Duke Blue Devils enter ACC tournament as favorites to win
There’s going to be a crowded field in Greensboro, North Carolina, which will host the ACC tournament beginning on March 7. Not many conferences have the ability to squeeze 15 teams into their year-end event, but that’s exactly what you’re going to get with this one. You will, however, be watching some high-level basketball throughout, and a pretty decent argument can be made that nine or 10 of these teams have a chance to win. This is also an interesting year for this tournament, as several teams finished in front of bluebloods like the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels.
How to Watch the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament
When: March 7-11
Where: Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, NC
Format: Top-four seeds receive first and second round byes; Seeds 5-9 get first-round byes; Bottom-five teams play three opening-round games on the opening Tuesday of tournament play
Watch: ACC Network, ESPN, ESPN2; Championship Game on ESPN on Mar. 11 at 8:30 p.m. ET
Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament Seeds, Teams and Odds
1. Miami Hurricanes (+340)
2. Virginia Cavaliers (+300)
3. Duke Blue Devils (+280)
4. Clemson Tigers (+600)
5. Pittsburgh Panthers (+1400)
6. NC State Wolfpack (+1200)
7. UNC Tar Heels (+600)
8. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (+4000)
9. Syracuse Orange (+10000)
10. Boston College Eagles (+35000)
11. Virginia Tech Hokies (+5000)
12. Florida State Seminoles (+15000)
13. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (+35000)
14. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+50000)
15. Louisville Cardinals (+100000)
Favorite To Win Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament
It was an up-and-down year for first-year coach Jon Scheyer and his Blue Devils, but Duke still heads into the tournament as the favorite. The team enters this event on a six-game winning streak, with a road win against rival UNC capping off its regular season. The Blue Devils are just as talented as ever, and the team is especially strong on the defensive end. It was youth and inexperience that plagued Duke during a slow start to the season, but some of those growing pains are out of the way. Now, the oddsmakers feel the Blue Devils have a better chance to win than everyone, but that could mean there’s good value elsewhere.
Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament Darkhorse
It doesn’t feel right calling North Carolina a darkhorse, as the Tar Heels returned every key piece of a team that lost in the finals of the NCAA Tournament last year. However, North Carolina was a middle-of-the-pack team in the ACC this season, and the Tar Heels need to make a deep run this week in order to simply be a part of March Madness this season. Considering this tournament will be played right in the team’s backyard, the crowd support will be there. And all things considered, this North Carolina team is a bit better than its record suggests. The Tar Heels are 68th in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency and 43rd in adjusted defensive efficiency, according to KenPom. Not many teams have that type of balance. North Carolina also ranks near the bottom of the country in luck rating, which means things haven’t broken the Tar Heels way. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if that all changes here, as Hubert Davis’ team has the talent to beat anyone in this conference.
Players to Watch in Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament
Miami has been the most consistently excellent team in the ACC this season, so we should start with guards Isaiah Wong and
free agent acquisition Kansas State transfer Nijel Pack. These two arguably make up the best backcourt in the ACC, and they’re flanked by a number of productive players — including guard Jordan Miller, who averages 15.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game and is the third-best backcourt option on the team. Meanwhile, Virginia is one of the teams with the best chance to win this tournament, and this group goes as far as senior leader Kihei Clark can take it. He’s one of college basketball’s best floor generals, averaging 11.1 points and 5.7 assists per game. Clark is a feisty competitor and always makes the right decisions, so he’s a guy you want on your team when you’re betting.
Two players you might not have heard of and demand your attention are Pittsburgh’s Jamarius Burton and Blake Hinson. They’re both having fantastic years for a Panthers team that has really exceeded expectations. A couple of others to watch out for are NC State’s Terquavion Smith (who seems like a lock to be a first-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft) and Duke’s Kyle Filipowski, who is averaging 15.0 points and 9.2 rebounds per game.
Of course, there’s also a lot of talent for the Tar Heels, who brought back Armando Bacot, Caleb Love and R.J. Davis from last year’s team. You’ll also recognize Leaky Black from last year’s squad, but he has really struggled this season.
Betting Pick to Win The Atlantic Coast Conference Conference Tournament
Not only is UNC a good darkhorse bet to win this tournament, but the team realistically has as good a shot as anyone to win. But for the sake of being different here, it isn’t the worst idea in the world to put a little bit on NC State. Kevin Keatts’ team has some really impressive wins this year, including victories over Dayton, Duke and Miami. The Wolfpack also have a player that can absolutely light it up, as Smith is a combo guard that can score from all over the floor. When you factor in his ability to get hot, it’s hard not to like NC State as play to win this thing. The team has two other excellent guards in Jarkel Joiner and Casey Morsell. A three-headed monster like this can’t be counted out.