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NCAA Basketball ACC BasketballMarch Madness

ACC Basketball Tournament Prediction

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ACC Basketball Tournament Prediction

ACC Basketball Tournament
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The ACC only got stronger this offseason, adding a few of the Big East’s powerhouses. The regular season was highly unpredictable, as very few people thought Virginia would take home the regular season title. The ACC tournament looks to be a wild ride and will be a true tale of survival of the fittest.

Let’s take a look at who that might be.

First Round: 12 Wake Forest (16-15) vs. 13 Notre Dame (15-16)

Notre Dame vs Wake Forest
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

First Round: 12 Wake Forest (16-15) vs. 13 Notre Dame (15-16)

Notre Dame vs Wake Forest
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

These two teams are extremely similar by their stat lines and have both had their fair share of difficulties this season. Both stunned Duke at one point this season, and they went head-to-head only once; Wake Forest won by seven. Wake Forest is really limping into the tournament, having lost 11 of their last 13.

Prediction: Notre Dame wins 68-64.

First Round: 10 Miami (16-15) vs. 15 Virginia Tech (9-21)

Miami vs Virginia Tech
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

First Round: 10 Miami (16-15) vs. 15 Virginia Tech (9-21)

Miami vs Virginia Tech
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Surprisingly, two of Virginia Tech’s nine wins this season came against Miami. Virginia Tech is 1-16 over their last 17 games, with the only win coming against Miami. Miami hasn’t been great down the stretch, but they put together a couple of respectable wins. Both teams forget how to score, and this could be an ugly game.

Prediction: Miami wins 60-55.

First Round: 11 Georgia Tech (15-16) vs. 14 Boston College (8-23)

Georgia Tech vs Boston College
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

First Round: 11 Georgia Tech (15-16) vs. 14 Boston College (8-23)

4 Georgia Tech vs Boston College
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

With the exception of Boston College’s overtime win over Syracuse, they have beaten no one. Georgia Tech hasn’t had great success of their own, but they did win their last two games before the tournament and beat Boston College in both of their regular season meetings.

Prediction: Georgia Tech wins: 65-61.

Second Round: 8 Maryland (17-14) vs. 9 Florida State (18-12)

Maryland vs Florida State
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Second Round: 8 Maryland (17-14) vs. 9 Florida State (18-12)

Maryland vs Florida State
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State had a solid season, but struggled to beat opponents that are better than them. Maryland finished their season strong, despite a couple of losses; they kept themselves in the games until the end. The teams split their regular season matchups, both in blow out fashion.

Prediction: Maryland wins 71-70.

Second Round: 5 Pittsburgh (23-8) vs. 13 Notre Dame (15-16)

Pittsburgh vs Notre Dame
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Second Round: 5 Pittsburgh (23-8) vs. 13 Notre Dame (15-16)

6 Pittsburgh vs Notre Dame
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

A clash of two Big East transfers will make for a great game. On paper, Pittsburgh is a much better team than Notre Dame, but their only matchup this season went to overtime and Pitt won by five. This game will be much closer than you might think, but Pittsburgh will likely be too much to handle.

Prediction: Pittsburgh wins 74-70.

Second Round: 7 NC State (19-12) vs. 10 Miami (16-15)

Miami vs NC State
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Second Round: 7 NC State (19-12) vs. 10 Miami (16-15)

Miami vs NC State
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Miami and NC State met twice this season, including a Miami blowout win less than two weeks ago. Sophomore forward T.J. Warren leads the Wolf Pack scoring attack -- it’s just a matter of if anyone else can support him. He’s averaged 23.5 points per game against Miami this year, but he might need to have a big day to pull out the victory.

Prediction: Miami wins 61-59.

Second Round: 6 Clemson (19-11) vs. 11 Georgia Tech (15-16)

Clemson vs Georgia Tech
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Second Round: 6 Clemson (19-11) vs. 11 Georgia Tech (15-16)

Clemson vs Georgia Tech
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson plays great defense, allowing only 57.6 points per game, good enough for third best in the nation. Georgia Tech is already an offensively deficient team and will struggle against the stingy defense. This season, Clemson won both matchups and allowed only 96 combine points.

