ACC Tournament Seeding Projections

Struggling to make heads or tails of the mess that is the ACC standings? I used the KenPom projections to generate 100 simulations of the rest of the conference season, and then meticulously studied tiebreaker scenarios to create seed-line probabilities. Wake Forest has the potential to be six (6!) different seeds in next week's tournament, the most of any ACC team. Click through for a rundown on where each team stands, and what it means moving forward.

Miami

Seeds Possible: 1

Seeds in 100 Sims:

1 seed: 100 times

What to Expect:

Miami will be the 1 seed in the ACC Tournament. Even losing both home games this week (vs Georgia Tech and Clemson), Miami still wins the tiebreaker over Duke, as they've gone undefeated against the potential 3 seeds (UVA, UNC, NCSt), and Duke, well, hasn't.

Does it Matter?

Yes. This is easily the most important ACC Tournament in Miami's brief history in the conference. A Friday loss could knock the Canes down to the 3 line; a Sunday win should cement a 1 seed. For the Canes to be a legitimate national title favorite, the latter would be a major step forward.

Duke

Seeds Possible: 2, 3, 4

Seeds in 100 Sims:

2 seed: 98 times

3 seed: 1

4 seed: 1

What to Expect:

Duke is overwhelming likely to be the 2 seed. Things only get messy if they lose at home to Erick Green tonight.

Does it Matter?

Yes. The selection committee will be closely monitoring Duke over the next two weeks to judge the impact of Ryan Kelly's comeback. I would not bet on the ACC to earn two 1-seeds, and as Miami won the conference regular season title, Duke likely needs to out-duel the Canes in the ACC tournament to earn a slot on the top line.

North Carolina

Seeds Possible: 2, 3, 4, 5

Seeds in 100 Sims:

2 seed: 2 times

3 seed: 39

4 seed: 38

5 seed: 21

What to Expect:

The Tarheels will likely earn a first-round bye, but are extremely unlikely to pass Duke for the 2 seed. Whether they are the 3 seed or the 4 seed is closely tied to Virginia. The Heels are a game up on UVA right now, but the Cavaliers have the tiebreaker. Because Virginia is favored in each of their remaining games, and the Heels most certainly aren't (@ MD, vs Duke), UVA is the most likely 3 seed.

Does it Matter?

Somewhat. Carolina is in great form right now, but they are probably locked into that 6-10 seed range for NCAA Tournament purposes due to their poor non-conference performance. Their chances of making a run to the Sweet 16 hinge on matchups much more so than seed line. Similarly, there is not a huge difference between being the ACC 3 seed or the ACC 4 seed.

Virginia

Seeds Possible: 2, 3, 4, 5

Seeds in 100 Sims:

3 seed: 55 times

4 seed: 33

5 seed: 12

What to Expect:

First, expect a bye. It's unlikely UVA will play on Thursday. Beyond that, things get a bit messy. Virginia can still be the 2 seed, but it would take a very special chain of events (starting with Duke losing tonight). Interestingly, UVA is the most likely 3 seed, but they do not control their own destiny. Basically, if UVA wins once, they are the 3 if UNC loses out. If UVA wins twice, they are the 3 if UNC loses at least once. In short, UVA fans will need to scoreboard watch this week, starting with the UNC @ MD game tomorrow night.

Does it Matter?

Yes- absolutely. The ACC Tournament is critically important for the Cavaliers. Teetering on the edge of the tournament field right now, every game is crucial. With a Friday loss, Virginia will certainly be sweating on Selection Sunday. Would they rather play a talented Wolfpack in the 4/5 game, or a desperate Terps squad in the 3/6 game? That's not an easy question to answer.

North Carolina State

Seeds Possible: 3, 4, 5, 6

Seeds in 100 Sims:

3 seed: 5 times

4 seed: 28

5 seed: 67

What to Expect:

NC State is relatively likely to be the 5 seed, but a first-round bye is not yet out of the question. Unfortunately for State fans, Coach Gottfried and company have little control over the situation. State fans who want a bye need to root hard for UVA in particular to lose at least once this week. Note that the 6 seed is still a possibility for NC State, although it is very unlikely.

Does it Matter?

Somewhat. State is safely in the tournament field, and I don't think that would change even with a loss in the 5/12 game. Barring a run to Sunday, the Wolfpack are probably stuck in the always-unpredictable 6-10 seed range for the NCAAs. The ACC Tournament is little more than a tune-up for State this year.

Maryland

Seeds Possible: 5, 6, 7

Seeds in 100 Sims:

6 seed: 76 times

7 seed: 24

What to Expect:

Expect Maryland to be the 6 seed, although the 7 is a legitimate possibility. Florida St, currently 1 game behind Maryland, owns the tiebreaker due to their season sweep. So, if Maryland takes care of business, they are the 6. If not, Terp fans simply need to root against the Noles. Note that Maryland can still be the 5 seed, but it would require (among other things) two losses by NC State, which is ... unlikely.

