What-to-know tourney previews: ACC
Can NC State redeem itself after a mediocre regular season?
1. Will Duke lose a game all year with Ryan Kelly in the lineup?
Remember, the Blue Devils were the best team in the country before their senior forward missed a couple of months due to a foot injury. Coach K's group has picked back up where it left off since Kelly returned to the lineup and the team still hasn't lost a single game with him on the floor.
2. Can NC State redeem itself after a mediocre regular season?
Mark Gottfried's team was picked to win the league, and the Wolfpack finished in a tie for fourth place with Virginia. NC State struggled a year ago through a 9-7 league slate and then won a couple of games to get to the Sweet 16. This team has plenty of talent, but needs to prove it can step up again when it matters most.
3. Is the ACC better this year than in the past couple years -- or the same?
Probably about the same. The bottom of the league is still pretty weak, and while North Carolina isn't all-powerful, the Tar Heels came on strong late after Roy Williams went with a smaller lineup. Duke has a chance to win it all, Miami -- a veteran club that nonetheless has no NCAA tournament experience -- is a top 10-ish team and NC State has the talent to win games in the NCAA tourney. Virginia is a bubble team with the most to gain down in Greensboro.
Schedule: All games at Greensboro Coliseum; March 14 (first round); March 15 (quarterfinals); March 16 (semifinals); March 17 (championship).
Title game: Sunday, March 17, at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN.
THREE BEST PLAYERS
- Shane Larkin (Miami)
- Mason Plumlee (Duke)
- Joe Harris (Virginia)
Conference RPI: 4
KenPom.com rating: 4
Sagarin rating: 4
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