ACC Tournament capsules
Record: 27-6 overall, 14-4 ACC.
Top players: Marcus Paige (12.1 points, 3.7 assists); Brice Johnson (16.8 points, 10.8 rebounds); Kennedy Meeks (9.9 points, 5.9 rebounds); Justin Jackson (12.3 points, 3.7 assists).
Head coach: Roy Williams (357-107 at North Carolina, 775-208 overall).
Comment: The top-seeded Tar Heels began the season at the top of the polls and could end up there again when the nets are cut down after the season. UNC has plenty of ability fill it up (a league-leading 83.1 points) and have numerous ways to get it done. Paige remains one of the scariest players in the conference. On defense, the Tar Heels have allowed only one opponent to shoot better than 50 percent from the field this season.
Tourney opener: vs. Pittsburgh-Syracuse winner, Noon, Thursday.
Record: 24-6 overall, 13-5.
Top players: Malcolm Brogdon (18.5 points, 4.3 rebounds); Anthony Gill (13.6 points, 6.1 rebounds); London Perrantes (11.3 points, 4.4 assists); Mike Tobey (7.2 points, 5.1 rebounds).
Head coach: Tony Bennett (160-70 at Virginia, 229-103 overall).
Comment: The second-seeded Cavaliers have one of the most experienced teams in the tournament, and Brogdon is one of the most savvy and clutch players in the conference and has topped 20 points in nine of the past 14 games. Virginia remains the best defensive team in the conference, which make it a definite contender. This senior class has won 105 games.
Tourney opener: vs. Clemson-Georgia Tech winner, 7 p.m., Thursday.
KEEP AN EYE ON
Record: 22-9 overall, 11-7.
Top players: Grayson Allen (20.9 points, 4.6 rebounds); Brandon Ingram (17.0 points, 6.6 rebounds); Luke Kennard (11.9 points); Matt Jones (11.1 points).
Head coach: Mike Krzyzewski (967-260 at Duke, 1,040-319 overall).
Comment: The loss of McDonald's All-American Amile Jefferson with a right foot injury after nine games slowed the Blue Devils but hasn't prevented them from winning 20 games for a 20th straight season. Allen is a point-producing machine and is the ninth player to lead the team in points and assists. Allen, Jones and Ingram are nightmare matchups with their range; Duke averages nine 3-pointers per game.
Tourney opener: vs. N.C. State-Wake Forest winner, 2 p.m., Wednesday.
Record: 20-10 overall, 11-7.
Top players: Zach Auguste (14.0 points, 10.4 rebounds); Demetrius Jackson (16.3 points, 4.7 assists); Steve Vasturia (12.5 points); Bonzie Colston (11.6 points, 7.1 rebounds); V.J. Beachem (11.4 points).
Head coach: Mike Brey (352-175 at Notre Dame, 451-227 overall).
Comment: The veteran Auguste has 17 double-doubles this year and is a finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabaar Award given each year to the nation's best center. He is on pace to become the first Irish player to shoot 56 percent from the field and get 700 rebounds. The Irish are productive on offense and lead the nation in committing only 9.1 turnovers per game.
Tourney opener: vs. Duke/N.C. State-Wake Forest winner, 2 p.m., Thursday.
Record: 24-6 overall, 13-5.
Top players: Sheldon McClellan (15.6 points); Angel Rodriguez (11.5 points, 4.3 assists); Davon Reed (11.1 points, 4.1 rebounds); Ja'Quan Newton (10.9 points).
Head coach: Jim Larranaga (115-55 at Miami, 585-389 overall).
Comment: Not sure why, but the Hurricanes get often get lost in the ACC discussion. Larranaga is on par with the best coaches in the conference, and he has molded another experienced group that looks ready for postseason. McClellan is the second-most efficient offensive player in the country and has the 13th-best shooting percentage (50.4) in the nation among guards. He's shooting 57.3 percent inside the 3-point line.
Tourney opener: vs. Virginia Tech/Florida State-Boston College winner, 9 p.m., Thursday.
COULD CAUSE MISCHIEF
Record: 18-13 overall, 10-8.
Top players: Zach LeDay (15.0 points, 7.7 rebounds); Seth Allen (14.0 points); Justin Bibbs (12.1 points); Chris Clarke (9.4 points, 6.4 rebounds).
Head coach: Buzz Williams (28-35 at Virginia Tech, 182-121 overall).
Comment: Perhaps the best turnaround of the season occurred in Blacksburg, where Virginia Tech went from the worst team in the conference to a scary middle-of-the-pack squad that doesn't have a first-round ACC tournament game for the first time since 2004-05. LeDay and Allen have each scored 400 points, the first time that has happened for the Hokies since 2011.
Tourney opener: vs. Florida State-Boston College winner, 9 p.m., Wednesday.
Record: 19-12 overall, 9-9.
Top players: Michael Gbinije (17.5 points, 4.5 assists); Malachi Richardson (13.1 points, 4.3 rebounds); Trevor Cooney (12.9 points); Tyler Lydon (10.0, 6.4 rebounds); Tyler Roberson (9.1 points, 8.4 rebounds).
Head coach: Jim Boeheim (880-339, all at Syracuse).
Comment: The Orange are in the tournament for the first time; they sat out last year because of sanctions. Gbinije is as valuable as any player in the conference. He has been in double figures every game and plays nearly 38 minutes every night. Cooney is one of the best 3-point shooters in the ACC. The Orange have struggled down the stretch and probably need to win a couple of tournament games to get off the NCAA Tournament bubble.
