ACC Bubble Analysis for March 9, 2014


Bad week for the ACC’s top teams. Virginia, Syracuse, and Duke all may have played themselves out of a realistic shot at a NCAA number 1 seed. A couple of bubble teams, let golden opportunities slip away too.

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.


(8) Duke (24-7) (13-5) Projected Seed 2

Last 10 – (7-3)

Good Wins – (93) Eastern Michigan, * (26) UCLA, * (9) Michigan, * (10) Virginia, (64) N.C. State, (55) Florida State, * (45) Pittsburgh, (77) Maryland, (12) Syracuse, (19) UNC

Bad Losses – (124) Notre Dame, (116) Wake Forest

Notes – Duke collapsed late against Wake Forest in an inexcusable loss, but played very well in their win against UNC. That keeps them on the 2 line. Barring a Friday upset in the ACCT, Duke looks like a lock as a 2. Duke has no chance at 1 seed without Villanova and Wisconsin losses, and an ACCT title. Even that might not be enough.

(12) Syracuse (27-4) (14-4) Projected Seed 2

Last 10 – (6-4)

Good Wins – * (4) Villanova, * (35) Baylor, (51) Minnesota, (56) California, (58) St. Johns, (93) E. Michigan, * (19) North Carolina, * (45) Pittsburgh, * (8) Duke, (75) Clemson, * (45) Pittsburgh, (64) N.C. State, (91) Indiana, (77) Maryland, (55) Florida State

Bad Losses  – * (183) Boston College, (148) Georgia Tech

Notes – For all of Syracuse’s recent poor play, they still only have 4 losses, and a great resume. They may be the best positioned of the ACC teams, to still have an outside at that 4th 1 seed, if they win the ACCT, and Wisconsin and Villanova lose before then. The Georgia Tech loss was just plain bizarre. Jermai Grant missed that game, but that is no excuse. The Orange got outplayed. With his return Syracuse had a very impressive win at Florida State. Syracuse is in the same position as Duke. Barring a Friday loss, they should be no worse than a 2 seed, with a slim shot at a 1 if they get some help.

(10) Virginia (25-6) (16-2) Projected Seed 3

Last 10 – (9-1)

Good Wins – * (44) SMU, (64) N.C. State, (55) Florida State, (55) Florida State, * (19) North Carolina, * (45) Pittsburgh, (77) Maryland, (75) Clemson, (98) Missouri St., (12) Syracuse, (87) Missouri St.

Bad Losses – None

Notes –Virginia’s problem is that they don’t have the non-conference wins Syracuse or Duke does despite winning the ACC regular season. They really couldn’t afford to lose at Maryland. The penetrating guards of the Terrapins gave Virginia all kinds of fits. A run to the ACC Finals would probably put Virginia on the 2 seed line, but I don’t think they can go any higher. They can drop to a 4 seed with a Friday loss.

(19) North Carolina (23-8) (13-5) Projected Seed 4

Last 10 – (9-1)

Good Wins – * (22) Michigan St., * (21) Louisville, * (18) Kentucky, (64) Richmond, (75) Clemson, (64) N.C. State, (77) Maryland, * (45) Pittsburgh, *(8) Duke, (55) Florida State, (64) NC State

Bad Losses – (134) UAB, (108) Miami, (116) Wake Forest

Notes – UNC won’t be penalized for losing at Duke. Nobody else has beat them since late January. A Friday ACCT loss would drop them to a 5 or 6 seed, but an ACCT title could lift them to a 2, and run to Sunday a 3. Basically UNC could end up anywhere from a 2 to a 6 seed.

(45) Pittsburgh (23-8) (11-7) Projected Seed 9

Last 10 – (5-5)

Good Wins – * (43) Stanford, (64) NC State (77) Maryland, (75) Clemson, (77) Maryland, (75) Clemson

Bad Losses –  None

Notes – Pittsburgh was 2.4 seconds at Clemson from being squarely on the bubble, but a miracle finish got them to OT, where they took care of business. They are safely in the Big Dance. A Thursday ACCT loss will dump in double digit territory, but a run to Saturday/Sunday will get them off the dreaded 8-9 line into the 6-7 range. Win the ACCT and and Pitt could work it’s way up to a 5 seed.

Bubble But In


Bubble But Out

(55) Florida State (18-12) (9-9) 

Last 10 – (5-5)

Good Wins – * (14) UMASS, * (13) VCU, (77) Maryland, (75) Clemson, * (45) Pittsburgh

Bad Losses – (108) Miami

Notes – The Noles really could have use a home win over Syracuse. The biggest concern though is how badly FSU was outplayed in the final 8-10 minutes of that game. I didn’t expect that. FSU is in a must win situation Thursday to get on the bubble. At 19-13 (9-9) plus 3 top 50 wins, they’ll be in the NCAA picture, but somewhere in that first 4 in or first 4 out area. They would probably need a Friday win to feel really safe, which would land them as 10-11 seed. A run to the finals could get them as high as a 8-9 seed.

