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.

Atlantic Coast Conference Announces Football Players of the Weekacc

ACC_Identity_TM_PMS_WBGThree Clemson student-athletes and two from North Carolina have been recognized as Atlantic Coast Conference Football Players of the Week following their performances in league wins over ranked opponents on Saturday.

Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson was voted the ACC Offensive Back of the Week, and center Jay Guillermo received Offensive Lineman of the Week honors for their play in the fifth-ranked Tigers’ 42-36 win over third-ranked Louisville. Clemson’s Ben Boulware, who tallied a game-high 18 tackles, was recognized as the ACC Linebacker of the Week.

North Carolina senior Ryan Switzer was named the ACC Receiver of the Week for the second consecutive week after making 14 receptions in the Tar Heels’ 37-35 victory at No. 12 Florida State. Placekicker Nick Weiler, who connected on a 54-yard field goal as time expired to lift UNC to the win, earned Specialist of the Week accolades.

Miami’s Trent Harris was named ACC Defensive Linemen of the Week following his play in the Hurricanes’ 35-21 win at Georgia Tech, while Virginia’s Juan Thornhill earned Defensive Back of the Week honors after helping the Cavaliers to a 34-20 road win at Duke. Georgia Tech freshman running back Dedrick Mills was named the ACC Rookie of the Week.


OFFENSIVE BACK – Deshaun Watson, Clemson, Jr., QB, 6-3, 215, Gainesville, Ga.

Watson completed 20-of-31 passes for 306 yards and five touchdowns to lead Clemson to a 42-36 win over No. 3 Louisville.   He added 14 rushes for 91 yards for 397 yards of total offense.  Watson became just the second FBS player to have at least 300 yards passing, five touchdown passes and 90 yards rushing against a top 25 team over the last four years (the other was former Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd against Ohio State in the 2014 Orange Bowl).

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Jay Guillermo, Clemson  Sr.-r, C, 6-3, 310, Maryville, Tenn.

Guillermo played all 62 offensive plays and graded 91 percent for the Tigers in the win over Louisville.  He had three knockdown blocks and did not allow a sack.  Guillermo made all the line calls and did not have a bad snap.  He had a key block on Wayne Gallman’s 24-yard touchdown run that put Clemson up 14-7 in the second period.  Guillermo was a big reason Clemson ran for 201 yards against a Louisville team that had allowed just 122 yards and 3.1 yards per rush entering the game.

RECEIVER – Ryan Switzer, North Carolina, Sr., WR, 5-10, 185, Charleston, W. Va.

Switzer made 14 receptions for 158 yards in the 37-35 win at No. 12 Florida State.  He has 30 catches over the last two weeks (16 last week vs. Pitt), which is an ACC record for most receptions in back-to-back games.  It was his third consecutive game with more than 100 yards receiving and marked the eighth time he topped the century mark in his career.

DEFENSIVE LINE – Trent Harris, Miami, Jr, DL, 6-2, 250, Winter Park, Fla.

Harris did a little bit of everything for the Hurricanes in their 35-21 victory over Georgia Tech as he tied a career high with 7.0 tackles, while his 6.0 solo tackles were a career high. Harris also posted career-high totals in sacks (2.0) and tackles for loss (3.0). In addition, Harris’ first career forced fumble led to a scoop and score by linebacker Shaquille Quarterman.

LINEBACKER – Ben Boulware, Clemson, Sr., WLB, 6-0, 235, Anderson, S.C.

Boulware had a career high 18 tackles to lead the Clemson defense in the win over Louisville. The senior had three tackles for loss, including a sack, recovered a fumble and deflected a pass in the solid all-around effort. Eight of Boulware’s tackles were solo stops.

DEFENSIVE BACK – Juan Thornhill, Virginia, So., CB, 6-1, 190, Altavista, Va.

Thornhill had two interceptions to help Virginia to a 34-20 win at Duke. He also had four tackles and broke up another pass. Thornhill was part of a defensive unit that forced six turnovers and tied the school record with five interceptions.

SPECIALIST – Nick Weiler, North Carolina, Sr., PK, 6-0, 190, Fairfax Station, Va.

Weiler booted a career-long 54-yard field goal as time expired to lift North Carolina to a 37-35 win at No. 12 Florida State.  Weiler’s 54-yard field goal equaled the second-longest in UNC history and gave the Tar Heels a win over their highest ranked opponent since knocking off No. 12 Miami in 2009.  It marked the highest ranked team North Carolina had beaten on the road since a win at No. 9 Syracuse in 1996.

ROOKIE – Dedrick Mills, Georgia Tech, Fr., RB, 5-10, 217, Waycross, Ga.

Mills set career highs with 99 rushing yards, 108 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) in Georgia Tech’s 35-21 loss to No. 14 Miami. Mills averaged 5.2 yards rushing on 19 carries and scored all three of Georgia Tech’s touchdowns on a seven-yard run, a nine-yard reception and a one-yard run. He now ranks third nationally among all freshmen, averaging 75.0 rushing yards per game and his seven rushing touchdowns leads all first-year players.