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Favorites: Duke 26-5, North Carolina 23-8
Darkhorse: Miami 22-9, Notre Dame 22-9, and Virginia 18-12
Teams Safely in the Big Dance: Duke, North Carolina, Miami, Notre Dame, and Wake Forest
Teams With a Chance If They Get to the Finals: Virginia and Virginia Tech
Predictions: I’m not an expert, but I don’t recall the ACC tournament ever played outside the state of North Carolina. That was obviously an advantage for the four schools in North Carolina, especially Duke and North Carolina. The league is very balanced this year and the media has branded it as weak. Weak compared to what? There are worthy teams and I sure as Hell wouldn’t want to play North Carolina if I had to get a win in the NCAA tournament. They beat the legendary Coach K, 94-81, in his final game at Cameron.
Having said all that, Duke is the best team, but there is something missing with them. They lost 4 games, in a conference that a great Duke team’ might have finished unbeaten in. Their side of the bracket has potential matchups with Syracuse, Miami, or Wake Forest. On the other side of the bracket, I like North Carolina, but can’t bet a nickel on them. I think the wise money has to stay with the Blue Devils. PAPA DUDES PICK: Duke
Favorites: North Texas 23-5, UAB 24-7
Darkhorse: Western Kentucky 19-12, UTEP 18-12
Predictions: This is a very underrated league with a lot of really good teams. Eight of the fourteen teams have won 17 games or more and a case can be made for at least 6 of them to win. I like the experience of UAB, UTEP, and Western Kentucky, as they have been in the Big Dance more than the others. But, don’t discount the conference champ, North Texas. Basically, you could take four teams, put them in a hat, and have a legit chance to pick the winner. I’ll make a pick but don’t take much away from it. PAPA DUDES PICK: UAB
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