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ACC Tournament Team Rankings

The regular season ends with the North Carolina Tar Heels in sole possession of the ACC regular season title, defeating Duke 84-79 on Saturday night. We previewed that game on Fans First Sports Network, but now it’s time to turn our attention to this week and the ACC Tournament that spans over 5 consecutive days.

Here are all the ACC teams ranked from the least to highest probability of winning the ACC Tournament:

15 – Louisville Cardinals

Sometimes I wonder why they allow all 15 ACC teams into the tournament. Do we necessarily need a 15-seed in this tournament, particularly this year’s Louisville squad? The Cardinals have only won 3 conference games this year, their only wins since a home victory on December 17th against Pepperdine, a small school in Malibu. The 3 ACC teams Lousiville beat are seeded 9th, 13th, and 14th respectively in this ACC Tournament. If anything, I don’t expect Louisville to make it past Day 1 when they play NC State.

14 – Miami Hurricanes

The U hasn’t won since Virginia Tech on February 3rd. The NFL season was still going on back then. The Hurricanes play Boston College in Round 1 and the Golden Eagles have beat them twice since that time (85-77 and 67-57). Beating a team thrice is a feat in itself, but Boston College likely does and sends Jim Larrañaga into an offseason after a year he wants to forget.

13 – Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Notre Dame has won 5 of their last 8, and has swept the team ranked right above them, so why are they lower than their first-round opponent? Notre Dame has the worst overall record next to Louisville. This team lives and dies by the sword named Markus Burton. If he has an off-game, Notre Dame is finished.

12 – Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Georgia Tech has won 4 of their last 6 but has lost both meetings against first-round matchup Notre Dame. They’ve been close contests, so that gives me hope that the Yellow Jackets won’t be slept by Notre Dame this year. And while Burton is the entire team for Notre Dame, you have to account for Miles Kelly, Naithan George, and Baye Ndongo. Don’t be surprised if Georgia Tech upsets Notre Dame and advances to Day 2.

11 – Boston College Golden Eagles

I almost put Boston College in the Top 10 ACC teams on their 2-game win streak alone, but those are wins against Miami and Louisville – the two worst teams in this tournament. Those wins were nothing special and nobody stepped up in a way to make me fear playing Boston College in this tournament. They likely advance against Miami and get trounced on Day 2.

10 – Florida State Seminoles

Like Boston College, nothing worries me about Florida State. They’ll play Virginia Tech on Day 2 and I believe there’s value in knowing who you’re playing a couple of days in advance, but Jamir Watkins leads the team with a whopping 15.1 points and 2.7 assists per game. What’s worse, is he turns the ball over just about as many times he assists his teammates (2.5 turnovers per game). Their last “quality win” would be Syracuse on the road back in January, and that was Jamir’s career-high 27-point game. So this offense runs through Jamir, and not even well.

9 – NC State Wolfpack

While their 4-game skid included losses to Duke and North Carolina, you never want to enter a tournament on any kind of losing streak. They’re fortunate to play Louisville on Day 1, so perhaps that gives them momentum, but it isn’t looking good for NC State. The DJ Duo of DJ Burns and DJ Horne are going to have to put this team on their backs if they want to play past Day 2.

8 – Clemson Tigers

I’m not a fan of teams who solely rely on one player and that’s Clemson with PJ Hall, who leads the team in points, steals, and blocks per game. Clemson also dropped 2 of their last 3 games, including their regular season finale to Wake Forest. A significant 80-76 win over North Carolina on February 6th should give Tigers fans hope, but not much. I think if Clemson played UNC ten times, UNC wins nine of those and Clemson already got their one.

7 – Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Wake had a significant win over the Duke Blue Devils recently, but they dropped 3 of their next 4 afterward. Wake has been a bubble team for the NCAA Tournament and as of this writing Joe Lunardi has Wake as the last 4 out. They’ll need a strong week to make a case for getting into the tournament.

6 – Virginia Cavaliers

I had the privilege of watching this team live at Cameron Indoor Stadium against Duke a week ago. But this wasn’t the same Cavaliers team to win 8 straight ACC games in a row earlier this year. This was the team that ended the season 3-4 with embarrassing performances against Duke, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech. Virginia has a 3-seed because of early success, but Tony Bennett will need to turn things around real quick if they want to win a game, let alone the ACC Tournament.

5 – Virginia Tech Hokies

Virginia Tech is riding a 3-game winning streak into the tournament, only Pittsburgh (3) and North Carolina (6) can say this. You could easily put them at 5 and I wouldn’t have an issue. However, they did drop their head-to-head to Syracuse. Sean Pedulla, MJ Collins, and Tyler Nickel are consistently putting up double-figures and Virginia Tech’s found a good recipe the last week heading into the ACC Tournament.

4 – Pittsburgh Panthers

As I mentioned prior, Pittsburgh brings a 3-game winning streak into this tournament. They had an 80-76 win over Duke earlier this year. Blake Hinson is 2nd in the ACC in PPG (18.8) and is 3rd in conference with 3-point shooting (42.4%). I don’t put Pittsburgh in my top 3 because of losing head-to-head twice to this team…

3 – Syracuse Orange

Take note of this Syracuse team. They’ve won 5 of their last 7, including an 86-79 win over the Tar Heels. Judah Mintz is the star on offense and Maliq Brown is the star on defense, but Chris Bell could be a major factor in this tournament. Bell has shot 41.5% from 3-point range (5th in the ACC) and is an 84.2% free throw shooter. These tournaments come down to the team’s third or fourth-best player making big-time shots. Bell could be that X-Factor in Syracuse’s run this week.

2 – Duke Blue Devils

Getting swept in the regular season by arch-nemesis North Carolina is a reason for any Duke fan to hang their head low. But this is still the runaway 2nd-best team in the ACC. Duke has relied on freshmen for years, but the team returned reigning ACC Player of the Year Kyle Filipowski, senior Jeremy Roach, and standout sophomores Tyrese Proctor and Mark Mitchell. Freshman Jared McCain has stepped up his game in the last month. With a double-bye, Duke likely sees UNC in the ACC Championship Game.

1- North Carolina Tar Heels

After their wire-to-wire win at Duke this week, combined with their ACC-best 6-2 against AP poll teams and a 6-game winning streak, #1 in the ACC is undisputedly the Tar Heels. RJ Davis leads the ACC in PPG (21.1) and Armando Bacot leads the ACC in RPG (10.1). Harrison Ingram and Cormac Ryan, two names Duke fans despise right now, are also averaging double-figures in points. The Tar Heels are the first ACC team to win 17 conference games in the regular season since the 2017-18 Virginia Cavaliers squad. That Cavaliers team won the ACC Tournament that year, before having the biggest upset in tournament history as a 1-seed losing to 16-seed UMBC.

The ACC Tournament kicks off this Tuesday at 2:00 pm ET. Notre Dame versus Georgia Tech, NC State versus Louisville, and Boston College versus Miami fill out the first-day slate. UNC, Duke, Virginia, and Pittsburgh all have double-byes.

Who do you think will win the 2024 ACC Tournament? Let us know in the comment section below.


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