ACC Places League-Record Nine in NCAA Tournament Field

ACC_Identity_TM_PMS_WBGRelease from the ACC:

Led by No. 1 regional seed North Carolina and No. 2 seeds Duke and Louisville, the Atlantic Coast Conference placed a league-record nine teams among the 2017 NCAA Basketball Tournament field announced Sunday.

The Tar Heels, Blue Devils and Cardinals are joined by Florida State, Miami, Notre Dame, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

The ACC’s nine teams betters the previous league record of seven first set in 2007 and equaled in 2009 and 2016. The nine selections leads all conferences this season and ties for the second-most ever by any conference.

North Carolina (27-7) earned the No. 1 seed in the South Region. The Tar Heels open Friday in Greenville, South Carolina, against SWAC champion Texas Southern (23-11). UNC is set for its 48th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and its NCAA-leading 16th as a No. 1 seed. UNC owns a 117-45 all-time record in the tournament with NCAA Championships in 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005 and 2009. The latter two national titles came under the watch of current head coach Roy Williams, who is leading the Tar Heels to the NCAA Tournament for the 13th time in 14 seasons.

The ACC’s 36 all-time No. 1 regional seeds leads all conferences.

ACC champion Duke (27-8) is seeded second in the East Region and also opens on Friday in Greenville against No. 15 Troy (22-14). The Blue Devils are playing the NCAA Tournament for the 22nd consecutive season and 41st overall. Duke is 107-35 in the tournament with NCAA Championships in 1991, 1992, 2001, 2010 and 2015. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski is the NCAA’s all-time leader in tournament victories, posting a 90-27 record in his 32 previous NCAA appearances as head coach at Duke.

Louisville, seeking its fourth national championship, will be making its 42nd NCAA Tournament appearance and the 13th under head coach Rick Pitino. The Cardinals (24-8) are seeded second in the Midwest Region on Friday and will travel to Indianapolis to face No. 15 seed Jacksonville State (20-14). Louisville captured the 2013 NCAA Championship under Pitino’s watch and also claimed national championships in 1980 and 1986. The Cardinals are 75-42 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.

Florida State (25-8) is back in the NCAA Tournament field after a four-year absence. The Seminoles are seeded No. 3 in the West will take on an in-state opponent No. 14 seed Florida Gulf Coast (26-7) on Thursday in Orlando, Florida. The Seminoles are 15-14 in 14 previous NCAA appearances and will be making their fifth trip to tournament under current head coach Leonard Hamilton.

Virginia (22-10) is the No. 5 seed in the East Region and will open play in Orlando on Thursday against No. 12 UNC Wilmington (29-5). The Cavaliers will be making their 21st NCAA Tournament appearance, their fourth straight and their fifth in six years under current head coach Tony Bennett. The Cavaliers are 28-20 all-time in the NCAAs, including Final Four appearances in 1981 and 1984.

Notre Dame (25-9) is No. 5 in the West Region and opens in Buffalo on Thursday against No. 12 Princeton (23-6). The Fighting Irish are NCAA bound for the 36th time and for the third consecutive year. Head coach Mike Brey is taking his 12th Notre Dame team to the NCAA Tournament (and ninth in 11 seasons) while making his 14th appearance overall. Notre Dame owns an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 37-39.

Miami (21-11) earned the No. 8 seed in the Midwest Region and will open play against ninth-seeded Michigan State (19-14) on Friday in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Hurricanes are making their ninth all-time NCAA Tournament appearance and their third in six years under head coach Jim Larrañaga. The Hurricanes are 8-8 all-time in NCAA Tournament play.

Virginia Tech (22-10) will be making its ninth NCAA Tournament appearance, its first since 2007 and first under current head coach Buzz Williams. The Hokies are the No. 9 seed in the East Region and face No. 8 Wisconsin (25-9) on Thursday in Buffalo, New York. The Hokies own an all-time NCAA mark of 6-8.
Wake Forest (19-13) will make its 23rd NCAA appearance, its first since 2010 and first under current head coach Danny Manning when it faces Kansas State (20-13) in one of Tuesday night’s “first four” games at Dayton, Ohio. The winner will advance as an 11th seed to Friday’s South Region matchup against No. 6 Cincinnati (29-5) at Sacramento, California. The Demon Deacons are 28-22 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.

