NCAA Tournament Instareaction: ACC Teams

Posted by Lathan Wells on March 16th, 2014

Selection Sunday has now yielded a 2014 NCAA Tournament field, and the bracket is filled out. It’s time to analyze how the ACC teams fared in their quest to garner postseason success. Some teams seem to have an easier path than others, but it is March and nothing can be taken for granted. Some may be surprised that six ACC teams made the field, especially since Florida State was the presumed ACC team on the brink, but nonetheless the ACC tied for the second-most teams in the field behind the Big 12′s seven entrants. Here’s a look at the six ACC squads that were lucky enough to hear their names called, and what their NCAA Tournament might look like.

Virginia, #1 seed, East Region. The Cavaliers were rewarded (and justly so) for claiming the ACC regular season and tournament titles with a #1 seed in the East. They won’t have to travel far in the early stages, either, with the opening rounds in a familiar venue in Raleigh. After what should be an opening round win over Coastal Carolina, Virginia will have to tangle with either Memphis or George Washington. The Cavaliers are one of the few teams in the country that always controls the tempo, so a match-up with a running team like the Tigers won’t faze them a bit. Tony Bennett’s team has a good shot of advancing to the Final Four if it can survive a potential Sweet Sixteen match-up with a suddenly-healthy #4 seed Michigan State. Villanova as the #2 seed is not as potent as other regions’ second seeds, so the Cavaliers have a very realistic shot of ending up in Arlington.

Virginia's dominance of the ACC regular and postseason helped them grab a number one seed (usatoday)

Duke, #3 seed, Midwest Region. Duke also gets the favorable early draw of playing in Raleigh, opening with Mercer. The Blue Devils’ region arguably has the most questionable top seed in Wichita State, but a potential UMass meeting in the second game could be tricky. Duke’s NCAA hopes are always pinned on how they shoot from distance, and if they’re on they can beat anyone. If they’re off, Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood have to make plays to rescue the team. The region’s #2 seed, Michigan, already tussled with Duke earlier in the year and fell short, so that should also bolster Mike Kzryzewski’s outlook. Nevertheless, Louisville lurks in the Midwest with a head-scratching #4 seed, so Duke is not without a test at every turn in its quest to bring glory back home to Durham for the fifth time.

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ACC Bracket Watch: March 8 Update

Posted by Chris Kehoe on March 8th, 2014

A lot can change in the world of college hoops as it relates to the NCAA Tournament, and recently, a lot has. Since the last update we did in early February, Syracuse is no longer undefeated; Virginia is the regular season champion; and UNC has embarked on a mind-boggling winning streak. While the top tier of the ACC has become even more clear since Pittsburgh fell off the face of the Earth, most of the ACC bubble teams living in the #7-#10 seed range have largely disappointed on their way to the outside looking in — surely perennial bubbler and current ESPN personality Seth Greenberg can relate from his ACC days. But while tallies in the loss column have mounted high enough for Syracuse and Duke to be largely removed from #1 seed consideration, Virginia has quietly pushed itself into the discussion. The Cavaliers find themselves in this position thanks to its 16 conference wins and the startling point differential in which they secured them.

Virginia coach Tony Bennett must be ecstatic with the Cavaliers' most recent bracket projection (photo: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

Virginia coach Tony Bennett must be ecstatic with the Cavaliers’ most recent bracket projection (photo: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

So while North Carolina and Virginia’s stocks are soaring, Syracuse and Duke have taken a hit. It remains to be seen if the ACC can land a bid outside of its top four programs, but at this juncture it seems improbable. Since the last update, Florida State and Pittsburgh have both fallen into a steep decline. Jamie Dixon’s team remains close, residing in and around most people’s ‘Last Four Out’ category, but the Seminoles are nowhere to be found. N.C. State also created some February rumblings about making a run at the bubble until the Wolfpack lost badly to Clemson and Miami in a period of two weeks. The ACC Tournament provides the sole venue for teams seeking an automatic bid, but a team running through the slate of Syracuse, UNC, Virginia and/or Duke seems rather daunting at this point.

