The days leading up to Selection Sunday are a hoops junky’s dream. Games all day, tournament bids and seeds up for grabs, every outcome altering the landscape in subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) ways.
With all four of its nationally ranked teams in action, the ACC takes center stage Friday beginning with a noon tipoff between bubble team Florida State and regular season champ Virginia. Pittsburgh-North Carolina follows that one in the second half of the afternoon doubleheader, with Pitt trying to solidify a spot in the field of 68 and North Carolina hoping to improve its seed.
After a seemingly endless week of anticipation, SU makes its ACC Tournament debut at 7 o’clock against NC State and conference player of the year T.J. Warren. Some misguided folks are still holding out hope for the Orange to run the table and earn a 1 seed on Selection Sunday, but a more realistic goal is a #2 seed in the East Region. Duke fans are also still clinging to the possibility of earning the 4th #1 seed alongside Florida, Wichita State, and Arizona, and their first hurdle is a date with Clemson in the final quarterfinal game at the Greensboro Coliseum late Friday night.
All told, 8 of the top 10 teams in the country will take the floor and in fact only 5 ranked teams are not in action at some point Friday. #2 Wichita State has already won the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament and will enter the NCAA Tournament undefeated. #3 Villanova, #17 Oklahoma, #19 Memphis, and #25 SMU lost in their conference tourneys Thursday.