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ACC Sputters, As Predicted

Pardon the chest beating, but I wanted to revisit my January 18 article, “ ACC Will Earn Five Bids ”. In the article I discussed how there is a finite number of wins to be had in conference play. If the top teams are dominant, then there are many fewer opportunities for middle-of-the-pack teams to get into the NCAA Tournament. As it turned out, Wake Forest, Duke, and UNC lost a couple more times than anticipated, which meant that 6 wins were to be had by the rest of the league. Florida State replaced Miami in my prediction, but Boston College was able to sneak up and get 9 conference wins. Three teams finished the regular season with 7-9 records, and Maryland was able to put enough of a run together in the ACC Tournament, that they impressed the committee. Generally, though, teams below .500 don’t get in, so this was a big anomaly.

So, we, as a league, weren’t as good at the top as we thought, and that let some more of the middle in. Overall, though, the league had a so-so year, especially when reviewing the final paragraph of my January 18 article:

The bottom line is that when a few teams at the top win most of their games or the bottom of the league wins a handful of games, the middle of the league suffers. Whether or not that makes for a strong league is not the really point. It is incumbent for this small portion of the league to do well in the big dance (that means you Clemson, Duke, and Wake Forest, the teams that have recently no-showed in the tournament).

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