ACC Bubble Analysis for December 29, 2013


It’s looking more and more like, barring some weird stuff in conference play, the ACC will have 5 locks for the NCAA Tourney, with somewhere between 1-3 more. A couple of bubble teams failed to help themselves, but one got a much needed win. Let’s find out who…

In my ranking system, any RPI top (100) win is a good win and any RPI top (50) obviously worth more. Any losses outside the RPI top (100) is considered a bad loss, and outside the RPI (150) are even more damaging. I’m not counting future results only if I think a team would make the NCAA’s if selections were made the day of the post.

Teams get a “*” for top 50 good wins or “*” greater 150 losses.

My RPI rankings come from, CBSSportsline.com.

This is going to be a weekly article, where I seed the ACC teams where I think they’d placed if the tournament started the same day as my posting.


(1) Syracuse (12-0) (0-0) Projected Seed 1

Last 10 – (10-0)

Good Wins – * (7) Villanova * (10) Baylor, (30) Minnesota, (75) California, (91) Indiana, (50) St. Johns

Bad Losses -None

Notes – Syracuse spotted Villanova an 18 point lead and still ended up winning by 16. The Orange have built up such a strong resume, they can probably lose a 3 or 4 ACC games and still earn a number 1 seed.

(31) Duke (10-2) (0-0) Projected Seed 2

Last 10 – (8-2)

Good Wins – (58) Eastern Michigan, (67) UCLA, (78) Michigan

Bad Losses – None

Notes – The Blue Devils actually picked up a top 100 win this week, beating Eastern Michigan. Elon this week should pose no problem, but at desperate Notre Dame where the Blue Devils will get the Irish’s best shot could be tricky.

(29) North Carolina (9-3) (0-0) Projected Seed 4

Last 10 – (7-3)

Good Wins – * (18) Michigan St., * (36) Louisville, * (15) Kentucky, (93) Richmond

Bad Losses – None

Notes – As the year continues, UNC marquee wins are simply nation’s best, and they will continue to look better and better. I think the Heels can break into the 2-3 seed range, but I’d like to see more consistency.

(22) Florida State (8-3) (0-0) Projected Seed 6

Last 10 – (7-3)

Good Wins – (3) UMASS, (51) VCU, (99) UNC-Charlotte

Bad Losses – None

Notes – Florida State didn’t play this week, but have Charleston Southern and critical home game against Virginia this week.

(32) Pittsburgh (11-1) (0-0) Projected Seed 7

Last 10 – (9-1)

Good Wins – (59) Stanford, (98) Fresno St.

Bad Losses –  None

Notes – Pittsburgh enters conference play in pretty good shape. They should be 12-1 when they play at NC State on January 4th.

Bubble But In

(61) Virginia (9-3) (0-0) Projected Seed 10

Last 10 – (8-2)

Good Wins – (80) Missouri St.,  (61) SMU, (90) Northern Iowa

Bad Losses – None

Notes – The Cavaliers resume looks better than it’s given credit for with three top 100 wins. Their week upcoming is the kind that makes or breaks an NCAA Bubble. They play at Tennessee and Florida State. Win both and Virginia is a single digit seed. Lose both and they are probably out next week. A split would be a good result this week.

(164) Georgia Tech (9-4) (0-0) Projected Seed 12

Last 10 – (7-3)

Good Wins – * (19) Illinois, (99) UNC-Charlotte

Bad Losses – None

Notes – Hear me out on Georgia Tech… The RPI is still sorting itself out, I mean is UMASS really the number 3 team in the country? If selections were TODAY, the Yellow Jackets have one of the ACC’s best wins over a very good Illinois team, and  they just beat UNC-Charlotte on the road. The 49ers won the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.  This win is not yet figured in the RPI, and Jackets will get a big boost.  If Georgia Tech can win at Maryland, we might have to really keep an eye on this team.

Bubble But Out

(86) NC State (9-3) (0-0) 

Last 10 – (8-2)

Good Wins – (81) Tennessee

Bad Losses – NONE

Notes – I hold signature victories and road wins in high regard. NC State has neither, and that’s why Georgia Tech got the nod despite a worse RPI. The Wolfpack let a golden opportunity slip away, when they couldn’t finish off Missouri in Raleigh. All is not lost though, there is a game at UNC-Greensboro which shouldn’t be overlooked, then a must win game with Pittsburgh at home. Win both and Wolfpack are on the right side of the bubble.

(79) Wake Forest (10-3) (0-0) 

Last 10 – (8-2)

Good Wins – (93) Richmond, (71) USC

Bad Losses – None

Notes – If Wake Forest had been able to beat Xavier they would be in. It’s splitting hairs between Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, and NC State. Beat UNC at on the 5th and Wake Forest is in.

(117) Maryland (8-5) (1-0)

Last 10 – (6-4)

Good Wins – (77) Providence, (90) Northern Iowa

Bad Losses – * (170) Oregon St., (108) Boston University

Notes –  The Terps need to make a move now. They can’t afford to lose either game with NC Central or Georgia Tech at home this week. Right now they are trailing the NC State, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech grouping.

(120) Clemson (8-3) (0-0)

Last 10 – (7-3)

Good Wins – (84) South Carolina

Bad Losses – * (180) Auburn

Notes –  The Tigers have a decent record, but there’s not enough there to warrant serious consideration. That Auburn loss is an eyesore. That play VMI and at Boston College this week. They can’t lose either.

(128) Notre Dame (9-4) (0-0) 

Last 10 – (6-4)

Good Wins – (91) Indiana

Bad Losses – None

Notes – Notre Dame had to go to OT to beat Canisius. The Irish look every bit the NIT team. If they were knock off Duke at home it could turn their season around.

Only if they win the ACC Tournament

(136) Miami (7-5) (0-0)

Last 10 – (6-4)

Good Wins – (68) Arizona St.

Bad Losses – (139) Virginia Tech (107) St. Francis NY, * (265) UCF

Notes – Just too many bad losses on Miami’s resume. They play at Syracuse this week. That could get ugly.

(139) Virginia Tech (7-5) (1-0)

Last 10 – (6-4)

Good Wins –

Bad Losses – * (168) SC Upstate, * (155) Seton Hall,*(257) UNC Greensboro

Notes – You can’t lose to UNC Greensboro and even get a look. Virginia Tech is lucky Boston College is in the ACC.

(159) Boston College (4-9) (0-1)

Last 10 – (3-7)

Good Wins – None

Bad Losses – (117) Maryland,* (180) Auburn

Notes – The only school BC beat in December was Philadelphia. They don’t even have an active page on CBS Sportsline.

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