Friday, March 02, 2007

ACC Tournament Seeding

With Virginia's win over Virginia Tech last night and North Carolina's continued slide the seeding in the ACC Tournament is coming into focus. There is an outside chance that Maryland could still get the 4th seed and hence receive a "bye" from first round games on Thursday with a win over NC State and if North Carolina loses to Duke on Sunday. More likely Maryland will stay in its current position as the 5th seed and play Miami.

Beyond that the bracket stacks up rather nicely for Maryland. Assuming Virginia defeats Wake Forest on Saturday, which isn't a foregone conclusion, then the Wahoos would get the 1 seed for the tournament. Maryland's potential trip to the championship game assuming the results went according to chalk would then consist of Miami, Boston College and Virginia. Given Maryland's current play that doesn't seem like an intimidating group of opponents on a neutral floor.

North Carolina's sudden malaise is puzzling. They played lackluster defense last night as Georgia Tech carved up their perimeter defense and bullied them on the glass. Roy Williams probably deserves some criticism for over coaching this group with his substitution patterns. He should have reduced his rotation by this time in the year yet had over 50 substitutions against Maryland on Sunday. In the loss to Georgia Tech he also substituted liberally which may indicate that he has too many players whom he does not have confidence in on either offense or defense. Unless Virginia is defeated by Wake Forest then North Carolina can't do any better than the 2 seed regardless of the outcome of the Duke game. That would place UNC and Virginia Tech on the same side of the tournament for a potential third matchup of the season.

Some experts, like RPI guru Jerry Palm, claim that Maryland could go as high as a 2 seed in the NCAA tournament with a deep run in the ACC tournament.

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