For the first time since the 2012-13 season, the Miami Hurricanes are the co-champs of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Virginia also claimed a part of the title. For the Cavaliers, it is the sixth regular season title in the last ten years and the 11th overall. Clemson’s Hunter Tyson was named the Skip Prosser award winner as the top student-athlete in the ACC. With the tournament already underway, three teams headed to it are ranked teams in the AP Top 25 Poll. Virginia at #13, Miami at #14, and Duke at #21. While seven league teams were rated in the Top 70 of Monday’s NCAA Net Report. Let’s look ahead to the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament.
This will be the 70th edition of the event. It is the 29th time that the tournament is being held in Greensboro, which is the most of any locale. The event got started with a rematch of last year’s title game between Florida State and Georgia Tech who both struggled this year hanging around the bottom of the standings for most of the conference season. The Yellow Jackets did come into that game with a 3-game winning streak. While the Seminoles had lost their last two heading into the event. The hottest team arriving in Greensboro is Duke who is playing their best basketball at the right time of the year. They take a 6-game winning streak into their first game of the tournament which is set for Thursday afternoon.
While Miami shared the regular season crown, they have the number one seed for the event and will take the court for the first time on Thursday at noon. This is the first time that the Hurricanes have been a number-one seed since the 2012-13 season. It is the third title overall for the program, two in the ACC and one in the Big East in 1999-2000. The Hurricanes are the best-scoring offense in the league at 79.63 points a game, second in FT percentage at 78% (426-of-546), #1 in FG percentage at 48% (867-of-1787), and number one in 3-point percentage at 37% (229-of- 616). Individually, Norchad Omier is third in rebounding at ten a game, is fourth on the active rebounding list with 935, and is fifth on the active blocked shot list with 127. Guard Isiah Wong is 11th in scoring at 16 points a game.
The Boston College duo of Makai Ashton-Langford and Jaeden Zackery is the only pair in the league to average better than 1.40 steals a game. Ashton-Langford is fifth at 1.55 steals a game, and Zackery was seventh at 1.42. The more important news for the Eagles was whether or not Quinton Post would be available to the team for the tournament. Post suffered an ankle injury three minutes into the team’s last game on Saturday vs Georgia Tech. Post was named the ACC Most Improved Player this year. He becomes the first BC player to win this award. He received 23 of the 75 votes cast.
The Clemson Tigers had themselves a very good league year. Their record of 14-6 in conference play was good enough for a third seed in the tournament. They will play the late game on Thursday night. The #3 seed is the highest for the program since the 2008 season when the Tigers were also a three seed. It is just the second time since 1990 that Clemson has been a three-seed or better. The 14 conference wins are a program record in the league.
Duke’s six-game winning streak is the team’s longest of the season. Defense is a big reason why. They have held opponents to just 38.4% shooting from the field, and 32.3 from 3-point land. During this stretch, teams have been able to score just 61.7 points on average. Another reason for the Blue Devils’ good play of late is freshman Kyle Filipowski who for the ninth time this season, was named ACC Rookie of the Week. The nine times tie him for most in league history. He averaged 16.5 points, 13.5 boards in Duke’s wins over NC State and North Carolina. He recorded double-doubles in both games.
The ACC Player of the Week is Georgia Tech’s, Miles Kelly. In a 2-0 week for the Yellow Jackets, Kelly averaged 25.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, and three assists. Against Syracuse Kelly scored a career-high 30 points. The sophomore guard has averaged 20.2 points and 3.7 boards in the team’s last six games. He has scored in double figures in all six, hitting 49.4% from the field, and 45.9% from 3-point land.
Jeff Capel of Pittsburgh was named to the 2023 Werner Ladder Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year. They finished in a tie for second place with a 14-6 conference record. They have 21 wins overall. Their offense has at times been explosive. They have scored 75 or more points in four straight games, and in seven of the past eight. The only game they did not reach 75 points was on Feb. 18 at Virginia Tech when they lost 79-72 to the Hokies.
Enjoy the tournament and we will see you next week with news on those that made the Field of 68.
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