The ACC clearly becomes a two-man race, as everyone seems to be riding a three-game losing streak and is now battling for third, or seventh, it all depends on how you look at it. Meanwhile, Carolina struggles to stay above .500, Wake curses the three-point line, NC State finally gets the point, while the Hurricanes are looking for the number one pick in the draft (too bad that’s not how we do things here in college).

Despite the fact the Blue Devils sat in the top-1o for the entire season, no one really ever talked about them as the No 1 seed. They are now though. In reality, Kansas, Kentucky and Syracuse should all have a No 1 seed locked up. This leaves Duke, Purdue and Kansas State all fighting for the last top seed. A dark horse could be someone like Villanova or West Virginia finishing second in the Big East and then winning the Big East tournament, but we’re going to ignore that for now.

Now Purdue just lost to Michigan State at home, but they have two easy ones (Indiana and Penn State) to finish the season. Kansas State on the other hand, still has to go on the road to face Kansas. I’m going to assume Purdue sweeps the week, while Kansas State loses to Kansas. This would mean the top seed is Duke vs. Purdue.

Now assuming Duke beats Maryland (which won’t be easy), Duke should overtake Purdue. They’ll be ranked higher to end the season and they would have a better RPI and SOS. Of course, upsets in the respected conference championships can make everything I just wrote irrelevant.

How important is Maryland’s game against Duke on Wednesday? Let me tell you. First, the game will probably decide who wins the ACC regular season championship. Assuming both teams will win their final games (Duke at home against UNC, Maryland at Virginia), if Duke wins, the ACC is theirs. If Maryland wins, the Devils and Terps will split the ACC Regular season crown.

On top of that, the ACC “Player of the Year” award will probably be decided in this game. Right now, Duke’s John Scheyer and Maryland’s Greivis Vasquez are neck-and-neck for the ACC POY. The award did belong to Scheyer all season long, but Vasquez has come on strong lately.

Whichever team wins this game, you can almost bet Scheyer and Vasquez will be the reason their respected teams won. The fact is, the outcome could decide the POY race.

On top of ALL that, the game could also decide the ACC “Coach of the Year” award. Obviously if a team over-performs for that season, that coach usually gets the award. In this case, Gary Williams is the clear favorite.

Yet if Maryland loses, that would mean that Terps, with three seniors, would be 21-8 (22-8 if they then beat Virginia). That’s all fine and dandy, but it’s not like the Terps were a bad team last year. They won 20 games in 2008-2009. Besides, a loss would also mean he’d be 0-2 against Coach K, who should get some props for always adjusting to the team he has, instead of stubbornly sticking with a “system” that doesn’t fit them (I’m looking at you Roy Williams).

I’m not really sure the Tigers are really the third best team in the conference. I just know they’re one of the few teams that’s currently not riding a long losing streak. Instead they’ve won three out of four, with their only lose coming to Maryland. I did think about putting Florida State here, but the Tigers have beaten the Noles twice in three weeks, so that would have been insane.

Against FSU Sunday night, the Tigers probably had their most impressive win. Facing a slow-it-down, grind-it-out Seminoles squad, they came through and rallied from five down with a buck-twelve on the clock. What’s surprising is, they did it making only two more shots along the way. Instead, they did it with free throws, finishing the game 6-6 from the FT line.

I couldn’t really decide where to put the Hokies. They’ve dropped three in a row, but two were against Duke and Maryland, the class of the ACC. Most teams in this conference lost to both Duke and Maryland. They just happen to do in over a three-game period at the end of the season.

What was amazing though about the last loss to Maryland was watching Malcolm Delaney, the ACC leader in free throws made and attempted, miss two huge free throws with his team down two with 39 seconds to go. Instead of tying the game again in double-overtime, he was force to foul. Prior to that, Delaney was 8-8 from the FT line.

Is it me or is it just fun when a bad free throw shooting team loses because they fail to hit a free throw? For fun, I also like to laugh at injured children, but that’s probably just me.

The Florida State Seminoles, dead last in the ACC in free throw shooting at 65% for the season, had a chance to beat Clemson Sunday night. The win would have locked the Noles into third place in the ACC, with an outside shot at second place.

