College basketball: Syracuse wants to make mark in ACC Tournament

Their offense went cold towards the end of the season, causing them to fall to the No. 6 seed in the ACC.

The Virginia Cavaliers are a potential sleeper in the tournament. They still play some zone now, as is the case with most ACC teams at this juncture.

Teams seeded 10-15 - Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Clemson, N.C. State, Pitt and Boston College - would have to win five games in as many days to cut down the nets Saturday night. They beat Boston College 82-66, but lost at Louisville 71-64.

The Cavaliers (21-9) would get the victor of another first-round game, Georgia Tech (17-14) and Pittsburgh (15-16). If A&T advances, they play No. 2 seed Howard on Wednesday at 2 p.m. It lost in overtime at Pitt on January 4, and then won Saturday, 67-42.

That energized the Duke supporters who had made the three-hour drive south for an ACC tournament that was slated for Greensboro until the league moved its neutral site championships out of North Carolina because of the state's transgender bathroom bill.

En route to a 14-4 conference regular-season mark, Carolina won in the Smith Center over 2nd-seeded Florida State (96-83) and 4th-seeded Louisville (74-63) and stopped Notre Dame 83-76 in Greensboro.

Between them, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and Carolina's Roy Williams have won seven NCAA titles and coached in 20 Final Fours.

"That's our formula", Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. "He's gaining a lot of confidence and we love it when he plays like that".

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"I think they can play in the second weekend", ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said on a conference call Monday.

The WSSU met a similar fate, losing to defending champion Virginia State in a quarterfinal game in the CIAA tournament on February 23.

Gates open at 6 p.m. on April 11, with the game set to begin at 7:30 p.m.

The 2017 ACC tournament scores are going to be very closely watched by the NCAA Selection Committee, as it is no secret that the conference has put together one of its deepest fields in years.

Looking forward, the Irish will seek to continue their so-far-successful 11-1 season, with Spence leading the team in dual wins and Closs still undefeated at 8-0.

To register 13 straight wins against basketball blue blood Duke, 11 in a row versus Louisville (national runner-up in 2009 and 2013) and 18 against Syracuse (last year's national runner-up) is something that can be easily taken for granted and not fully appreciated until years down the line - sort of like defeating USC in football 11 straight years from 1983-93.

In a game that Syracuse probably needs to win to make the NCAA Tournament, the staff is split, as half predicted the Hurricanes would win that game.

Meanwhile those Dukies, who a few weeks ago looked like the best team in the country, fell to the No. 5 seed for this ACC tournament, with three losses in their last four games. Reed is a career 39.7-percent 3-point shooter, making 2.4 per game for the Hurricanes. North Carolina will get the victor of Syracuse and Miami, and the Tar Heels should be able to take care of either opponent easily. Stachowiak rallied with consecutive wins to make the lead just 4-3, but Blumberg captured the final two games for the win. Hicks, who sat out the first meeting due to a hamstring injury, had a game-high nine rebounds.

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