ATLANTA -- The two NCAA bubble teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference got wins Thursday in opening-round play at the conference tournament. Miami beat Georgia Tech, 54-36, and N.C. State beat Boston College, 78-57.
Neither win was a big test, nor was it anywhere close to the quality of victory either team needed to seal up an invite to the big dance. Wolfpack head coach Mark Gottfried said the only thing he knew for sure was to keep moving forward.
"For us, the answer is to continue to win," said Gottried. "I don't know if that's one game, two games, three games -- I know if we win this tournament, we get to go."
N.C. State plays Virginia at 2 p.m. ET Friday in the second round of the tournament. The Cavaliers are considered by most to be a lock for the NCAA Tournament. Virginia has a current RPI of 40, which makes it a optimal opponent for the Wolfpack to upset to move closer to the field of 68.
In N.C State's only game against Virginia this season it chopped away at a 10-point deficit with six and half minutes to play but fell short, 61-60, as a game-winning shot wouldn't fall for the Wolfpack.
Miami played great defense Thursday and held Georgia Tech to 36 points, the lowest point total from a team in the ACC Tournament since the inception of the shot clock. At 9 p.m. ET the Hurricanes play Florida State.
"It's our rivalry game, and we definitely want to win," said Miami junior guard Durand Scott. "The first time, they got us. The second time, we got them. May the best team win Game 3."
Miami lost by five points in Tallahassee on Feb. 11, but won by a commanding 16 points on Feb. 26 at home. Another dominating win over Florida State -- with an RPI of 21 -- could be enough to punch Miami's ticket, especially when you consider Miami's win over Duke on Feb. 5.
Friday's action won't clear anything up for the ACC's bubble teams, but wins from either, or both, would certainly strengthen their case.