ACC Bubble Analysis for January 26, 2014


While the ACC stays strong at the top, a couple of teams from the middle of pack really made a nice move this week. I think when all is said and done, the ACC will end up with at least 6 bids, with a chance at 7. Let’s see who is up and who’s down for this week.

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.


(5) Syracuse (19-0) (6-0) Projected Seed 1

Last 10 – (10-0)

Good Wins – * (4) Villanova, (56) Baylor, * (20) Minnesota, * (48) California, (73) Indiana,  (74) St. Johns, (61) E. Michigan, (57) North Carolina, (90) Miami, * (14) Pittsburgh, (90) Miami

Bad Losses -None

Notes – Most teams are lucky if they have one go to player, Syracuse has multiple go to players in late game situations including guys like C.J. Fair and Tyler Ennis. This past week Miami pushed Syracuse, but again the Orange came up big late in the game. This week will be a real test. Wednesday is a game at Wake Forest, where the Deacs have played well. Then it’s possibly the game of the year in the ACC when Duke heads to Syracuse Saturday.

(14) Pittsburgh (18-2) (6-1) Projected Seed 4

Last 10 – (8-2)

Good Wins – (54) Stanford, (68) NC St., (59) Wake Forest, (80) Maryland, (76) Clemson, (80) Maryland

Bad Losses –  None

Notes – Pittsburgh had a solid week destroying Clemson at home, then going on the road and taking care of a desperate Maryland team. This week they start getting some of the better teams in the conference Duke – Monday then Virginia – Sunday, but at least they are at home. Those should be a lot of fun.

(15) Duke (16-4) (5-2) Projected Seed 4

Last 10 – (8-2)

Good Wins – (61) Eastern Michigan, * (25) UCLA, * (13) Michigan, * (24) Virginia, (68) NC State, (86) Alabama, * (26) Florida State, (90) Miami

Bad Losses – NONE

Notes – That 1-2 ACC start seems like ancient history. Duke is really starting to play well, but this week we will find out if the Blue Devils are a Sweet 16 type team or one that can win it all. They go on the road to Pittsburgh Monday and then Saturday it’s at Syracuse. It doesn’t get any tougher than that. If Duke wins both I’m putting them back among the nation’s elite teams. Even a split would be very solid result.

(24) Virginia (15-5) (6-1) Projected Seed 5

Last 10 – (8-2)

Good Wins – (83) Missouri St., * (45) SMU, (71) Northern Iowa, (59) Wake Forest, (68) NC State, * (26) Florida State, * (26) Florida State, (57) North Carolina

Bad Losses – None

Notes – Virginia continues to move up each week. I said on twitter that Virginia with 1 AP point was proof, that many in the voting media weren’t actually watching college basketball. This is a good basketball team that’s getting better. That blowout loss to Tennessee was an aberration. As I said the Cavs are good, but this week we find out just how good with road games at dangerous Notre Dame then Sunday at Pittsburgh. If I’m Virginia I’m happy with a split.

(24) Florida State (13-6) (4-3) Projected Seed 9

Last 10 – (7-3)

Good Wins – * (6) UMASS, * (32) VCU, (80) Maryland, (76) Clemson, (90) Miami, (94) Notre Dame

Bad Losses – None

Notes – The Noles are still solidly in the Big Dance. None of their losses are outside of the RPI top 25, but they seem to be a notch below the top 4. They head on the road to NC State then get Clemson at home. As long as they don’t get swept, they will stay off the bubble.

Bubble But In

(57) North Carolina (12-7) (2-4) Projected Seed 11

Last 10 – (5-5)

Good Wins – * (9) Michigan St., * (28) Louisville, * (11) Kentucky, *(47) Richmond, (76) Clemson

Bad Losses – (134) UAB

Notes – North Carolina has as many top 50 RPI wins as Syracuse and Duke. That’s how they stay in the NCAAT despite a 2-4 conference record. The Heels probably want to get off the bubble though, so they need to get to .500 in conference to do that. They have a chance to get to 4-4 in the ACC with winnable games this week at Georgia Tech Wednesday then they get NC State at home on Saturday. Their win over Clemson Sunday was the best they’ve played in weeks.

