College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, March 13, 2010
The Duke Blue Devils can wrap up the ACC tournament with a win over Georgia Tech on Sunday, after surviving a scare from upset-minded Miami in their semi-final, eventually coming out on top of a 77-74 score.
As is often the case, when his team needed him to step up, Kyle Singler did just that, hitting 5 of 9 3-pointers (8 of 15 overall), to go with 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Singler led all scorers and will have a shot at being named the tournament's MVP when he and his Duke teammates square off with Georgia Tech on Sunday in the tourney final.
Having already captured the outright regular season ACC crown, the Blue Devils have little to prove in their match-up with the Yellow Jackets, a team they lost to in January, but soundly trounced in early February, 86-67, though that win was on Duke's home court. A win by Duke would ensure a #1 seeding, most likely in the West Region. A loss could send that seed to Ohio State, if the Buckeyes handle Minnesota in their final.
Notable: There are just four games on Sunday to determine automatic bids. The ACC, A-10 and SEC tourney finals all begin at 1;00 EDT, while the Big Ten final is set for a 3:30 pm tip. In each case, the conference #1 seed is facing a team ostensibly on the bubble, though, in all likelihood, the four "bubble" teams - Richmond (A-10), Georgia Tech (ACC), Mississippi St. (SEC) and Minnesota (Big Ten) - have, by virtue of solid play to reach their conference final, already earned enough respect from the selection committee to make the field of 65 even if they lose.
It should be interesting to watch what happens especially to Minnesota and Mississippi State. Both have solid enough resumes to get them into the tourney, though some experts are calling them "first teams out."
We'll find out soon enough, as the selections are scheduled to be announced at 6:00 pm ET. Get your brackets ready!