Tourney opener: vs. Pittsburgh, Noon, Wednesday.
Record: 20-10 overall, 9-9.
Top players: Jamel Artis (15.1 points, 5.1 rebounds); Michael Young (15.9 points, 7.0 rebounds); James Robinson (10.4 points, 5.2 assists).
Head coach: Jamie Dixon (327-121, all at Pittsburgh).
Comment: The Panthers have had trouble against ranked ACC teams, going 1-5 with only a late-season win against Duke. Pittsburgh is another bubble team that will need a nice showing in the ACC Tournament to reach the big dance. The Panthers have pieces. Young has scored in double figures in 28 consecutive games, and Artis is an excellent 3-point shooter.
Tourney opener: vs. Syracuse, Noon, Wednesday.
Record: 17-13 overall, 10-8.
Top players: Jaron Blossomgame (18.3 points, 6.8 rebounds); Donte Grantham (10.5 points, 4.0 rebounds); Avry Holmes (10 points); Landry Nnoko (8.4 points, 5.8 rebounds).
Head coach: Brad Brownell (107-86 at Clemson, 274-171 overall).
Comment: The Tigers defeated four ranked teams and matched a program record for conference wins. Blossomgame is one of the gifted players in the ACC, plus he plays hard and creates some difficult defensive matchups. The Tigers are capable of slugging it out with anyone because of their defensive tenacity, but they are equally capable of disappearing on offense. An odd note: Clemson finished the regular season with more wins in the ACC than out of the conference, the first time that has happened since the 1966-67 season.
Tourney opener: vs. Georgia Tech, 7 p.m., Wednesday.
Record: 18-13 overall, 8-10.
Top players: Marcus Georges-Hunt (16.6 points, 3.3 rebounds); Charles Mitchell (10.3 points, 9.9 rebounds); Adam Smith (14.6 points); Nick Jacobs (10.8 points, 5.8 rebounds).
Head coach: Brian Gregory (73-84 at Georgia Tech, 245-178 overall)
Comment: The Yellow Jackets have won five of their past six games and have shown the ability to come up with the big plays at the end of the game. Georges-Hunt has become an elite player, and Smith, although streaky at times, might be the most dangerous 3-point shooter in the ACC. The Yellow Jackets definitely need to win a couple of games to keep any NCAA hopes alive.
Tourney opener: vs. Clemson, 7 p.m., Wednesday.
THANKS FOR PARTICIPATING
Record: 18-12 overall, 8-10.
Top players: Dwayne Bacon (15.8 points, 5.8 rebounds); Malik Beasley (15.6 points, 5.3 rebounds); Xavier Rathan-Mayes (11.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists); Devon Bookert (9.5 points).
Head coach: Leonard Hamilton (254-185 at FSU, 454-395 overall).
Comment: The Seminoles had their bubble burst with a five-game losing streak late in the year, but they have been inconsistent at best all year. Bacon and Beasley make up an exciting and productive freshman tandem but have fought through typical mistakes made by young players. Bookert is asked to do a lot of things and does them well.
Tourney opener: vs. Boston College, 2 p.m., Tuesday.
Record: 15-16 overall, 5-13.
Top players: Anthony "Cat" Barber (23.2 points, 4.3 assists); Maverick Rowan (12.7 points); Abdul-Malik Abu (12.7 points, 8.7 rebounds); Caleb Martin (11.3 points, 5.0 rebounds).
Head coach: Mark Gottfried (385-223 at N.C. State, 107-68 overall).
Comment: The Wolfpack have suffered through growing pains this season and will need Barber to carry them. Barber leads the ACC in scoring and ranks seventh in the nation. They have an excellent 3-point shooter in Rowan and intimidator in Abu.
Tourney opener: vs. Wake Forest, Noon, Tuesday.
Record: 11-19 overall, 2-16.
Top players: Codi Miller-McIntyre (9.0 points, 4.2 rebounds); Devin Thomas (15.7 points, 10.0 rebounds); Konstantinos Mitoglou (9.5 points, 5.0 rebounds); Bryant Crawford (13.5 points, 4.4 assists).
Head coach: Danny Manning (24-38 at Wake Forest, 62-67 overall).
Comment: Crawford became only the eighth ACC freshman since 2000 to have at least 350 points, 100 assists and 40 steals. But the team is mostly dependent on Thomas, who is the ACC's active leader in career rebounds and career double-doubles. Miller-McIntyre has worked his way back after missing the first eight games with a foot fracture. The Demon Deacons struggled with a schedule that was ranked as the second toughest in the nation by ESPN.
Tourney opener: vs. N.C. State, Noon, Tuesday.
Record: 7-24 overall, 0-18.
Top players: Eli Carter (16.2 points, 4.0 rebounds); Jerome Robinson (11.6 points, 5.0 rebounds); Dennis Clifford (9.3 points, 7.2 rebounds).
Head coach: Jim Christian (20-43 at Boston College, 263-196 overall).
Comment: Boston College became the first team to go 0-18 in the ACC, but the Eagles are building for the future. They have played nine true freshmen this season, the second most in the nation. Carter has been the most consistent player, but he has been known to make a bad decision at the wrong time. Robinson missed nine games with a fractured wrist and A.J. Turner missed five games with an ankle sprain, but both are back for the tournament.
Tourney opener: vs. Florida State, 2 p.m., Tuesday.