I went into nerd-mode and simulated the remainder of the ACC regular season 1,000 times using Ken Pomeroy's win probabilities to determine the potential win distribution for each ACC team.
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Tony Bennett's squad is clearly in the driver's seat. His team has nearly a 50% chance to win their remaining games and finish the ACC regular season with 17 wins. The Syracuse matchup could go a long way to determine the ACC winner, but Syracuse could also easily lose at Florida State.
The Orange have nearly a 50-50 shot of winning exactly 15 games, in addition to their nearly 18% chance of winning 16 games. Given that no other team not named Virginia can mathematically get more than 14 wins, it appears likely that Cuse will be the 2 seed in their inaugural ACC season.
Duke is much easier to project because they only have two games remaining and will be near double-digit favorites in each. There is a 66% chance that Duke wins 14 games. It's very likely Duke ends up as the 3 seed.
If North Carolina can win their remaining four ACC games, then they will earn the number 3 seed due to their tiebreaker over Duke. However, they appear to be destined for the 4 seed. North Carolina could lose out the remainder of the ACC season, finish with 11 wins and still get the 4 seed. Pittsburgh and Clemson are the only teams behind them who can get that the 11 win total and the Tar Heels own tiebreakers over both.
Pittsburgh has a much greater chance at the 5 seed now thanks to Clemson's Tuesday night loss at Wake Forest. There is nearly an 80% chance that the Panthers finish with no less than 11 wins, which is where Clemson will land if they win out. Pittsburgh won the previous meeting between the two teams, but they play again at Clemson in the regular season finale. In the event that the two teams split the regular season meetings and finish with the same record the tie would go to Clemson due to their victory over Duke. Yes, that Tyler Ennis shot could have cost Pittsburgh a tiebreaker to Clemson. Still, the 5 seed is most likely.
Clemson pulled a Clemson and lost to Wake Forest on Tuesday night, but the good news for them is they have a 70% chance of winning at least two more games. They own the head-to-head advantage over Florida State and North Carolina State. They will also probably also hold the advantage over Maryland given that their only contest is this upcoming Sunday in Little John. The 6 seed is looking very likely, and that's an outstanding job by Brad Brownell and his staff.
The Seminoles have a slightly less than 50% chance of winning exactly 9 games and a 30% chance of winning exactly 10 games. They should beat Georgia Tech at home as well as Boston College on the road. Even in their home finale against Syracuse they have a 46% chance to win and will be about a 1 point underdog. They have a much better chance than Maryland and North Carolina State of getting to 10 wins, but if it comes down to tiebreakers they will lose to the Wolfpack.
I don't know if Vegas set an ACC over/under for Maryland, but if you set one now 8.5 would be a perfect number. They have a 51% chance to win either 7 or 8 games and a 49% chance to win 9 or 10. There is around an 87% chance that the Terps win either 8 or 9 games. They'll be prohibitive favorites against Virginia Tech and have a reasonable chance at upsetting one of Clemson or Virginia. Truth be told it only matters but so much if Maryland is the 8 or the 9 given that they are out of consideration for the NCAA Tournament and the the 8 and 9 seeds have the exact same path to win the ACC Tournament.
North Carolina State
Last night's game was heartbreak hotel against their rival the North Carolina Tar Heels. That was one of the best college games I have seen all season. Unfortunately for the Wolfpack, it still left them with a loss and with a higher mountain to climb. State has home games remaining against Miami and Boston College, which should enable them to get to at least 9 wins (they have about a 57% chance of doing so). The Wolfpack are in a good spot if they do get to 9 wins because they own tiebreakers over Florida State and Maryland. If I had to bet, then I'd be on the Pack to get the 7 seed.
The Hurricanes aren't having the great run they had last season, but after losing 90% of scoring and minutes they exceeded my expectations. Miami will be underdogs in their next two games, but has a 75% chance of beating Wake Forest in the regular season finale. In the event that they win that game they will in all likelihood be the 10th seed, but should they lose out they'll drop to at least 12th because Notre Dame currently has one more win than they do.
The Irish currently have 6 conference wins and there's roughly a 60% chance that says they remain there. Notre Dame loses tiebreakers to both Miami and Wake Forest, so you get the sense this team will be the 12 seed.
The Deacs snapped their seven-game losing streak and now have approximately a 55% chance to win exactly 6 games, which is also the most likely scenario for Notre Dame and Miami. If those three teams tie then it will ultimately come down to Wake's season finale against Miami to determine who wins the 3-way tie.
Georgia Tech hurt themselves with their loss at Notre Dame. With road games remaining against Syracuse and Florida State, it's likely they just win their home finale against Virginia Tech. Two-thirds of the time they will finish with exactly 5 wins and there is nearly a 90% chance that they finish with 5 or fewer wins. They hurt their ceiling against Notre Dame, but it's very likely they finish no worse than 13th.
It seems very likely that Boston College is destined for the 14 seed. There is a greater than 80% chance that BC finishes with either 3 or 4 conference wins. It's also probable that Georgia Tech wins more out right than they do, but in the event of a tie, Georgia Tech won both head-to-head matchups.
The Hokies are a mortal lock to be playing on Wednesday of the ACC Tournament. They have slightly more than a 90% chance of winning no more than one more game in the ACC regular season, which due to their previous losses to Boston College, means they will be the lower seed even if they finish with the same record as the Eagles.
(h/t to Tar Heel Blog for a great explanation of the ACC tiebreakers.)
Blogger So Dear will continue to update this page after games. Please continue to check in and we will keep you updated on the most likely ACC Tournament seeding scenarios.