The first round of the ACC Conference Championship has concluded. Four teams advanced on March 8, 2012: Maryland, Virginia Tech, North Carolina State, and Miami.
North Carolina State is a team that many consider to be on the wrong side of the bubble. Joe Lunardi has North Carolina State as the 4th team “out” of the Big Dance. A loss to Boston College would have destroyed the Wolfpack’s chances. Instead, North Carolina State improved to 21-11 with a 78-57 win over the Eagles. Scott Wood led North Carolina State with 22 points. While North Carolina State will need to win at least one more game to have a chance at cracking the field of 68, they took care of business in beating Boston College. The Eagles, whose season ends with a 9-22 record, were led by Ryan Anderson’s 22 points and 12 rebounds.
Joe Lunardi also considers Miami on the wrong side of the bubble. So it was important for Miami to avoid that bubble bursting when it played struggling Georgia Tech. The Hurricanes did exactly that, beating the Yellow Jackets, 54-36. In other words, less offense than a typical MAC football game. Shane Larkin led the Hurricanes, who improved to 19-11, with 12 points. Mfon Udofia led Georgia Tech, whose season ends with an 11-20 record, with 13 points.
In other games: Virginia Tech improved to 16-16 by defeating Clemson, 68-63. Point guard Erick Green led Virginia Tech with 24 points, while Tanner Smith led Clemson with 12 points. Maryland defeated Wake Forest 82-60 to improve to 17-14. Terrell Stoglin scored 25 points to lead Maryland, while Wake Forest–whose season ended at 13-18–was led by Travis McKie’s 22 points. Also, Syracuse improved to 31-1 by defeating Connecticut 58-55. Dion Waiters led Syracuse with 18 points.
- #1 North Carolina v #8 Maryland, noon
- #4 Virginia v #5 North Carolina State 2:00 pm
- #2 Duke v #10 Virginia Tech, 7:00 pm
- #1 Syracuse v #4 Cincinnati, 7:00 pm
- #3 Florida State v #6 Miami, 9:00 pm
For North Carolina State and Miami, the only option is winning.