Predicting the top four of the ACC right now is harder than trying to score on Virginia’s packline defense. There is a clear separation with the top three (Louisville, Duke, FSU). After that, my best guess on the next four would be Virginia, Syracuse, Virginia Tech and NC State. Those four teams are all currently tied at 4-3 in conference play.
Why does it matter if the Hoos finish in the top four?
Finishing in the top four in the ACC ensures that you will get a double bye in the ACC tournament, makes you almost a lock for the NCAA Tournament (VT in 2010-11 was the last team not to make it), and is something UVA has done every year since 2013 with the exception of 2016.
Home Games: NC State, Florida State, Clemson, Notre Dame, Boston College, Duke and Louisville
Away Games: Wake Forest, Louisville, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, and Miami
Record against Syracuse 1-1, Virginia Tech 1-0 (travels to VT on 2/26, NC State playing this Monday.
Virginia has looked better recently, but still has four games with the top three teams in the ACC (Louisville, FSU, and Duke). UVA won their second ACC road game last night against Georgia Tech, 63-58. The Hoos have six games left on the road, including four games that will be against teams that will finish in the bottom four (Wake Forest, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, and Miami).
Prediction: 12-8. The Hoos have seven home games left, I predict they will win five of them going 5-2. On the road, I believe UVA will go 3-3.
Home Games: Pittsburgh, Duke, Wake, NC State, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina
Road Games: Notre Dame, Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Boston College, and Miami
Record against Virginia 1-1, Virginia Tech 1-1, NC State plays on 2/11
Right now Syracuse is the hottest of the four teams, having beat UVA in Charlottesville and VT in Blacksburg in the last week. The Orange have six home games. They will be favorites in five of them. Syracuse has seven road games including two of them against FSU and Louisville.
Prediction: 12-8. Syracuse should go 4-2 in the home games; on the road, I believe they will go 4-3.
Home Games: North Carolina, Florida State, Boston College, Pittsburgh, Miami, Virginia, and Clemson
Road Games: Boston College, Miami, Georgia Tech, Duke, Louisville and Notre Dame.
Record against Syracuse 1-1, Virginia 1-1, NC State 1-0 no more games left.
Prediction 11-9. I think VT will go 4-3 at home and 3-3 on the road.
Home Games: UNC, Louisville, Duke, FSU, Pittsburgh, and Wake Forest
Road Games: Virginia, Georgia Tech, Miami, Syracuse, Boston College, UNC, and Duke
Record against Syracuse 0-0 plays them on 2/11, Virginia 0-0 plays this Monday, VT 0-1.
Prediction 11-9. NC State has the toughest remaining schedule. I believe they will go 3-3 at home and 5-3 on the road.
So who finishes fourth?
I think UVA and Syracuse will finish tied for fourth at 12-8. The first tiebreak is head to head, which we went 1-1. The next tiebreaker would be who beat the highest seeded team in the ACC. At the moment, the highest seeded team we have both beat is Virginia Tech. We both have games against the top three teams. Winning that would decide it. Right now UVA has all three of those teams in C’ville while Syracuse only has Duke at home. I would lean UVA finishing fourth at the moment.