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ACC Tournament Preview

By: Jonathan Editor
Contact Jonathan

ACC Basketball Tournament

March 11 - 14, 2004

Greensboro, North Carolina

Greensboro Coliseum

Tournament Bracket
Updated with Results

Tournament Favorite > Duke
Duke The Blue Devils won the regular season title by a full two games over second-place NC State and were at least four games ahead of everyone else. And don't forget that Coach K's team will be playing less than an hour away from the Duke campus. And if you want to look at the recent history of this event, the Devils have won the past five ACC Tournaments, including last year's victory over NC State (who happens to be the number two seed this year).

Tournament Dark Horse > Wake Forest
Wake Forest The Deacons jumped out to an 11-0 record to begin the season. That was followed up by four consecutive losses, and Wake Forest was quickly forgotten by the national media. However, Skip Prosser's club went on to win eight of their next ten games and quietly began to reemerge as a contender. That streak was stopped with two straight losses to end the regular season. Perhaps the field overlooks the up-and-down Wake Forest club and instead focuses on teams like Duke and on-the-bubble Maryland. Can the Deacons take advantage?

Matchup of Intrigue > Florida State vs Maryland
Florida State vs Maryland Sure, this second-round matchup is a long shot, but both of these are on the NCAA bubble coming into the Tourney. It looks like it will take at least one win by FSU to get the 'Noles in; Maryland appears just on the inside of the bubble currently. If these two teams meet, it's almost a guarantee the winner goes to this year's Big Dance.

NCAA Tournament Impact
NCAA Tournament Five ACC schools are in the Tournament currently: Duke, NC State, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina. Two others, Maryland and Florida State, are on the NCAA bubble. With an RPI in the low 20s, one win should get the Terps into the Big Dance. Florida State, whose RPI is in the low 40s, has a great chance to pick up a few quality last minute wins. A victory over NC State would make Florida State's case much stronger; anything after that should put them in. As for Virginia and Clemson, they better find a way to win the whole thing.

Tournament Ramblings
Everyone is hoping to stop Duke's five-game winning streak in the ACC Tournament. NC State came close last year, but the Devils rallied to pull out a close win. The ACC has been widely regarded as the nation's best conference, which is shown by the fact that only two teams had double-digit wins in the league. If you threw NC State, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina into a hat and pulled one out, it would be hard to argue that you got a bad deal...the teams are that even, all having their ups and downs. All tournament games will be on either ESPN or ESPN2. Sunday's championship game will go head to head against the SEC title game on CBS.

Projected Winner > Duke
Duke Coach K's squad has done it for five consecutive years, so no reason to think they won't again. Though they've found the road a little tougher as of late, Duke has clearly been the ACC's best team throughout the season. The Blue Devils get the nod, but anyone other than UVA and Clemson could win this thing.