While there is basically no chance at all that the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will be in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, they still have an opportunity to live that March Madness life that has come to define the third month of the year in this country. There is, after all, still the ACC Tournament to play.
Notre Dame’s only chance at the NCAA Tournament is to win the ACC Tournament. Of course — that’s not happening, but we can all still have some fun in the sun. It’s a flashy event, and one that has some serious credibility with 1⁄3 of the conference being ranked in the Top 20.
So how might the ACC Tournament look like this year? With a handful of games left, we can still only project the seedings, and rather than do that unfruitful exercise — I’ll just us the old “if the season ended today” thing, as it serves the same purpose.
I’m uncertain of the exact tie-breakers right now, but here are the seedings:
- Virginia Cavaliers
- North Carolina Tar Heels
- Duke Blue Devils
- Florida State Seminoles
- Virginia Tech Hokies
- Syracuse Orange
- Louisville Cardinals
- N.C. State Wolfpack
- Clemson Tigers
- Boston College Eagles
- Miami-Florida Hurricanes
- Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
- Wake Forest Demon Deacons
- Notre Dame Fighting Irish
- Pittsburgh Panthers
With 15 teams, the ACC gets funky with their tournament pairings. They also give great reward to those that excelled during the regular season.
- The top 4 seeds get double byes
- The next 5 top seeds get a single bye
If the Irish are the #14 seed, their first game would be against the #11 seed (Miami). The winner of that game would take on the #6 seed (Syracuse). The winner of that game would face the #3 seed (Duke). The winner of that game goes to the quarterfinals.
ALL WE GO ALL WE NEED
Look... as horrible as it’s been this season for the Irish, this tournament is a chance to go out in a blaze of glory. I’m in no way predicting a massive run in Charlotte, but if the Irish can make it to game like that against the #3 seed, even a close loss would let that hope of a better “next year” shine a bit brighter.
At this point, I’m totally cool with that.