ACC Basketball

ACC gets two into the N.I.T.

PHOTO BY MARK CRAMMER

Have you filled out your N.I.T. Brackets yet? No, neither have I. Sadly, the N.I.T. is the Caddyshack 2 of tournaments. We try to make ourselves watch it, because we associate it with the real thing, but in the end, we can’t get through five minutes. It’s there for the true diehard fans who are desperate for any kind of college basketball when the actual NCAA tournament is not on. At the very least, four teams get a free trip to New York and someone will get a trophy at the end.

FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES

The Seminoles earned a top seed in the Florida State bracket. Despite have the 46th best offense and the 56th best defense (according to Ken Pom), FSU went just 19-13,¬†finishing .500 in the ACC, falling to top seeded Virginia in the ACC quarterfinals. The Noles went 3-9 against the nation’s top-50, but they only have one bad loss on the season (to #110 Miami at home).

The Seminoles face Florida Gulf Coast in round one. If you recall, “Dunk City” stole our hearts last year, becoming the first 15-seed to advance to the Sweet 16 upsetting Georgetown and then San Diego. While their head coach, Andy Enfield, bolted for USC, the Eagles still got within one game of returning to the NCAA tournament, falling to Mercer in the Atlantic Sun conference title game. The winner of this game will advance and face the winner of the Georgetown/West Virginia match up.

CLEMSON TIGERS

Brad Brownell’s squad earned the 3-seed in the St. John’s bracket. The Tigers finished the season 20-12, 10-8 in the ACC, after most projected they’d finish second-to-last in the preseason. Their biggest accomplishment was beating Duke once back at home in early January and then nearly beating them again in the ACC tournament, if not for a controversial no-call at the end of the game. They’re arguably one of the better defensive teams in the N.I.T., led by potential 2014 lottery pick, K.J. McDaniels.

Clemson will face Georgia State, who is of course led by former Kentucky Wildcat and former North Carolina State Ryan Harrow. The junior is coming off a stunning performance against Louisiana Lafayette. He played every minute in the overtime loss, scoring 37 points on 13-19 shooting (11-12 from the line). It should be fun to see him matched up against Clemson’s Rod Hall. The winner will get to take on the winner of Illinois (remember when they use to be a good team) and Boston University.

 

 

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