(59) Wake Forest (14-6) (4-3) Projected Seed 11

Last 10 – (6-4)

Good Wins – * (47) Richmond, (57) UNC, (68) NC State, (93) St. Bonaventure, (94) Notre Dame, (97) USC

Bad Losses – None

Notes –We’ve been waiting for while to see if the ACC could get a 7th team into NCAAs. Wake Forest might just be that team. The resume has a couple of decent OOC wins. There are no losses outside the top 100 either. This week is big for Wake Forest. They get Syracuse at home on Wednesday. Should the Deacs win that game and Georgia Tech at home, they are moving off the bubble next week. I would not be shocked if they pull an upset on the Orange.

Bubble But Out

(68) NC State (13-7) (3-4) 

Last 10 – (5-5)

Good Wins – (52) Tennessee, (80) Maryland, (94) Notre Dame

Bad Losses – (126) NC Central

Notes – The Wolfpack needed to sweep their two home games this week, to at least see the bubble. They did exactly that with a gutty win over Maryland without T.J. Warren. Then Sunday down 11 in the 2nd half to Georgia Tech, they got a big win. The Wolfpack have a must win at home this week against FSU. Saturday it is at UNC. It’s a tough week of games, but at least NC State has given themselves a chance.

(76) Clemson (13-6) (4-3) 

Last 10 – (6-4)

Good Wins – * (15) Duke, (59) Wake Forest

Bad Losses – * (191) Auburn

Notes – Clemson still sits 4-3 in the ACC, but it was a very discouraging week for them. They went on the road and lost by a combined 52 points to Pittsburgh and UNC. Honestly they didn’t look competitive in either. Saturday they head to FSU, which is not a good matchup for them.

(80) Maryland (11-9) (3-4)

Last 10 – (5-5)

Good Wins – * (41) Providence, (94) Notre Dame

Bad Losses – (116) Oregon St.

Notes –  Maryland wasted a golden opportunity this past week, to get on to the NCAA bubble. In fact it was a down right disastrous week for the Terps. They couldn’t win at undermanned NC State, then with a chance at a marquee win at home against Pitt, they couldn’t come up with the win. This week provides a chance to get things moving in the right direction. They get Miami at home Wednesday, then it’s at reeling Virginia Tech Saturday.

Only if they win the ACC Tournament

(90) Miami (10-9) (2-5)

Last 10 – (5-5)

Good Wins – * (50) Arizona St., (57) UNC, (78) LaSalle

Bad Losses – * (203) Virginia Tech * (161) St. Francis NY, * (211) UCF

Notes – Not a good week for Miami. It was tough with Duke and Syracuse, but at home the Canes really needed at least one win to get a look. Wednesday is at Maryland, then a filler with Norfolk St. This is still a dangerous team, but they are running out of chances.

(94) Notre Dame 11-9 (2-5)

Last 10 – (4-6)

Good Wins – (73) Indiana, * (15) Duke, (92) Canisius, (66) Delaware

Bad Losses – * (152) Georgia Tech

Notes – Pitt and Syracuse dominate the ACC and the conference must be terrible. Notre Dame is 2-5 in the ACC, and they made the NCAA’s as a member of the Big East 6 out of the last 7 years. Just an interesting stat… Anyways Notre Dame is much like Miami, a very dangerous team, but with a poor record. The Irish are capable of beating anyone left on their schedule. Sweeping Virginia and Boston College at home this week is an absolute must.

(152) Georgia Tech (11-9) (2-5) 

Last 10 – (5-5)

Good Wins – (60) Illinois, (94) Notre Dame

Bad Losses – NONE

Notes – Georgia Tech was seconds from getting two ACC road wins this week which would have been huge. Inconsistent UNC heads to Atlanta Wednesday, then the Jackets go to Wake Forest Saturday. The Jackets need to get moving to make the NIT a possibility which would be good for this team.

(203) Virginia Tech (8-11) (1-6)

Last 10 – (2-8)

Good Wins – (96) West Virginia, (90) Miami

Bad Losses – * (206) SC Upstate, (113) Seton Hall,*(310) UNC Greensboro, * (167) Boston College

Notes – The Hokies haven’t won in 2014, and they are only the ACC team with an RPI in the 200s. Ouch…. They are at Boston College, then host Maryland later in the week.

(167) Boston College (5-14) (1-5)

Last 10 – (1-9)

Good Wins – (69) Washington

Bad Losses – * (191) Auburn, (106) Purdue, * (152) Georgia Tech

Notes – When Virginia Tech plays at Boston College on Wednesday stop the presses… ok maybe not. Saturday the Eagles play at Notre Dame. The season can’t end soon enough for Boston College.

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