(64) NC State (19-12) (9-9) 

Last 10 – (5-5)

Good Wins – *(42) Tennessee, (77) Maryland, (55) Florida State, (99) Eastern Kentucky, (45) Pittsburgh

Bad Losses – (111) NC Central, (116) Wake Forest, (108) Miami

Notes – By winning at Pittsburgh this past week, NC State has clawed their way back towards the bubble. I think the Wolfpack still need another win on Friday and get a potential game with Syracuse that day. Wouldn’t that rematch be fun? Should they get to Saturday, they will have a shot at the NCAAs. A Sunday run would certainly get them in. They don’t have win the whole tournament, but they do need to stay for awhile. If T.J Warren gets hot you never know.

(75) Clemson (19-11) (10-8) 

Last 10 – (5-5)

Good Wins – * (8) Duke, (55) Florida State, (64) NC State, (77) Maryland

Bad Losses – * (157) Auburn, (124) Notre Dame, (116) Wake Forest

Notes – Clemson oh Clemson how they fell apart in the final seconds against Pittsburgh. That was a crippling loss for their fading NCAA hopes. Clemson obviously must win Thursday, and they really need a Friday win even more than Florida State. They get to Saturday I like their chances of getting in, but that’s a lot to ask for.

Only if they win the ACC Tournament

(77) Maryland (17-14) (9-9)

Last 10 – (5-5)

Good Wins – (54) Providence, (55) Florida State, (95) Tulsa, * (10) Virginia

Bad Losses – None

Notes – As I said last week, Maryland had a good chance to really push Virginia this weekend. Not only did they push them they beat them. If the Terps had done anything in the non-conference they would be on the bubble. This is a talented team that won’t have the pressure of playing to get in the NCAAs unless they win the ACCT. The Terps could make some noise this week.

(108) Miami (16-15) (7-11)

Last 10 – (5-5)

Good Wins – * (38) Arizona St., * (19) UNC, (55) Florida State, (64) N.C. State

Bad Losses – * (234) Virginia Tech * (188) St. Francis NY, * (221) UCF, * (234) Virginia Tech

Notes – Miami wins those games against against the RPI 200 they lost they’d be on the bubble. This is a well coached dangerous team, that could cause NC State headaches when they play on Thursday. The Canes took care of N.C. State in Raleigh.

(116) Wake Forest (16-15) (6-12)

Last 10 – (2-8)

Good Wins – (69) Richmond, * (19) UNC, (64) NC State, (75) Clemson, * (8) Duke

Bad Losses –  (148) Georgia Tech, * (183) Boston College, (108) Miami

Notes – Who plays well at home? Wake Forest does ask Duke, UNC, and NC State. Do you know what’s close to Winston Salem? Greensboro, NC. There’s some talent here, and should Wake Forest get by Notre Dame, they could cause Pitt some fits on Thursday.

(124) Notre Dame 15-16 (6-12)

Last 10 – (4-6)

Good Wins – * (8) Duke, (76) Delaware, (75) Clemson, (91) Indiana, (94) Canisius

Bad Losses – (148) Georgia Tech, (116) Wake Forest, (108) Miami

Notes – Notre Dame has lost 13 games by 10 points or less… You better get Notre Dame this year, because under Mike Brey they won’t be down for long. An opening ACCT game with Wake Forest could be very entertaining.

(148) Georgia Tech (15-16) (6-12) 

Last 10 – (4-6)

Good Wins – (66) Illinois, (72) Georgia, * (12) Syracuse

Bad Losses – (108) Miami, (124) Notre Dame, (110) Vanderbilt

Notes – I don’t care that Jerami Grant didn’t play against Georgia Tech, for the Jackets to go into the Carrier Dome and win that game took an incredible effort. Then they followed it up with an efficient performance against Virginia Tech. It makes you wonder if the Jackets had been healthy if they would have won 3 or 4 more games. They have quietly entered the ACCT playing their best basketball of the season.

(173) Boston College (8-23) (4-14)

Last 10 – (2-8)

Good Wins – (92) Washington, * (12) Syracuse

Bad Losses – * (157) Auburn, (119) Purdue, (148) Georgia Tech, (124) Notre Dame, (172) USC, (124) Notre Dame, (148) Georgia Tech, (108) Miami

Notes – Boston College 3 pt ability makes them dangerous. Their ability to defend does not… They get Georgia Tech to open the ACCT. They shot the Jackets out of the gym last year in Greensboro.

(234) Virginia Tech (9-21) (2-16)

Last 10 – (1-9)

Good Wins – (83) West Virginia

Bad Losses – * (168) SC Upstate, (149) Seton Hall,*(304) UNC Greensboro, * (183) Boston College, (124) Notre Dame, * (183) Boston College, (116) Wake Forest, (148) Georgia Tech

Notes – Virginia Tech has won 1 game this calendar year. It was against Miami… Miami is who they’ve face to open the ACCT.

Become a fan of the ACC on Facebook and follow the ACC on Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>