Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Ranking the 16 matchups for 2024 ACC/SEC Challenge

Alabama v North Carolina
Alabama v North Carolina / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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14. Vanderbilt at Virginia Tech

New Vandy Coach Mark Byington looks to get the Commodores out of the SEC basement and his offseason portal haul could be good enough to do so. Former Michigan State starting guard AJ Hoggard headlines the newcomers, along with transfer guards, Grant Huffman and Jason Edwards. 

Virginia Tech didn’t have a coaching change but still had a big offseason exodus, including Sean Pedulla and Lynn Kidd. They did land Temple transfer guard Hysier Miller and former Duke guard Jaden Schutt but the Hokies have an uphill climb to remain competitive in the ACC. This is the kind of game where if VT loses, it’ll be an indication that they could be in trouble.

13. South Carolina at Boston College

South Carolina had an interesting offseason after making the Big Dance, despite losing leading scorer, Meechie Johnson. Former MEAC Player of the Year guard Jamarii Thomas is joining the backcourt, while former Texas 4-star commit Cam Scott could be a key contributor. Plus, the Gamecocks could also have the top NBA Draft prospect not linked to Duke in rising sophomore forward, Collin Murray-Boyles.

Boston College won’t have star big man Quinter Post and it’s going to be hard to see them being an NCAA Tournament team unless transfers Dion Brown (UMBC) and Chad Venning (St. Bonaventure) have bigger-than-expected impacts. What makes this game somewhat intriguing is the true road game factor in favor of the underdogs. The Gamecocks need to be careful in avoiding a potential bad loss here.