Quick Takes: ACC bubble picture
Three Atlantic Coast Conference bubble teams Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, and Clemson take to the court today in Brooklyn. For Georgia Tech and Clemson, their ACC journeys probably need to last until at least Friday. Wake begins with Boston College, an outcome that doesn’t necessarily help, but could certainly hurt. Tomorrow, Syracuse takes its turn, with a first-round match-up against Miami.
Here a Quick Peek at each …
Wake Forest (RPI: 32 | SOS: 12 | SOR: 33) – The Demon Deacons helped themselves immensely by beating Louisville (home) and Virginia Tech (road) to close the season. They have nine (9) Top 100 wins and nothing resembling a bad loss. If there’s a dent on the resume it’s this: the Deacons are still 3-8 against the best teams on their schedule. Simply avoiding a loss to Boston College might be enough. Beating Virginia Tech again would make life a bit easier on Sunday.
Georgia Tech (RPI: 95 | SOS: 58 | SOR: 57) – Despite some quality wins, the Yellow Jackets are 2-10 in road games (and away from home, total). They also have a rather unsightly NC SOS number hovering around 270. If they beat Pittsburgh, it realistically looks like the Jackets would also need to take out Virginia and Notre Dame to climb back into serious contention.
Clemson (RPI: 67 | SOS: 26 | SOR: 51) – Can the Tigers turn around a season of close misses? We’re about to find out. With 14 losses already on the board, an at-large bid is a tough ask, but if the Tigers can beat Duke and Louisville along the way? Perhaps trip up Carolina to reach the ACC final? That could certainly make it interesting.
Syracuse (RPI: 80 | SOS: 56 | SOR: 53) – The Orange present an interesting case. They are a much better team now than in November and December. The Selection Committee has also made a point in recent years to remind us that they look at a team’s entire body of work. Thus, we can’t simply bypass losses to Connecticut, St.John’s, and Boston College. What the Orange do have is an impressive total of Top 50 wins (6). The caveat, however, is they are 2-8 in true road games and 2-10 outside the Carrier Dome. Can an 18-14 Orange team get in if they lose to Miami? Perhaps. Would their profile look a lot better if they beat a couple of tournament-caliber teams away from home? Absolutely.
Elsewhere, Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s meet for a third time to decide the WCC Tournament title. Both are dancing, but a potential No. 1 seed remains on the line for the Zags. Enjoy your Tuesday on the hardwood.