If there's a silver lining to Boston College's early exit in the ACC Tournament and the end of the season, it's that we can now all enjoy the best week of basketball without a dog in the fight. It starts this afternoon, where the 23-9 Florida State Seminoles look to win their first ACC basketball championship as they face to 29-4 and top-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels.
Should Florida State pull the upset, the Seminoles would become just the second non-Duke, non-Carolina conference title champ in well over a decade.
You see, Boston College fans have only known a Duke or North Carolina conference champion since the Eagles joined the conference in 2005-06. The Blue Devils have won four of the last six conference tournament titles, including each of the last three, while North Carolina won back-to-back titles in 2007 and 2008. In a word, boring.
Thought it's not as though the conference has been without its close calls. BC actually came the closest to toppling the Duke-Carolina duopoly in the Eagles' first season in the conference. The Eagles came within a bucket of winning the conference title in only their first season in the league.
Five different non-Duke, non-Carolina teams have entered the title game in the last six seasons, and all five have been turned away. The sixth, Carolina, fell to Duke 75-58 in last year's title game.
2006: Duke 78, Boston College 76
2007: North Carolina 89, N.C. State 80
2008: North Carolina 86, Clemson 81
2009: Duke 79, Florida State 69
2010: Duke 65, Georgia Tech 61
2011: Duke 75, North Carolina 58
Is this the year that Florida State breaks through and the conference crowns a non-Carolina, non-Duke champ? Or does Tobacco Road continue its stranglehold on the conference?
So, are you rooting for the Seminoles because you want the team that BC knocked off in the regular season to win or are you rooting for North Carolina? Does anyone root for Carolina other than UNC alum? Or are you just happy Duke's not there if BC can't be there?
The game tips at 1:00 p.m. ET on ESPN and you can find a complete ACC Tournament bracket here.
This is your ACC Championship Game open thread for Sunday. Ready, go.