It is conference tournament season and we are ready to rock. The NCAA field seems more wide open than I can remember and we should see a ton of upsets in the real bracket, but first, we have the conference tournaments. I’m going to start with the ACC Tournament.
Duke won the first ACC regular season title in 16 years. That seems absurd considering how storied and great Duke has been, but that’s what happened. We know that they will be looking to win everything they can for Coach K in his last season, but they also lost at home to North Carolina in his last home game. Now we have Duke as the #1 seed in a tournament that doesn’t have many real contenders. Duke is the current favorite to win, but I wouldn’t play them. You’re paying a higher price now than you might in the championship game if they face Notre Dame or North Carolina.
Speaking of, both of those are contenders in my book. I like Notre Dame more than I do North Carolina but wouldn’t be surprised to see the surging Tar Heels coming into Brooklyn and making it to the championship. At +800, this is a no-brainer for me to grab a ticket on the Tar Heels. They have a chance to win this outright and if they do play Duke, you can always hedge. Notre Dame is at +1000 and that is another that I will put in my back pocket. I don’t want to get too much into futures betting strategy here, but basically, even if we don’t win, it doesn’t mean it is a bad bet if you can ensure yourself some profit.
Wouldn’t Shock Me
This is basically just Wake Forest and Virginia in my book. Would it shock me if they won everything, yea a little bit, but it wouldn’t shock me if they made it to the final four or the championship game of the ACC tournament. Wake has had a nice season, led by Alondes Williams. Personally, I think it will be hard for teams to stop the backcourt of Williams and Daivien Williamson. I’d like to see Williamson get some more shots as he’s shooting almost 42% from deep this season. Virginia is just a team I don’t really ever count out. They have a strong enough defensive team, but their offense is often a struggle to watch. They have had some ugly losses in the ACC this year (losing by 17 to Clemson at home is one that comes to mind), but they are playing their ACC mates to close games. At +1700 I could see them making it to beat North Carolina. Beating UNC, Notre Dame, and Duke would be very unlikely though.
If I absolutely had to take a ticket on someone that I haven’t mentioned, it would be Miami (probably an obvious statement as they are the #4 seed in the tournament). I won’t take them though. They had a nice season, they beat Duke on the road, they ended the year with a nice win over Syracuse, and they had some good games overall. Maybe it is a gut feeling, but I think they freeze up on the road in a big stadium. They played Alabama at a neutral site and lost by 32. A lot has changed since then, but I can’t personally play them as I just don’t think they even make it past Wake Forest.
Florida State has the ability to beat them all and they might have the easiest path to get to the Championship so at +6000, I’ll grab one. Syracuse is too one-dimensional offensively, but they find ways to get it done. I don’t have faith in any opening round team and no faith in Virginia Tech either.