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How Long Will the ACC Last in the NCAA Tournament?

Needless to say, ACC basketball has been nothing short of unimpressive this year. With Virginia, North Carolina and Florida State having unconventionally bad years this year, it was Duke’s conference to lose. The Blue Devils took home the regular season crown, but they were upset by Virginia Tech in the conference championship game. This year, the ACC only sent five teams to the NCAA Tournament.

The last ACC winner of the NCAA Tournament was Virginia in 2019. North Carolina won in 2017 and Duke won in 2015. Can ACC basketball get back to prominence, or will the conference finish a poor season with losses?

Duke vs CS Fullerton Prediction, Bracketology and Pick for College acc Basketball NCAA Tournament
Credit: Rob Kinnan/USA TODAY Sports

How Long Will ACC Basketball Teams Last in the NCAA Tournament?

How Far Can Duke Go in the NCAA Tournament?

In Coach K’s last year patrolling the sidelines for Duke, how will he finish the season? This Duke team has the highest ceiling of any team in the tournament this year. There is an argument that all five of their starters can be first-round picks in the NBA.

This group is led by star freshman Paolo Banchero, who averages 17 points per game. In a region with Gonzaga and Texas Tech, the Blue Devils will have to play at the top of their game. Duke has stretches where they get cold from the three-point line, which spells disaster against the Bulldogs and Red Raiders. It is likely that we see a Duke-Texas Tech matchup in the Sweet 16. This is where I am projecting Duke to go down. The Red Raiders will challenge Duke on every shot and, with the Blue Devils’ lack of a solid out-of-conference schedule, it seems likely that go down earlier than expected.

How Far Can North Carolina Go in the NCAA Tournament?

North Carolina has been plagued by stretches of sloppy play all year. This sloppy play has contributed to losses, i.e. Pittsburgh. All in all though, the catalyst of this team is Caleb Love. If he is playing well, the Tar Heels are playing well. You know what you are going to get from Armando Bacot and Leaky Black, but Love and Brady Manek are wild cards. North Carolina is a team that scores 77.5 points per game and averages just short of 40 rebounds a game. If the Tar Heels get hot from the three-point line, there might not be a team that can beat them. A Final Four appearance is not out of the realm of possibility, but a Sweet 16 appearance looks more likey.

How Far Can Miami Go in the NCAA Tournament?

Miami started the season off with a 5-3 record. That all changed when they went on a nine-game win streak, including a win over Duke. That hot streak has tailed off, but the Hurricanes still finished the season with a four-game win streak. Miami is led by a three-headed monster of Isaiah Wong, Kameron McGusty and Charlie Moore. The three guards all average 12.6 points per game or more. Outside of the three guards, the Hurricanes could struggle against a dominant big man. With a matchup against a good USC team, who has three of their top leading scorers coming from the forward position. Without proper post offense and defense, it seems likely that the Hurricanes go down in the first round.

How Far Can Virginia Tech Go in the NCAA Tournament?

Every year, everyone looks for that Cinderella team that gets hot at the right time. That team may be the Virginia Tech Hokies this year. The Hokies won four games in four days to represent the ACC conference in the NCAA Tournament. Keve Aluma is the leader in the clubhouse, with 15.8 points per game. With a First Round matchup against Texas, this is a popular upset opportunity. The Hokies are ranked 22 in KenPom. With an AdjO of 114.3, the Hokies are much better than an 11-seed. Unfortunately for Virginia Tech, if they win, they would will probably match up with a good Purdue team. The best guess is that Virginia Tech goes down in the second round.

How Far Can Notre Dame Go in the NCAA Tournament?

Mike Brey has the Fighting Irish back into the Tournament. While this Notre Dame doesn’t feature a player like Luke Harangody or Jerian Grant, they have Blake Wesley and Prentiss Hubb. The Fighting Irish, unfortunately, have a play-in game against Rutgers. Rutgers is a team that has played everyone good all year. This includes wins over Purdue and Wisconsin. The winner of this game has to take on Alabama. Notre Dame does not match up great against Rutgers and their AdjD is only 98.3. It seems likely that Notre Dame drops the play-in game to Rutgers.

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