‘Busting the Bracket’ Projected ACC Seeding*

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Virginia Has Turned the Corner

Posted by Chris Kehoe on January 29th, 2014

Since December 30’s 87-52 beatdown that Virginia suffered at the hands of Tennessee in Knoxville, the Cavaliers have won seven of their last eight games. What Virginia has essentially done is establish itself as a clear member of the upper echelon of the ACC, arguably the third- or fourth-best team in the conference behind Duke and undefeated Syracuse. The Cavaliers sit comfortably at 16-5 and 7-1 in league play, their sole blemish coming in a close loss to Duke in the confines of Cameron Indoor Stadium. Virginia’s most recent victory came at the expense of a reeling Notre Dame team on Tuesday, yet another example of Virginia’s defense and style of play frustrating its conference foes thus far.

So far, London Perrantes (left) and Joe Harris have had a lot to celebrate recently. (USA TODAY Sports)

London Perrantes (left) and Joe Harris have had a lot to celebrate recently. (USA TODAY Sports)

The most impressive thing about Virginia’s play of late has been their emphatic victories, thrashing ACC teams by wide margins. They have beaten Florida State by 12 twice, North Carolina by 13, N.C. State by 31, Wake by 23, Virginia Tech by 20, and Notre Dame by 15. Virginia has effectively put the rest of the league on notice that, regardless of its non-conference performance, the Cavaliers are returning senior leaders from a highly successful unit with postseason experience. First and foremost has been the improved play of Joe Harris, which, as noted in an earlier article here on the ACC microsite, is the key to their resurgence of late.

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Introducing the Best Pac-12 Moments of YouTube Tournament

Posted by Connor Pelton (@ConnorPelton28) on November 12th, 2013

Next month, we here on the Pac-12 Microsite will start in with the first stages of a massive project; to find the best ever Pac-12 moment on YouTube.

p12 youtube banner

The braintrust here has selected three plays/sequences/moments from each team in the conference. We will put those up to a vote in separate posts over the next few weeks, and the top vote-getter from each school will advance to the bracket of champions.

“But wait, where do I come in?” Glad you asked. In addition to voting for each team’s representative, we ask that you put your own favorite moments from YouTube in the comments section or tweet them @rushthecourt, which we will add to the polls. Or, if you know of a video on some secret corner of the internet, put that in as well. The more the merrier.

So, get ready for diving-into-the-tunnel saves, NCAA Tournament buzzer beaters, and thread-the-needle passes. This is going to be fun.

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ESPNU Pac-12 Logo Tournament: Round 1

Posted by Connor Pelton on November 2nd, 2011

Beginning today and going thru Nov. 15, the RTC Pac-12 Microsite (that’s us!) will be holding a tournament to determine the best ESPNU Pac-12 logo. Beginning today you can vote for your favorite in a 12-team bracket style tournament. Drew and I have seeded them and placed them into the bracket. All you have to do is pick your favorite, or (here’s looking at you, Ute fans) vote for your favorite team regardless of how bad their logo is. Beginning tonight and going through Monday night, you can pick from the below matchups. Then come back on Wednesday to vote from a whole new set of matchups. Here we go!

#8 Oregon vs #9 Colorado

Connor’s thoughts: I flat-out just don’t like these logos. The Ducks’ only admirable quality is the green and yellow hat, and the only thing I like on the Colorado one is the steam coming out of its nose. I’m taking Oregon because the Buffalo has birds on top of it, and who even knows what’s up with that.

Drew’s thoughts: Tough first round matchup between logos that could cause the #1 overall seed trouble in the next round. I’ll take the Buffaloes here, but it’s a close call.

 

#5 Arizona State vs #12 Utah

 

Connor’s thoughts: There’s no contest here. The Sun Devil is awesome, from the burnt piece of wood to the pitchfork. The Ute is just plain awful. If they put some effort into it and made the official Utah redhawk, maybe it would look better. Maybe.

Drew’s Thoughts: The Utes have by far the worst logo. The only thing at all that indicates that it may belong to Utah are the feathers. One of the guys at BlockU came up with a better logo, and if that was the actual logo, Utah might have a chance. Or maybe not, because the ASU logo is pretty good.


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