ACC Tournament 2014: Preview, predictions, odds and picks

Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

With the ACC Tournament set to tip off tomorrow, we break down Maryland's last trip to Greensboro.

After Maryland defeated Virginia on Sunday, the Terps found themselves in a scenario where they could either be the seven or eight seed in the upcoming ACC tournament. With Florida State losing to Syracuse and N.C. State beating Boston College, Maryland ended up with the eight seed and will face Florida State on Thursday at 12:00 PM.

So what are Maryland's chances of winning the ACC Tournament, after they just beat conference champion Virginia? Not very good, according to www.teamrankings.com.

Based on their calculations, Maryland has just a 1.42% chance of winning their final ACC tournament. So who are the favorites? They give Duke a 40.49% chance of winning, Virginia is second at 19.53, followed by Syracuse at 14.57% and North Carolina at 10.46%. No other team has a double-digit percentage. Pitt has an 8.18% chance and after the Panthers, it really drops off with Florida State at 2.25, just ahead of Maryland's 1.47%.

Team Rankings gives Maryland a 46.38% chance of winning their first game against Florida State and moving to the quarterfinals, but beyond that, things go downhill. They give Maryland just a 13.21% shot of beating the team they'd face in the quarterfinals, which in all likelihood would be Virginia, who they just defeated. They think Maryland has just a 5.07% chance of winning their semifinals game, where they'd most likely be facing Pitt or UNC, And was was mentioned previously, they give the Terps just a 1.42% shot of winning the entire tournament. If Maryland did make the finals, they'd most like face either Duke, Syracuse, N.C. State or Clemson.

What does Vegas think about the ACC? Here's how Bovada breaks it down:

ACC Tournament - Odds to Win
Virginia 2/1
Duke 2/1
Syracuse 3/1
North Carolina 7/1
Pittsburgh 12/1
Clemson 40/1
Florida State 40/1
Maryland 40/1
NC State 50/1
Miami FL 66/1
Notre Dame 100/1
Georgia Tech 250/1
Wake Forest 500/1
Boston College 500/1
Virginia Tech 500/1

At 40/1, that equates to a 2.5% chance of winning, according to Vegas. But they have Virginia and Duke both listed as 2/1 favorites, with Syracuse a close 3/1 behind them.

Historically, Duke has dominated the recent ACC Tournament history, winning ten of the last sixteen. All time, Duke has won 19 of the 60 ACC Tournament that have been held. North Carolina is second at 17, and N.C. State is third at 10. Those three schools account for 46 of the 60 ACC Tournaments. Coincidentally, the ACC Tournament has been held in state of North Carolina 51 times. Huh, imagine that.

Hate aside, you have to think Duke should be the favorite to cut down the nets on Sunday. Syracuse and Virginia are certainly capable, but given Duke's history and who they have as their coach, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see the Blue Devils earning the conference's automatic bid. Additionally, while they've certainly struggled of late, having Jim Boeheim as your coach certainly means you have a decent shot of winning this tournament, too. And Virginia showed all season that they can beat anyone, but did Maryland give a blue print for how to defeat the Wahoos?

North Carolina is certainly a dark horse for winning the event this year. But if a game comes down to free throws, which in this event it likely will, UNC could shoot themselves in the foot with their putrid shooting from the charity stripe.

Maryland has certainly shown they're capable of playing with the best the ACC has to offer this year. I'm certain no coach wants to play Maryland in Greensboro. They've shown they match up well against Virginia, who they'd play if they defeat Florida State on Thursday. But playing Virginia after playing the night before against a very physical and athletic Florida State team could impact the Terps' chances of defeating the Cavs for the second time in less than a week.

Still, Maryland has nothing to lose at this point. They're riding the high of an incredible win over Virginia and they have player capable of having a John Gilchrist-esque weekend in Greensboro. And given the way this season has gone for Maryland, nothing's impossible.

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