Wake Forest had a great regular season. The Deacs finished completed the single best turnaround in ACC history to finish 23-8 overall and 13-7 in the ACC. For the next week, none of that matters—every team’s record has been reset to 0-0 and the only thing that matters is winning and making it to the next round. The ACC Tournament is upon us, and the Deacs will play the winner of the 12/13 matchup between Pitt and Boston College on Wednesday at 2:30pm on ESPN.
The Deacs will have a favorable matchup in the second round, as they beat both Pitt and BC in the regular season by an average of 23 points. Both the Eagles and Panthers finished their seasons on multigame losing streaks and currently rank well above 100 in Kenpom. I don’t really think we need to have any rooting interests in that game because Wake *should* have no trouble with whichever teams wins.
Things will get tougher if Wake makes it to the quarterfinal, where they will face the Miami Hurricanes, a team that beat the Deacs twice already this season. Wake seems to matchup poorly with Miami and the Canes will be well rested with the double bye, so this will be a challenge. They say it’s hard to beat a team three times, but that just really isn’t the case. Wake is going to have to figure out a way to stop a Miami scoring attack that averaged 84 points on 56% shooting in their two games against the Deacs this season. That game will be played on Thursday at 2:30 on ESPN 2.
Wake Forest has moved to a projected “Last Four In” team in Joe Lunardi’s latest bracket, but they may need a tournament win or two to cement themselves into the field. Personally, I feel like playing in the First Four doesn’t even count as making the tournament unless a team wins and advances, so I would definitely prefer to not have to play in Dayton. The Deacs have been pretty cursed in the tournament in recent history, so I’m excited to see what Steve Forbes can do is his first real ACC Tournament appearance. Let’s make a run. Go Deacs!