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Joe Boozell | | March 7, 2017

Most memorable moments in ACC tournament history

  North Carolina has two of the best players in the ACC in Joel Berry and Justin Jackson.

As the ACC tournament gets set to tip off on Tuesday, let’s quickly get to know this year’s field.

The headliners

-North Carolina: Won the league by two games, has the conference player of the year in Justin Jackson, leads the country in offensive rebounding rate.
-Louisville: Sixth in adjusted defensive efficiency, but has dropped two of last four games. Donovan Mitchell is the offensive workhorse (15.9 ppg).
-Florida State: Seminoles looking to make their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2012, have one of the best duos in the nation in Dwayne Bacon and Jonathan Isaac.
-Notre Dame: Mike Brey’s squad has won six of its last seven and leads the nation in free-throw percentage (80.9).
-Duke: Blue Devils have had a tumultuous year, but boast 10 RPI-top 50 wins.

MORE: Full list of AQs

Next in line

-Virginia: Hoos have the nation’s top-ranked defense, but this is the worst offense (39th in the country) they’ve had since 2012-13.
-Miami: Despite losing Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan from last year’s team, the Hurricanes went 10-8 in ACC play.
-Virginia Tech: Hokies have notched back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 2009-10 and 2010-11, are making 40.5 percent of their 3s.

Middle of the pack

-Syracuse: Orange have a lot at stake this week, as they look to make another improbable March run.
-Wake Forest: Have perhaps the most underrated player in the country in John Collins, who has a 36.9 PER this season.
-Georgia Tech: ACC Coach of the Year Josh Pastner has the Yellow Jackets playing top-10 defense.

Squads with much to prove

-Clemson: Tigers have struggled defensively and went 6-12 in league action.
-North Carolina State: Dennis Smith, Wolfpack will look to play spoiler.
-Pittsburgh: Panthers tumbled after a promising nonconference start.
-Boston College: Eagles haven’t won an ACC game since Jan. 11.

Over the years, the ACC tournament has produced several memorable moments. Some of the most iconic:

1983: North Carolina State beats Michael Jordan and North Carolina in OT, Ralph Sampson and Virginia in ACC title game

It wasn’t just the NCAA tournament – Jim Valvano’s squad pulled off gritty upset after gritty upset all postseason long in 1983. The Wolfpack came back from a big deficit to top the Tar Heels in overtime in the ACC tournament semis, and they dealt Sampson and company their third loss of the season in the final.

1995: Randolph Childress can’t be stopped

Wake Forest played three games in the 1995 ACC tournament. Childress scored a total of 107 points. He was generally amazing, but also clutch; just ask the Tar Heels.

In an overtime clash against UNC, Childress drilled the game-winner with 4.6 seconds remaining.

But in Childress’ opinion, his performance against Duke was even better. Hear it from the man himself:

1996: Greg Buckner’s buzzer-beating slam propels Clemson over UNC

Game-winning jump shots are exciting whenever they happen, but they’re fairly commonplace. A buzzer-beating dunk, though? One that belongs on a poster? Doesn’t happen so often – which is why Buckner’s 1996 slam is simply known as “The Dunk” around Clemson:

2008: Tyler Hansbrough hits game-winner vs. Virginia Tech, goes crazy

Yes, North Carolina has been on the wrong end of a few of these. That’s what happens when you’ve established the level of dominance the Tar Heels have – when you lose, it’s a big deal.

But UNC has had some prime ACC tournament moments of its own, including this Hansbrough shot from 2008. The celebration running down the court is classic Psycho T:

2012: Florida State powers through North Carolina and Duke to win the crown

The Blue Devils had Austin Rivers, Seth Curry and two Plumlees. North Carolina was stacked as well – the Heels went 32-6 that season and boasted the likes of Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Kendall Marshall. Alas, it didn’t matter; the Noles won each game by three points. Leonard Hamilton’s squad would win its NCAA tournament opener before bowing out to Cincinnati.


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