ACC Dominating NCAA Tournament

How Sweet It Is

By: Kenneth Harrison news services

We are moving to the second week of the NCAA Tournament and some questions have been answered.

The SEC and Big 12 had eight teams make it to the tournament. This has been considered a down year for the ACC, which has been the best basketball conference for several years. They only had five teams make it in.

Four of them have advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. The league’s only loss was Virginia’s defeat by Colorado State in the First Four.

“So, I guess the narrative that the ACC was down should be revisited huh???” Danny Kanell asked.

NC State (24-14) is the only double-digit seed still remaining. The Wolfpack won the ACC Tournament to make it here. They finished 10th in the conference after the regular season.

They are the No. 11 seed in the South region. They beat No. 6 Texas Tech 80-67 in the first round. They faced off with No. 14 Oakland in the next round. Oakland got there by beating No. 3 Kentucky. The game went to overtime but they beat the Golden Grizzlies 79-73.

This is their first time advancing to the Sweet Sixteen since 2015.

Forward DJ Burns Jr. led the team with 24 points. He’s 6’9 and 275 pound big man.

“I think that’s what March is about,” Burns said. “Some teams got here by winning their conference just like us and that doesn’t mean they’re a bad team.”

The next game is against No. 2 Marquette.

North Carolina (29-7) is the top seed in the West and it’s no surprise that they got here. They beat 16 seed Wagner 90-62 in the first round. In the second round they trounced No. 9 Michigan State 85-69.

The Spartans started off with a 12-point lead.

“We came into the huddle and said, ‘Look, we can’t talk about any basketball stuff until we join the fight,'” Hubert Davis said. “Once that started, the level of play in terms of the energy and effort, the attention to detail rose. Then that’s when things started to change.”

Senior guard RJ Davis led the Tar Heels with 20 points. Fifth-year center Armando Bacot had 18 points and 7 rebounds.

The next game is against 4 seed Alabama.

Clemson (23-11) started the season 11-1. They struggled in conference play, finishing 11-9 in the ACC.

The Tigers beat No. 11 New Mexico in Round 1, 77-56. They next game was an upset of 3 seed Baylor, 72-64. The Bears average 80 points per game so Clemson did a good job of defending them and slowing down the pace.

Senior guard Chase Hunter had 20 points and 6 assists.

Clemson is playing No. 2 Arizona next.

Duke (26-8) is a blue blood program that is expected to be here. By their standards this has not been a great season prior to advancing to the Sweet Sixteen.

In the opening round No. 4 Duke beat No. 13 Vermont, 64-47. In the second round they dominated No. 12 James Madison, 93-55.

Freshman guard Jared McCain scored 30 points and made eight 3-pointers.

“I feel like every game, I’m always ready to see if I’m going to go off,” McCain said.

They play Houston next, the top seed in the South region.

I believe one of these teams will advance to the Final Four.