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March Madness Update: Duke, North Carolina Top ACC National Title Contenders

With five games left in the regular season, ACC juggernauts Duke and North Carolina are tied for first place in the ACC and they have the top odds of winning March Madness among ACC teams.

The ACC could be limited to five teams in the field of 68 and it is not looking good for the conference to have a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

March Madness Update: Duke, North Carolina Top ACC National Title Contenders
Jared McCain #0 of the Duke Blue Devils/Grant Halverson/Getty Images/AFP

There are eight times with winning records in ACC play but only Duke and North Carolina are in the Top 25 in the national polls. That is something to consider when it comes to the March Madness predictions.

When looking at the college basketball futures odds, North Carolina is tied for sixth at +1800 and has the best odds of winning the national championship among ACC teams. Duke is next among ACC squads at +2500.

Here’s a look at the NCAA Tournament hopes for the ACC teams with just three weeks to go in the regular season.

 

Big Dance-Bound

It is looking like business as usual for ACC heavyweights Duke and North Carolina as the Vegas March Madness odds have them as the teams to beat in the ACC title race.

The Blue Devils and Tar Heels are tied for the ACC lead. Perhaps the top seed in the upcoming ACC tournament will be decided on the final day of the regular season when Duke welcomes North Carolina.

The Tar Heels are 10th in the NCAA NET rankings with Duke moving from 16th to 12th so it is not looking good to have an ACC team be a No. 1 seed in the March Madness bracket.

North Carolina was a No. 2 seed and Duke was among the No. 3 seeds when the NCAA selection committee revealed its current top 16 seeds less than a week ago.


Clemson and Wake Forest are in the top 30 in the NCAA NET rankings. Wake Forest’s 1-5 record in Quad 1 games and 0-3 mark versus teams in the Top 25 in the national polls won’t help the Demon Deacons’ seeding when the tournament field is announced.

Three of the next four games are at home for Clemson as the Tigers look to move into the top four in the ACC standings.

Virginia was briefly ranked in the national polls. The Cavaliers are sitting alone in third in the ACC standings but the other numbers, including a 6-6 record in Quad 1 and Quad 2 games, are going to be an issue.

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On the Bubble

The numbers are not great for Virginia Tech with a 7-8 ACC mark, a 1-7 record on the road, and a 3-6 record in Quad 1 games. The Hokies need to finish strong to give the tournament committee a reason to include them. The next two games for Virginia Tech are on the road. If the Hokies can take care of business, the only other remaining road game comes against cellar-dwelling Louisville.

Pittsburgh was tied for the seventh-best odds to win the ACC when the season began and the Panthers are a game out of fourth place heading into the weekend. A pair of wins over ranked teams helps but a 5-7 record in Quad 1 and Quad 2 games as well as a pair of Quad 3 losses could make for some anxious times on Selection Sunday.

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Wait ‘Til Next Year

Being outside the top 80 in the NCAA NET rankings pretty much means that it will take a run to the ACC tournament title to be among the 68 teams in the NCAA tournament.

No. 81 North Carolina State (2-6 in Quad 1 games), No. 87 Syracuse (2-7 in Quad 1 games), No. 91 Miami (2-7 in Quad 1 games, 2-7 on the road), No. 90 Boston College (0-6 in Quad 1 games), No. 94 Florida State might be able to make some noise in the conference tournament.

That seems unlikely for the trio of Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, and Louisville.

 

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Questions Of The Day

Which ACC teams have the best record against the spread against ranked teams this season?


North Carolina is 5-2 against the spread when facing teams in the Top 25 in the national polls this season while Louisville has covered in three of its four games versus ranked teams.

Which ACC team has the best odds to win March Madness?


North Carolina leads the way at +1800 in the college basketball championship odds. Duke is next at +2500.

 

 

The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.

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