Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
NC State's win over Georgia Tech on Sunday helped solidify its position as a top-5 seed in the ACC tournament--one more win for the Pack and a finish no lower than fifth is guaranteed. State's gonna need some help to get into the top four, but a jump to the three- or four-seed is not entirely unpossible. NC State has an easy finish to the season relative to what UNC and UVA are facing.
1. Miami (14-2)
2. Duke (12-4)
3. UNC (11-5) [at UMD, vs. Duke]
4. UVA (10-6) [at FSU, vs. UMD]
5. NCSU (10-6) [vs. Wake, at FSU]
6. UMD (8-8)
Maryland is in total desperation mode, so those should be tough games for the Heels and Cavs. Virginia is capable of losing to any team at any time in any place, which is to say that there's no telling how the Cavaliers will finish the year. And while the Heels will be energized for that Duke game, Ryan Kelly is back and he is now Superman. So we'll see.
Fifth is not a bad outcome by any means, but the difference between`winning a game and making a legitimate run may lie with that potential Thursday off.