Fourteen of the 15 teams in the ACC will be in Greensboro this week for the 2020 ACC Tournament. Georgia Tech will be the only team not in attendance, which leaves a five-win gap between the top four teams and the #5 seed NC State. The top-heavy nature of the ACC has been on display for a good bit of the season and now we will see if it shows up in the conference tournament as well.
The ACC Tournament is back at Greensboro Coliseum for the first time since 2015. Duke had the home-ish court advantage last year in Charlotte and knocked off Florida State to win the title. The previous two iterations were in Brooklyn and the one before that was in Washington D.C. Now, the tournament is back at its semi regular home for the 28th time.
As things currently stand, the ACC will only have four teams in the NCAA Tournament, but NC State is the closest to making it a fifth, so the Wolfpack will need a big showing in Greensboro in order to get one of those coveted “Last Four In” spots according to BracketMatrix. It seems unlikely that Florida State can impress enough with a weakened ACC field to grab a #1 seed, but San Diego State has fallen off of that line now and the Seminoles would need a little bit of extra help to either leapfrog Dayton or replace somebody else.
Here are the teams, seeds, standings, and odds from BetOnline Sportsbook for the 2020 ACC Tournament:
- Florida State 26-5 (16-4) +175
- Virginia 23-7 (15-5) (record vs. Florida State) +600
- Louisville 24-7 (15-5) (H2H tiebreaker) +350
- Duke 25-6 (15-5) +200
- NC State 19-12 (10-10) (H2H tiebreaker) +3300
- Syracuse 17-14 (10-10) (record vs. Virginia) +3300
- Notre Dame 19-12 (10-10) +4000
- Clemson 15-15 (9-11) +2500
- Miami (FL) 15-15 (7-13) (H2H record) +6600
- Boston College 13-18 (7-13) (record vs. VA Tech) +15000
- Virginia Tech 16-15 (7-13) +10000
- Wake Forest 13-17 (6-14) (H2H tiebreaker) +15000
- Pitt 15-16 (6-14) (record vs. UNC) +10000
- North Carolina 13-18 (6-14) +1200
Imagine a time when we actually saw North Carolina at the bottom of the standings in this conference. The top four teams aren’t a surprise to anybody, but the well-defined drop-off from the top four to the rest of the conference is pretty staggering. It is worth noting that #2 seed Virginia is viewed as a #7 seed by the crowdsourced numbers at BracketMatrix, so even they may be something of a paper tiger.
The top-heavy nature of the ACC still puts the conference fourth in Bart Torvik’s ranking of all 32 conferences, but it is the lowest ranking on his site since 2013. There are just a lot of teams with a lot of big flaws that are reasons to be concerned going into the postseason. Too many teams feel unreliable and teams are going to have to win at least three games in three days in order to take down this conference tournament title.
Interested parties on the bubble will be watching closely here. If one of the top four seeds wins, no damage will be done, but if somebody comes from off the pace and makes a run, a berth in the NCAA Tournament will evaporate into thin air.
Here is the schedule for the 2020 ACC Tournament:
Tuesday March 10
4:30 p.m. ET: 13 Pitt vs. 12 Wake Forest
7 p.m. ET: 14 North Carolina vs. 11 Virginia Tech
Wednesday March 11
12 p.m. ET: 9 Miami vs. 8 Clemson
2:30 p.m. ET: 13/12 winner vs. 5 NC State
7 p.m. ET: 10 Boston College vs. 7 Notre Dame
9 p.m. ET: 14/11 winner vs. 6 Syracuse
Thursday March 12
12:30 p.m. ET: 9/8 winner vs. 1 Florida State
2:30 p.m. ET: 13/12/5 winner vs. 4 Duke
7 p.m. ET: 10/7 winner vs. 2 Virginia
9 p.m. ET: 14/11/6 winner vs. 3 Louisville
Friday March 13
7 p.m. ET: 9/8/1 winner vs. 13/12/5/4 winner
9 p.m. ET: 10/7/2 winner vs. 14/11/6/3 winner
Saturday March 14
8:30 p.m. ET: Championship Game
North Carolina is the most motivated team in the field, but the idea of winning five games in five days is rather daunting, given what we saw from the team’s depth and role players when Cole Anthony was out in the middle of the season. With a win over Virginia Tech, UNC would also draw Syracuse, which is no easy task given that a bad shooting effort against the zone means that your run is done.
The team to like the most here is unquestionably Louisville. Virginia is a great defensive team, as we all know, but the reason why Tony Bennett’s squad is staring down the barrel of a #7 seed in the NCAA Tournament is that offense is downright dreadful. Louisville did lose to Virginia 57-54 to close out the regular season, but also had 1.355 points per possession in the first meeting against the Cavaliers. Louisville does have to face Syracuse and Virginia back-to-back in all likelihood, but the Cardinals beat Syracuse badly in the only head-to-head meeting and are capable of making lots of jump shots. They led the conference in 3P% at 38.9% over league play. That would also provide a boost against UVA.
Chris Mack is also a damn good coach and maybe the best in this conference at this point in time. He took the shambles of last year’s Louisville team following the Rick Pitino fallout and got them into the NCAA Tournament. He’s also a guy that has made several runs with Xavier in both the NCAA Tournament and the Big East and A-10 Tournaments. He’s just a coach made for the month of March. Obviously a lot of guys in this conference are accomplished in one way or another, but Mack is excellent.
Duke has the best offense in this conference, but ever so slightly ahead of Louisville based on Torvik’s adjusted offensive efficiency numbers. The Blue Devils rank third in adjusted defensive efficiency as well, including a 29% 3P% against. Only Virginia has done better and we all know about that pack line defense and what it does to opposing offenses.
Coach K’s team is intriguing because Florida State, while highly ranked and on a #2 seed line per BracketMatrix, ranked fifth in offensive efficiency and fourth in defensive efficiency during the conference play portion of the season. The Blue Devils have the athleticism to match up with Florida State. It certainly would appear that the chalk should hold up for the semifinals, which is where Duke being a 4 seed is a detriment. They could be softened up a little bit by NC State or a Wake Forest team that beat them not that long ago. Florida State has a much easier path to that point.
Still, give me Louisville. The Cardinals struggled to match up with Florida State during the regular season, but shoot really well from deep and that should be more than enough to navigate their half of the bracket. Syracuse has some value as well on the side opposite Duke, but the Cardinals just have a much higher ceiling.
Pick: Louisville +350