Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament
At Washington, D.C. (MCI Center)
Regular-season champion: North Carolina (14-2).
Thursday schedule: Maryland vs. Clemson; North Carolina State vs. Florida State; Miami vs. Virginia.
Friday quarterfinals: North Carolina vs. Maryland/Clemson winner; Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Tech; Wake Forest vs. NCSU/FSU winner; Duke vs. Miami/Virginia winner.
Best non-championship matchup: Virginia Tech-Georgia Tech. Hokies won in Atlanta on Jan. 22. What are at-large hopes for loser in rematch? Slim.
Keep this in mind: UNC can face only one (2-3 seeds Wake Forest and Duke) of the teams that beat the Tar Heels in the regular season.
Player to check out: John Gilchrist. The point guard was the tourney MVP while leading Maryland to the title a year ago. He'll need that kind of effort to get his team to at least the semifinals (translated: wins over Clemson and UNV).
Projected tournament winner: Duke over North Carolina. This one figures to match the first two meetings in terms of thrills and chills.
At-large Land: UNC, Wake Forest and – if it gets to tourney final and the chips fall the right away in other tourneys – Duke are in the hunt for top seeds. Georgia Tech (needing just one win, max) is in the best shape among the bubble-types, followed by NCSU, Maryland and Virginia Tech, which could use a couple of W's to feel comfy on Sunday.
ACC Tourney Overview
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