Wake Forest, take heart. Last year's No. 12 seed, Miami, won two games and reached the tournament semifinals. The Hurricanes were the third bottom seed to win a pair of games in the same ACC Tournament, after Virginia in 1977 and Wake Forest in 2006. The '77 Cavaliers reached the final in a seven-team league; the '06 Demon Deacons got to the semifinals.
Georgia Tech, take heart. Last year's No. 11 seed, N.C. State, won two games and reached the tournament semifinals. Since the league grew to 11 teams in 2005 (and 12 in 2006), the eleventh seed has won at least once in four of six appearances.
Virginia and Miami met once previously in an ACC Tournament. The Cavaliers won, marring the Hurricanes' debut in the event in 2005. Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech likewise met once previously in an ACC Tournament, again in 2005, again as the Hokies made their debut. The Yellow Jackets prevailed en route to the finals.
The only tenth seed to win a game in an ACC Tournament was N.C. State in 2007. The Wolfpack won three times and reached the final, losing to North Carolina at Tampa.
Last season Georgia Tech reached the title game, its second in six years. The Jackets, seeded seventh, lost to Duke, as they did in 2005. Both appearances were under coach Paul Hewitt, third in ACC seniority with 11 years on the job.
In 2010 there were five upsets according to NCAA definition (games in which the victor was seeded five or more places below the team it beat), more than in any previous ACC Tournament. Two were recorded by Miami: over No. 5 Wake and No. 4 Virginia Tech. Two were recorded by N.C. State: over No. 6 Clemson and No. 3 Florida State.
Miami has played in the first round seven consecutive times -- every year it's been in the league. Georgia Tech has been relegated to the first round for six straight seasons.
Virginia is in the first round for the seventh time in eight years. The Cavaliers escaped only in 2007, when they tied for first place during the regular season. Maryland plays in the first round for the sixth time in seven years. The Terrapins escaped only in 2010, when they tied for first place during the regular season.
Boston College has the unenviable fifth seed. To date, no team seeded fifth has won an ACC Tournament. The 2005 Yellow Jackets were the last No.5 to reach the final.
BC and Wake Forest are meeting for the first time in ACC Tournament play. Since joining the league in 2006 the Eagles have yet to play Florida State, Georgia Tech, N.C. State, or Virginia Tech in the tournament. Miami, a 2005 addition, hasn't faced Florida State, Georgia Tech, or North Carolina. Virginia Tech, also a member since 2005, hasn't played BC, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, or Maryland.
Wake Forest has the longest current losing streak in ACC Tournament play with four straight defeats from 2007 through 2010.
Last season was the first in five tries in which BC did not win at least one game in the ACC Tournament.
Maryland and N.C. State have played 18 previous ACC Tournament games, compared with two previous meetings combined for teams in the other first-round games. The Terps and Wolfpack met for the championship in 1973 and 1974, the latter contest a 103-100 N.C. State overtime victory generally considered the best game in ACC history. Tommy Burleson, the Case Award winner as the most valuable player in the '74 tournament, had 38 points to lead all scorers and matched Maryland's Len Elmore with 13 rebounds. Five of the game's 10 starters were eventually first-round NBA draft picks. Top-ranked N.C. State got the ACC's automatic bid and, led by David Thompson, went on to win the NCAA title. Fourth-ranked Maryland stayed home; the next year the NCAA tournament began including multiple entrants from the same league. (And, myths notwithstanding, there were 29 turnovers committed in that game.)
Maryland lost its ACC Tournament opener in three of the past four seasons. Last year it was upset in the quarterfinals as the second seed, falling to No.7 Georgia Tech. In 2009, Gary Williams' Terrapins reached the semifinals. The '09 team topped N.C. State in the first round when Maryland was seeded seventh and the Wolfpack tenth, the same as this year.
Over the past decade, Duke has been among the tournament's top four seeds nine times, missing in 2007. North Carolina has been seeded somewhere one through four in six of the past 10 ACC Tournaments, followed by Wake (5), N.C. State and Virginia Tech (4), Florida State and Maryland (3), and BC and Clemson twice. Georgia Tech (2004) and Virginia (2007) had it happen once each since 2002. Miami has yet to be seeded among the top four.
Only one of today's four games matches teams that met twice during the regular season. Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech split, with each winning on its home court. Miami won its sole contest with Virginia, BC its only game against Wake. Maryland defeated N.C. State at College Park, the Terps' eighth straight victory over the Wolfpack.
Since the advent of the unbalanced schedule in 2005, the ACC Tournament produced 18 games in which one team had beaten the other twice during the regular season. Thirteen of those meetings (72.2 percent) resulted in the same squad winning the third game too.
Every state in the ACC's geographic footprint is represented in the first round except South Carolina.
Virginia Tech has not won an ACC Tournament game at the Greensboro Coliseum in two previous appearances.