ACC Bubble Analysis for February 9, 2014


The ACC is so down they have 9 teams in the top 75 of the RPI. 3 of the top 6 the KenPom.com rankings, and 7 in the top 50. Does that sound like a disappointing basketball conference? No of course not… I’d take the ACC’s top 8 or 9 teams against any in the country. Is the best conference in land, no it’s too weak at the bottom, but the disappointing basketball conference narrative? It’s simply not true.

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.


(4) Syracuse (23-0) (10-0) Projected Seed 1

Last 10 – (10-0)

Good Wins – * (3) Villanova, (62) Baylor, * (38) Minnesota, * (48) California, (75) Indiana,  (67) St. Johns, (76) E. Michigan, * (38) North Carolina, (95) Miami, * (24) Pittsburgh, * (7) Duke, (84) Wake Forest, (69) Clemson

Bad Losses -None

Notes – It doesn’t always look pretty, but Syracuse continues to get it done. This past week were wins over Notre Dame and Clemson. Now the schedule gets really tough. They Cuse haven’t played an ACC team on the road that will make the NCAAs. That changes this week when they play at Pittsburgh, before hosting NC State.

(7) Duke (19-5) (8-3) Projected Seed 3

Last 10 – (8-2)

Good Wins – (76) Eastern Michigan, * (18) UCLA, * (16) Michigan, * (20) Virginia, (59) NC State, (52) Florida State, * (24) Pittsburgh, (84) Wake Forest

Bad Losses – (117) Notre Dame

Notes – The Blue Devils are playing at an extremely high level now. They cruised in wins over Wake Forest and Boston College this past week. If Duke can sweep a surging UNC team and Maryland this week, I’ll move them up to a 2 seed. It’s going to be difficult for Duke to get a 1 seed though without some help. By that I mean Wichita St. Florida and Syracuse need to lose a few games.

(20) Virginia (19-5) (10-1) Projected Seed 4

Last 10 – (9-1)

Good Wins – * (40) SMU, (84) Wake Forest, (59) NC State, (52) Florida State, (52) Florida State, * (38) North Carolina, * (24) Pittsburgh

Bad Losses – None

Notes – There is no question in my mind Virginia can win the ACC regular season. They are playing very well, and the schedule is quite favorable. The Cavaliers are in a tough stretch of playing 4 games in 8 games, before a 5 day break, but they are handling well so far. Monday is a game at home against Maryland, then a tricky one at Clemson on Saturday. UVA scored wins over BC and Georgia Tech this past week.

(24) Pittsburgh (20-4) (8-3) Projected Seed 6

Last 10 – (7-3)

Good Wins – * (41) Stanford, (59) NC St., (84) Wake Forest, (65) Maryland, (69) Clemson, (65) Maryland

Bad Losses –  None

Notes – How can a 20-4 team with without loss to anyone outside have so many question marks? That’s what happens when you go to Double OT with a team like Virginia Tech on your home floor. A loss would have been dropped Pitt to a double digit seed. This week though Pitt can put that all behind them. Wednesday Pitt will host Syracuse, then the head to North Carolina on Saturday.

(38) North Carolina (16-7) (6-4) Projected Seed 8

Last 10 – (6-4)

Good Wins – * (9) Michigan St., * (33) Louisville, * (10) Kentucky, *(44) Richmond, (69) Clemson, (59) NC State, (65) Maryland

Bad Losses – (173) UAB, (114) Miami

Notes – What has really impressed me about UNC’s recent play is in their 5 game winning streak all their wins have been by double digits. Just how good is UNC though? We’ll find out when Duke pays UNC a visit on Wednesday and Pittsburgh comes to Chapel Hill on Saturday. The bubble is in the UNC’s rear view mirror, now they are playing to improve that seeding.

Bubble But In

(52) Florida State (14-9) (5-6) Projected Seed 12

Last 10 – (5-5)

Good Wins – * (12) UMASS, * (28) VCU, (65) Maryland, (69) Clemson

Bad Losses – None

Notes – I’m keeping Florida State in but just barely. They are probably the last team in the field. Right now the two top 30 wins are what separate them from most bubble teams, but the RPI is slipping and the losses are adding up. This is the last break I’m giving FSU. If they don’t win both games this week with Miami and at Wake Forest, they won’t be in the field next week.

