After a weekend of the Big Ten separating the wheat from the chaff (RIP, Nebraska) the ACC is the first major conference to kick off this week as college basketball races toward Selection Sunday and the NCAA Tournament. Here is what to watch out for as you consider it is only Tuesday and this week will probably never end.
Notre Dame v. Pitt 2 PM, ESPN, Brooklyn (ACC Tournament 1st Round)
The Fighting Irish were once considered a top 5 team in the nation way back in November, but lost to Ball State and Indiana to dispel that notion. Still they won their first 3 ACC games, but an injury to forward Bonzie Colson and a 7 game losing streak derailed any hopes of replicating last year’s #5 seed. Now they are only in on 1 of the 110 brackets listed on Bracket Matrix and would undoubtedly drop off that one if they lost to ACC laughingstock Pitt. A win here is a must to keep their flickering hopes alive.
Syracuse v. Wake Forest 7 PM, ESPN, Brooklyn (ACC Tournament 1st Round)
Jim Boeheim is just the worst. It needs to be said. Syracuse finds themselves teetering on the edge of missing out for the second straight time, thus robbing the viewing public of the spectacle of a college basketball team running the same zone defense your dad always suggests when he plays at the Y. A win here would set up a chance to get a big win against North Carolina, but a loss would leave the Orange very vulnerable to bubble shrinkage.
The rest of the slate doesn’t inspire a lot of pathos for those looking for teams in danger of missing at-large bids but, as always, will serve up plenty of dudes going all out knowing that winning out is their only shot at living their dream.