1. North Carolina [27-3] vs. 5. Georgia Tech [18-10]
Regular Season Meeting: North Carolina 91, Georgia Tech 69, Jan. 12.
Leading Scorer: Jarrett Jack, Ga. Tech, 24.
_____ ACC Tournament _____ • In what could be his last game coaching Virginia, Pete Gillen, pictured, and the Cavaliers lose to Duke, 76-64.
• Michael Wilbon: There's evidence that tells us the ACC is the best league right now.
• Georgia Tech pulls away to oust Virginia Tech, 73-54.
• North Carolina survives a scare from Clemson and escapes, 88-81.
• Playing without Chris Paul, Wake Forest falls to N.C. State, 81-65.
• On Basketball: Expectations may be the most difficult thing coaches and their players face.
• Full-Court Press: News and notes
__ Saturday's Schedule __ • UNC vs. Georgia Tech, 1:30 p.m.
• N.C. State vs. Duke, 4 p.m.
__ Friday's Results __ • North Carolina 88, Clemson 81
• Georgia Tech 73, Virginia Tech 54
• N.C. State 81, Wake Forest 65
• Duke 76, Virginia 64
_____ Thursday's Results _____ • Clemson 84, Maryland 72
• N.C. State 70, Florida State 54
• Virginia 66, Miami 65
__ Multimedia __ • Video: Post's Matt Rennie talks about Maryland's loss, Virginia's win.
_____ On Our Site _____ • Friday's photos
• Images from Maryland's loss to Clemson, a defeat that likely keeps the Terps out of the NCAAs for the first time since '93.
• Talk about Maryland's loss.
• ACC in D.C.: Dan Steinberg reports from the ACC tournament.
• Where to go: Check out the best places to watch all the action.
• An interactive guide to the hot spots around the MCI Center.
__ Tournament Preview Section __ • The MCI Center plays host to the ACC tournament, considered by some to be the biggest event in college basketball.
• John Feinstein: The tradition of the ACC tournament is what makes it so special.
• Bracket and schedule
• Although he is one of the ACC's best players, Tar Heels freshman Marvin Williams remains humble.
• News Graphic: Freshman who might play big roles this week.
• The improved play of center Eric Williams gives the Demon Deacons a potent inside-outside game.
• Lee Melchionni has taken advantage of increased playing time and given Duke a major boost.
• News Graphic: Tournament information, map and records.
_____ Team Capsules _____ • Clemson
• Florida State
• Georgia Tech
• North Carolina
• North Carolina State
• Virginia Tech
• Wake Forest
Leading Rebounder: Sean May, North Carolina, 13.
Records in ACC tournament: North Carolina, 76-35; Georgia Tech, 18-22.
Vs. each other in ACC tournament: North Carolina leads, 4-3.
Back courts: One of the biggest differences between Georgia Tech this season and last season can be seen in three-point shooting. The Yellow Jackets' three-point shooting percentage (32.9) is well off their 36.7 percent mark from last season. But the return of Tech's B.J. Elder, who missed the first nine ACC games because of a hamstring injury, has dramatically improved the Yellow Jackets. North Carolina point guard Raymond Felton only made 3 of 11 shots in the regular season meeting, which Elder missed. Felton is coming off a better game entering today's meeting. He scored 29 points yesterday against Clemson. "He's a great penetrator," Jarrett Jack said, "and probably the quickest guard in the country."
Front courts: Elder's return also has had an effect on Tech center Luke Schenscher. Tech Coach Paul Hewitt said Schenscher has improved his shooting percentage and the number of his free throw opportunities since Elder has returned. In the first meeting, Schenscher blocked five shots, while North Carolina center Sean May only made 3 of 11 shots. May made only 3 of 10 shots yesterday, but the junior is capable of dominating performances, such as his 26 points and 24 rebounds in Sunday's comeback victory over Duke. Even if May is less than impressive, the Yellow Jackets must also contend with Marvin Williams. The freshman seemed to always be in the middle of crucial plays yesterday. He also made all eight of his free throws and grabbed six rebounds.
Coaching/Intangibles: North Carolina almost certainly locked up a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament with yesterday's victory. And the Tar Heels now might play better basketball, particularly defensively, the rest of the tournament after yesterday's scare. But Georgia Tech is a confident team, aware that the same group of players made a run to the national title game last season. Defense and rebounding are the keys. Hewitt's team dominated in both categories against Virginia Tech.
-- Eric Prisbell