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ACC Basketball Tournament Preview
Current Odds and Predictions
The Atlantic Coast Conference is a perennial leader in college basketball. With powerhouses like the Duke Blue Devils, North Carolina Tar Heels, and Maryland Terrapins among their ranks it is no wonder. Since the year 2000 the winner of the NCAA Tournament has come from the ACC four times. They have produced eight final four teams in the same span. The conference is not to be taken lightly. Admittedly, the conference is down this year. However, it is still full of teams with top notch coaching and players that were highly recruited and still maturing. Let’s take a look at the teams with the best chance to win the ACC Tournament.
Duke Blue Devils - Odds -175 - The proverbial “Big Bad Wolf” of the conference, they have won this tournament 8 times since 1999. Under the guidance of Coach Mike Krzyzewski this team has been a staple of the top ten all year long. They will vie for a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but probably need to win the ACC Tournament to have a solid chance after losing to Maryland late in the year. G John Scheyer is a play maker and an intense general on the court for the Blue Devils. He is nearly automatic from the FT line and excels beyond the arc. C Brian Zoubek is young, but has proved he can clean the glass with the best of them. He averages 7.1 RPG. The Blue Devils would come as no surprise.
Maryland Terrapins - Odds 3/1 - The phrase “Fear The Turtle” has rung true in the latter half the year. The Terps have won 7 straight, including a victory over hated rival Duke on Senior Night. Coach Gary Williams led them to a national title in 2002 and has to be thinking it could happen again in 2010. They are led by likely ACC Player of the Year Greivis Vasquez. He is putting up 19.5 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 6.4 APG. He is aided by fellow seniors Landon Milbourne and Eric Hayes who combine to average 23.7 PPG. Freshman Jordan Williams has developed into a force for the Terrapins. He leads the team in rebounding at 8.4 RPG. Maryland is a balanced team that has all the tools needed to win this tournament.
Clemson Tigers - Odds 12/1 - Minus a slip up against Maryland, this team ended the regular season on quite a roll. They beat a strong Florida State team twice, and also dispatched Georgia Tech. Senior Trevor Booker is the heart and soul of the team. He gets 15.6 PPG and 8.4 RPG. G Domontez Stitt picks up 10.9 PPG. He had 19 points in a 70-69 victory over Butler early in the year. If one of the two previously mentioned teams slips up, the Tigers could be the beneficiary.
Florida State Seminoles - Odds 7/1 - This team is the definition of balance. The Seminoles own a regular season sweep of Georgia Tech, and a win over Virginia Tech. They have 6 players averaging at least 8.5 PPG. Sophomore Solomon Alibi is a giant at 7’ 1”. He does his fair share of scoring at 11.8 PPG and is strong on the boards with 6.1 RPG. They are a young team, but have proved they can hang with the best teams in the ACC.
Virginia Tech Hokies - Odds 8/1 - This team is found sweating out its chances of getting an at large bid to the NCAA Tournament despite a solid overall record. This could provide extra incentive for them to play well. Junior G Malcolm Delaney is high powered on offense with 20.5 PPG. He may put his team mates on his back and carry them to a win in the ACC Tournament and an automatic entry to the NCAA Tournament.
This conference is wide open even though it is considered a down year. North Carolina (15/1 odds) can never be counted out despite their poor record. The Duke Blue Devils and Maryland Terrapins are the most likely winners, but neither team is bulletproof. We think Duke is the best tem in the country but not sure if we'll get 100% from them here. Their eyes are on the big prize, a National Championship.
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