When the ACC Tournament begins Thursday in Greensboro Coliseum, don't
be shocked if 12th-seeded Miami eliminates No. 5 Wake Forest.
The 12-seed has won three of four first-round games since the league expanded to its current size in the 2006-07 season.
Georgia Tech did it just a year ago in Atlanta, knocking out No. 5 Clemson, 86-81.
first resounding upset in ACC Tournament history was No. 6 Clemson’s
first-round win over No. 3 N.C. State on the Wolfpack’s Reynolds
Coliseum home court in 1962. That Clemson team, which finished 12-15
overall, did in Duke in the semifinals but eventually lost to Wake in
the championship game.
Following are the five most memorable first-round stunners.
1. Maryland 71, N.C. State 49
March 10, 1989, Atlanta
8th-seed Terps (1-13 ACC,9-20 overall) won with such ease over the
top-seeded Wolfpack (10-4, 22-9) that both sides were left virtually
speechless. In fact, Terps coach Bob Wade was feared to have suffered a
heart attack in the minutes following the game.
John Johnson and Tony Massenburg combined for 42 points while Wolfpack
star guards Rodney Monroe and Chris Corchiani were held to 20 combined.
Wade was on the bench a day later when reality set in and North Carolina destroyed his team, 88-58, in the semifinals.
2. State 66, Duke 60
March 7, 1997, Greensboro
Seeded No. 8,
the Pack (4-12, 17-15) had to beat Georgia Tech in a play-in game to
earn a shot at the top-seeded Blue Devils (12-4, 22-9). Herb Sendek’s
first State team was down by six points at halftime but took over in
the second half behind freshman playmaker Justin Gainey and wing
sharpshooter C.C. Harrison (28 points).
The Pack then stunned Maryland in the second half before falling to No. 3 seed Carolina in the championship game.
3. Wake Forest 69, Clemson 62
March 6, 1987, Landover, Md.
The 7th-seeded Deacons (2-12, 14-15) knocked out what may have been the best Clemson team (10-4, 25-6) of all time.
Bob Staak’s second Wake team got 21 points each from 5-foot-3 playmaker
Tyrone Bogues and wingman Rod Watson and put on a spectacular
second-half performance after Clemson led 34-22 at intermission. The
Deacons almost duplicated the win a day later but finally fell to N.C.
State in double overtime when Pack forward Mike Giomi sparked a late
4. Wake 54, UNC 52 (OT)
March 8, 1973, Greensboro
the seven-team era, the Deacons (3-9, 12-15) had finished last in
regular season while Carolina (8-4, 25-8) had a lineup that included
Bobby Jones, George Karl and Mitch Kupchak.
Carl Tacy’s first Wake team was a 20-point underdog but controlled the
tempo from the start and got 18 points from guard Eddie Payne. Against
powerful Maryland the following day, Wake led by four at the half but
eventually fell, 73-65
5. Miami 67, Maryland 62
March 8, 2007, Tampa, Fla.
12 seeded Hurricanes (4-12, 12-20) got 17 points from guard Jack
McClinton and used a match-up zone defense to frustrate the No. 5 Terps
(10-6, 25-9), who trailed by 13 at halftime and couldn’t fight all the
McClinton got 16 points in the second round against Boston College, but
Eagles held on for a 74-71 win after going to halftime down by 10.