ACC Has Five Selected to John Mackey Preseason Watch List

ACC_Identity_TM_PMS_WBGRelease from the ACC:

The Atlantic Coast Conference had five tight ends named to the preseason watch list for the John Mackey Award, which is given annually to the top tight end in the nation.
The total preseason watch list of 46 collegiate tight ends was announced Wednesday by the Friends of John Mackey.

The 2013 Mackey Award winner hailed from the ACC in former Florida State tight end Nick O’Leary. O’Leary was the fourth player from a current ACC school to win the Mackey. He was preceded by Clemson’s Dwayne Allen, the 2011 award-winner; Virginia’s Heath Miller (2004) and Miami’s Kellen Winslow (2003), who earned his honor just prior to the Hurricanes joining the conference.

Additionally, Mackey himself played for a current ACC school at Syracuse (1960-62).

ACC student-athletes on the Mackey Award watch list include Louisville senior Cole Hikutini (Sacramento, Calif.), Virginia Tech redshirt junior Bucky Hodges (Virginia Beach, Va.); Florida State redshirt sophomore Ryan Izzo (Highland Lakes, N.J.); Clemson senior Jordan Leggett (Navarre, Fla.) and Wake Forest redshirt junior Cam Serigne (Ashburn, Va.).

Hodges, Leggett and Serigne are all repeat members from last year’s 2015 Mackey Award preseason watch list.

The award recipient is selected by vote of the John Mackey Award Selection Committee and the 2016 Mackey recipient will be announced on Dec. 7, and then presented live on Dec. 8 at the Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show on ESPNU.

Atlantic Coast Conference Has 15 Selected to the Bednarik Award Preseason Watch List

ACC_Identity_TM_PMS_WBGRelease from the ACC:

The Atlantic Coast Conference had 15 players tabbed for the Chuck Bednarik Award preseason watch list the Maxwell Club announced Tuesday. The Bednarik Award is presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate defensive football player.

In all, the league had 30 players chosen for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards preseason watch lists.

A total of 90 players were named to the Bednarik Award preseason watch list. Clemson led all ACC teams with three selections in LB Ben Boulware, CB Cordrea Tankersley and DT Carlos Watkins.

Florida State, with S Derwin James and DE DeMarcus Walker, Louisville with LBs Devonte Fields and Keith Kelsey, and Pitt with DE Ejuan Price and S Jordan Whitehead, each had two players chosen.

Nine ACC schools had at least one player chosen for the Bednarik Award preseason watch list, and 12 of the 14 ACC programs had at least one person named to either the Bednarik or Maxwell Award watch lists.

The last player from an ACC school to win the Bednarik Award was Pitt DT Aaron Donald in 2013.

The ACC Players chosen for the 2016 preseason Bednarik Award preseason watch list are:

Name                                 School               Pos.   Ht.    Wt.       Cl.        Hometown

Quin Blanding                     Virginia                S       6-4    215        Jr.        Virginia Beach, Va.

Ben Boulware                     Clemson               LB     5-11  240        Sr.        Anderson, S.C.

Bradley Chubb                    NC State               DE     6-4    273        Jr.        Powder Springs, Ga.

Chuck Clark                        Virginia Tech       FS      6-1    204        Sr.        Suffolk, Va.

DeVon Edwards                  Duke                    CB     5-9    180        Sr.-R    Covington, Ga.

Devonte Fields                    Louisville              LB     6-4    245        Sr.        Ft. Worth, Texas

Derwin James                     Florida State        S       6-3    213        So.       Haines City, Fla.

Keith Kelsey                        Louisville            LB       6-1    236        Sr.        Gainesville, Fla.

Micah Kiser                        Virginia              LB       6-2    245        Jr.-R     Baltimore, Md.

Matt Milano                       Boston College   LB       6-1    218        Sr.        Orlando, Fla.

Ejuan Price                         Pitt                      DE      6-0    250        Sr.-R    Rankin, Pa.

Cordrea Tankersley            Clemson             CB      6-1    195        Sr.        Beech Island, S.C.

DeMarcus Walker              Florida State       DE      6-3    273        Sr.        Jacksonville, Fla.

Carlos Watkins                   Clemson             DT      6-3    300        Sr.-R    Mooresboro, N.C.

Jordan Whitehead              Pitt                      S         5-11  185        So.       Aliquippa, Pa.