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2008 ACC Conference Championship Preview

Tomorrow one of the best tournaments in college basketball will get underway as the ACC starts the conference tournament with the automatic tournament bid up for grabs. Most teams are so talented in the ACC they don’t even need it as this is one of the deepest conferences in the country and always provides some exciting basketball.

The tournament is held in Charlotte which is a home court for many of the teams in the conference but hands down there are two favorites that stand out above the rest. North Carolina and Duke are the teams to beat in this tournament and are set up once against as the one and two seed and a solid chance at meeting each other in the championship game again. Both teams are assured a tournament berth to the big dance. That will be put aside here as both of them want this ACC championship and will fight to the death against each other if they get there.

Dark horses:
Even though the perennial favorites in Duke and North Carolina are the teams to beat the ACC is stacked with teams that are ready to upset the teams and take a shot at the crown. Maryland has proven they can play with the big boys as they have beaten North Carolina IN North Carolina and would not have to face the Tar Heels again unless they went to the finals. Clemson is another powerhouse that can make noise in the conference tournament and don’t sleep on Wake Forest as they have already beaten Duke and at any team they can all pull off upsets. Even Miami and Florida St. have shown flashes of brilliance this year and may pull of a few wins and advance.

Don’t bet on it:
In a conference that is this deep and talented you have to show something during the season that can give you a shot at winning when it counts. North Carolina St did bring Duke to the brink of the defeat but the ability to not close out at home has shown that they cannot win when they need to and on a neutral court in a tough bracket they don’t have a shot. I don’t even think that the wolf pack has what it takes to win one game in this tournament or even cover the number.

And the winner is:
Maryland. North Carolina has an easier bracket than Duke and should make it to the finals. Duke would have to beat Maryland or Clemson and than get revenge over the Heels. If they get cold from behind the arc they will be ushered out in quick fashion. Maryland should handle Boston College and gain revenge from a tough loss to Clemson a few weeks ago. They may not be the safest bet in the tournament but they are worth the value in this spot and could make a win.

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