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By Sonny Jones

The ACC tournament plays its consolation bracket today inside the Greensboro Coliseum. It’s the six highest seeded teams hoping to win and be able to play another day.

Neither No. 10 seed Boston College nor No. 11 Virginia Tech nor No. 12 Florida State nor No. 13 Georgia Tech nor No. 14 Notre Dame nor No. 15 Louisville have any chance of winning five games in five days to win the tournament and earn the conference’s automatic NCAA tournament bid.

We know it.
They know it.
They know we know it.
We know they know it.
And all of us know that all of us know it.

The ACC expanded to its 15-team tournament format in 2014 with three games on the opening Tuesday featuring the six highest seeded teams, although the 2015, 2016 and 2020 tournaments had only two first-round games because of postseason bans. Teams that won in Tuesday’s first round are 5-16 in the second round. None won in the third round, which includes Duke’s canceled game in 2021 because of COVID-19 concerns.

Let’s trim the ACC tournament to 12 teams. The top four seeds get a first-round bye. The bottom three seeds get an early start working to qualify for next season’s bracket. No more double-byes.

It’s possible for a team to win four games in four days to win the ACC tournament. Duke did it in 2017 when it beat Clemson, Louisville and North Carolina before defeating Notre Dame 75-69 in the championship game.

North Carolina reached the championship game in 2018, beating Syracuse, Miami and Duke before losing to Virginia 71-63 in the finals. The Tar Heels could use a run like that again to aid their NCAA tournament hopes.

Cutting three teams from the ACC tournament won’t happen. There’s TV money and, in today’s society, it would be considered “unfair” not to give everyone an “opportunity to play.”

So, the three consolation games are today. Georgia Tech vs. Florida State at 2 p.m., Boston College vs. Louisville at 4:30 p.m. and Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech at 7 p.m. The games will be televised on the ACC Network.

It’s unlikely any of these teams will be playing Thursday and none will be playing by Friday.

We know it.
They know it.
They know we know it.
We know they know it.
And all of us know that all of us know it.


• 2014 — The U.S. women’s soccer team’s two-year unbeaten streak ends at 43 games with a 1-0 loss to Sweden at the Algarve Cup in Albufiera, Portugal. The U.S. had been 36-0-7 since a 1-0 loss to Japan at the Algarve Cup on March 5, 2012.


• WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Horizon championship: Green Bay vs. Cleveland St., noon, ESPNU

• MLB: Toronto vs. Pittsburgh, 1 p.m., MLBN

• BASKETBALL: ACC tournament – Georgia Tech vs. Florida St., 2 p.m., ACCN

• WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Summit championship – South Dakota St. vs. Omaha, 2 p.m., ESPNU

• WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: West Coast championship – Gonzaga vs. Portland, 4 p.m., ESPNU

• BASKETBALL: ACC tournament – Boston College vs. Louisville, 4:30 p.m., ACCN

• CONCACAF: Austin vs. Violette, 6 p.m., FS1

• BASKETBALL: Southland semifinal – Texas A&M-CC vs. McNeese, 6:30 p.m., ESPNU

• BASKETBALL: ACC tournament – Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech, 7 p.m., ACCN

• BASKETBALL: Colonial championship – UNC Wilmington vs. Charleston, 7 p.m., CBSSN

• BASKETBALL: Horizon championship – Northern Kentucky vs. Cleveland St., 7 p.m., ESPN

• BASKETBALL: Northeast championship – Fairleigh Dickinson at Merrimack, 7 p.m., ESPN2

• NHL: Carolina at Montreal, 7 p.m., BALLY SOUTH

• NBA: Philadelphia at Minnesota, 7:30 p.m., TNT

• CONCACAF: Philadelphia vs. Alianza, 8 p.m., FS1

• BASKETBALL: Big Sky semifinal – Northern Arizona vs. Montana, 8:30 p.m., ESPNU

• BASKETBALL: West Coast championship – Saint Mary’s vs. Gonzaga, 9 p.m., ESPN

• BASKETBALL: Summit championship – Oral Roberts vs. North Dakota St., 9 p.m., ESPN2

• NBA: Memphis at L.A. Lakers 10 p.m., TNT

• CONCACAF: Orlando City vs. Tigres, 10 p.m., FS2

• BASKETBALL: Big Sky semifinal – Montana St. vs. Weber State, 11 p.m., ESPN2

• WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC: Cuba vs. Netherlands, 11 p.m., FS1

• WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC: Panama vs. Chinese Taipei, 6 a.m. (Wednesday), FS2

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