BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Almost all of the eyes of the NCAA Selection Committee will be set on the action at the Barclays Center throughout this crucial Wednesday.
Four teams that are squarely on the tournament bubble are in action during the second day of the 2018 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament, with two of the teams, No. 8 seed Florida State and ninth-seeded Louisville, squaring off against each other, with the Cardinals probably in a more desperate situation and needing a win a little bit more than the Seminoles.
UPDATE: Louisville did come up with the clutch victory, as guard Quentin Snider led the Cardinals with 19 points in a 82-74 victory. The teams combined for 21 blocks, an ACC Tournament record, with Louisville’s Anas Mahmoud collecting five of the Cardinals’ 10 blocks.
The second game of the afternoon session will not feature a bubble team, but might very well feature an emerging Cinderella story, as No. 12 seed Boston College, after winning in the first round against No. 13 Georgia Tech, will look for the upset against No. 5 North Carolina State, and with the dynamic duo of Ky Bowman and Jerome Robinson in the backcourt, the Eagles have a great chance to knock off the surprising Wolfpack under first-year head coach Kevin Keatts.
UPDATE: Boston College indeed can start thinking seriously about a Cinderella run, as Bowman and Robinson combined for 50 points in the Eagles’ 91-87 victory over the Wolfpack. With the game tied at 85, Robinson, who scored 24 points, hit a 12-foot jumper with 17 seconds remaining for the game-winning field goal. Bowman, a native of Havelock, N.C., led all scorers with 26 points. Surprisingly enough, three other players on the Eagles also scored in double figures. N.C State was able to come back from a 17-point second-half deficit to tie the game on five different occasions in the half, but were never able to take the lead.
To start the evening session, No. 10 seed Notre Dame, back from the dead and in the middle of the NCAA Tournament bubble, will take on No. 7 Virginia Tech, as the Irish’s hopes of an at-large bid have been boosted by the recent return of forward Bonzie Colson, a preseason First Team All-America selection, who missed 12 games with a broken bone in his left foot. The Irish were 11-3 with Colson before he went down with his injury, and the Irish had won the Maui Invitational very early in the season by beating a top-15 team in Wichita State. A win against the Hokies, with their full complement of players, could be the win that puts the Irish on the right side of the bubble for good.
UPDATE: All looked lost for the Irish when they were down 21 points, but Notre Dame, led by Colson, pulled off a remarkable comeback in taking down Virginia Tech, 71-65, to advance to the quarterfinals. Colson shot only 1-of-10 from the field in the second half, but he finished with 12 points, including a desperation three-pointer with 2:03 remaining to give the Irish the lead for good at 60-59. Guard Matt Farrell, who also missed time this season due to injury for Notre Dame, led all scorers with 22 points. The Irish will now play Duke tomorrow, a rematch of last season’s ACC Tournament Championship Game.
In rounding out Day 2, two blue bloods of the sport square off, as No. 11 Syracuse will meet No. 6 (No. 12 AP) North Carolina, a game that the Orange may very well need to win to also be in the good graces of the selection committee.
As always, our senior photographer, Robert Cole, will be snapping away and taking amazing photos from all of the scintillating action that is sure to take place in Brooklyn on Wednesday. Continue to update this page for the latest photos from each of these games, and also make sure to come back to ALOST for coverage of the 2018 Big East Tournament, which starts this evening.