a winner, but we were both impressed with the Cavalier’s leader.
  • Best Player in Postgame – Marcus Paige, North Carolina. No other player handled himself as well as Paige did after the loss to Pittsburgh. It’s easy to see why he is on the ACC’s All-Academic team as all his answers were thoughtful and well spoken.
  • Funniest Postgame Answer – Roy Williams answering a question about the ACC Tournament leaving Greensboro in the future. Williams began his answer with, “Frankly my dear,” and ended with, “I know that’s not the answer you wanted but you have to remember I’m an old guy up here and we just got out butts kicked.”
  • Most Awkward Postgame – Miami’s postgame press conference after loss to N.C. State. After Jim Larranaga’s opening statement, the media did not ask a single question. Of course, that could be because the eloquent Miami coach did a great job of summing up the whole game in his statement, but still it was a bit bizarre when no reporter asked a question.
  • Best Line from Media Member – John Feinstein. When Maryland’s coach and player were late getting to the postgame press conference, Feinstein quipped, “Maybe they went to the interview room in Indianapolis.” Of course that’s the location of this year’s Big Ten Tournament.
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