Is ACC Basketball Way Down? No, but some programs have real work to do.


We’ve mentioned from time to time here, that criticisms of ACC basketball have become an exaggerated popular narrative this basketball season. The facts are this.

It is not vintage ACC basketball. From top to bottom it’s not as strong as the Big 12 or Big 10. The ACC currently sits 5th in conference RPI. That’s not where the ACC usually is, but look deeper into the numbers, and you’ll see a different story.

The ACC has the nation’s #1 team in the Syracuse Orange, and two top 10 teams with Syracuse obviously and the Duke Blue Devils. The ACC has 4 ranked teams in both polls, Syracuse, Duke, Virginia and Pittsburgh. That’s second to the Big 10.

Oh yea Syracuse Duke was the highest rated regular season basketball game of the year.

The conference also has 5 teams ranked in the top 40 of the RPI. That’s is the 2nd most in the country. Only the Big 10 and Big 12 have more. Speaking of the Big 10 the ACC split with that conference 6-6 in the ACC\Big 10 Challenge.

If you look at another Basketball metric the KenPom.com rankings , the ACC has 3 of the 9 highest rated teams, and 4 of the top 15. The ACC leads in both categories.

Where the ACC is hurt is by a horrid bottom of the conference. Boston College and Virginia Tech are two simply put “bad basketball” teams. They have combined for a 13-32 record and just a 3-18 conference record.  Their RPIs are a 187 and 226. That’s an anchor on the ACC. If you take those two teams out, the ACC’s basketball RPI would be 3rd in the country.

I understand you can’t take away the bottom of a conference, but the point is to show how 2 poor basketball programs can pull down a whole conference’s strength numbers.

Barring a total collapse the ACC has 5 teams that are locks for the NCAAs, and some possibility for a 6th or 7th. We will have to see if a team or two emerges from the NC State, FSU, Clemson, and Maryland pack. NC State has made a nice recent move, Clemson and Maryland are treading water and Florida State is fading fast.

The point is ACC hasn’t fallen off the face of the college basketball world. It get’s another bump when Louisville joins later this year, and hopefully the bottom teams in the conference (looking at you Virginia Tech and Boston College) take steps to improve their basketball teams.

Also Georgia Tech and Wake Forest don’t get out scott free. Those are two program that have basketball history, success in the not too distant past, and solid recruiting regions. There is no reason why these two teams will after this season have 4 full seasons with a NCAA tournament appearance.

Georgia Tech and Wake Forest are better than that.

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1 ping

  1. ACC Basketball is Thriving at the Top, but is dreadful at the Bottom. » All Sports Discussion says:

    […] is the ACC doesn’t have just 1 or 2 bad teams, they have to be honest 4 truly awful teams.  We touched on this topic early last month, but let’s go into detail […]

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