My pick to win the ACC Tournament

  

Jon Scheyers move to the point has made Duke a different team. Is it enough to win the ACC Tournament?

Jon Scheyer's move to the point has made Duke a different team. Is it enough to win the ACC Tournament?

After going through the ACC Tournament matchups, I’ve picked a winner.

And it’s not who you think.

Here goes, my attempt at the impossible:
Does Tech even have a chance?

Does Tech even have a chance?

No. 12 seed Georgia Tech

Is it me, or does Tech seem like a legitimate basketball team for long stretches of games? So how did the Jackets only win two league games? Even with the tourney in Atlanta, the Jackets have no chance. 0 percent

Sylven Landesberg is the Wahoos only chance to advance a round.

Sylven Landesberg is the Wahoos' only chance to advance a round.

No. 11 seed Virginia

The Cavaliers aren’t going to win, but would anybody be surprised if Sylven Landesberg went off for 35 points and they beat Boston College in the first round, and making every Duke fan happy in the process? No, but we’re picking the chances of winning the whole enchilada. 2 percent

Could Greivis Vasquez hurt the Terps this time?

Could Greivis Vasquez hurt the Terps this time?

No. 8 Maryland

I know what’s on the line for the Terps — win a couple of league tourney games and they could be dancing. But N.C. State seems under Sidney Lowe to work some magic in the ACC Tournament, and the Wolfpack are still steaming over Greivis Vasquez burying that open 3-pointer at the buzzer in Maryland’s win last week. Just a hunch here at this being the upset of Thursday.

So, if I’m picking the Terps to lose in the first round, they have zero shot, right? Whatever. My column, my rules. They know they need to win games, so there’s a chance. 9 percent

Sidney Lowe seems like he always gets the Pack to play well on this weekend.

Sidney Lowe seems like he always gets the Pack to play well on this weekend.

No. 10 N.C. State

Even though the Pack played Wake Forest fairly well a couple of times this year, I think the Deacs overwhelm them in the quarterfinals Friday. The NIT starts in a week. 9 percent

The Hokies tend to pick up big wins -- like this one over Clemson.

The Hokies tend to pick up big wins -- like this one over Clemson.

No. 9 Virginia Tech

If the Hokies make it to the quarterfinals to meet the Tar Heels, they could advance further. More on this later, but Tech could make a little noise. 12 percent

Jack McClinton is good enough to carry the Canes a couple of rounds.

Jack McClinton is good enough to carry the Canes a couple of rounds.

No. 7 Miami

See above, although with one caveat: Jack McClinton could carry a team a long way if he’s Randolph Childress-hot for a weekend. Tough team for UNC. 18 percent

Tyrese Rice and BC would play a different Duke team than the one they beat.

Tyrese Rice and BC would play a different Duke team than the one they beat.

No. 6 Boston College

If the Eagles get Duke again, it will be a different Duke team they beat in February. Still, it’s a tough matchup for the Dukies. Good size and guard strength, so there’s a chance BC could come up with a shocker. 20 percent

From the way the Heels are making it sound, Ty Lawson could use some help getting back onto the floor. Would this guy help?

From the way the Heels are making it sound, Ty Lawson could use some help getting back onto the floor. Would this guy help?

No. 1 North Carolina

Surprise. They are the most talented team, but the red flags for this particular weekend are everywhere. Roy Williams is already talking down the importance of the tournament, bringing up 2005 every chance he gets. (Heels lost the ACC Tourney, but won the NCAA title.) Ty Lawson is being made out to sound like he needs a wheelchair after nearly throwing up a trip-dub on Duke on the same sore toe.

I just think the Heels, who could very well win this tournament, will be going about three-quarters speed this weekend. If they win, fine. But if they lose, fine. A few more days off. Roy did this at Kansas, too. That’s just the feeling I get. And the draw isn’t easy. 25 percent

FSU -- especially with Toney Douglas -- is dangerous.

FSU -- especially with Toney Douglas -- is dangerous.

No. 4 Florida State

The Seminoles have just eight losses this year.Read that last sentence again.

Here’s the thing about the Noles, though — they still find ways to lose big games at the end. Lawson’s 3 at the buzzer. The Duke loss a couple of weeks ago. But they play defense, they get a bye, they have one of the league’s best players in Toney Douglas and they are a tough matchup for the Tar Heels. Dangerous. 27 percent

Trevor Booker and the Tigers have a tough road, but if they get it together, look out.

Trevor Booker and the Tigers have a tough road, but if they get it together, look out.

No. 5 Clemson

Again, a tough matchup for the Heels if the Tigers get past FSU. Forget about that game in the Dean Dome — it was only one meeting and Carolina was in a desperate situation. And it was Clemson in Chapel Hill.

I don’t like that they would have to play four games in four days, and so they’re a pick-em against FSU. But when they’re on, they’re pretty darn good. And they could catch UNC napping. 28 percent
Jeff Teague and the Deacs can look sloppy, but they may not have that tough of a road this weekend.

Jeff Teague and the Deacs can look sloppy, but they may not have that tough of a road this weekend.

No. 2 Wake Forest

Yes, the Duke draw is tough. But the rest isn’t. Maybe Maryland is a tough out, but who knows what you’re going to get from the Terps on any given day. Same with N.C. State.

The Deacs should get to the semifinals, and they have all the tools. They just seem sloppy sometimes. But in stretches, they can look like the best team in the league.

Because of the draw, and because I think UNC will be gone, they really might have only one tough game over the weekend — Duke. In my bracket a tired Clemson or a mistake-prone FSU might await them in the finals. 32 percent

Gerald Henderson is big-time clutch. That would come in handy this weekend.

Gerald Henderson is big-time clutch. That would come in handy this weekend.

No. 3 Duke

Take the loss in Chapel Hill away — the Blue Devils are peaking.
After three years of swooning with tired legs at the end of the season, Mike Krzyzewski has remade the team over the last month. Realizing the team as constructed after losses to UNC and BC couldn’t win in March, he moved Jon Scheyer to the point and inserted little-used freshman Elliot Williams into the rotation as a non-go-to shooting guard.

It’s working, as Scheyer is bigger than most points and can just shoot over people while Williams is a good defender. Scheyer also takes great care of the ball — Duke went four straight games with single-digit turnovers (and had only 11 against UNC). Kyle Singler is banging again and rebounding, and Gerald Henderson is still Gerald Henderson.

Sure, they really only have three major scoring threats, but they defend. And while the Dukies can still get tired and go through lengthy stretches where nothing seems to fall for them, there’s no denying they are better now than they were a month ago. And they could’ve swept Wake.

And so I’m picking the Blue Devils to win another ACC Tournament championship.

Of course, picking the ACC Tournament is no sure thing. But I believe Duke has the best chance. 50 percent

Let the holiday begin.

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1 Comment

Filed under ACC, Boston College, Clemson Tigers, College Basketball, Designated Hitter, Duke Blue Devils, Final Four, Florida State Seminoles, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Maryland Terrapins, Miami Hurricanes, N.C. State Wolfpack, North Carolina Tar Heels, Sports, Sports columns, The Sanford Herald, Tyler Hansbrough, UNC Tar Heels, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest

One response to “My pick to win the ACC Tournament

  1. Jeremy

    Interesting choice there…
    http://www.sportzcourt.com

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