But with 14 seconds left, the Noles down 49-48, Alabi missed the game tying free throw attempt. Thus, they were forced to foul and Trevor Booker would finish off the Noles going 4-4 from the line. Overall, Clemson was 15-19 from the line, Florida State was 14-24. That’s simple math to me; five more attempts, but one less made, equals a second loss to Clemson.

For some reason, Georgia Tech fans aren’t running for their seats to watch the Yellow Jackets. Well, it’s not like Tech fans have ever been the most loyal bunch, but maybe they know something the rest of us should all know…this Tech team isn’t as good as advertised.

Don’t get me wrong, they were good once. They crushed Duke at home. They are 3-2 against the top-25. Of course, maybe that’s not the way to look at it. UNC was ranked 13th when Ga Tech beat them and Clemson was 16th and it’s clear now, both those teams were overrated.

The fact is, the last time Georgia Tech beat a team that will “probably” be in the NCAA Tournament was way back in January, when they beat Wake Forest at home. In case you haven’t been paying attention, it’s March now.

I’ve been saying it all season long, Wake can’t shoot from the outside and finally, the conference is starting to pay attention. Wake Forest has dropped three-straight, thanks to opposing coaches filling up the middle, daring the Deacons to beat them from the outside. They’ve tried…they’ve failed. Wake Forest is 12-52 from three-point range over their last three games (that’s 23%).

Ishmael Smith, the fastest guard in the league with zero shooting ability has really struggled, but that hasn’t stopped him from taking the most shots. During the three-game slide, Smith has taken 51 shots to score a combined 42 points. I’m no math whiz, but those numbers don’t feel right.

The problem is, Wake Forest could be playing themselves right out of the tournament. They head to Florida State and then face Clemson at home. The reality is, they’ll probably split those games and that should be enough, but if they loss both and end the season on a five-game slide (18-10 overall), the N.I.T. will be their new home.

For now, BC is just trying to extent their season. They face struggling Virginia, but then head to face a suddenly hot NC State squad. Most likely, they’ll split and finish at ,500, but if they can win them both, 16-14 (7-9 in the ACC), it could be enough to land them a road game in the N.I.T.

It looks like this batch of North Carolina players aren’t the only ones struggling to win a game this season. Incoming 5-star point guard, Kendall Marshall, his team is also up against the ropes. His high school team is only 13-13 on the season.

Of course you can’t blame Marshall, who’s having a good senior season and was selected to play in the McDonald’s All-American game. The question is, can he be the “quarterback” Carolina’s been missing next season? Right now, I say he can’t be, not right away.

I think Marshall is a bit overrated, didn’t really deserve to be a McDonald’s player and while I see a bright future for the kid as a Tar Heels, I’m not convinced he’s starter material for his first couple seasons in Chapel Hill.

Hey, look who’s won two in a row. We’ve been laying the blame for State’s struggles directly onto point guard, Javier Gonzalez all season long, so now we have to sing his praises when NC State wins.

Against Wake, he scored 11, dished out six assists, while turning it over only twice. He also held Ishmael Smith in check, forcing four turnovers. Against Miami, he scored 19 points (9-12 from the line), turning it over just one time. If Gonzalez plays good, the Wolfpack are a decent team. When he plays bad, they’re a bad team. Too bad, he usually play bad.

Sometimes, it just feels good to be right. Actually, scratch that, I wasn’t exactly right. A few weeks ago, I predicted that Virginia would only win one more game (out of their final eight games). So far, they haven’t even won that one game. I thought they’d beat Miami at home. Instead, it looks like they’re going to finish the season on a nine-game losing streak. So much for Tony Bennett as coach of the year.

Comical headline of the week: NCAA Hopes Fading for Canes.

That was posted two days ago. You have to hand it to the Miami Herald, they are a positive-thinking bunch. In reality. the Hurricane NCAA hopes were over a long time ago. Even if they found a way to win 20 games this season, with their embarrassing non-conference schedule, they shouldn’t even get into the N.I.T. Come on, USC-Upstate….is that really a school?

Fact is, someone on the Bleacher Report is calling for Coach Haith’s head and you all know, if the Bleacher Report turns on you, you’re in trouble. (Note: Nothing I said in that last sentence is true).