March 12, 2009

2009 ACC Tournament Picks

It's ACC Tournament time again, and those of us who had the availability to do so between 10am and noon this morning have attempted to give our ACC Tournament picks.

Before we get to the picks, if you're a fan of ACC basketball, and your team has a halfway-decent season, you owe it to yourself to make a pilgrimage to this event at least once in your life. In 2001, J-Red, Brien, and Jeremy went to the ACC Tournament the last time it was in Atlanta, back pre-ACC expansion. Talk about basketball overload... the play-in game the first night, followed by four games the second day of the tournament. ACC basketball from noon to midnight with a 2 hour break for dinner. Incredible times. Plus, two funny stories from the trip:

1) On the MARTA Train (the Atlanta subway), we traveled from Brien's family's house north of the city. NC State fans get on after us and we talk smack back and forth. Then the next stop UNC fans get on and State and Terp fans gang up on the UNC fans. Then a few stops later UVA fans get on and UNC, Terp, and State fans ganged up on the UVA fans. Finally, Duke fans get on the train at the next stop. EVERYBODY gangs up on the Duke fans.

2) On the MARTA Train earlier in the trip upon our arrival coming in from Hartsfield Airport, we noticed that there was a station called "College Park" just south of downtown. Going to the University of Maryland-College Park, we thought it might be a fun idea to get off and take some funny pictures of us with College Park signs, just this College Park being in Atlanta. You know, the same sort of thing that every college student does nowadays purely for purposes of inflating their Facebook pages. Only we were about five years before Facebook. Anyway, for anybody familiar with Atlanta, as soon as the train pulled into College Park Station, the idea didn't seem so great anymore. You couldn't have paid any of us $1000 bucks to step off that train. For those unfamiliar with Atlanta, College Park is the neighborhood where PacMan Jones and Ludacris hail from. That might explain our position a little more.

Anyway, on to the picks:

Opening Round:
#8 Virginia Tech over #9 Miami - I'll talk Malcolm Delaney over Jack McClinton. Both Baltimore guys. Neither are Terps. Interesting.
#5 Clemson over #12 Georgia Tech - Tech has been hot lately, but Clemson is one of the strongest five-seeds you'll see in this tourney.
#10 NC State over #7 Maryland - It's painful to do this, but the Terps can't beat the zone and unless NC State has no tape of the last two Terps games, they'll play zone all game long.
#6 Boston College over #11 Virginia - UVA is terrible. I'm still embarrassed the Terps lost.

#1 UNC over #8 Virginia Tech - Even without Lawson, the Heels will roll with all the rest.
#5 Clemson over #4 Florida State - I just like Clemson and still think the 'Noles are a little counterfeit. Just one of my irrational thoughts.
#2 Wake Forest over #10 NC State - Should be a pretty easy game for Wake if they can get over their yips from not playing at Lawrence Joel.
#3 Duke over #6 Boston College - Again, Duke will benefit from rest and a good matchup against BC.

#1 UNC over #5 Clemson - I just think Hansbrough is going to fight like hell in this tournament and will take over this game to make it to Sunday.
#2 Wake Forest over #3 Duke - A game that truly should be great and could go either way. If Nolan Smith is out, I especially like the Deacs.

#2 Wake Forest over #1 UNC - Wake's incredible depth and tremendous size should take this game, especially given that UNC may be playing without Lawson. I think this game will ride on the strength of Jeff Teague.

Opening Round:
#9 Miami over #8 Virginia Tech - The Hokies haven't been winning much lately.
#5 Clemson over #12 Georgia Tech - Georgia Tech could pull the upset, but I'd be surprised.
#7 Maryland over #10 NC State - The Terps can beat the Wolfpack again, just to tease us some more.
#6 Boston College over #11 Virginia - UVA is terrible. I'm still embarrassed the Terps lost. (ditto to Jeremy's)

#1 UNC over #9 Miami - UNC in a walk. One player is not enough to beat the Heels.
#4 Florida State over #5 Clemson - I'll take FSU just because Clemson almost always disappoints in the ACC Tourney, even though it's not in Greensboro this year.
#2 Wake Forest over #7 Maryland - Wake won't sleep through the first half this time, and this game won't even be close.
#3 Duke over #6 Boston College - It's hard not to like Duke in this one.

#1 UNC over #4 FSU - FSU doesn't have enough to beat UNC on a neutral court.
#3 Duke over #2 Wake Forest - Duke's experience prevails in a very close, well-played game.

#3 Duke over #1 UNC - I hate both of these teams, but I just have a feeling Duke will pull this out in spite of losing to UNC twice already.

4 Responses:

Anonymous said...

I'm a UNC fan, but I don't see them getting to the finals without Lawson, not only because Lawson is their second best player, but because his backup, Larry Drew II, is a freshman. Also, UNC doesn't seem to care about the ACC tournament

Ben said...

Drew plays a tight game, I wouldn't count him out. Roy tends to rely heavily on his point guards, and the minutes they play, but I think there's wiggle room to be had, at least until the final round. Lawson certainly showed no sign of slowing in the Duke game, and if he puts in just twenty minutes in a game, I think the Heels are well equipped to win.
And the notion that Carolina doesn't care about the ACC tournament is ridiculous. Of course they care. They didn't win the regular season with an ambivalent attitude towards winning. They won because they're driven to win.

Jeremy said...

Did I really say that Clemson is one of the stronger 5 seeds ever to play in the tourney? Yikes. Good thing I don't gamble.

VT fan said...

I'm a VT fan and I know this may sound crazy but with Lawson out and as close as we played them in blacksburg VT might have a shot

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