A day of “must wins” for the ACC

By Mychal Hunter

We are getting down to it people, Selection Sunday is four and a half days away and there are still some teams that have work to do with ample opportunity to impress the selection committee. I posted last week that 3/3/18 was Judgement Day and some teams performed well (Syracuse and FSU) while others fell short (Louisville and Notre Dame).

I think it is safe to assume that FSU is in the field at this point. Those other three however have to be feeling the heat a bit but all three are also still playing meaningful games with potential to get themselves over the hump.

Louisville: 9 ACC wins / RPI: 47 / SOS 21 / Record vs Quadrant 1: 3-10

Louisville has a huge game in about an hour with FSU. The Cardinals are in desperate need of a win and doing so will give them another crack at a Virginia team that they have basically proven they are capable of beating. David Padgett’s club was in the drivers seat of that March 1st contest for 39:30 against the Cavaliers. If that match up is presented again will they rise to the occasion or fold like a lawn chair? I don’t know but I am interested to possibly find out. Ultimately I think FSU will win this game but a Louisville win will certainly jack up the drama in this tournament a little bit.

Syracuse: 9 ACC wins / RPI 41 / SOS 16 / Record vs Quadrant 1: 3-7

The Orange had to have that win yesterday to get to the tremendous opportunity today against the Tar Heels. Syracuse played them very well recently at the Carrier Dome, losing by 4 and has a long zone that could possibly neutralize the “Death Lineup” from UNC. The cut and dry of it here is if Syracuse wins they are safely in the dance. UNC does travel well but Syracuse should have a strong fan showing today, this is the season for them I believe.

Notre Dame: 9 ACC wins / RPI 72 / SOS 52 / Record vs Quadrant 1: 2-8

Just typing that topic line makes me think they aren’t going to get in, although I think they have more high end ability than either Syracuse or Louisville. They escaped a “look-by” game yesterday against Pitt, 67-64 , to get a shot at Virginia Tech today and potentially Duke tomorrow. It is paramount that they win today, which would be against a tournament team and probably need to win tomorrow against the Blue Devils to go to the prom. The likelihood of that is very slim but the Irish certainly have the capability. My biggest concern is Bonzie Colson’s conditioning, which looked understandably below the norm in his first few games back. How will he handle two games in two days? Three in three? I am not sure but I am certainly looking forward to finding out.

 

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