March is right around the corner. That means college hoops is about to intensify in a major way. The ACC Tournament should be fun to watch, and each team has one more week to jockey for positioning in the standings prior to this year’s affair.
Here is a brief synopsis of each team heading into the final week of ACC play before the league tourney begins:
North Carolina (25-5, 13-3 ACC)
Ken Pom/BPI Average: 2.5
What’s Left: Mon at Virginia, Sat vs Duke
Finish: Regular season champ, 1 seed in NCAA
North Carolina has an outstanding body of work and is clearly the most accomplished team in the nation’s best league. That’s a lofty perch.
Notre Dame (22-7, 11-5 ACC)
Ken Pom/BPI Average: 23
What’s Left: Wed vs Boston College, Sat at Louisville
Projected Finish: 4th in ACC, 4-5 seed in NCAA
The Fighting Irish currently own the tiebreaker over both Florida State and Louisville. That changes if Louisville does what is expected down the stretch. A win at the KFC Yum! Center on Saturday gets Mike Brey the second spot. If not, it’s likely they fall a couple of spots.
Florida State (23-6, 11-5 ACC)
Ken Pom/BPI Average: 17.5
What’s Left: Tue at Duke, Sat vs Miami (FL)
Projected Finish: 3rd in ACC, 3 seed in NCAA
Florida State’s home-road disparity suggests a split down the stretch. The Seminoles are as dangerous as anyone heading into the ACC Tournament.
Louisville (23-6, 11-5 ACC)
Ken Pom/BPI Average: 5
What’s Left: Wed at Wake Forest, Sat vs Notre Dame
Projected Finish: 2nd in ACC, 2 seed in NCAA
Rick Pitino is doing it again. He continues to build champions year after year. The Cardinals could threaten for a 1-seed if they make a deep run in Brooklyn next week.
Duke (22-7, 10-6 ACC)
Ken Pom/BPI Average: 11.5
What’s Left: Tue vs Florida State, Sat at North Carolina
Projected Finish: 5th in ACC, 3 seed in NCAA
The Blue Devils are scorching hot, and they have two big fish to fry this week that will only enhance their profile. Winning both games seems like a tall order, but I wouldn’t put anything past Duke right now.
Miami (FL) (20-8, 10-6 ACC)
Ken Pom/BPI Average: 28
What’s Left: Mon at Virginia Tech, Sat at Florida State
Projected Finish: 8th in ACC, 7-8 seed in NCAA
Going on the road twice to close out the season against NCAA Tournament teams isn’t exactly paradise. Luckily for the Hurricanes, an at-large berth is all but sewn up at this point.
Virginia (19-9, 9-7 ACC)
Ken Pom/BPI Average: 8
What’s Left: Mon vs North Carolina, Sat vs Pittsburgh
Projected Finish: 9th in ACC, 5-6 seed in NCAA
No team has scuffled more recently than Virginia, which is 2-6 in its last eight games with a tough home matchup with the Tar Heels on Monday night. Tony Bennett’s team still carries a strong profile despite potentially falling out of the league’s upper half, but continuing to lose will have seeding ramifications on Selection Sunday.
Virginia Tech (20-8, 9-7 ACC)
Ken Pom/BPI Average: 46
What’s Left: Mon vs Miami (FL), Sat vs Wake Forest
Projected Finish: 6th in ACC, 8-9 seed in NCAA
Buzz Williams’ squad has a critical test on Monday night. Protect home court against a league peer like Miami, and Virginia Tech will clinch an NCAA Tournament berth and move up the ladder even more in the ACC standings.
Syracuse (17-13, 9-8 ACC)
Ken Pom/BPI Average: 41.5
What’s Left: Sat vs Georgia Tech
Projected Finish: 7th in ACC, Bubble Out
Syracuse’s profile could use a boost, but it won’t get one facing a sliding Georgia Tech team at home. When the dust settles this weekend, the Orange may be at the back of the bracket, but they’ll still need a win or two in Brooklyn to feel good heading into Selection Sunday.
Wake Forest (16-12, 7-9 ACC)
Ken Pom/BPI Average: 33
What’s Left: Wed vs Louisville, Sat at Virginia Tech
Projected Finish: 11th in ACC, Bubble Out
Wake Forest just needs to beat somebody. Either of these opponents presents a golden opportunity to get a quality win, but the Demon Deacons may need to win both games this week to crack the field of 68.
Georgia Tech (16-13, 7-9 ACC)
Ken Pom/BPI Average: 84.5
What’s Left: Tue vs Pittsburgh, Sat at Syracuse
Projected Finish: 10th in ACC, NIT
Tech’s body of work was never great, but a late swoon has caused it to erode even further. The Yellow Jackets have some serious work to do in March, and they probably need to at least get to the league title game in order to get back onto the bubble.
Clemson (14-14, 4-12 ACC)
Ken Pom/BPI Average: 34
What’s Left: Wed vs N.C. State, Sat vs Boston College
Projected Finish: 12th in ACC, NIT
The close losses have piled up on top of the Tigers and crushed their hopes and dreams, but the easiest final week of any ACC team should have confidence high heading into the league tournament. Who knows what could happen at that point?
Pittsburgh (15-14, 4-12 ACC)
Ken Pom/BPI Average: 69
What’s Left: Tue at Georgia Tech, Sat at Virginia
Projected Finish: 14th in ACC, CBI
Pitt has the misfortune of closing out the season with a pair of road games. The Panthers have split their past six contests, so there’s some rationale for accepting a berth in the CBI with such a young team starting to play better.
N.C. State (15-15, 4-13 ACC)
Ken Pom/BPI Average: 93
What’s Left: Wed at Clemson
Projected Finish: 13th in ACC, coaching search
The Wolfpack are just trying to end it as quickly as possible. Two more losses, and it’s time to locate Mark Gottfried’s replacement. Gottfried could extend his stay on staff, but there’s a pretty low ceiling for this roster.
Boston College (9-20, 2-14 ACC)
Ken Pom/BPI Average: 163.5
What’s Left: Wed at Notre Dame, Sat at Clemson
Projected Finish: 15th in ACC, Sad!
Poor Boston College. Jim Christian’s saving grace is that the school’s athletic director is a lame duck. This team is dreadful and has little hope heading into the offseason.