The ACC tournament schedule 2011 and the Big East tournament bracket have been announced, reminding all college basketball fans that the most wonderful time of the year is upon us. The Big 12 and Big Ten conferences have also secured their brackets, and in a matter of days, our conference champs will be named and we'll have our NCAA bracket 2011 filled out with our hopes and dreams for Cinderella teams and alma maters.
My heart belongs to the ACC conference -- I grew up in Virginia, went to Boston College, and was raised by UNC fans. But do we really need the ACC tournament this year?
I say let's cut to the chase. It pains me to leave Boston College out of the mix here (even after that hard-fought 48-46 loss to UNC) but I think we can all agree that the top two teams in the conference are UNC and Duke.
The Tar Heels are the number one seed after that impressive, if not dominant win over the Blue Devils in Chapel Hill on Saturday. Did I think the students should have stormed the court? No, I didn't, but still, it was a great win to secure the number one spot, and to tie the season's rivalry at one game apiece. (Duke beat UNC in Durham 79-73 back in February.)
Number four Clemson and number three Florida State are tough teams, the Tar Heels only beat both squads by two points, but it won't matter. In the past six ACC tournaments, either UNC or Duke has won. In the past 20 tournaments, 18 times the winning team was from the state of North Carolina. The tournament has become predictable, so put your money on a team from N.C. and forget about the rest.
Let's spare everyone some injuries, give Mike Patrick and Dick Vitale a chance to rest their vocal chords, and just skip to the UNC vs. Duke final in Greensboro on Sunday. UNC will get the #1 seed in the NCAA tournament, Duke will get a #2, then we'll all take a few hours off from work in the coming weeks to indulge in some wings, beers, and college hoops. Go Heels! (And Eagles.)
Who do you want to see in the ACC Championship game?
Photo via Beau B/Flickr