There are now several individuals that offer predictions as to who is going to be part of the 68-team field for the Big Dance. Here is where the major ones currently stand with respect to ACC teams:
As of February 29, 2012, ESPN “bracketologist” Joe Lunardi has Syracuse and five current ACC teams making the field. In addition to the obvious Duke and North Carolina, Lunardi has Florida State, Virginia, and Miami. The respective seeds are Syracuse (#1), Duke (#1), North Carolina (#2), Florida State (#4), Virginia (#8), and Miami (#12). Hard to disagree with that. Florida State’s narrow victory over Virginia last night, 63-60, is not likely to change his analysis.
ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan has the same basic structure for teams either in the field or close to it. Surprisingly, he has completely eliminated North Carolina State from consideration. With a 19-11 record, this seems a bit hasty. Especially after North Carolina State just beat Miami.
CBS’s Jerry Palm is not quite as positive. Palm does not have Miami in his field currently. So that leaves only Syracuse (#1), Duke (#1), North Carolina (#2), Florida State (#6), and Virginia (#9). Palm is definitely “cool” on ACC teams as everyone beyond a #2 seed is at least one round lower than Lunardi.
Mike Huguenin of Rivals/Yahoo has a blend of Lunardi and Palm. He has the teams just like Palm does in terms of seeding. But unlike Palm, and like Lunardi, he also has Miami in the field as a #12 seed.
Finally, the interesting site the Bracket Project pulls from 50+ bracket projections. After combining the various brackets, this is the national consensus:
- Syracuse is a #1 seed and second overall
- Duke is a #1 seed and third overall
- North Carolina is a #2 seed and sixth overall
- Florida State is a #5 seed
- Virginia is a #8 seed
- Miami is a #12 seed
- North Carolina State is 7 spots out of the final at-large position.
So there it is. Barring a run by North Carolina State, only Miami really seems on the fence for the Big Dance right now. Hard to believe that brackets will be announced in just 9 days.