There are now just seven ACC regular season games remaining. What would the ACC Tournament bracket look like if the season ended today? What would it look like based on Ken Pom projections of the final games? Which seeds can each team still earn? Let’s go through the scenarios.
Current Standings with current conference record in parentheses:
- North Carolina (13-4)
- Notre Dame (12-5)
- Duke (11-6)
- Louisville (11-6)
- Florida State (11-6)
- Virginia Tech (10-7)
- Miami (10-7)
- Virginia (10-7)
- Syracuse (9-8)
- Wake Forest (8-9)
- Georgia Tech (8-9)
- Clemson (5-12)
- Pittsburgh (4-13)
- NC State (4-14)
- Boston College (2-15)
If current standings hold, then Wake Forest would be the 10 seed by way of a tiebreakbreaker over Georgia Tech. They would play Boston College in the 10 vs. 15 game on Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET (it’ll probably be much closer to 2:30). Ken Pom gives Wake Forest an 86% chance (12 point favorites) to beat Boston College in a neutral site game. They would then take on Miami, where they would be about a .5 point underdog, so essentially a tossup.
Ken Pom Projections
The seven games remaining are:
Wake Forest at Virginia Tech (57%)
Pittsburgh at Virginia (89%)
Notre Dame at Louisville (78%)
Miami at Florida State (78%)
Georgia Tech at Syracuse (73%)
Boston College at Clemson (90%)
Duke at North Carolina (72%)
While there are still 128 possibilities (math nerd) among those seven games, we can now make reasonable estimates based on most likely scenarios. Many thanks to Syracuse.com for laying out tiebreaker procedures.
Ken Pom Bracket/Potential Seeds (projected record in parentheses):
1. North Carolina (14-4) - Carolina has clinched the 1 seed.
2. Florida State (12-6) - A win over Miami would make Florida State in a three-way tie for 2nd place along with Louisville and Notre Dame. The Seminoles are 2-1 against those opponents and would win the tiebreaker.
3. Notre Dame (12-6) - The Irish can earn the number 2 seed if they defeat Louisville. They are projected to lose, however, and be in a three-way tie along with Louisville and Florida State. That would give them a 2-2 record against these schools, and make them lose the tiebreaker to FSU, but beat Louisville in the tiebreaker.
4. Louisville (12-6) Even with a victory over Notre Dame, Louisville will be just 1-2 against Notre Dame and Florida State. This makes them the 4 seed, but will still give them a double bye.
5. Virginia Tech (11-7) - There is a projected three-way tie for 5th, and Virginia Tech wins this tiebreaker because of their combined 2-1 record against Duke and Virginia, respectively.
6. Duke (11-7) - Duke is 1-1 against Virginia Tech and Virginia, respectively, so they hold the tiebreaker over Virginia, but not VT. With a win on Saturday, however, Duke can improve its seed.
7. Virginia (11-7) - Virginia is just 1-2 against Duke and Virginia Tech, respectively, so would fall to 7th in the event of a 3-way tie. Virginia wants Louisville in tiebreaker scenarios due to their 2-0 record against the Cardinals. There are 6 teams that can finish with 11 wins, so that tiebreaker scenario could get absolutely wild.
8. Syracuse (10-8) - Syracuse and Miami are expected to both finish 10-8, in which case, Syracuse will be the 8 seed due to head-to-head victory.
9. Miami (10-8) - Miami is projected to lose to FSU. If that happens and Syracuse beats Georgia Tech, then the Hurricanes will finish 9th in the conference.
10. Wake Forest (8-10) - Wake Forest will be the 10 seed with either a win over Virginia Tech or a Georgia Tech loss to Syracuse. Wake has a very strong chance of being the 10 seed, but could drop to 11.
11. Georgia Tech (8-10) - The Yellow Jackets will likely be the 11, but can still jump to 9th with a win over Syracuse.
12. Clemson (6-12) - The Tigers have locked up the 12 seed regardless of their game against Boston College.
13. North Carolina State (4-14) - The Wolfpack have finished their ACC regular season and now await Pittsburgh vs. Virginia. It’s likely that State will finish 13th by way of a tiebreaker, but will be 14th with a Pitt upset in Charlottesville.
14. Pittsburgh (4-14) - Pittsburgh will be the 13 seed with a win over Virginia, but will be the 14 seed with a loss due to losing to NC State earlier in the year.
15. Boston College (2-16) - BC has locked up the 15 seed.
Under this scenario, Wake Forest will still play Boston College in the opening round. If Wake wins, they would take on Virginia due to them being projected to finish 7th in the conference. That would be a very difficult game, but Wake would have about a 28% chance to win on a neutral court. Virginia has been outstanding defensively, but the offense was really struggling prior to the victory over North Carolina on Monday. Ideally Wake will be entering that game with a 9-9 ACC regular season record and an NCAA Tournament bid mostly sealed up.
I believe that covers it. There are still many different outcomes, but the picture is starting to become more clear. The ACC has a full slate of games on Saturday beginning at noon, so hop in front of a tv and watch it unfold. What do you hope Wake’s ACC Tournament path looks like?