Fans Guide #ACCTRNY Notes - Semifinals Notes

March 12, 2011

• Duke has reached the semifinals every year since 1998 with the exception of 2007. The Blue Devils were the top seed in 6 of those tournaments. North Carolina was likewise the top seed 6 times during that span, including this weekend, of course. The Tar Heels made the semis nine times in those same 13 years, missing in 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2010.

• The last time a team other than UNC or Duke was top-seeded in the ACC Tournament was 2003, when Wake Forest was No. 1.

• Overall UNC has appeared in 44 of 58 semifinals (76 percent) and Duke in 41 (71 percent). The last time neither made the semis was 1996. In fact, the pair missed only three semifinals in the history of the event: 1970, 1973, and 1996. Incidentally, the third seed Tar Heels were eliminated in the first round in ’96 by No. 6 Clemson, today’s opponent, on a dunk at the buzzer by Greg Buckner. That is the Tigers’ only victory over the Heels in 15 previous ACC Tournament games.

• Clemson is in its 12th semifinal, with a 2-9 record to date. The Tigers were in the finals in 1962, losing to a Wake Forest squad led by all-tournament first teamers Len Chappell and Billy Packer, and in 2008, losing to a UNC squad led by tournament first-team selections Tyler Hansbrough, Wayne Ellington, and Marcus Ginyard.

• There have been 31 meetings between the top seed and No. 4 – Clemson this year – in the ACC Tournament semifinals. No. 1 has won 20 times, most recently North Carolina over Virginia Tech in '08 as Tyler Hansbrough scored at the buzzer in a 68-66 win. No. 4 emerged victorious 11 times, most recently in 2009 when Florida State upended UNC.

• Clemson is 0-2 against North Carolina in the semifinals. The only team against which the Tigers have a winning record in the semis is Duke (2-1).

• Second-seeded Duke and No. 6 Virginia Tech have not previously met in an ACC Tournament game. Their one contest this season, at Blacksburg, resulted in a Hokie victory.

• Virginia Tech is in the semifinals for the third time in seven years as an ACC member, all under coach Seth Greenberg. The Hokies were upset by N.C. State in 2007 and lost to top-seed UNC in 2008.

• The No. 2 seed has beaten the sixth seed 13 times, most recently in 2000 when Maryland defeated NC State. Six had the upper hand five times, most recently in 2004 when Maryland and N.C. State repeated their 2000 result. The ’04 Terrapins went on to win the championship, their only title since 1984.

• The No. 1 seed has won 28 titles to date and No. 2 has won 12. That’s 40 of 57 (71 percent).

• The fourth seed has won five titles – N.C. State in 1954 under Everett Case, Maryland in 1958 under Bud Millikan, Duke in 1960 under first-year coach Vic Bubas, N.C. State in 1983 under Jim Valvano, and North Carolina in 1989 under Dean Smith.

• Bubas and UNC’s Bill Guthridge (1998) are the only first-year coaches to win an ACC championship. Clemson’s Brad Brownell is in his first season. Only four first-year coaches directed teams to the title game – Bubas, Guthridge, and N.C. State’s Herb Sendek (1997) and Sidney Lowe (2007).

• Virginia Tech is the first team to employ only six men in an ACC Tournament game since N.C. State in that 1997 final against North Carolina.

• The fourth and sixth seeds have never met for the ACC championship.