The Big Dance: ACC Update
The Brackets are set. The field is locked. The bubbles have burst. And the ACC is well-represented moving forward. Here is our early analysis. (Stay tuned for the Confidential bracket contest details!)
First, who got in and where were they seeded. Duke is a #1 in the South. Virginia is a #2 in the East. Notre Dame is a #3 in the Midwest. North Carolina is a #4 in the West. Louisville is a #4 in the East. North Carolina State is a #8 in the East. Apparently, the real bracketologists did not think it important to spread out the ACC teams a little better. So be it.
Second, who has the easiest path to the Final Four? Duke. Notre Dame is in Kentucky’s bracket. North Carolina has Wisconsin, Arizona, and a tested Baylor to get by. Virginia could face Michigan State, Oklahoma, and either Villanova/Louisville before getting to Indianapolis. Louisville has the #1 seed Villanova to get by, as well as either Virginia or Oklahoma. Duke? Does Georgetown, Gonzaga, or Iowa State really scare the Blue Devils faithful? Sure, Lehigh proved that anything can happen… and it certainly can. But the South is not a strong bracket. We say Duke has the easiest path.
And that’s not even counting that Duke tends to be able to bring its own refs to games… ha ha ha.
Third, can anyone beat Kentucky? Well, Hampton and Manhattan probably will not. That leaves Cincinnati and Purdue in Round 2. Round 3 is Maryland as a #4 seed. Difficult to envision the Terps–who we know well–upsetting the Wildcats. So you can almost pencil them into the Elite Eight, where Kansas or Notre Dame will await. That is where the real challenges will start. At 34-0, Kentucky can go 40-0. A very good chance to do it, too.
Finally, where is the rest of the ACC headed? Miami is a #2 seed in the NIT. Pitt is a #4 seed. Clemson and Florida State were the only two ACC teams above .500 that were not invited anywhere.
Stay tuned for the Confidential bracket contest details!