Monday, February 19, 2007

Frontrunner for ACC's top seed? Virginia

Picked to finish eighth in the ACC by the media that cover the league, Virginia has thrilled coach Dave Leitao by getting into position to finish first and gain the No. 1 seed for the ACC tournament.

“It’s always belonged to, traditionally, one of two teams, and we’re in a unique position to be able to take a shot at it,” Leitao said Monday.

North Carolina has owned or shared first place in the ACC 24 times and Duke 17 times in 53 previous seasons of ACC basketball. With two games remaining in the regular season, the Tar Heels remain Virginia’s strongest competition for the No. 1 seed, but Boston College and Virginia Tech have a shot as well.

Here’s a breakdown of the four-team chase for the top spot in the ACC standings:

Favorite: Virginia (18-7, 9-3 ACC). The Cavaliers have the easiest schedule remaining with games against three teams (Miami, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest) in the bottom half of the standings. Virginia’s toughest opponent will be Virginia Tech, and the Cavaliers play that game at home.

Contender: North Carolina (23-4, 9-3). This team has more talent and depth than anybody else in the ACC and is the conference’s only serious Final Four contender. But North Carolina still has to play on the road against a hot Maryland team, visit Georgia Tech and play Duke in the regular season finale.

Darkhorse: Virginia Tech (18-8, 8-4). Three of the Hokies’ final four games are at home. If senior guards Zabian Dowdell and Jamon Gordon can engineer a win at Virginia, the Hokies could sweep their last four and move up in the standings despite being a game behind the leaders.

Pretender: Boston College (18-8, 9-4). A week ago, the Eagles stood poised to put a stranglehold on the ACC’s top spot. But they lost at home to Duke and North Carolina, and they still must visit Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech in the next two weeks.

- Ken Tysiac


BlueDevilyn said...

I'm obviously a huge Duke fan(atic), but I was loving UVA last year...I thought Leitao should have been picked as ACC COY last year, because UVA was predicted to be so low, but just look back and see how well they did then, too. I'd love to see this team and their Coach get the respect that they deserve--and I am so glad to see someone *finally* giving them the props that they truly deserve.

Thank You!!!!

Rick said...


I'm a long time UVa fan and have seen too many jinxs, chokes, and total collapses across all sports at the University. I'm convinced it's cursed.

If I wake up two weeks from now and they've pulled it off, then I'll say the first nice thing about them this year - not before then.

Go Hoos!

Brad said...

Are you really serious Tysiac, or is this just something you wrote to take up time and space? "With two games remaining in the regular season..." Two games? You then go on to reference four games that Virginia plays, three that Carolina plays (leaving out tomorrow's game against State). Not to mention the fact that Carolina holds the head to head tie breaker against Virginia. Nicely written Tysiac.