ODDS TO WIN ACC TOURNAMENT

Duke, +135

Virginia, +195

North Carolina, +650

Notre Dame, +700

Louisville, +725

NC State, +3000

Miami, +4200

Pitt, +16000

Clemson, +25000

Florida St, +28000

Wake Forest, +75000

Georgia Tech, +75000

Boston College, +100000

Virginia Tech, +200000

TUESDAY, FIRST ROUND

#12 Boston College vs #13 Georgia Tech, 1:00, ESPN 2

#11 Wake Forest vs # 14 Virginia Tech, 3:30, ESPN 2

WEDNESDAY, SECOND ROUND

#8 Clemson vs #9 Florida State, noon, ESPN

#5 UNC vs BC/GT winner, 2:00, ESPN

#7 NC State vs #10 Pitt, 7:00, ESPN 2

#6 Miami vs Wake/VT winner, 9:00, ESPN 2

THURSDAY, QUARTERFINALS

#1 Virginia vs Clemson/FSU winner, noon, ESPN

#4Louisville vs UNC/BC/GT winner, 2:00, ESPN

#2 Duke vs NC State/Pitt winner, 7:00, ESPN

#3 Notre Dame vs Miami/Wake/VT winner, 9:00, ESPN

FRIDAY SEMIFINALS

7:00; 9:30, ESPN

SATURDAY CHAMPSIONSHIP GAME

7:00 pm, ESPN

THE DREGS: Ah, yes, the traditional Tuesday afternoon of the ACC Tournament. Why I remember back in the days of yore always skipping class so I wouldn’t miss a minute of the action. Of these four teams, only Georgia Tech cracks the KenPom top-100, checking in at 91. If there is a team that intrigues me from the four playing today, it’s Wake Forest. After taking Tulsa to the tournament a year ago, Danny Manning took over the Wake job this season. His team has had some moments this season, beating NCAA bubble teams Miami, NC State and Pitt down the stretch. Only one senior plays much of part of this team and four freshmen make up the Deacs eight man rotation. This could be a good team in another year or two. They beat today’s foe Virginia Tech in their only meeting this season and also went 1-0 against the Canes, who they would draw next with a win. It would not be that much of a shock to see this team still playing Thursday night in the quarterfinals.

THE BUBBLE: Let’s hone in tomorrow’s night session which includes Miami and the NC State-Pitt game. A few weeks back, I would have assumed a Pitt-NC State match-up would be a play-in game for the NCAAs. But the Panthers closed on the 3-game losing streak and have no real at-large hopes left. The Wolfpack went the other way. After what looked like a killer loss to Boston College, NC State rallied to beat Clemson on the road then woodshedded Syracuse in the finale. They’ve gone from being right on the cutline all the way up to a 9-seed on the Bracket Matrix. They are a unanimous selection among the 102 mocks currently tracked by the Matrix and there are 12 teams between them and the cutline in that consensus. So they appear safe. However, a one-and-done might kill that security. The Pack are one of probably a dozen teams that could get cut if they don’t win a game in their league tournament. So far security sake, they probably need to tuck away the Panthers.

Miami, on the other hand, has to figure out how to play themselves in the field. The Canes have been falling in and out of various mock brackets for most of the winter. They had a late chance to impress, but they could not beat UNC on their home court. A 2-game winning streak that followed against Pitt and Virginia Tech didn’t move the needle in their favor either. Today they sit with just 11 of 102 mock votes. That puts them fourth out of the consensus, so they aren’t trailing the pack by all that much. A win over the Wake/VT winner wont do anything for them. But advance and beat Notre Dame in the quarterfinals, and we might be cooking with gas. Than, they would then have wins over Florida, Illinois, Duke, NC State, Syracuse and Notre Dame. It would give them 22 overall wins and 12 against ACC foes. If the Canes are playing in Friday night’s ACC Semifinals, at a minimum they’ll force the selection committee to look even harder at their case. Sometimes that’s all you can ask for when you’re on the outside looking in at this time of the year.

THE WINNER: Duke has not won this event since 2011. At that time, they had won three in a row and 10 of the last 13 ACC Tournaments. It just feels like it’s time for Duke to re-assert itself in this event. Did you know they have not lost a game since January? Of course, Virginia’s only lost twice all season. They are the 2-time defending regular season champ and defending ACC Tournament Champ. They beat Duke in the finals a year ago, but are only 1-2 against the Blue Devils during this 2-year run. In fact, Duke was the only team still in the league to have defeated Virginia over the last two years until Louisville beat the Hoos over the weekend in the regular season finale. Duke and Virginia are playing at a higher level than the rest of this league. The Cavs are the top seed and it’s been six years since the #1 seed in this event didn’t make the finals. I’ll take a stab with Virginia over Duke, based solely on the higher payout. Hate to assume chalk in these events, but this is probably the one major conference league tournament where I expect a 1-2 match in the finals. If that happens, with near 2/1 odds on Virginia, we might have a chance to do some successful hedging come Saturday night. The Pick: Virginia, +195