2007 FAN'S GUIDE: FIRST-ROUND NOTES
March 9, 2007
* This is the fourth time in ACC history, and third time in the past seven seasons, that three (or more) players were unanimous first team all-conference selections. Of this year's unanimous picks, only Florida State's Al Thornton appears in the first round.
Tyler Hansbrough of top-seed North Carolina, which plays the winner of the Clemson-FSU game, and Jared Dudley of Boston College were the other unanimous selections in 2007. Hansbrough joined Duke's J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams as unanimous picks in 2006. The same schools produced three unanimous selections in 2001 - North Carolina's Joseph Forte and Duke's Shane Battier and Jason Williams.
Forty years had passed since the league had that many unanimous choices. In fact, there were four unanimous selections in 1961 - Wake's Len Chappell, UNC's York Larese and Doug Moe, and Duke's Art Heyman.
* North Carolina's Hansbrough became the 15th player in 54 years unanimously selected at least twice to an All-ACC squad. Only Duke's Art Heyman (1961, 1962, 1963) and N.C. State's David Thompson (1973, 1974, 1975) were three-time unanimous picks.
* Florida State and Clemson, opponents in the opening game of the first round, have met five times in ACC Tournament play, with FSU holding a 3-2 edge. The two combined are 1-15 against North Carolina in the tournament, with Clemson's sole win in 13 tries coming in 1996 after rallying from a 9-point deficit at halftime.
* Clemson won both meetings this season with Florida State. The only other first round opponents that played twice during the regular season were Georgia Tech and Wake Forest, with each winning on its home court.
* Florida State has made 76.7 percent of its free throws this season, aided by the presence on the staff of first-year assistant coach Andy Enfield, a former professional shooting instructor. FSU's accuracy is eighth-best in an ACC season:
* Neither FSU nor Clemson has won an ACC Tournament. Clemson reached the semifinals 10 times in the event's first 53 years, winning once. The Tigers lost in the 1962 finals to Wake Forest, which advanced to the Final Four for the only time in school history. Florida State got to the semis in 1992, its first year in the ACC, and fell to North Carolina.
* Entering the ACC Tournament, North Carolina, ranked eighth, is the only ACC team in the top 10 in the Associated Press poll. At least two ACC teams ranked in the top 10 in seven of the past 10 seasons at tournament time. Included in that total were two seasons, 1997 and 2005, in which three league members entered the ACC Tournament rated among the nation's top eight teams. Over the past decade, as the ACC Tournament dawned the AP top 10 had a single ACC team in 2000, 2003 and 2004.
* Maryland and Miami have not met previously in ACC Tournament action. The teams played once this season, with the Hurricanes winning at College Park on Jan. 10.
* Coincidentally, considering the tournament's Tampa venue, the opening pair of games in the first round involve the ACC teams from Florida, Miami and Florida State.
* Maryland has won three championships, one each under coaches Bud Millikan (1958), Lefty Driesell (1984) and Gary Williams (2004). The Terrapins have appeared in nine finals. Miami, playing in its third tournament, has not previously advanced past the quarterfinals.
* Maryland, seeded fifth, faces two daunting barriers in its quest to win a fourth ACC Tournament. The Terps must win four games in four games, and they must buck precedent for fifth-seeded teams. A fifth seed has win more than a single game in three previous ACC Tournaments - 2005, 1990 and 1978 - and never won an ACC title. The prospects are far brighter for No.6 Georgia Tech. The sixth seed won at least two games on seven occasions and won the tournament in 1976, 1980, 1987, 1993 and 2004.
* Between them, first round opponents Duke and N.C. State have won 26 ACC Tournament titles and appeared in 43 finals. That's nearly 41 percent of the possible championship game berths.
* The Duke-N.C. State matchup is the only first round game involving original members of the ACC. Duke won the only meeting between the two this season at Raleigh.
* Duke has won the last five ACC Tournament meetings with N.C. State, including the 2002 and 2003 finals. The Wolfpack's last ACC Tournament win over the Blue Devils came in 1997, Herb Sendek's first year as head coach. The No.8 seed upset top-seeded Duke and, playing four games in four days, advanced to the finals. Thus far, no other team has played four games in a single tournament.
* Duke won the last two ACC Tournament titles, and seven of the last nine. N.C. State's most recent championship came in 1987 at Maryland's Capital Centre, when Jim Valvano's sixth seeded squad upset No.1 North Carolina, 68-67.
Most Consecutive Titles: 5 Duke (1999-2003) 3 North Carolina (1967-69) N.C. State (1954-56) 2 Duke (2005, 2006) North Carolina (1997, 1998) Wake Forest (1995, 1996) North Carolina (1981, 1982) N.C. State (1973, 1974) Duke (1963, 1964) Wake Forest (1961, 1962)
* Georgia Tech and Wake Forest, opponents in the nightcap of the opening round, have appeared in 16 finals. Georgia Tech is 3-3, its most recent appearance in 2005. Wake Forest is 4-6 and last reached the finals in 1996, defeating Georgia Tech.
* Florida State and Wake Forest are the only ACC teams that played previously this season in the St. Pete Times Forum. The squads played a doubleheader here on December 29, with Wake falling to South Florida and FSU routing Providence, which played without its starting point guard.
* ACC leaders in 3-point field goal percentage are limited to those who made 2.5 per game, the official minimum for qualifying under NCAA statistical standards. This is unfortunately quite limiting for comparative purposes, as only two ACC players qualify this season, Miami's Jack McClinton (.438) and Virginia's Sean Singletary (.403).
Expand the criteria, and the picture changes considerably. Here are the leading 3-point shooters in the ACC who play at least 10 minutes per game and averaged at least one made 3-pointer in every contest in which they appeared.
Of those appearing in the opening rounds, the most accurate 3-point marksman is Wake Forest's Michael Drum, a senior transfer from Division II Presbyterian College, closely followed by Duke's Greg Paulus and All-ACC forward Al Thornton of Florida State.
LET THREEDOM RING