Bubble But Out

(59) NC State (15-8) (5-5) 

Last 10 – (5-5)

Good Wins – * (47) Tennessee, (65) Maryland, (98) Northwestern, (52) Florida State

Bad Losses – (139) NC Central

Notes – NC State has won 4 of their last 5 games, and only FSU’s OOC wins are giving them an edge…. barely. They got a good win at Miami, and this week head to Wake Forest (a must win), then its at Syracuse. My feeling is FSU or NC State will make the field when all is said and done, but not both.

(66) Maryland (14-10) (6-5)

Last 10 – (5-5)

Good Wins – * (50) Providence, (52) Florida State

Bad Losses – NONE

Notes –  Maryland continues to be just close enough to the bubble, that you can’t forget about them. They’ve won three of their last four, but it’s a brutal week ahead with games at Virginia on the 10th  and Duke on the 15th. The Terps have to find a way to get at least a split.

(69) Clemson (15-7) (6-3) 

Last 10 – (7-3)

Good Wins – * (7) Duke, (84) Wake Forest, (52) Florida State

Bad Losses – * (154) Auburn

Notes – Clemson struggled with Georgia Tech, but won. Then as expected they lost at Syracuse. It’s was a week that didn’t really help or hurt Clemson, but they need some additional marquee wins. This week is a critical one for Clemson. They head to Notre Dame to face what I still believe can be dangerous Irish team, and then Virginia comes to LittleJohn on Saturday. I can’t put Clemson in the field unless they win both.

(84) Wake Forest (14-9) (4-6)

Last 10 – (4-6)

Good Wins – * (44) Richmond, * (38) UNC, (59) NC State, (90) St. Bonaventure

Bad Losses –  (140) Georgia tech

Notes – Wake Forest is still paying for that crippling loss to Georgia Tech over a week ago. They weren’t winning at Duke, and now they have quite a bit of work to do to get back in the NCAA picture. It’s a critical week for the Deacs with a game at NC State then they host FSU. Wake Forest really needs both games.

Only if they win the ACC Tournament

(114) Miami (11-12) (2-8)

Last 10 – (3-7)

Good Wins – * (39) Arizona St., * (38) UNC, (79) LaSalle

Bad Losses – * (225) Virginia Tech * (175) St. Francis NY, * (221) UCF

Notes – Miami was 5 total points from beating Pittsburgh and NC State this past week. I will continue to say despite their records Miami and Notre Dame are the two most dangerous teams of the bottom five ACC Teams. This week the Canes play at Florida State on Monday then at Virginia Tech Saturday.

(117) Notre Dame 12-12 (3-8)

Last 10 – (2-8)

Good Wins – (75) Indiana, * (7) Duke, (94) Canisius, (63) Delaware

Bad Losses – (140) Georgia Tech

Notes – Um Notre Dame, I keep calling you dangerous and you just keep losing. The Irish pushed Syracuse, but it was a discouraging home performance where they were totally outplayed by UNC. The Irish host Clemson Tuesday, then Sunday Sunday it’s at Boston College. If Notre Dame has one last run in them in, it better start this week.

(140) Georgia Tech (12-12) (3-8) 

Last 10 – (3-7)

Good Wins – (86) Illinois, (84) Wake Forest

Bad Losses – (114) Miami

Notes – The season has gotten away from Georgia Tech. There have been too many injuries and too many scoring droughts. This week on Wednesday Boston College heads to Atlanta. The Jackets have lost 4 of their last 5.

(178) Boston College (6-17) (2-8)

Last 10 – (2-8)

Good Wins – (83) Washington

Bad Losses – * (154) Auburn, (109) Purdue, (140) Georgia Tech, (117) Notre Dame, (131) USC

Notes – Let’s be honest Boston College and Virginia Tech have been anchors on ACC basketball. Boston College went 0-2 this past week with losses to Virginia and Duke. This week there is a game at Georgia Tech then Notre Dame comes to BC on Sunday.

(228) Virginia Tech (8-15) (1-10)

Last 10 – (0-10)

Good Wins – (70) West Virginia

Bad Losses – * (196) SC Upstate, (120) Seton Hall,*(315) UNC Greensboro, * (179) Boston College, (117) Notre Dame, * (179) Boston College

Notes – Where did Virginia Tech come up a performance that saw them go on the road at Pittsburgh and take the Panthers to Double OT? Unless you were a fan of the Hokies that would have a very bad result for the ACC. A Hokie resume that includes some really bad losses knocking off one of the ACC’s top teams, that would not have been good. That said it proves Virginia Tech hasn’t packed it for the season, so the rest of the ACC needs to be on alert. Virginia gets Miami and Virginia at home this week.

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