CHARLOTTE, NC (WTVD) — The top four seeds in the ACC Tournament will take the court Thursday as quarterfinals action gets underway.
Virginia vs. NC State
The first game tips off at 12:30 p.m. and features the ACC regular season co-champion Virginia Cavaliers (28-2). The Cavs will try to fend off upset-minded NC State (22-10).
The Wolfpack are coming off a 1 point nail-biter with Clemson. Both NC State and Clemson came into the ACC Tournament as bubble teams hoping to impress the NCAA Selection Committee with a strong tournament performance.
An upset of Virginia would definitely count as a strong tournament performance for Kevin Keatts’ Wolfpack.
Virginia Tech vs. Florida State
The second game of Thurday’s action will get underway after the conclusion of UVA vs NCSU, and it includes two extremely dangerous teams.
The Seminoles of Florida State (25-6) have one of the deepest rosters in the conference, and they’re playing great basketball right now. Leonard Hamilton’s team has won 12 of its last 13, with the only loss in that streak coming against North Carolina on Feb. 23.
As for the Hokies: They can shoot.
Virginia Tech (24-7) is ranked 31st in the country with a 48 percent field goal percentage, and they’re ranked 7th with a 40 percent clip from behind the arc.
Tech is also riding a hot streak, with their only recent loss coming at the hands of Florida State in an overtime thriller on March 5 in Tallahassee.
North Carolina vs. Louisville
The Tar Heels (26-5) and the Cardinals (20-12) will look to settle the season score in their third meeting, which is scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m.
Louisville throttled UNC in their first meeting on Jan. 12 in Chapel Hill by a count of 83-62. But that beat down was a long time ago, and it appears to have woken up the boys in blue.
Since that game, Carolina has been on a tear, going 14-1 with the only hiccup coming against Virginia–in a game where Freshman star Nassir Little got injured in the first half.
The Cardinals, on the other hand, have cooled off as of late finishing the regular season 2-6. In their defense, four of those six losses came against ranked opponents.
Duke vs. Syracuse
The final battle of the night features injury questions for both Duke (26-5) and Syracuse (20-12).
One of those questions has been (at least partially) answered: Zion Williamson will play for Duke.
If the freshman sensation is at full health, Duke instantly becomes the favorite to win the ACC Tournament and the NCAA tournament.
Zion missed Duke’s last six games after blowing out his shoe in the first 30 seconds of the rivalry game against UNC.
In his absence, Duke has struggled. The Blue Devils have been a mediocre 3-3, losing twice to UNC and once to Virginia Tech and escaping a defeat at the hands of Wake Forest by centimeters.
As for Syracuse, they dispatched Pittsburgh without scoring leader Tyus Battle. However, they’ll find Duke a much tougher out if Battle is unable to go.
Syracuse and Duke split their regular season games–with Syracuse beating Duke in Cameron on Jan. 14. But that game too featured injuries: Cameron Reddish and Tre Jones did not play for Duke.
No matter who is injured, the result of this game will decide who marches on in the ACC Tournament.