Sunday, March 16, 2008

ACC Jobbed Again?

Well, the #1 RPI conference in the country ends up yet again getting only 4 teams into the NCAA tournament. The Big East, on the other hand, with the 5th best RPI gets 8 teams in. The key team that got left out was of course Virginia Tech. So did they deserve it? You could argue it both ways:

  • Pro - #1 RPI conference
  • Pro - 9-7 record in the ACC
  • Pro - #32 Strength of Schedule
  • Con - they only played UNC, Duke and Clemson once each - and lost every one
  • Con - RPI ~53
  • Con - 1-7 record against top 50 (vs 4-7 Villinova, S.Bama 3-2)
  • Con - 0-6 record against top 25

I'm as ticked as any ACC fan should be. However, the only thing they really had going for them was a strong ACC record - and the Selection committee chairman made it clear that the conference a team played in had no role in their decision. Seth Davis made it clear - mid-majors get a break in this process over the big conference middle teams. It's a fact but the committee would never admit it. Either way, it's a rarity for an ACC team with a winning record to get left out, but here we are.

What role did the make-up of the ACC play in this? A lot in my opinion. Facts are this conference needs more bad teams. Why does the Big East get 8 teams in? There are plenty of patsies. The ACC just doesn't have them. There are two great teams (UNC, Duke), one really good team (Clemson), one good team (Miami), then all the rest are a solid soup of interchangeability. Really, there's not one ACC team that would be a major shocker to upset UNC during the season.

For the ACC to consistently get 5-6 teams in the dance, we need at least three, but preferably four teams every year to lose about 12-14 conference games. We don't necessarily need another dominant team. We just need more crappy teams. I don't know if it's any more complicated.

Oh, I don't know. We dominate the ACC/Big 10 Challenge every year and they get the same number of teams in the dance as the ACC. Go figure.

Here's something I do know. This time of the year really, really, really stinks when GT is not in the field. It's not bittersweet. It's just plain bitter. Adding insult to injury, our arch-rivals win only 4 conference games all year, and manage to win 4 in-a-row to win the SEC and get a bid to the dance (on our own floor no less). At least there is justice in the world though. First, they get shipped out west as a 14-seed. Second, it ensures that Dennis Felton is going to hang around a few more years. Good guy, but I don't see him taking them consistently to the next level in hoops.

It's just the end to one very frustrating season.

So what should we move on to next? Want to talk beesball? Well, GT got swept by FSU this weekend. I'm not up for that either. I think I'm going to bed early. I cannot even get motivated to fill out a bracket.