Busting Brackets

ACC Basketball: 2024 conference tournament preview and predictions

Mar 9, 2024; Durham, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Seth Trimble (7) shoots
Mar 9, 2024; Durham, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Seth Trimble (7) shoots / Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
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The ACC Tournament gets started Tuesday and will present plenty of drama from Washington DC; which team will cut down the nets?

Historically, the ACC is and has been one of the greatest conferences in college basketball in the history of this sport. Not only does it boast great history and rivalries, but the programs have won on the biggest stage and have some of the rowdiest fanbases in the nation. The ACC usually receives a handful of bids to the NCAA Tournament and typically has at least one national contender.

There’s a different vibe in the conference this season. Duke and North Carolina, who represent perhaps the bitterest rivalry in the nation, are both having great seasons, but outside of them it’s been pretty dry in the league. Programs like Louisville and Miami are in the cellar as underachievers, whereas many others just aren’t living up to potential or looking like Tournament teams.

Those two Tobacco Road rivals both earned double-byes as the top 2 seeds in the ACC Tournament and will be joined by Virginia and Pittsburgh with that honor. Those two programs are joined by a couple others that will hope to use this tournament as a springboard, with a slew of ACC teams either on the bubble or fighting for their postseason lives.

This league has claimed several national titles in recent years with different programs having their moments in the sun. During the last round of conference realignment, the additions of Louisville, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse were supposed to be great boosts to the ACC, but all four of those programs have massively underachieved in recent years. Three new teams join next season, though none of California, SMU, or Stanford are exactly bringing successful basketball to the league.

We’re not here to talk about the downfall of the ACC. The league will be fine, especially with its two best programs in the midst of great seasons once again. What becomes interesting is if someone can take advantage of this chance in Washington DC and earn their way into the Big Dance. Can someone upset the Blue Devils or Tar Heels and earn that auto-bid?