ACC Tournament 2014: Predictions and Championship Odds for Every Team
The 2014 edition of the ACC tournament welcomes three new faces to the Greensboro Coliseum, and the annual showcase presents us with a frontloaded bracket.
Newcomers Syracuse and Pittsburgh are two of the top five seeds and both fan bases will soon realize Greensboro is a far departure from the bright lights of Madison Square Garden and New York City.
Traditional ACC powers Duke and North Carolina are seeded high, but not as high as No. 1 Virginia, who stormed past everyone to win the regular-season title.
The other intriguing storyline to watch is Maryland, who will playing in its final ACC tournament before departing for the Big Ten.
Continue reading for complete championship odds and a team-by-team prediction for the ACC tournament.
No. 15 Virginia Tech
For a team with a 2-16 regular-season conference record, Virginia Tech finds itself in a favorable situation.
The Hokies drew No. 10 Miami (FL) in the first round, a team that they have already beaten twice this season.
Virginia Tech also played well against potential second-round opponent, No. 7 NC State.
If the Hokies can pull off the unthinkable, they would have a shot at No. 2 Syracuse in the quarterfinals.
That is the dream scenario for the Hokies, which in reality, is just a dream.
No. 14 Boston College
Ever since its triumph over Syracuse on February 19, Boston College has lost four of its last five.
Before the win over the Orange, the Eagles had won just two of their first 11 games in ACC play, including two losses to first-round opponent No. 11 Georgia Tech.
Losing three times in a season to one team is a tough pill to swallow, but that is exactly what Steve Donahue's team will have to try to avoid.
Given their form heading into the tournament, the Eagles should be one and done.
No. 13 Notre Dame
It was a rough first year in the ACC for Mike Brey's Fighting Irish as they lost Jerian Grant to suspension at the end of December.
After the Irish lost their leading scorer, they trended downward and ended up with just six conference wins.
Notre Dame's first-round game against No. 12 Wake Forest is truly a toss up, but even if it wins, knocking off old Big East foe and No. 5 seed Pittsburgh in the next round will be too tall of a task to achieve.
No. 12 Wake Forest
The Demon Deacons showed a few signs of life at the end of the season by beating Clemson and Duke at home.
With Notre Dame up first in Greensboro, Wake Forest has a strong chance to advance to the second round.
That should be as far as they advance as the Demon Deacons will be no match for Pittsburgh.
No. 11 Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech closed the regular season on a strong note with two consecutive wins to earn the No. 11 seed.
The Yellow Jackets should like their chances in the first round against a Boston College team they have beaten twice this season.
Brian Gregory's team could even pull off a second-round upset of No. 6 Clemson since they have played the Tigers close in two meetings this season.
One win is almost guaranteed in Greensboro, but looking for two wins in two days could be too much to ask of this team.
No. 10 Miami (FL)
What a difference a year makes.
Last season, Miami (FL) were still in the mix for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, and 12 months later, it doesn't even have a bye at the ACC postseason showcase.
The Hurricanes did lose to Virginia Tech twice in the regular season, but they should be able to get over the hump and advance on to a matchup with NC State, with whom they split the season series.
That second-round game could end up being one of the better games to watch in the early stages of the tournament.
Even if they get past NC State, the Hurricanes don't stand much of a chance against Syracuse.
No. 9 Florida State
The Seminoles ended the regular season with wins in four of their final six games, which could set them up for an upset run in Greensboro.
The reason for not believing in a Florida State miracle this week is the fact that both No. 8 Maryland and No. 1 Virginia are out to prove points in the tournament.
Not that Florida State lacks motivation, but both of its first two potential opponents carry way more drive into the tournament than it does.
No. 7 NC State
NC State has a potentially tough draw in the second round against a Miami (FL) team that played it close on two occasions this season.
In their most recent meeting, the Wolfpack fell by 15 at home to the Hurricanes on March 1.
The Wolfpack did win their final two games leading up to the ACC tournament, but even if they do get past the Hurricanes, they hardly stand a chance against Syracuse, despite the challenge they gave the Orange at the Carrier Dome on February 15.
No. 8 Maryland
The Terps have slightly better odds than NC State because they are playing with a chip on their shoulder.
Maryland will be playing in its final ACC tournament and will be looking to go out with a bang at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Beating Florida State shouldn't be too much of a problem for the Terrapins, but beating Virginia twice in one week may be a tough task to complete.
The good news for Maryland is that it knows how to beat the Cavaliers, and if that happens, an upset run could occur.
No. 6 Clemson
Clemson may be the sixth-best team in the ACC, but its chances of causing trouble in the postseason are slim to none.
Other than a January 11 upset of Duke, the Tigers are winless against the teams seeded ahead of them in the tournament.
The Tigers also lost a tough one to Pittsburgh on Saturday in overtime at home, which is not the way you want to kickstart your postseason campaign.
Clemson should get past either Georgia Tech or Boston College in the second round, but a win over Duke in the quarterfinals is unlikely.
No. 5 Pittsburgh
Jamie Dixon's Panthers are the team with the most to gain by winning multiple games in Greensboro.
Winning in the second round against Wake Forest or Notre Dame is imperative to set up a quarterfinal with No. 4 North Carolina.
Pittsburgh must beat the Tar Heels and top seed Virginia to jump off of the bubble and have a chance of making the Big Dance.
If there is anyone who knows how to make a run in the postseason, it is Dixon, so don't count out Pittsburgh.
No. 4 North Carolina
Before falling to Duke on Saturday, North Carolina strung together 12 consecutive victories to put them back into the AP Top 25.
The Tar Heels were an inconsistent bunch during nonconference play and the start of ACC play, but Roy Williams has steadied the ship and the Tar Heels look like they could be a dangerous team in March.
In Greensboro, the Tar Heels will have to stave off a challenge from a desperate Pittsburgh team to set up a game with Virginia in the semifinals.
Defeating Pittsburgh and Virginia this week would do wonders for North Carolina's seeding in the field of 68, and so would a win in the title game over Syracuse or Duke.
No. 3 Duke
Everyone in the nation is hoping that the Blue Devils can take care of business in the quarterfinals to set up a third game with Syracuse in the semifinals.
That should happen as Duke should be able to take down Clemson pretty easily in its first game in Greensboro.
After that warm-up game, it will be all business for Coach K and Co. as they look to improve their seeding in the NCAA tournament.
If Jabari Parker plays like he did on Saturday against North Carolina, Duke could end up as tournament champions thanks to the star freshman.
No. 1 Virginia
Virginia is the regular-season champion of the ACC, and it should be given a fair shake when it comes to deciding the tournament winner, but it will fall just short.
Expect the Cavaliers to find a way past North Carolina, but not against either Syracuse or Duke.
Virginia did take down Syracuse on March 1, but it did so against a team playing without Jerami Grant at 100 percent.
A healthy Grant or an on-fire Parker could be enough to dash the tournament title hopes of Tony Bennett's team.
No. 2 Syracuse
It's hard to bet against Syracuse with a healthy Grant in the lineup.
The Orange did not have the best end to the regular season, but Jim Boeheim will make sure that his team plays much better in the coming weeks with a few trophies within reach.
By beating Duke and Virginia, the Orange could easily slide back into the conversation for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Winning those two games will be no easy task, but Syracuse was built for the postseason and has all the weapons in its arsenal to succeed during its first trip to Greensboro.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
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