NCAAB: Which ACC Teams Are NCAA Tournament Contenders?

NCAAB Betting: Which ACC Teams Are NCAA Tournament Contenders?

Written by on March 12, 2020

The ACC is considered a bit down this season entering the NCAA Tournament with schools like North Carolina, Notre Dame and Syracuse having disappointing seasons, but don’t be surprised if an ACC team cuts down the nets on April 6 in Atlanta. Here are the three schools from the league that can win it along with Mybookie odds. Defending national champion Virginia, priced +6000 at MyBookie March Madness Odds, is not one of them even though the Wahoos will be in the field.

NCAAB: Which ACC Teams Are NCAA Tournament Contenders?

Florida State

  • 2020 March Madness Odds: +1400

People are really undervaluing the Seminoles, who were the regular-season champions of the ACC for the first time in school history. This might be the most talented team Leonard Hamilton has had in Tallahassee – too bad the Noles can’t play all their tournament games there because they are all but invincible at home.

Hamilton was named ACC Coach of the Year. The 26 wins for the Seminoles were a regular season school record, as were the 16 ACC wins. Florida State leads the ACC with four victories over ranked teams this season including two over Louisville, which finished in third place in the league standings.

“We’ve coined our own phrase: we’re new bloods,” Hamilton said. “We’re not going to catch up with the 80 years that were before us. We’re fighting for our spot and our position, the hierarchy of the most respected programs in the history of college basketball.”

Very few teams in the country can match the Seminoles’ top-to-bottom depth and size, and they have legit first-round NBA picks in Devin Vassell and Patrick Williams. Trent Forrest is an experienced two-way dominator. Vassell (12.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg) and Forrest’s (11.6 ppg, 4.1 apg) selections to the All-ACC Second Team marks just the third time in school history that two Seminoles have earned All-ACC First or Second Team honors in the same season.

Vassell, who improved his scoring average by more than eight points per game, finished tied for second in the voting as the Most Improved Player in the nation’s best basketball conference.

Duke

  • 2020 March Madness Odds: +900

The Blue Devils are talented enough to beat anyone and win their first title since 2015 but also inconsistent and young enough to lose to anyone: See the Blue Devils’ stunning defeats this season to Stephen F. Austin, Clemson and Wake Forest. That’s why Duke is only the No. 4 seed in this week’s ACC Tournament yet easily has the shortest national title odds of any conference school.

Duke sophomore Tre Jones was been named both the 2020 ACC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, while freshman Vernon Carey Jr., was voted as the ACC Freshman of the Year. Jones might have been a first-round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft but opted to return. He’ll surely turn pro after this season as will Carey.

Jones is just the second player in conference history to win Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season, joining Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon in 2015-16. Duke has now had the ACC Player of the Year in three consecutive seasons. Jones is sixth in the ACC in scoring (16.2), second in assists (6.4), fourth in assist/turnover ratio (+2.4) and sixth in steals (1.8).  Jones is the only player nationally with 450+ points, 175+ assists, 100+ rebounds, 50+ steals, 10+ blocked shots (471/185/123/52/10).

Carey, a highly-touted recruit, is the only player ranked in the ACC’s top 10 in scoring (third, 17.8), rebounding (fourth, 8.8), field goal percentage (first, .577) and blocked shots (sixth, 1.6). He has posted 15 double-doubles this season, which are ranked second among NCAA freshmen and second in the ACC.

The Blue Devils are 17-2 this season when four or more players score in double figures. Duke is allowing opponents to make just 4.83 three-pointers per game (third fewest nationally).

Louisville

  • 2020 March Madness Odds: +1600

Louisville hasn’t won the NCAA title as a member of the ACC – the Cardinals did in 2013 but that was their final season in the Big East and that championship was eventually vacated due to NCAA violations.

The Cardinals beat Duke in the only meeting between the schools this season – they could play again in the ACC Tournament – but went 0-2 vs. Florida State. Louisville posted a 15-5 record in its sixth season in the ACC, finishing in a tie for second in the league with Duke and Virginia. The Cardinals 10-game ACC winning streak this season was their longest-ever ACC winning streak, four more than the previous high of six straight accomplished last year.

Louisville’s Jordan Nwora was named the Preseason ACC Player of the Year but lost out on that to Duke’s Tre Jones. However, Nwora was second in that voting and was named first-team All-ACC. Nwora is the only player to rank among the ACC’s top ten in (18.0 ppg, second in the ACC), rebounding (7.7, 8th), free throw percentage (.813, 4th), field goal percentage (.440, 8th) and three-pointers made per game (2.5, 2nd). His 1,294 points to date in three seasons is tied for 31st in career scoring at UofL.

Per usual, Louisville is a very good defensive team. It ranks 13th in the nation in field goal percentage defense (.389) and 17th in three-point field goal percentage (.376). Louisville has held 12 teams under 60 points this season, including three of the last four. The Cardinals are 33rd in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 63.7 points per game.

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