Wednesday is going to be an interesting day in the ACC.
Florida State, which lost five straight games in February, has suddenly won three straight, including an 86-66 beatdown of Boston College on Tuesday. The Seminoles still have a long way to go in the ACC Tournament, but if they can win a few more games, they would have a compelling case to receive an at-large NCAA Tournament bid.
“I want to tell you: This year, even in the power conferences, where you have teams that most people are thinking are not in the NCAA Tournament right now, there’s a chance a team like Florida State – that some might say, based on the personnel they had combing into the season, may have underachieved a little bit – I think they could get on a roll here,” Fox Sports announcer Tim Brando said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “Florida State has a chance against Virginia Tech, and if they win that game, they would then play Miami on Thursday. If you see Florida State go all the way to the finals out of their half of the bracket, I think they could probably make a strong case to get in the NCAA.”
Florida State (19-12, 8-10) and Virginia Tech (18-13, 10-8) tip off at 9:30 p.m. ET.
Syracuse (19-12, 9-9) and Pitt (20-10, 9-9), meanwhile, tip off at noon ET in what Brando feels is an NCAA Tournament play-in game. Syracuse has lost four of five, while Pitt started the year 14-1 but has gone 6-9 in its last 15 games.
Whichever team loses Wednesday likely won’t make the tournament.
“In the conference tournaments now, the committee is looking at these games,” Brando said. “They’re not looking at the body of work in the regular season and then saying, ‘Okay, well let’s see what happens in the postseason.’ No, no, no, no. In the case of Florida State, you’re 8-10 but if you win three games in the ACC, they’re looking at you on Selection Sunday as though you’re 11-10 in your league. So we’ve got some teams (that we’re not sure about). We all thought that the at-large situation was soft because SMU and Louisville (aren’t) eligible and both would have been in. Now if you look at what’s happened to Valparaiso, if you look at what’s happened to Wichita State, now you’re looking at Saint Mary’s – it may not be as easy to get in this tournament as we previously thought for the at-larges that are out there.”