Does it Matter?

Yes- absolutely. Like Virginia, Maryland is currently on the bubble. Unlike Virginia, Maryland is currently on the wrong side of the bubble. The Terps have two more quality opportunities to impress the Selection Committee (vs UNC, @ UVA). Although no one knows for sure, I would think that Maryland needs at least 3 more wins to feel like they have a chance next Sunday. They will likely need to win their ACC quarterfinal game, and here's where seeding is crucial. Facing a must win game in the ACC Tournament, would you rather matchup against UVA or Duke? In some sense, Maryland's tournament chances will be significantly influenced by Florida State's results this week (which is fitting, as no team has damaged Maryland's tournament hopes more so than Florida State this year).

Florida State

Seeds Possible: 6, 7, 8

Seeds in 100 Sims:

6 seed: 24 times

7 seed: 75

8 seed: 1

What to Expect:

As discussed in the Maryland blurb, Florida St is likely to be the 7 seed, but would be the 6 if they can catch Maryland. The Noles are extremely unlikely to drop below the 7, as they own the tiebreaker over Boston College, Georgia Tech, and Clemson. The only scenario where they drop to the 8 is if they lose out and Wake Forest wins out. In other words, Florida State fans should feel safe buying tickets for Thursday night.

Does it Matter?

No, not really. I imagine Florida State is not far off the NIT bubble, but I don't see them getting in unless they go on a tear these next two weeks.

Clemson

Seeds Possible: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Seeds in 100 Sims:

8 seed: 61 times

9 seed: 17

10 seed: 12

11 seed: 10

What to Expect:

Here is where things really start to get messy, as there is currently a 4-way tie at 5-11. Clemson is likely to be the 8 seed, but they are far from locked in. The 12 is still technically possible, although it did not occur in 100 simulations. Basically, Clemson wins the tiebreaker over Georgia Tech and Wake Forest, but loses the tiebreaker against Boston College. So, Clemson fans who care about their seed have quite a number of games to keep an eye on, starting of course with tonight's game against the Eagles.

Does it Matter?

No, not really. Clemson is not even on the NIT bubble this year. Having already lost 4 in a row and 7 of 8, Brownell's seat could become quite warm if the Tigers lose out though.

Georgia Tech

Seeds Possible: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Seeds in 100 Sims:

8 seed: 12 times

9 seed: 31

10 seed: 12

11 seed: 45

What to Expect:

Georgia Tech is in an interesting position, in that the way the tiebreakers break down, the Yellow Jackets are likely to be either the 9 or the 11. The game against BC obviously plays a major role here. Tech wins the tiebreaker over Wake, and loses against Clemson. The tiebreaker versus BC depends on their game this weekend.

Does it Matter?

No, I don't think so. Although the Yellow Jackets have a better record and RPI than Clemson, they still aren't really on the NIT bubble, barring a dramatic turnaround these next two weeks.

Wake Forest

Seeds Possible: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Seeds in 100 Sims:

7 seed: 1 time

8 seed: 3

9 seed: 16

10 seed: 53

11 seed: 2

12 seed: 25

What to Expect:

For such a straightforward question, this is not an easy answer. Not only can Wake still be 6 different seeds (!), but all 6 materialized in only 100 simulations. Forced to oversimplify, Wake will likely be the 10 seed with a win over the Hokies this Sunday (and a 12 seed with a loss). With 2 wins, 2 Florida State losses, and at least one loss by each of the other 5-win teams, Wake is the 7 seed. So, there's something for Deac fans to shoot for.

Does it Matter?

Probably not. It would certainly be nice for Wake to end the streak of Thursday losses, but I'm not sure the Deacs want any part of a Duke-type team on Friday anyway. I imagine at least 3 more wins are necessary to put Wake in range for a CBI appearance, should they choose to accept.

Boston College

Seeds Possible: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Seeds in 100 Sims:

8 seed: 23 times

9 seed: 36

10 seed: 15

11 seed: 26

What to Expect:

I hesitate to even answer this question. Boston College is currently in a 4-way tie, and their last two games are against teams they are currently tied with. So, in short, a lot can happen here. The 12 seed is possible, although it did not appear in 100 sims. The Eagles are most likely to be 9, but it is still far more likely they aren't the 9.

Does it Matter?

Potentially. I think BC is the perfect fit for the CBI. They are an exceptionally young team that could really use the postseason experience. The Eagles have made remarkable strides this year (152 spot jump is KenPom has to be one of the biggest in history), and deserve some sort of reward. I think another 2-3 wins this year should put them in range for an invite, and they are the exact type of team that should accept.

Virginia Tech

Seeds Possible: 10, 11, 12

Seeds in 100 Sims:

10 seed: 8 times

11 seed: 17

12 seed: 75

What to Expect:

Expect the Hokies to be the 12 seed, unless they upset Wake on Sunday.

Does it Matter?

Yes- in the sense that it matters whether Erick Green's career ends Thursday afternoon or Thursday evening.

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