Prediction: Clemson wins 64-50.

Quarter Finals: 1 Virginia (25-6) vs. 8 Maryland (17-14)

Virginia vs Maryland
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Quarter Finals: 1 Virginia (25-6) vs. 8 Maryland (17-14)

Virginia vs Maryland
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland is riding high following their regular season finale overtime win over ACC’s top team, Virginia. However, that was Virginia’s only loss over their last 14 games. They are winning games and playing with a lot of confidence. Since the game will be played in a neutral location, Virginia should prevail.

Prediction: Virginia wins 62-55.

Quarter Finals: 4 UNC (23-8) vs 5 Pittsburgh (23-8)

UNC vs Pittsburgh
Liz Condo-USA TODAY Sports

Quarter Finals: 4 UNC (23-8) vs 5 Pittsburgh (23-8)

UNC vs Pittsburgh
Liz Condo-USA TODAY Sports

Before losing to Duke Saturday night, UNC was one of the most dangerous teams in all of college basketball. They had run off 12 straight, including wins over Duke and Pittsburgh. Statistically, UNC is one of the most balanced teams in the country, but these tournaments are all about heart. Will they be able to bounce back from the loss to Duke?

Prediction: UNC wins 77-71.

Quarter Finals: 2 Syracuse (27-4) vs. 10 Miami (15-16)

Syracuse vs Miami
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Quarter Finals: 2 Syracuse (27-4) vs. 10 Miami (15-16)

Syracuse vs Miami
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse won their first 25 games and looked like the best team in the country and the ACC. Then, they went on to lose four of their last six games and they’ve lost the top ranking in the nation and the ACC. Miami held Syracuse to a season-low 49 points back in January, and could potentially slow them down again. Syracuse’s zone defense is in the top 10 in the nation and can control the pace of a game.

Prediction: Syracuse wins 67-51.

Quarter Finals: 3 Duke (24-7) vs. 6 Clemson (19-11)

Duke vs Clemson
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Quarter Finals: 3 Duke (24-7) vs. 6 Clemson (19-11)

Duke vs Clemson
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Duke was another team who looked like they were going to be a top team, but lost late to Wake Forest and the dreams of another No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament is likely gone. Clemson handed Duke their biggest loss back in January when they won by 13. Jabari Parker is one of the best players in the nation. Clemson plays great defense, and Duke scores points.

Prediction: Duke wins 63-60

Semifinals: 1 Virginia (25-6) vs. 4 UNC (23-8)

UNC vs Virginia
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Semifinals: 1 Virginia (25-6) vs. 4 UNC (23-8)

UNC vs Virginia
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia has played very well as of late, but they tend to play to the level of their opponent. UNC is not a lesser team and has won several close games down the stretch. If Virginia is not careful, they could quickly find themselves in a large hole. In their only meeting this season, Virginia beat UNC 76-61 back in January.

Prediction: UNC wins 72-65.

Semifinals: 2 Syracuse (27-4) vs. 3 Duke (27-4)

Syracuse vs Duke
Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Semifinals: 2 Syracuse (27-4) vs. 3 Duke (27-4)

Syracuse vs Duke
Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

An intense matchup of two proud basketball schools and two decorated coaches, what more could you ask for? The two teams split their regular season matchups, including perhaps the best regular season game of the season in New York.

Prediction: Syracuse wins 77-75.

ACC Championship: 2 Syracuse (27-4) vs. 4 UNC (23-8)

Syracuse vs UNC
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

ACC Championship: 2 Syracuse (27-4) vs. 4 UNC (23-8)

Syracuse vs UNC
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse started the season 25-0 for a reason. They are very talented, well coached, and they play great defense. It may be their first year in the “all mighty” ACC, but the Big East transfer is proving they were second to none. Over the past month, UNC has proven over that they can indeed hang with anyone in the country. The question is, how many games they can perform at a high level in a row?

Prediction: Syracuse wins 72-60.