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Our favorites, sleepers, and dark horses in the 2021 ACC basketball tournament

We take a look at one favorite, one sleeper and one dark horse candidate to win it all in the 2021 ACC Conference mens’s basketball tournament.

Duke v North Carolina Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

The 2020-21 version of the ACC is about as crazy as it gets as teams like the Duke Blue Devils, North Carolina Tar Heels, Syracuse Orange and Louisville Cardinals are all living life on the bubble heading into the ACC Tournament with some in better shape than others. The event will be held from Tuesday, March 9th through Saturday, March 13th from Greensboro, North Carolina. This is a big week for a number of teams in the conference looking to either boost their resumes or earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

We’ll be taking a look at some of the best teams in each conference, and providing picks and predictions for each conference tournament. Plenty of favorites will win, but we’ve got some sleepers to consider that might be able to pull off a big upset on the way to the NCAA Tournament.

Here’s the bracket for the ACC Conference Tournament with TV listings, dates and times.

Favorite: Virginia Cavaliers

Virginia is currently the betting favorite according to the oddsmakers at DraftKings Sportsbook with odds set at +225. After a brief rough stretch, the Cavaliers are the conference’s No. 1 seed and will not take the court in the first two days of the tournament with a bye to the quarterfinal round. It’s no surprise Virginia plays at the slowest pace in the entire country, but their offense is their strength in terms of adjusted efficiency. Marquette transfer forward Sam Hauser leads the team with 15.8 points per game with 6.8 rebounds. Virginia has shown they can be beaten after a puzzling three-game losing streak to close out the month of February.

Sleeper: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Hardly anybody is talking about this team, but Georgia Tech is playing really good basketball and will enter as the No. 4 seed in this tournament. That means three victories can earn them the automatic bid. In addition, they are getting +2000 odds to win the ACC, which is just the sixth highest in the conference. It wasn’t the best start, but the Yellow Jackets put themselves into bubble consideration by winning their last six games of the regular season. Senior forward Moses Wright is averaging 18 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks for Georgia Tech, which ranks as the No. 31 team in the latest KenPom ratings.

Dark Horse: Duke Blue Devils

Is it possible we’re going with Duke with the dark horse just because we might never have this opportunity again? Actually, no questions please. As the conference’s No. 10 seed, the Blue Devils will need to win five games in five days. After star freshman Jalen Johnson opted out of the season in mid-February, Duke went on a three-game run before losing three in a row to close out their season, though two of those losses went to overtime. The Blue Devils rank No. 16 in adjusted offensive efficiency, and that end of the floor would likely be the reason Duke goes on a run at +2000 odds.

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