By Sam Killenberg
I made some risky picks in my ACC Tournament bracket last week, but I didn’t think picking Duke would hurt me the most.
Yet the Blue Devils, my pick for ACC Champion, failed to get the resume-solidifying win they needed for a number one seed by abandoning the Duke staples of success: playing defense and hitting threes. Dez Wells and the Maryland Terrapins knocked off the Blue Devils before losing to the North Carolina Tar Heels. Meanwhile, Miami took care of business, running away from the upset-minded Olivier Hanlan and Boston College late before consistently outplaying NC State in the semifinals to set up a date with UNC. Despite the depth of my despair over the complete collapse of my bracket, my mood was lifted by a classic of an ACC final, in which the ‘Canes and Heels traded punches for 35 minutes before Miami and its brilliant point guard Shane Larkin pulled away for their first ACC crown.
Now the ACC’s four NCAA bid teams have to play with urgency. There can be no mistakes from here on out unless each team wants an early plane ride home. Likewise, there can be no (okay, maybe just a few) mistakes in this year’s bracket for me after being embarrassed in conference picks.