Pittsburgh, Miami, Notre Dame advance on first day of ACC tournament – The Washington Post



Pittsburgh is through to the second round. (Nell Redmond/Associated Press)

Virginia earned the top seed in the ACC tournament after finishing 16-2 in the conference. The Cavaliers shared first place with North Carolina, which is the No. 2 seed by virtue of Virginia winning the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Duke is the No. 3 seed this week in Charlotte, and it’s unclear whether freshman phenom Zion Williamson will play after missing the final five games of the regular season with a right knee sprain suffered less than a minute into an 88-72 loss to the Tar Heels on Feb. 20. The Blue Devils are the only team to have beaten Virginia this season.

Florida State secured the No. 4 seed and final double bye into Thursday’s quarterfinals by beating Virginia Tech in overtime, 73-64, on Tuesday night.

The tournament has had a different champion in four straight years: Virginia last year, preceded by Duke, North Carolina and Notre Dame. The last five ACC finals have featured some combination of those four teams, with Miami in 2013 the last outsider to crash the final.

All times Eastern.

First round, Tuesday

Game 1: Miami 79, Wake Forest 71

DJ Vasiljevic scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds for Miami, which moved on to face fifth-seeded Virginia Tech in Wednesday’s second round. Wake Forest will now face questions about Coach Danny Manning’s future. Manning has a 65-93 in five seasons at Wake Forest.

Game 2: Notre Dame 78, Georgia Tech 71

The inexperienced Fighting Irish broke a seven-game winning streak and advanced to a second-round game against Louisville.

Game 3: Pittsburgh 80, Boston College 70

Pittsburgh had lost 13 in a row before winning its season finale. Now it’s got a two-game winning streak going after Trey McGowens, Xavier Johnson and Jared Wilson-Frame combined to score 65 of the Panthers’ 80 points.

Second round, Wednesday

Game 4: No. 8 N.C. State vs. No. 9 Clemson, noon, ESPN

The Wolfpack won the only meeting between the teams, 69-67, on Jan. 26, but Clemson closed the regular season winning four of five. Its only loss in that span came against North Carolina. The Tigers have the ACC’s third leading scorer in Marcquise Reed, who averaged 19.4 points per game. Only Duke’s RJ Barrett (23.4) and Williamson (21.6) averaged more during the regular season. Both teams are near the fringes of the NCAA tournament field.

Game 5: No. 5 Virginia Tech vs. No. 12 Miami, approx. 2:30 p.m., ESPN

Hokies Coach Buzz Williams has indicated starting point guard Justin Robinson will not play in the ACC tournament. The senior had missed nine straight games with a foot injury before receiving a ceremonial start on Friday night, playing one second in a victory over Miami. Robinson, a Manassas native, is the program’s career leader in assists. The Post’s Patrick Stevens projects Virginia Tech as a 5 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Game 6: No. 7 Louisville vs. No. 15 Notre Dame, 7 p.m. on ESPN2

The Cardinals had been among the most surprising teams in the ACC until blowing a 23-point second-half lead in a devastating 71-69 loss to visiting Duke on Feb. 12. It was the largest comeback for the Blue Devils under Coach Mike Krzyzewski, and since then Louisville has been in a tailspin, dropping five of seven to end the regular season under first-year coach Chris Mack. The Post’s Patrick Stevens projects Louisville as a 7 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Game 7: No. 6 Syracuse vs. No. 14 Pittsburgh, approx. 9:30 p.m., ESPN2

The Orange lost four of five to finish the regular season in what has been an emotional few weeks for Coach Jim Boeheim, who was involved in a fatal automobile accident on Feb. 20 following a game at the Carrier Dome. The Hall of Fame coach, 74, struck Jorge Jimenez while trying to swerve to avoid the stalled vehicle Jimenez had been driving. Jimenez died a short time later at a nearby hospital. Boeheim is not being charged in the incident. The Post’s Patrick Stevens projects Syracuse as a 10 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Quarterfinals, Thursday

Game 8: No. 1 Virginia vs. N.C. State-Clemson winner, 12:30 p.m., ESPN

Game 9: No. 4 Florida State vs. Virginia Tech-Miami winner, approx. 3 p.m., ESPN

Game 10: No. 2 North Carolina vs. Louisville-Notre Dame winner, 7 p.m., ESPN

Game 11: No. 3 Duke vs. Game 7 winner, approx. 9:30 p.m., ESPN

Semifinals, Friday

Game 8 winner vs. Game 9 winner, 7 p.m., ESPN

Game 10 winner vs. Game 11 winner, approx. 9:30 p.m., ESPN

Final, Saturday

Semifinal winners, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

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