After thoroughly dominating the regular season, No. 1 Virgina will look to parlay that success into a run at the 2018 ACC Tournament this week at the Barclays Center. But while the Cavaliers were mostly unstoppable through their 18-game conference slate, the ACC has potentially nine NCAA tournament-worthy teams, and with that kind of depth, anyone can win on any given night (OK, except for Pittsburgh). And that sets the table for what should be a thrilling five days of basketball in Brooklyn.
Live Stream Info
The tournament starts on Tuesday, March 6, and concludes with the championship on Saturday, March 10. All 14 games will be televised nationally on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU (full schedule and bracket can be found here), but if you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch a live stream of every ACC tournament game by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
DirecTV Now: ESPN and ESPN2 are both included in all of DirecTV Now’s four main channel packages, while ESPNU is included in the “Just Right,” “Go Big” and “Gotta Have It” bundles. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, plus you can get a free Amazon Fire TV if you prepay two months. Once signed up, you can watch all the games live on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.
Sling TV: ESPN and ESPN2 are both included in the “Sling Orange” channel package, while ESPNU is in the “Sports Extra” add-on. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and you can then watch all the games live on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app.
Hulu With Live TV: In addition to their extensive Netflix-like streaming library, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live channels, including ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here (this games you access to their on-demand library and live TV, and you can then watch a live stream of the games on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
Obviously, it would be blasphemy to call Virginia anything other than the favorite in Brooklyn. Behind a historically-efficient defense, the Cavaliers are the unanimous No. 1 team in the country, they’re probably a lock for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tourney, and their only ACC loss this season was by one point in overtime against Virginia Tech.
All that said, this tournament is always a wide-open one. Each of the last six ACC tournaments has had a different winner (in order: Florida State, Miami, Virginia, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Duke), and there are probably six or seven teams that could win this year’s edition without it really coming as a major shock.
Duke has had some bumps during the season, but considering how they’ve played lately, they can’t be considered too far below Virginia. They’ve always had a dynamite offense featuring arguably the most talented frontcourt in the country as well as shooters on the perimeter, but now they’re also playing excellent defense. Since suffering back-to-back losses against St. John’s and UNC in which they gave up 81 and 82 points, the Blue Devils have allowed an average of 58.0 points during their last seven. That includes holding the Tar Heels to 64 points and 0.853 points per possession, their third-lowest mark of the season in each category.
The Blue Devils only lost to Virginia by two back in Saturday, and if they continue to guard like they have the last month, a potential rematch would likely be considered close to a toss-up.
If you’re looking for sleepers, the Tar Heels, who rank seventh in the country in Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency ratings, are obviously a wildly dangerous No. 6 seed with the way they can score the ball.
And then there’s Notre Dame, whose record looks uninspiring but is certainly misleading. The Irish went 6-9 with preseason All-American Bonzie Colson out with a broken foot, but upon his return two games ago, he put up 12 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in a win over Pittsburgh, then had 24 points and 15 ‘boards in a near upset win at Virginia on Saturday. Colson is a game-changer, and Notre Dame is far better than a 10 seed with him back in the lineup.
Throw in a Clemson team that is Top 10 nationally in defensive efficiency, a Miami team with legitimate NBA talent (though Bruce Brown won’t be back this week), and a Virginia Tech team that has beaten Virginia, Duke and North Carolina, and you have an absurdly deep field.
This is going to be good.