2010 ACC Tournament Preview: Round 3

After going 2-for-4 in my first round predictions, getting three out of four in the second round can’t be bad, right?

Unless the one incorrect pick is the one where I took my team to lose. Lord, why did I have to only be wrong in taking Florida State?

Today’s semifinal round of the ACC Tournament will give me the chance to improve on my 5-3 record so far. Here is a preview of the two games we have on the slate for today.

Game 9: (1) Duke vs. (12) Miami, 1:30 p.m.

This game will be exactly what you expect when a top-seeded team faces the group that finished dead-last in the conference. Miami has had quite a run to this point, but expect Duke to put a stop to that.

While attendance has been fairly sparse in the first two days of action, Greensboro will be overrun by Duke fans this afternoon. When Miami walks into what will essentially be Cameron Indoor Stadium West, things will be different. They will be facing a fresh Blue Devils team — they rested a few of their stars early in the first half yesterday, which may explain the close game against Virginia.

Oh, and don’t expect Jon Scheyer to come out and shoot poorly two games in a row.

My prediction: Duke 80, Miami 65

Game 10: (7) Georgia Tech vs. (11) NC State, 3:30 p.m.

OK, so Duke won’t be the only team that will be well-represented at today’s session — the Wolfpack faithful will certainly turn out. Will it be enough to will their underdogs to a third consecutive victory? Doubtful.

GT has had their issues this season, and they certainly had their hands full against NC State in their only matchup of the regular season (a 73-71 victory in Atlanta). But they have beaten the Wolfpack this year, and I think they are more than capable to do it again.

Let’s face it, the Jackets are a walking, talking NBA Draft Lottery. They have so much talent and potential that nobody should be shocked to see them win the entire ACC Tournament tomorrow, despite their 7 seed. But what they still lack is a coaching staff that knows how to get the most out of their loaded roster.

Fortunately, NC State head coach Sidney Lowe isn’t exactly doing big things with his players, who are far less talented than GT’s future pros. So with the two coaching staffs being a wash, talent will prevail. I expect this to be a close game that will be decided in the final two minutes, but the Jackets will be playing for an ACC title tomorrow afternoon. And since I am 2-0 in my GT predictions so far, the Jackets should be golden!

My prediction: GT 64, NC State 60