Projecting The 2013 ACC Tournament Bracket

Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

Where will the Eagles end up?

Boston College basketball's recent stretch of games has Eagles fans optimistic BC ... won't finish last in the ACC this season. In fact, if the season ended today, the Eagles would receive the #10 seed and face #7 Maryland in the ACC Tournament first round. First, let's look at how the ACC Tournament bracket will look if it began today:

Here are the seeds:

1. Miami Hurricanes (13-0)
2. Duke Blue Devils (10-3)
3. Virginia Cavaliers (8-5)
4. N.C. State Wolfpack (8-5)
5. North Carolina Tar Heels (8-5)
6. Florida St. Seminoles (6-7)
7. Maryland Terrapins (6-7)
8. Clemson Tigers (5-8)
9. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (4-9)
10. Boston College Eagles (4-9)
11. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-9)
12. Virginia Tech Hokies (2-11)

And the tournament bracket:

Thursday, March 14 - First Round

Game 1: #8 Clemson vs. #9 Georgia Tech, noon ESPNU/ACC Network
Game 2: #5 North Carolina vs. #12 Virginia Tech, 2 p.m. ESPNU/ACC Network
Game 3: #7 Maryland vs. #10 Boston College, 7 p.m. ESPNU/ACC Network
Game 4: #6 Florida State vs. #11 Wake Forest, 9 p.m. ESPNU/ACC Network

Friday, March 15 - Quarterfinals

Game 5: #1 Miami vs. Game 1 winner, noon ESPN2/ACC Network
Game 6: #4 N.C. State vs. Game 2 winner, 2 p.m. ESPN2/ACC Network
Game 7: #2 Duke vs. Game 3 winner, 7 p.m. ESPN2/ACC Network
Game 8: #3 Virginia vs. Game 4 winner, 9 p.m. ESPN2/ACC Network

NOTES:

-- Virginia, North Carolina and N.C. State are currently in a three-way tie at 8-5. The first tiebreaker goes to the combined record of conference games between the tied teams. Virginia is 2-1, N.C. State 1-1 and North Carolina 1-2. That makes Virginia the no. 3 seed, N.C. State the no. 4 and North Carolina the no. 5.

-- Maryland and Florida State are tied at 6-7, but the Seminoles have two victories over the Terps. Florida State is then the no. 6 seed and Virginia the no. 7.

-- Georgia Tech, Boston College and Wake Forest are also in a three-way tie at 4-9. While the Yellow Jackets and Eagles have yet to face one another in one of those odd ACC scheduling quirks (BC will have played N.C. State, Duke, Miami, Wake Forest and Clemson twice -- which is to say everyone the Eagles are scheduled to face in a home-and-home this season -- before playing Georgia Tech once), Georgia Tech's two victories over Wake Forest give the Jackets the no. 9 seed. BC is the 10 seed and Wake Forest the 11.

Next, let's project out the rest of the regular season. Using realtimerpi.com's GAMER projected record, here's how the ACC's final regular season standings play out.

1. Miami Hurricanes (17-1)
2. Duke Blue Devils (13-5)
3. Virginia Cavaliers (12-6)
4. North Carolina Tar Heels (12-6)
5. N.C. State Wolfpack (10-8)
6. Florida St. Seminoles (9-9)
7. Maryland Terrapins (9-9)
8. Clemson Tigers (6-12)
9. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-12)
10. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (5-13)
11. Boston College Eagles (5-13)
12. Virginia Tech Hokies (4-14)

And the tournament bracket:

Thursday, March 14 - First Round

Game 1: #8 Clemson vs. #9 Georgia Tech, noon ESPNU/ACC Network
Game 2: #5 N.C. State vs. #12 Virginia Tech, 2 p.m. ESPNU/ACC Network
Game 3: #7 Maryland vs. #10 Wake Forest, 7 p.m. ESPNU/ACC Network
Game 4: #6 Florida State vs. #11 Boston College, 9 p.m. ESPNU/ACC Network

Friday, March 15 - Quarterfinals

Game 5: #1 Miami vs. Game 1 winner, noon ESPN2/ACC Network
Game 6: #4 North Carolina vs. Game 2 winner, 2 p.m. ESPN2/ACC Network
Game 7: #2 Duke vs. Game 3 winner, 7 p.m. ESPN2/ACC Network
Game 8: #3 Virginia vs. Game 4 winner, 9 p.m. ESPN2/ACC Network

-- Here, Virginia and North Carolina finish with identical 12-6 records having split the regular season series 1-1. The tiebreaker then moves to each team's record vs. the team occupying the highest position in the final regular season standings. Neither program beat the regular season champ Miami, but Virginia has a GAMER projected win over Duke, while North Carolina doesn't. This gives the Cavaliers the no. 3 overall seed and North Carolina the no. 4.

-- Florida State and Maryland are once again knotted at 9-9, but the Seminoles two victories over the Terps gives Florida State the no. 6 seed and Maryland the no. 7.

-- Similarly, Clemson and Georgia Tech tie at 6-12, but the Tigers two wins over the Jacketes gives Clemson the no. 8 and Georgia Tech the no. 9.

-- Finally, BC and Wake Forest are tied at 5-13. Having split the regular season series, the tiebreaker goes to record vs. the team occupying the highest position in the final standings. Wake will have a win over the #5 seed N.C. State under their belt, while the Eagles' best win is projected to be over #7 Maryland. The Deacons earn the no. 10 seed and BC the no. 11.

After projecting out the rest of the regular season, there's really only two moves. North Carolina jumps N.C. State for the final first round bye, while Boston College and Wake Forest swap spots at the 10-11. If I had to choose between the two outcomes, I think the #6 / #3 path is much more manageable than #7 / #2 Duke. The Florida State-Virginia combo seems more winnable for BC than Maryland-Duke, even if there doesn't seem to be much difference between facing either the Seminoles or Terrapins in the first round.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. I doubt anyone is looking forward to drawing the Eagles in the first round.

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