Tournament to be played at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Miami-Florida Hurricanes vs North Carolina Tar Heels (-7.5, 140)
The ninth-seeded Hurricanes survived a 62-57 contest against Syracuse in Wednesday’s second round and should have some confidence going up against a Tar Heels team they defeated by 15 points at home Jan. 28. Senior forward and Brooklyn native Kamari Murphy had a career-high 16 points and 10 rebounds versus the Orange, as Miami seemingly solidified an at-large bid in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. Leading scorer Davon Reed had 14 points and backup guard Dejan Vasiljevic contributed 13 on Wednesday, and they combined to make six of the Hurricanes’ nine 3-pointers. Miami will enter Thursday’s game as a significant underdog but they have covered the spread in four of their last five contests when getting points.
The No. 1-seeded Tar Heels are primed to defend their tourney crown after claiming the regular-season championship in one of the league’s most competitive campaigns. “It was a big time thing,” coach Roy Williams said on his weekly radio show of the first-place finish. “Fifteen teams, and 15 really good teams. It’s the deepest league there is and the deepest conference there is in college basketball. I told the guys that I was really, really proud of them.” Junior forward Justin Jackson, named the ACC’s Player of the Year, leads the way with 18.3 points per game but shot 33 percent while averaging 11 points in the final two games of the regular season. Jackson was honored as first-teamer and junior guard Joel Berry II made the All-ACC second team after finishing second on the team in scoring (15.1) and first in assists (3.7), while senior forward Kennedy Meeks (12.5 points, team-high 9.1 rebounds) was an honorable mention pick.
* Hurricanes are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
* Tar Heels are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. Atlantic Coast.
* Under is 5-0 in Hurricanes last 5 overall.
* Over is 6-1 in Tar Heels last 7 neutral site games as a favorite.
* Hurricanes are 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings.
Duke Blue Devils vs Louisville Cardinals (-1.5, 147.5)
Duke had lost three of four before opening the tournament with a 79-72 win over Clemson in the second round Wednesday, riding three 20-point scorers. ACC first-team selection Luke Kennard and freshmen Jayson Tatum and Frank Jackson were the three to reach 20 points in Wednesday’s win and senior forward Amile Jefferson recorded his eighth double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Controversial guard Grayson Allen continues to nurse a sore ankle and was scoreless in 12 minutes as he cedes more playing time to Jackson, who is averaging 18.3 points over his last four games. “I like to score the ball,” Jackson told reporters Wednesday. “It’s what I do best. I’m lucky to have a coach who allows me to be myself and players that I’m surrounded by that give me all the confidence in the world.”
A year after a self-imposed postseason ban, Louisville returns to the ACC tournament as the fourth seed and with a chip on its shoulder. “The theme this year was going in there and playing our butts off because last year we didn’t get that opportunity,” sophomore guard Donovan Mitchell told the New York Post. “We’re excited to be back and get ready to get to the national championship, hopefully.” Mitchell was selected to the ACC’s first team after leading Louisville in scoring (15.9) and the conference in steals (2.1) as a stalwart for one of the league’s top defenses. The Cardinals showcased some of that defensive prowess by forcing 18 turnovers in a 78-69 win over the Blue Devils during the regular season.
* Blue Devils are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games as an underdog of 0.5-6.5.
* Cardinals are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games as a favorite of 0.5-6.5.
* Under is 4-0 in Blue Devils last 4 neutral site games as an underdog.
* Over is 6-1 in Cardinals last 7 games as a favorite.
Virginia Tech Hokies vs Florida St. Seminoles (OFF)
The Hokies moved into the quarterfinals by rallying from a seven-point halftime deficit to defeat Wake Forest 99-90 in the second round on Wednesday night. Leading scorer Zach LeDay poured in a career-high 31 points in the victory for Virginia Tech, which has not won two games in the ACC tournament since 2011. LeDay (16.1 points), a senior forward, came off the bench Wednesday to make 8-of-15 from the field and 14 of his 18 attempts at the free-throw line while grabbing 15 rebounds for his second straight double-double. Senior guard Seth Allen also poured in 18 points in the win to push his average to 13.3 and sophomore guard Ahmed Hill (11.9) added a dozen. Wednesday’s win over Wake Forest was their seventh cover in their last nine ACC matchups (7-1-1).
Florida State surprised many by grabbing the second seed in the ACC tournament and gets its first chance to validate that lofty position Thursday. The 17th-ranked Seminoles won three of their final four games of the regular season while winning the tiebreaker over Notre Dame and Louisville after going 12-6 in league play – four wins better than 2015-16. “This is an important event for us as we prepare for the NCAA Tournament because we need to start getting our postseason tournament mindset,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton told the Tallahassee Democrat. “Hopefully we can find that magic level that will allow us to rise up and play at our very, very best.” The Seminoles are the second-highest scoring team in the conference (83.0) and the second-best shooting team (48.5 percent), led by sophomore guard Dwayne Bacon (16 points per game).
* Hokies are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
* Seminoles are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
* Over is 5-0 in Hokies last 5 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
* Under is 4-1 in Seminoles last 5 overall.
* Over is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings.
Virginia Cavaliers vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish (OFF)
Virginia freshman guard Kyle Guy matched his career high with 20 points and leading scorer London Perrantes added 15 as 21st-ranked Virginia defeated Pittsburgh 75-63 in the second round Wednesday. Perrantes is the only active player averaging in double figures (12.8) for the Cavaliers, who lead the nation in scoring defense (55.1). Guy managed three points combined in three games just past the midpoint in February, but has responded by averaging 15.5 points over the last four contests, draining 16-of-25 from 3-point range during that stretch. Perrantes also has been productive from behind the arc, making 12-of-24 in the last four games, and the Cavaliers made 11 from 3-point range Wednesday — matching a program record in the ACC tournament.
Third-seeded Notre Dame finished the regular season with six wins in seven games and hopes to ride that momentum when it takes on sixth seed Virginia in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament. The 16th-ranked Fighting Irish scored at least 80 points in five of six contests before losing 71-64 on Saturday at Louisville, but have lost 10 straight games against Virginia. Junior forward Bonzie Colson leads the way for Notre Dame, scoring at least 20 points in five of his last seven games en route to being selected All-ACC first team, while three other veteran players score at least 13 per contest. Colson boasts 18 double-doubles and leads the ACC in rebounding (10.4) while scoring 17 per game overall and shooting 52.3 percent from the field.
* Cavaliers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games.
* Fighting Irish are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
* Under is 6-1 in Cavaliers last 7 overall.
* Under is 4-0 in Fighting Irish last 4 overall.
* Cavaliers are 5-0 ATS in the last 5 meetings.